We are "Fee Only" and why it's so important:
Fee only means the revenue earned by Comprehensive Investment Management, LLC comes only from charges to its clients.
What’s so unusual about that?
The great majority of financial service providers are commission based. They receive their payments not from those to whom they provide service, but from those whose products they sell.
Compensation based on commissions raises the question:
Is the adviser giving objective advice?
Many commission based providers have allegiances with certain product suppliers (mutual fund companies, insurance companies, etc.), which enhances the commissions they receive. Some products, annuities, for example, carry a higher commission than others.
No load mutual funds are not available on a commission basis, and therefore must be excluded from consideration by the commission based adviser. Such mutual funds include well known low-cost companies, like The Vanguard Group®, T. Rowe Price and TIAA-CREF.
Why are so many financial professionals commission based?
In the early days of the financial services industry all services were commission based. The general public didn’t know much about things like mutual funds, annuities, and insurance. So the financial companies put together a cadre to go out and promote what they were offering. Even though investing one’s precious and hard earned savings is a lot different than buying a car, for example, the product-to-salesman-to customer arrangement fit the bill, and accomplished the objective.
Many advisers remain commission based for two reasons. They get paid a lump sum up front, and it is a lot easier to get paid when the charge is built in.
Commission based advisers often sell B shares. The advisor is still paid up front, but payment is collected from the investor over a period of time. Sometimes it is said there is no commission, if funds are kept in an account for say, six years or more. That’s true, only because the payment is given a different name, usually a marketing expense or “12b1 fee”. But as by any other name the investor is still paying it.
In summary, only under a Fee Only arrangement, can a client be assured of objective "pay-as-you-go" service.