Second only to “how do I get more clients,” the question “Am I worth my fee” most be the most universal among advisors. Typically this discussion in anchored against Vanguard’s 0.3% ‘dial-a-CFP’ program, or any number of Robo-advisors charging similar fees and it looks something like “if Robo is doing ‘financial planning’ for .3%, how can I possibly be charging 3x that amount?!?”
While I suppose this is a question worth considering, a much better question, at least in my mind, is “how do my fees compare to the rest of the industry?” As I type this (sitting in First Class on Alaska Airlines), the passenger across the isle from me is reviewing marketing materials from Edward Jones. All super generic, boiler plate, ‘just buy American Funds’ stuff. A quick look at Edward Jones ADV shows their fees starting at 1.35%.
This really isn’t about Edward Jones, who manages a mind boggling $1 TRILLION in assets, but rather the importance of reframing the discussion. Instead of comparing yourself to the lowest cost provider, take a look at the value offering of similarly priced providers. What is Jones providing clients for 1.35%? Hint: Not a customized, comprehensive plan and certainly not white glove service as the average Jones advisor has some 400 clients.
So, unless you are charging more than Jones (which is an option) AND offering a lower level of service, you should NEVER doubt your value.
Jones is just one example. Spend just a few minutes (but only when you’ve blocked the time in your calendar) to pull the ADVs of other firms to see how much they are charging vs. the service they are providing. After doing this, please post at least one reason YOU are worth every penny of your fees.
I’ll go first. I Matthew Jarvis am worth every penny of the fees my clients voluntarily pay me because I’m the only person in their world helping them see what is really important vs. what’s being sold to them by the financial media.
How about you? Why are you worth every penny?