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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

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Referral for financial advisor

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If in doubt, please send a new question or ask for an update.

Q: I wonder if you can refer me to someone else who is not selling products or administrative services, just counsel on retirement plans? I do not feel I need personal contact with the advisor, just expertise and independence.

A: It is surprisingly difficult to find a financial adviser who: 1) is fee only, preferably based on hourly charges, 2) has an initial retainer under $1,000 (in my experience, the limit that a typical small business person wants to accept), 3) does not have a minimum asset or account size, 4) is able to work by phone with clients outside their state of residence, 5) has substantial experience in small business retirement plans and small business benefit plans. I can consider these requests for referrals on a case-by-case basis but generally I do not know of financial advisers who fit this mold. This is the reason most small business people work with commission-based sales representatives. Fee-bases advisors tend to work for high net worth clients and charge a percentage of assets under management.


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