Zhang Financial is a fee-only advisory firm and proud member of NAPFA, the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. NAPFA members must adhere to demanding practice requirements including fee-only compensation, professional designations, continuing education, comprehensive planning, and fiduciary commitments. Please check out the NAPFA Website or read the Frequently Asked Questions below for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the significance of the term NAPFA-registered financial advisor?
The term NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor indicates that a financial planner adheres to the industry's most demanding practice requirements, including Fee-Only compensation, and meets NAPFA's rigorous standards. We believe that through our NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor program, we have created the financial planning industry's clearest message about the level of responsibility and care that must be exercised on behalf of each client.
Charles is ranked in the top 10 on Barron's list of America's Top 100 Independent Wealth Advisors for 2015 and is currently the highest ranking Fee-Only NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor on the list. *
What is a fee-only financial advisor?
NAPFA defines a fee-only advisor as one who is compensated solely from the client. Neither the advisor or any related party may receive compensation contingent on the purchase or sale of a financial product. NAPFA members cannot receive commissions, rebates, finder's fees, or any other form of compensation from third-parties as a result of implementing their investment recommendations.
Charles Zhang, CFP®, and Lynn Chen-Zhang, CFP®, are fee-only financial advisors.
Why is fee-only compensation of critical importance?
A financial planner who has a financial stake in the course of action that they recommend to a client faces an inherent conflict of interest and cannot be considered objective or unbiased. Unfortunately, the vast majority of financial advisors in the United States are sellers of financial products. Some or all of their income may be dependent upon their ability to steer their clients to a limited number of the thousands of financial products available today. (Putting aside the conflict of interest factor, this limiting of investment choices, in and of itself, often is enough to impact the quality of advice.) NAPFA believes many of the problems that beset Americans today in their financial affairs relate directly to the conflicts of interest that pervade the marketplace.
What does NAPFA stand for in addition to fee-only compensation?
Of equal importance to fee-only compensation is an advisor's ability to make competent decisions and offer a comprehensive approach to financial planning. NAPFA's requirements exceed those of any other financial industry association. The NAPFA program requires new members to have earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification, submit a comprehensive financial plan for peer review, and complete continuing education in six subject areas every two years. Additionally, his/her Form ADV must be reviewed by NAPFA annually. NAPFA-registered advisors also sign a Fiduciary Oath, a commitment to working solely in the client's interests at all times.
What is the difference between fee-only and fee-based advisors?
Fee-only signifies that your advisor does not receive commissions or additional revenue from product providers. This eliminates any conflict of interest and bias when allocating assets and ensures that your advisor has your best interests at heart. However, fee-based advisors receive fees from you as well as commissions from selling products and/or have revenue sharing agreements with product providers. A fee-based structure therefore introduces unwanted monetary influence in the way your advisor manages your portfolio.
Tell me the difference between fiduciary and suitable.
Fiduciary is a standard key to client agreements with fee-only advisors. While acting as a fiduciary, your advisor must disregard other influences and act only in your best economic interest.
'Suitability' lies within much more murky boundaries in which advisors are not upheld to the same level of dedication and commitment to their clients as fiduciaries.
Charles Zhang, CFP®, and Lynn Chen-Zhang, CFP®, are fee-only, fiduciary financial advisors.
NAPFA website: http://www.napfa.org
*The ranking reflects the volume of assets overseen by the advisors and their teams, revenues generated for the firms, and the quality of the advisors' practices.