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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Jan 16, 2012.

Question

What is a reasonable hourly flat fee for financial advice?

Answer

Hourly fees and flat fees are two separate things.  Typically, a flat fee would be for a specific project (I.e. a complete financial plan).  An hourly rate fee could also be charged depending on the service providers invoicing mechanism.

Reasonable fees are dependent on the quality, credentials, experience, etc. of the service provider.  Higher quality providers should be able to show how they provide more value with their advice than lower quality, and presumably lower cost providers.  As there is plenty of competition for these services, you could get multiple estimates within your local market to see if they are competitive with each other.  Also, major metro markets will naturally be more expensive than small to medium cities and rural markets.  The complexity of the person's situation is also something that could drive significant fee differences.

Unfortunately, not knowing your market, your personal situation, what type of advice you are in the market for, or whether you are looking for flat fee advice or hourly rate advice, I recommend you get at least two estimates from planners in your area so you can make the most informed decision on what a reasonable fee is in your market.


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