Definition of Fee-only:
Financial Guidance Group is an independent, fee-only advisory firm that offers objective, unbiased wealth planning and investment management, free from industry and product affiliations. We take our fiduciary responsibility seriously by choosing investments and strategies that place our client's best interest first at all times. As fee-only advisors, we are compensated solely by our clients and do not receive any compensation that is contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product.
Financial Guidance Group does not participate in any of the following fee or investment arrangements:
- We do not sell insurance
- We do not sell annuities
- We do not own or sell proprietary investment products
- We do not participate in soft or hard dollar arrangements
- We do not participate in revenue sharing in any of the investments we recommend
How is Fee-Only different from Fee-Based?
100% of a fee-only financial advisor’s compensation comes from the client. A fee-based financial advisor can receive fees paid by you, commissions, or revenue sharing arrangements on the products they sell. While both fee-only and fee-based financial advisors may have accounts they manage where they charge a percentage of the assets they manage, the investments they placed inside these accounts can be and typically are very different.
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors Code of Ethics
NAPFA members strive to be as unbiased as possible in providing advice to clients and NAPFA members practicing on a fee-only basis.
NAPFA members shall keep all client data private unless authorization is received from the client to share it. NAPFA members shall treat all documents with care and take care when disposing of them. Relations with clients shall be kept private.
NAPFA members shall strive to maintain a high level of knowledge and ability. Members shall attain continuing education at least at the minimum level required by NAPFA. Members shall not provide advice in areas where they are not capable.
Fairness and Suitability:
Dealings and recommendation with clients will always be in the clients’ best interests. NAPFA members put their clients first.
Integrity and Honesty:
NAPFA members will endeavor to always take the high road and to be ever mindful of the potential for misunderstanding that can accrue in normal human interactions. NAPFA members will be diligent to keep actions and reactions so far above board that a thinking client, or other professional, would not doubt intentions. In all actions, NAPFA members should be mindful that in addition to serving our clients, we are about the business of building a profession and our actions should reflect this.
The NAPFA member will strive to maintain conformity with legal regulations.
NAPFA members shall fully describe method of compensation and potential conflicts of interest to clients and also specify the total cost of investments.
NAPFA members shall conduct themselves in a way that would be a credit to NAPFA at all times. NAPFA membership involves integrity, honest treatment of clients, and treating people with respect.
- CFP Board of Standards Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility
Principle 1 – Integrity:
Provide professional services with integrity.
Integrity demands honesty and candor which must not be subordinated to personal gain and advantage. Certificants are placed in positions of trust by clients, and the ultimate source of that trust is the certificant’s personal integrity. Allowance can be made for innocent error and legitimate differences of opinion, but integrity cannot co-exist with deceit or subordination of one’s principles.
Principle 2 – Objectivity:
Provide professional services objectively.
Objectivity requires intellectual honesty and impartiality. Regardless of the particular service rendered or the capacity in which a certificant functions, certificants should protect the integrity of their work, maintain objectivity and avoid subordination of their judgment.
Principle 3 – Competence:
Maintain the knowledge and skill necessary to provide professional services competently.
Competence means attaining and maintaining an adequate level of knowledge and skill, and application of that knowledge and skill in providing services to clients. Competence also includes the wisdom to recognize the limitations of that knowledge and when consultation with other professionals is appropriate or referral to other professionals necessary. Certificants make a continuing commitment to learning and professional improvement.
Principle 4 – Fairness:
Be fair and reasonable in all professional relationships. Disclose conflicts of interest.
Fairness requires impartiality, intellectual honesty and disclosure of material conflicts of interest. It involves a subordination of one’s own feelings, prejudices and desires so as to achieve a proper balance of conflicting interests. Fairness is treating others in the same fashion that you would want to be treated.
Principle 5 – Confidentiality:
Protect the confidentiality of all client information.
Confidentiality means ensuring that information is accessible only to those authorized to have access. A relationship of trust and confidence with the client can only be built upon the understanding that the client’s information will remain confidential.
Principle 6 – Professionalism:
Act in a manner that demonstrates exemplary professional conduct.
Professionalism requires behaving with dignity and courtesy to clients, fellow professionals, and others in business-related activities. Certificants cooperate with fellow certificants to enhance and maintain the profession’s public image and improve the quality of services.
Principle 7 – Diligence:
Provide professional services diligently.
Diligence is the provision of services in a reasonably prompt and thorough manner, including the proper planning for, and supervision of, the rendering of professional services.