Each advisor in the Advice-Only Directory offers one, two, or all three of the following service models:
- Project – Narrow Scope
- Project – Wide Scope
- Retainer – Ongoing Relationship
Project – Narrow Scope
With a narrow-scope project, the advisor gives you advice on one or a few specific subjects. Your engagement with the advisor ends when the project completes. Check-ups and further engagements as needed are encouraged but not required.
Project – Wide Scope
With a wide-scope project, the advisor gives you advice on comprehensive financial planning that covers many subjects. Your engagement with the advisor ends when the project completes. Check-ups and updates to the financial plan as needed are encouraged but not required.
Retainer – Ongoing Relationship
In a retainer service model, you maintain an ongoing relationship with the advisor. The advisor bills a recurring fee (monthly, quarterly, or annual). Your engagement with the advisor continues until either party cancels.
Blurring Lines Between Models
The lines between these service models can be blurry.
If an advisor does a project for you and you keep going back to the advisor for reviews and updates, you’re maintaining an ongoing relationship with the advisor.
If you establish an ongoing relationship with an advisor and you cancel after one year, it’s the same as doing a project with a maintenance contract.
The difference comes down to expectations. Advisors that operate under a project model don’t require further engagements but they’re certainly happy to see you again. Advisors that operate under a retainer model expect an ongoing relationship but you can still cancel with proper notice.