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Fee-Only Financial Advisor Near Me in San Diego

San Diego has numerous fee-only financial advisors such as Danny Michael of Satori Wealth Management available to meet a client’s needs.  This can make it difficult to choose one to trust with your financial information, especially if you are looking for a long-term working relationship. Knowing what you need and some of the lingo involved is the best way to find the perfect fee-only financial advisor in San Diego. 

To help guide you to determine if a fee-only financial planner near me is right for you, we’ve put together some helpful information.

Different Types of Financial Advisors in San Diego

While researching the various financial advisors in the San Diego area, you may accidentally choose an advisor who is not fee-only. Understanding the different fee structures beforehand will eliminate this mistake and ensure you find the right financial advisor for you. The three type of financial advisers are:

1. A fee-only financial advisor is someone who will not earn commissions from investments. They earn no money from their recommendations to clients and are only paid for the service they provide.

2. A fee-based financial advisor will earn commissions from investments on top of the fee they charge.

3. A commission-only financial advisor will earn their income from receiving commissions on the investments they buy and sell for their client.

Fiduciary vs. Non-Fiduciary In San Diego

There are two types of financial advisors: fiduciary and non-fiduciary.  A fiduciary advisor is someone who is legally and ethically obligated to put their client’s needs above their own. Every recommendation and investment must be made in the client’s best interest.

Client’s typically give a fiduciary advisor control over their assets, so there must be a great deal of trust involved in this type of relationship. The advisor will have complete control over the process of buying and selling securities on behalf of the client. This is why the financial advisor is legally obligated to act a certain way.  They have a fiduciary standard they must adhere to which were laid out by federal law in the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.

The Fiduciary Standard For Fee-Only Advisors In San Diego

The Investment Advisers Act of 1940 contains rules that are referred to as the fiduciary standard. This is the standard in which financial advisors must conduct themselves or otherwise they may face repercussions. There are several types of people who must follow the fiduciary standard.

Certified Financial Planners (CFP), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), certified investment advisers, and other persons who work with finances such as broker-dealers are bound by the legal and ethical standards set. Due to the law, the fiduciary standard is the main source in which the SEC regulates all registered investment advisors.

There are specific rules the fiduciary standard sets in place for advisors.  It states that an advisor cannot buy any securities for his or her account before purchasing them for their client. The advisor is also not permitted to conduct trades that will earn them higher commissions whether for themselves or their firm (for a fee-based or commission only advisor).

Every piece of investment advice and recommendation must be as accurate as possible. All decisions and advice given need to be made with thorough, complete, and accurate information. Additionally, any potential conflicts of interest must be disclosed to clients. It is not common for there to be many conflicts of interest for a fee-only advisor, but they must place the client’s needs above their own.  

Qualifications for Fee-Only Financial Advisors in San Diego

When looking for a fee-only financial advisor near you is it important to know what their personal qualifications are. You want to ensure that you choose an advisor who has the experience, qualifications, and legal obligation to assist you.  Advisors like Danny Michael of Satori Wealth Management have over 17 years experience providing highly personalized and proactive financial planning and investment management services to business owners, professionals, individuals, and families.  This experience and knowledge is invaluable to the success of a fee-only advisor.  

Certifications are not required, but they are a way to further establish oneself as a financial advisor.  Some of the most common qualifications that you will come across are:

CFP (Certified Financial Planner)– this is the most popular type of certification. This means that the advisor has been tested on their comprehension and approach to financial planning. A CFP is held to high regard and is granted through the Certified Planner Board of Standards. Each advisor trying to earn their CFP will be examined by their education, the results of an exam conducted by the board, their experience, and their ethics.

EA (Enrolled Agent)– this is a more elite type of certification and is the highest credential the IRS will grant. An EA is an advisor who is allowed to represent taxpaying clients before the IRS and has unlimited rights to do so. A financial advisor who is an EA is an expert in all areas of taxation and must also adhere to a strict code of ethics.

PFS (Personal Financial Specialist)– a PFS is a type of CFP who has been recognized for their expertise in all areas of wealth management. The title of PFS is granted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) after the advisor has passed a specialized exam. This certification is not permanent, and the advisor has to do 60 hours of continued education at a professional level every three years.  

AIF (Accredited Investment Fiduciary)– an AIF is a financial advisor who has gone through advanced courses to expand their knowledge and comprehension of fiduciary responsibilities. AIF’s must sign and agree to follow the Code of Ethics. They are also required to complete six hours of continuing their education each year.