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A fiduciary financial advisor is legally required to work in your best interest.

Some people see the word “fee” and think “Fee?! Why would I want to pay a fee when I can get professional financial advice for free?” 

After all, there are plenty of advisors out there who offer financial advice for “free” because they earn commissions off the financial products they sell you—products like life insurance, annuities, and mutual funds.

But when your advisor is getting paid by someone else to give you financial planning advice, they’re not really beholden to you—they’re beholden to the company paying them.

And it can be awfully hard to tell if the product they’re selling you is really right for your situation, or if it’s simply good for the company’s bottom line.

When it comes down to it, a fee-only financial advisor may be the best way to access financial advice that’s tailored to your goals—not a company’s sales quota.

How Fee-Only Financial Planners Differ From Commission-Based Advisors

Commission-based advisors get paid by a company when they sell or trade that company’s proprietary financial products—products like life insurance, annuities, or mutual funds.

Fee-only financial planners, on the other hand, get paid by their clients to provide them with investment management and other financial planning services. No products required.

If you’re working with a commission-based advisor, they don’t have a whole lot of incentive to spend time with you on financial planning after they’ve sold you the product.

After all, they’ve already made their money. Naturally, they want to spend their time making more sales.

But when you work with a fee-only financial planner, you’re essentially paying for time with your advisor. They’re not going to sell you an annuity and then never call you again. You and your advisor are going to meet regularly to strategize the best ways to help you grow your wealth and reach your goals.

How Do Fee-Only Financial Advisors Work With Clients?

As fee-only financial advisors, we work with our clients to create a totally customized, tailored financial plan built with your needs, goals, and resources in mind. 

We meet on an annual basis at a minimum to discuss progress, updates, and modifications to your plan, but you may hear from us as often as quarterly or even monthly. 

Additionally, you are always welcome to reach out to us whenever questions, concerns, or life changes occur.

While we work virtually, we also love working with our clients who are local to the Northwest Idaho/Eastern Washington area. If you’re looking for a fee-only fiduciary financial advisor near you, we would love to meet you.

Are Fee-Only and

Fiduciary Financial Advisors the Same Thing?

While the terms fee-only and fiduciary have different definitions, they often go hand-in-hand.

Fiduciary financial advisors are legally and ethically obligated to work in your best interests at all times. So it’s critical that their compensation structure aligns with that obligation.

The fee-only model places your advisor’s best interest on the same side of the table as your best interest. 

Because as your portfolio grows, your fee-only fiduciary financial planner earns more, too. 

In our opinion, that’s a win-win.

Fee-Only Financial Planning In Action

As fee-only fiduciary financial advisors, we get paid by charging a flat asset management fee. This is an annual fee based on the value of the account and is billed to the client’s account monthly. 

At Five Pine Wealth Management, our standard management fee starts at 1.10% and decreases as the size of the account increases (see our complete fee schedule here).

To understand how fee-only financial planning works in your best interest, consider the hypothetical example below:


Mr. and Mrs. Jones bring Five Pine Wealth Management $100,000 to invest.

On $100,000, the 1.10% annual fee would be $1,100 for the year. 

Since the fee comes out of the account monthly, $1,100 paid over 12 months would equal roughly $92 per month. 

The $92 fee comes directly out of the investments—the Joneses never have to write a check or actively make a payment.

If we can grow Mr. and Mrs. Jones’ account from $100,000 to $150,000, they’re happy because their account has grown by $50,000!

We as the advisors are also happy because 1.10% of $150,000 is more than 1.10% of $100,000. At $150,000, our compensation is $1,650 per year (or $138 per month). 

Because we do better as our client’s account does better, we have incentive to choose the best-performing funds while keeping investment costs as low as possible.

Ready to speak with a fiduciary?

We’d love to hear about your unique situation and goals. At the very least, we’ll get you pointed in the right direction.

Do You Offer Financial Planning Services Without Investment Management?

While investment management is one of our core services (and one that most of our clients are looking for), we occasionally offer hourly fee-only financial planning services on a case-by-case basis. 

Fee-only financial planning services consist of a one-time upfront fee of between $1,500 and $3,000 depending on complexity, due upon the delivery of the financial plan. The fee may be negotiable in certain cases.

Interested in Working With Us?

Reach out to us any time. We’d be happy to chat with you to help determine if we’re a good fit for working together.

Reach Us

We will respond to you within 24 hours.

Five Pine Wealth Management

250 NW Blvd, Suite 111, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83815