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How an advisor is compensated can have an impact on the type of advice that you receive. Fee-only advisors are paid solely by the client, while commission-based brokers are paid by third parties in return for selling specific products. Many advisors receive both fees and commissions. See our "Guide to Financial Advisor Compensation" for more information.

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While designations are not everything when selecting a financial advisor, they often indicate a certain level of knowledge related to a specific field and/or commitment to certain ethical and professional standards. Please see our detailed Guide to Financial Advisor Designations for more information.

Availability

  • Daniel Johnson CFP®,MBA

    Asheville, NC

    Retirement, Investing, Taxes

    19 answers

    13 out of 13 people found Daniel's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    Does it make sense for a 40 year old to have a 50/50 stock/bond allocation? (details below)

    It may make sense to have a taxable brokerage account in a 50/50 allocation at your age. This is because you may have a need on the horizon to spend from this account. If this portfolio is a retirement account, I think that there are some major issues in his justification of the asset allocation. Ibbotson and Morningstar do an annual exercise of calculating historical returns for different asset classes. For a long-term investor, a higher equities allocation has historically resulted in a...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Eric Roberge CFP®

    Salem, MA

    Personal Finance

    0 answers

    0 out of 0 people found Eric's answers helpful

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Jeff Bloch

    Portland, OR

    0 answers

    0 out of 0 people found Jeff's answers helpful

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Will Kaplan CFP®

    Portland, OR

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing

    27 answers

    29 out of 41 people found Will's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I'm going back to school for a year and would like some help assessing my current investment strategy. How should I be allocating my savings? (details below)

    First, the biggest issue you are facing is the unknown. A financial plan is a best guess, it will need to change and adapt to your life. You have quite a few variables in your life now and more coming in the next few years on your current path. You will need to plan on some adaptation.That said, your asset allocation should be tied to your financial goals. Categorize your goals into short term, mid term, and long term objectives. You can take more risk as your goals move farther out in time, as...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Dana Twight CFP®

    Seattle, WA

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing

    96 answers

    77 out of 146 people found Dana's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    Do I need a will?

    Perhaps you already have gotten your will and other estate planning documents, but this might be useful for other readers. Several attorneys that I know are including digital assets in their clients wills. While I am not an attorney, financial planners frequently can bring up topics for your review prior to seeing an attorney such as wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, an ethical will, trust or special needs planning etc. I refer now though to a category many of us have not...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Brian Frederick CFP®,ChFC,CLU,JD

    Scottsdale, AZ

    Personal Finance, Taxes, Insurance

    182 answers

    204 out of 283 people found Brian's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I make $140,000 per year and have about $30,000 in credit card debt, amongst other monthly expenses (mortgage, two cars, 3 kids). I was thinking of raiding the $40,000 I have in my 401k to pull us out of debt and put a clamp on future spending. Is this a good idea?

    You're a brave man to support a family on one commission-only income! I wouldn't rule out using the 401k to get you some breathing room, but I wouldn't do so without looking at every conceivable angle to make sure that it really is your best and only option. You have good income, so I'd want to make sure that there isn't another solution out there that involves writing a big check to the IRS and putting your retirement at risk.The first place I'd start is by having a good system of handling...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Jarrett Topel CFP®,MSFP

    Berkeley, CA

    Personal Finance

    55 answers

    55 out of 78 people found Jarrett's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    If I cannot contribute to a deductible IRA nor a Roth due to MAGI and a retirement offered at work, can I contribute to a non-deductible IRA and then backdoor that non-deductible IRA into a Roth?

    Yes you can.  However, if you have ever taken a deduction for an IRA contribution in the past, I would highly recommend you talk with your CPA before proceeding.  The reason being……One thing to consider, is that if you go this route, you may owe taxes even if you did not take a deduction for the most recent contribution to the non-deductible IRA.  This is because, when you do a Roth IRA conversion, the IRS will look back at all of your IRAs contributions (past and...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • J Kevin Stophel CFP®,AIFA,CIMA,CRPS,MPAS

    Chattanooga, TN

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing

    160 answers

    89 out of 144 people found J Kevin's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    My advisor is recommending that I switch to an annuity with a 'Protected Withdrawal Value' feature. Is this a good idea? Are there other options I should consider? (details below)

    I doubt switching makes much sense, although I think the comments made regarding exploring annuitization (turning the annuity into a guaranteed lifetime income stream, which could reduce or preclude your need for any IRA distributions aside from your yearly RMD) and diversifying investments inside of the annuity, if you keep it, are good ones. Hope this...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Craig Smalley CEP,EA

    Orlando, FL
    Henderson, NV
    Wilmington, DE

    Personal Finance, Taxes, Small Business

    231 answers

    78 out of 136 people found Craig's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    If I invest money into an after-tax 401k, then roll it over to a Roth IRA, can I withdraw the principal investment (that was originally into the after-tax 401k, but is now in my Roth IRA) without a penalty?

    I agree with Chris on this one.  This is the Pandora's Box regarding the IRS and IRA's right now.  I wouldn't touch it if I were you.Craig W. Smalley, E.A.Admitted to Practice Before the Internal Revenue...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
  • Chris Winn CDFA,CFP®,MBA

    Portland , OR
    Beaverton , OR

    Retirement, Investing

    84 answers

    48 out of 58 people found Chris's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I'm considering talking to a financial advisor to better understand my retirement situation. Short of spending a lot of money hiring an investment advisor, what can I do to confirm that I'm prepared for retirement? If I actually need to hire an advisor to get peace of mind on this question, what can I expect the engagement to cost? What might affect the cost?

    There are several websites like Vanguard or Fidelity that offer free calculators.  Like many advisors here, my site offers robust free Retirement calculators too.  But you'll run up against the "garbage in, garbage out" problem.  These are just tools like your camera.  You still need an experienced, skilled professional to make beautiful pictures.Check out www.napfa.org or www.feeonlynetwork.com to find a fee-only advisor that fits your budget.  Fee-only advisors...more »

    Advisors offer free consultations to determine if you're a good fit for one another. Providing more information in the consultation request will help advisors have a better sense of what you're looking for. The advisor will contact you via email and set up a time to meet. Depending on the advisor, and your preferences, this could be an in-person or online meeting. You are under no obligation to engage them after meeting with them.
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