Esther Pak at Morningstar does a good job explaining the often-overlooked difference between Fee-Only and Fee-based compensation methods. She also explains that Registered Investment Advisers are held to a Fiduciary standard and that stock brokers are held to a “suitability” standard.

Up to 11% of Certified Financial Planner™ certificants who work for brokerage or insurance firms were describing themselves as “Fee-Only” instead of “Fee and Commission”, according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. If a CFP® certificant isn’t accurately describing his or her compensation method, how can you trust that person with your financial future?