Scroll Top

How do you Pay for Investment Advice?

CNBC recently ranked the top 100 fee-only wealth management firms in the US. Click here to view – CNBC Top 100.

The criteria used for the ranking includes assets under management, growth rate, credentials of the firm’s professionals,  average account size, years in business, and number of advisory clients.  Firms were disqualified from the list if they had any complaints, actions or disclosures from the SEC, FINRA, state regulators and state insurance commissioners.  Using those factors CNBC ranked Raffa Wealth Management 75th in the country.

While we’re please to share this with you, we believe this is an ideal opportunity to raise the question, what does fee only mean?  Fee only advisors’ sole source of compensation is the advisory fee directly invoiced to the client for managing their investment portfolio.  This is not to be confused with fee based advisors which, in addition to a management fee, can also receive payment through commissions from using certain products in client portfolios, or performing certain transactions.  We believe this creates a potential conflict of interest.  If an advisor can earn commissions by using a particular fund then they have an incentive to recommend that to a client.  It can compromise their judgment.

As can be seen by the national ranking, RWM is a fee only advisor and operating under this structure makes us truly independent and enables us to act solely in our clients’ best interests.  We have a fiduciary duty to be objective and hold our clients’ interest above all else.  We think this is the best way to provide investment advice and look forward to continuing to help our clients meet their goals.


Index Performance                                       May        YTD       Trl 1 yr.        

US Stock (Russell 3000)                                     2.18%      4.32%       20.57%
Foreign Stock (FTSE AW ex US)                       2.13%      4.08%       14.97%
Total US Bond Mkt. (BarCap Aggregate)         1.14%       3.87%        2.71%
Short US Gov. Bonds (BarCap Gov 1-5 Yr)      0.37%      0.86%       0.85%
Municipal Bonds (BarCap 1-10yr Muni)           0.71%      3.19%        2.58%
Cash (ML 3Month T-Bill)                                   0.00%      0.02%        0.05%



Raffa Wealth Management is an independent investment advisor providing nonprofit organizations, high net-worth investors, and qualified retirement plans with a full range of investment consulting services.  We were established to fill the need for transparency, clarity, and vision in the professional management of investment assets.   Visit us at