The manager’s investment decisions are based on a variety of factors, starting with your savings goals (retirement, education, a large purchase) and time frame. You’ll also answer questions to help them assess your risk tolerance, or your ability to endure swings in investment returns and stock market fluctuations. Market conditions, historical performance, tax efficiency and investment fees also inform the manager’s investing strategy.
Many RIAs are fee-only advisers, meaning they can’t work off commission or sell a client any investment products that aren’t in the client's best interests. Financial planners don’t have to be RIAs to work under this business model. Fee-only financial planners generally make their money as an hourly rate, an annual fixed retainer or as a percentage of the investment assets they manage on behalf of their clients. They also have a fiduciary duty to their clients over any broker or dealer.