Phillip James Financial was founded with the idea of offering fee-only financial planning and investment advisory services to individuals and families which historically has been restricted to the very wealthy due to high minimum fees. We believe that the fee-only model offers a better alternative to the traditional broker/dealer model by removing the inherent conflict of interest that can be associated with selling commissioned based products. Everyone deserves sound advice when it comes to their investments that are aligned with their goals and not those of the broker.
As a fee-only firm we do not receive commissions from investment companies, we are paid only by our clients. This fee structure has many advantages. It’s simple, transparent, and easy to understand. It also gives your advisor an incentive to grow your assets—when you succeed, your advisor succeeds.
We found that most individuals do not require complex financial and estate planning which is traditionally associated with fee-only advisors. However, they still need objective investment management and financial planning. Where most wealth management firms have built complex estate planning services into their model and therefore fee-structure, we simplify the process; focusing solely on investment management and partnering with the appropriate professionals to bring in additional services as needed. This strategy is what allows us to provide fee-only investment management and financial planning to everyone.
As with most things in life there are tax implications. Therefore, in addition to exceptional investment advice, we provide clients with access to professional tax planning and preparation as part of a comprehensive financial plan. Your portfolio is invested in a tax efficient manner and monitored for tax-loss harvesting opportunities. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy this type of relationship with their financial advisor and still be affordable.
We Are An Independent Fee-Only Fiduciary RIA...What Does That Mean?
We work for our clients rather than representing a specific bank, insurance, or investment company. Because of this, we are not limited to one company's investment products. This allows us to provide access to many more investment options at a much lower cost.
We will never be paid a commission. An advisor compensated through commissions inherently faces a conflict of interest between the interests of the client and that of the financial professional. These commissions provide an incentive to sell products with the highest payout to the advisor (e.g. loaded mutual funds, variable annuities, whole life insurance) regardless of whether or not this is the best option. We are paid based on a percentage of the assets that we manage. This aligns our goals with those of the client, which is to grow your wealth. This model minimizes conflicts of interest.
A financial advisor held to a Fiduciary Standard occupies a position of special trust and confidence when working with a client. As a Fiduciary, the financial advisor is required to act with undivided loyalty to the client. This includes disclosure of how the financial advisor is compensated and any corresponding conflicts of interest. This requires Trust, Loyalty, and Disclosure.
"RIA" stands for Registered Investment Advisor. This means that we are registered and regulated by the State of Minnesota and are held to a standard of care as laid out in the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. This holds us to our Fiduciary responsibility and requires us to act and serve a client's best interests with the intent to eliminate all potential conflicts of interest.
The Investment Advisers Act of 1940 exempts from the definition of an Investment Adviser (and therefore the associated fiduciary standard) "any broker or dealer whose performance of such services is solely incidental to the conduct of his business as a broker or dealer and who receives no special compensation therefor."