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Fee Structures

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

  • Len Cohen AEP,CFP®,CLU

    Gaithersburg, MD

    Retirement, Investing, Insurance

    7 answers

    1 person found Len's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I'm looking at rolling over a 401(k), but I'm worried about the tax bill. Ideally, I'd like to move it into an IRA. Can I do that?

    No problem! You can roll your account into 2 separate IRAs: a traditional/rollover and a ROTH.  The ROTH can hold the assets which are already designated as ROTH and the traditional will hold your traditional deferrals plus your vested portion of the employer contributions.  You will need to maintain two accounts forever. Open your new accounts to receive the funds and request a direct Trustee to Custodian rollover.  If you have any other old IRAs lying around, you can...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.
  • Rachel Millios EA,MBA

    Burke, VA

    Taxes

    17 answers

    7 people found Rachel's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    I haven't filed taxes in 8 years. Am I going to owe a boatload or money, or is there a way I can avoid paying?

    The longer you wait, the more you will owe.  Penalty and interest accruals (interest accrues on tax due AND penalties) are stiff.  Depending on your situation, it's possible that you could be owed refunds (up to 3 years from the due date - any claim for refund older than that is time-barred by IRC Section 6511).  But you won't know one way or the other until you seek out some help and get your returns prepared.  Only then can a strategy be worked out with regard of how to...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.
  • Curtis (Curt) Sheldon AIF®,CFP®,EA,MBA

    Alexandria, VA

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Taxes

    182 answers

    88 people found Curtis (Curt)'s answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    Does it make sense to reduce the number of dependents I list on my taxes so I have less withholding and can invest the difference?

    401(k)s can be a great way to save for your retirement an reduce your taxes.  Other qualified plans and IRAs can do the same thing.Real Estate can help with your tax bill.First, cash flow from Real Estate can be sheltered which means you don't pay taxes on the incomeSecond, under the right circumstances Real Estate losses might reduce your other income and lower your tax bill.  But this only applies to those with Adjusted Gross Incomes below $150,000 (other rules apply 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.
  • Tanina Linden CFP®,MBA

    Leesburg, VA

    Personal Finance, Investing, Taxes

    24 answers

    9 people found Tanina's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    Can I cancel a couple of my less used credit cards, or will it impact my credit score?

    It sounds as if you paid off the balance on one card but the other "less significant" card still has a balance from the engagement ring purchase?  If that is correct, you will need to pay off the card balance before closing the account.You do not say anything about the interest rates on your cards.  If all four cards are  widely accepted (not sure what you mean by less significant), you should keep the ones with the smallest interest rates and pay down and close the other(s) if...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.
  • Bonnie Sewell AIF®,CFP®,CDFA

    Leesburg, VA

    Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing

    47 answers

    18 people found Bonnie's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    What's the best way to finance expensive dental surgery?

    You mentioned dental procedure which doesn't indicate whether this is required, cosmetic, or must be done right now.  The reason I bring that up is many dentists today sell products and services that go way beyond necessary dental care.If you can postpone because it's cosmetic or elective, that is an option.  If you cannot, then you could look for a no interest credit card to put the expense on and pay off within the term of no interest (often 18 months).  I would avoid GE Care...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.
  • Jim Kantowski CFP®,CPA

    Annapolis, MD

    Investing, Retirement, Taxes

    2 answers

    1 person found Jim's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    How can I find the best tax advisor for an entrepreneur?

    It will be helpful to find a tax advisor that is both a CPA and CFP and has experience with small businesses and owners.  As an entrepreneur there are several ways you can minimize taxes and accumulate wealth by implementing the correct retirement plan.  This right plan will depend on the amount of income, number of employees, consistency of income, need for cash, and other factors.  A good CPA/CFP will be able to help determine the right plan for you.  There are additional...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.
  • James Roberts, CFP® CFP®

    Rockville, MD

    Retirement, Personal Finance

    34 answers

    7 people found James's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    My company has a no-match 401k plan and a pension plan (multiplier of 1.75%). What's the right mix for retirement savings? $180K annual income, married, 1 child, mid-30s

    You've provided some useful information here, but not nearly enough.  There are so many questions that need to be answered before any solid advice can be offered.  Some notable questions you need to look into are:p>What is your vesting schedule on the pension account?What is the multiplier begin applied to?  (3 yr avg of highest earning years; 3 yr avg of highest 3 consecutive earning years; etc.)Is your pension account insured by PBGC (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)?How...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.
  • Paul Meloan CFP®,JD

    Bethesda, MD

    Investing, Personal Finance, Retirement

    4 answers

    3 people found Paul's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    How do I find the correct financial advisor? I am 9 years away from retirement from the Federal Government and I have my TSP in the safest fund earning next to no interest.

    I am going to make some assumptions here that are not in your question, so bear with me.I am assuming that you are not willing to risk losing any of this money, and by "any" I mean not one dollar.  If that is the case, get online and shop for something like a 1 year CD from an FDIC insured institution.  You will be disappointed in the yield. In our current market environment they all suck. Some just suck worse than others.If I change the facts slightly, and say you are willing to risk...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.
  • Jean Schwarz CFP®

    Vienna, VA

    Personal Finance, Investing, Taxes

    6 answers

    3 people found Jean's answers helpful

    Most recent answer
    What are the advantages of paying cash for a house vs. taking out a mortgage?

    This question is very similar to one I hear from clients regarding whether or not it makes sense to  pay-off a mortgage early, and the answer is, "it depends".  Certainly, there is an economic view which looks at the alternative uses of the cash available to pay-off the loan or purchase the property and the correct answer would be to select the option which provides the biggest net return to the investor - in other words, could you make more after-tax by investing the money? ...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.
  • Deb Kriebel CFP®,MBA

    Columbia, MD

    0 answers

    0 people found Deb'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.

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