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How My Fees and Services Compare to the Average Advisor Thumbnail

How My Fees and Services Compare to the Average Advisor

I thought I would take this week’s article to quickly compare how my fees and services match up against the average advisor. Man, I am having flashbacks to grade school and “compare contrast assignments.” Be gentle with your grading on this 3-minute read. 

Fees Paid to Financial Advisor:

  • My flat fee is $10,000 a year regardless of asset size, income, net worth, or whatever other creative way many advisors charge their clients.
  • I am going to compare myself against the “average” AUM financial advisor. AUM stands for Assets Under Management. This is where the advisor charges you a percentage based on the amount of assets they manage. Like 1% a year after year after year…
  • My average client has $3 million of investable assets. This is our comparison starting point.
  • The average advisor charges .75% on a $3 million client. The math comes out to an annual fee of $22,500. Or, more than double my flat fee.
  • And to steal from the Cleveland Cavs – the Diff is a savings of $12,500 under my unique fee structure. 

Fees Paid for Investments:

  • The above fees do not cover those fees connected to the investments themselves. Nope, those are in addition to the fees you pay your advisor.
  • For me, my average investment fee is .40%, or $12,000 for my average client.
  • In the case of the “average” advisor, that percentage is .65%, or another $19,500 for a $3 million client.
  • The Diff is my clients keep another $7,500 in their accounts growing for their future. 

Summary of Fees:

  • Just a quick recap.
  • In total, my average client pays $22,000 a year.
  • Clients working with the “average” advisor are paying $42,000 a year.
  • I don’t know about you but keeping $20,000 a year of YOUR money in YOUR accounts sure seems like a prudent thing to do. 
  • I mean, whose retirement are you funding with the fees being paid to the “average” advisor? 

Let’s Talk Services:

  • Fees are one thing. More importantly, what sorts of services are you getting for your fees.
  • The average advisor meets with their clients once, maybe twice, a year to talk investments only.
  • I had a “practice expert” in my world once say – “No credible advisor meets with a clients more than twice a year.”
  • My service model is based on four meetings a year. I think we can all agree a lot can happen in 90 days, so why wait 365 days to meet?
  • Here is an example of what the “average” AUM-based/fee-based advisor is doing for you:
    1. Acting as a Fiduciary
    2. Conducting Investment Portfolio Design and Management
    3. Meet once a year.
  • I will hit the highlights for my clients:
    1. Act as a Fiduciary
    2. Full-blown Financial Planning by a Certified Financial Planner™
    3. Investment Portfolio Design and Management
    4. Proactive Tax Planning
    5. Retirement Planning
    6. Life Planning
    7. Estate Planning Reviews
    8. Workplace Benefits Reviews
    9. Insurance Review and Planning (I do NOT sell commissionable products of any kind, including insurance products).
    10. Education Planning
    11. 4 Meetings a Year
    12. Lots More

 Other Items to Mention:

  • Just to be clear, I do not solely work with physicians who already have $3 million in assets.
  • Nope, quite a few of my physician clients are at the starting points of their careers and want to be as proactive as possible by doing the right things from the start.
  • One Note – I only work with physicians as this is my specialty. The only time I accept non-physicians is if you are referred from an existing client.
  • All my clients work with me. Although I have support staff, they work behind the scenes and clients only talk to me.
  • I run my own firm and report to myself. Fortunately, I no longer work in the wirehouse (large investment firms) world where advisors are simply bank employees taking sales direction from others.


This seems like a good place to stop. I am not saying one way is better than the other. I just know what works for me and my select number of physician clients wanting a better life balance while their wealth, health, and time are at their peaks. Ultimately you need to decide what is best for you.