A Fee-Only, Fiduciary Advisor that Puts the Client First
When seeking a financial advisor, you might come across recommendations from friends, podcasts, or online forums to look for a NAPFA advisor. But what exactly does NAPFA mean and why are its advisors highly regarded?
NAPFA, or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, is the premier professional association for fee-only advisors in the United States. NAPFA members are guided by three primary values as outlined on the NAPFA website:
- To be the beacon for independent, objective financial advice for individuals and families.
- To be the champion of financial services delivered in the public interest.
- To be the standard bearer for the emerging profession of financial planning.
NAPFA membership necessitates holding a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation, adopting a fee-only payment model, committing to upholding a fiduciary standard, and submitting a comprehensive financial plan for review by the organization to assess competency before membership is granted.
To be affiliated with NAPFA, both the advisor and their firm must abstain from receiving commissions or referral fees of any kind; compensation for NAPFA advisors must originate solely from the client. For instance, although a NAPFA advisor can offer guidance on purchasing financial products like annuities or life insurance, they cannot earn commissions from such transactions. This helps to ensure that both the client’s and advisor’s best interests are aligned – the advisor has no financial incentive to encourage the use of one product or solution over another.
Annually, NAPFA advisors pledge to uphold a rigorous Code of Ethics and take a Fiduciary Oath, prioritizing clients’ interests, disclosing conflicts of interest, and refraining from accepting any form of commissions. Members are also required to complete 60 hours of continuing education every 24 months to stay abreast of legislative changes, strategic shifts, and best practices in financial planning.
Can advisors receiving commissions offer sound advice aligned with clients’ best interests? Possibly. However, distinguishing these advisors’ commitment to client well-being can be challenging for consumers. NAPFA’s stringent requirements help offer assurance to those who are seeking advisors; a potential client can feel confident that an advisor who is a member of NAPFA is dedicated to eliminating conflicts of interest and prioritizing clients’ needs.
With over 30 years of collective experience in financial advising, Jackie Goldstick and Doug Marcello are proud members of NAPFA. They are committed to ensuring that their interests and the interests of Jupiter, Florida based Core Wealth Management are aligned with those of their clients.