How We are Compensated

Potter Financial Services provides fee-only financial planning and investment advisory services to people from all walks of life.


Author Barbara Loos, in her book "I haven't Saved a Dime, Now What!" advises the following:


Think of financial planners as money consultants. Their job is to look out for your money's interests, not to sell you stuff. You should pay a planner for his or her time, either an hourly rate or a flat fee. They are called Fee-Only planners, and they have no financial incentive to recommend one investment over another.


At Potter Financial Services we accept no commissions - our only source of income is the fee that we charge the client. Oftentimes the client has the option to arrange for our fees to be paid out of the portfolio assets.


There are three possible fee arrangements, and the most appropriate approach is selected for each client. Our standard fee schedules are as follows:


  • Hourly fee, at $180.00 per hour.
  • Fixed project fee (fixed dollar amount quoted on a project basis).
  • Ongoing annualized investment portfolio advisory fee of 0.72% of the portfolio's value, subject to a $250 per calendar quarter minimum.
  • EXAMPLE: The annualized fee on a $200,000 portfolio would be $1,440 (i.e. 0.72% of $200,000). An initial, one-time, portfolio set-up fee may also apply (usually in the $200-$500 range).



Many of our competitors are compensated on a commission basis. With this arrangement, unless you either ask blunt questions (e.g. "What amount of commissions are you making on my account?") or read the prospectuses, you may not even be aware of what you are paying in commissions.


Let's look at an example of commission-based compensation. Using, say, a 4% commission example, a client investing $200,000 through a broker into a 4% loaded mutual fund would pay $8,000 in commissions!


Unlike commissions paid to brokers and insurance people, our fee-based compensation is very transparent.