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How one consultant made the leap to fee-based financial planning

“When you are in your 20s and 30s, you need the most financial advice to properly set up for the future. I think people at that stage of life have access to the overall wealth management industry. Judging doesn’t have a lot of options,” says Thompson. “I know it hasn’t been that long, but it seems like people are coming to me.”

She’s also drawing on her past work experience working with cross-border clients, another space for which she says there aren’t many qualified financial planners. At this point, Thompson is happy to connect with any potential clients who come to his practice. If she feels they don’t fit, she can refer them to a different practitioner who may be a better match.

A key pillar of her compensation model, which she may still change in the future, is a modular pricing plan for smaller, project-based planning tasks; That involves looking at a specific element of a client’s financial picture and discussing it in some detail with him. Its Intensive Plan service, which is a more comprehensive partnership covering a myriad of topics, is priced by age group with different fee tiers.

“People build their wealth over time, and as wealth increases, so does planning complexity,” she says. “In theory, this makes it more accessible for people who are just starting their journey, and therefore need simpler planning.”

Thompson says cross-border consulting is at the highest end of the price range of his practice due to the complex and highly involved nature of such engagements. It also has subscription-based or monthly retainer fee models for individuals and families, which it positions as an ongoing relationship with customers who are already engaged in another type of plan.

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