Advising clients about their financial affairs is a for-profit business. Just like any our business sector in the economy, there are different ways that financial service providers charge for their services. These run from “full service” to “do-it-yourself” levels of fees. Disclosure of these fees can range from embedded costs to full disclosure.
What’s more, the financial service industry has several ways in which fees are collected from investors. For instance, some financial advisors are paid on a transactional basis. Thus, the person delivering the advice doesn’t get paid unless the investor buys the specific recommendations. On the surface, this might appear to be advantageous to the investor; however, often the advice is based on the potential commissions available by the different investment vehicles, rather than what is in the best interest of the investor.
Often, an investor is offered “free” advice, as there isn’t any visible charge. With these services, the fees collected are likely embedded in the investment vehicle. For example, annuities and variable insurance products collect fees on an annual basis for the insurance portion of the investment. This particular fee reduces the internal return of the investment. Another embedded fee is the 12b-1 fee that is collected at the investment level such as the expense ratio of a mutual fund.
At Trust Point, we collect for our services using an asset based fee. While this can appear to be expensive on the outset, we believe it is very competitive for long term investing and offers many advantages. For this fee, you not only get investment advice, but advice on estate planning, retirement planning, IRA Rollover advice, etc. Secondly, we deliver our advice without bias towards a particular security, and our advice can focus on an investment philosophy or discipline. Lastly, the fee-based approach aligns Trust Point’s goals with our client’s goals as the level of fees is directly linked to the value of your estate.
When investing your money, be sure to inquire about fee schedules, and make sure you are comparing apples to apples. We believe you will find that Trust Point offers a multitude of services for a competitive fee, making it an excellent choice for the prudent investor.
Note: The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.