Innovative, New Way to Get Financial Planning Has Our Attention


There’s a disruption in the financial planning industry and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I’m not one to typically jump on bandwagons, but we NEED to explore the newly, introduced subscription-based financial planning model more.




if subscription fees work for netflix, what about FINANCIAL planning?

Jason Zweig, my (unrequited) bro-crush, struck gold once again! If you don’t know Jason (neither do I), he’s a brilliant columnist for the Wall Street Journal. He’s a markets guru and one of the top minds in the field today.

Jason penned a highly read-worthy article this week (I even blasted it to the entire Dynamic Money team) that challenged the idea of fee-based financial planning firms. The financial planning industry is shifting away from fee-based models and jumping on the subscription bandwagon modeled similarly to the heavy-hitters like Amazon, Netflix and Spotify. The guy on the street to test the waters with this subscription idea is Charles Schwab and… I think this is where the industry is headed.

<record scratch> Wait.

Chris, Dynamic Money IS a fee-based financial planning firm NOT subscription-based like you’re saying could be the future… What are you even saying?

Let’s explore the emerging idea of subscription-based financial planning services instead of fee-based models.


say “hi” to the new kid on the block: subscription-based financial planning

Before we debate both sides of the argument, let’s dissect how financial planning institutions traditionally get paid because it’s imperative you know how someone’s making money off of your money. Remember we just talked about following the incentives to ensure your financial planner truly has YOUR BEST in mind.

  1. Fee-based financial planning

Your financial planner will be paid a flat rate to make and tailor an objective financial plan to you and then receive a flat percentage beyond that based on your investments and their performance.

This is Dynamic Money! And we love this model— as a fiduciary-only firm (fact: only eight percent of the nation’s firm are fiduciary-only) we’re legally bound to do the right thing for you. So you’ll never have that nagging question in your conscious like you’re getting pushed into a certain product that isn’t right for you or if there’s an all-expense paid vacation to Cabo San Lucas incentive waiting for your advisor on the back end.

We are incentivized to help you reach your long-term goals and keep you as a client.

2. Commission-based financial advisor

These financial advisors usually work for life insurance companies and they’re paid a commission to sell you a product.

Their products might include financial planning and you might get drawn in by the word “free” being tossed around but buyer beware. Before I started Dynamic Money, I came from this world and the behind the scenes incentives don’t align always with what’s best for the clients.

With an incentive to sell a product the unbiased best advice for the client is lost.

3. subscription-based planning

HELLLOOO, INNOVATION!!! Let’s all meet the new kid at school!

So, Charles Schwab is advertising a $300 buy in and then a recurring $30 monthly charge for financial advising. What you receive as a client is access to financial planning plus investment management. The plan does have some holes in it (it may not be budget-friendly for 20-somethings) but it does give me a lot of food for thought.

Monthly charges for financial advising elevates the value of ongoing planning and relationships. Just like there’s value to having a coach push you and run alongside you, a financial planner exists to help you define your goals and create a path to get you there.

Now because Charles Schwab is massive, it has the agency and ability to pilot industry disruptions like this that I can’t wait to watch play out.

no matter what model you choose, always know how your financial advisor is being paid. always.

Shout out to The subscription model for shining a spotlight on planning over investing

The subscription-based financial planning model is really intriguing to our team… although for now we’re committed to our fee-based model. We’re grabbing some popcorn and going to continue to think about how to grow and best serve our clients.

I can already tell that I’m going to love this model as it evolves even if only because there’s a greater emphasis on planning!

Sadly, financial planning never gets top billing; it’s usually investment management that gets people in the door. Don’t get me wrong, investing (and investing with a firm worth its salt) is a crucial piece to financial health, but it’s SO MUCH MORE than being able to boast about your eight percent return to your friend who made a seven percent return last year.

true FINANCIAL health is how all of the pieces of your financial world fit together and propel you to your dreams for the future.

Financial planning looks at all components of your world moving towards a collective goal with a strategy.

Are you looking for a financial planner to stand by you in your corner?

At Dynamic Money, we practice what we preach and we believe that honesty is the best policy. And because we put dynamic in the name of our business, we mean it. One day, we might change our business model to be a subscription-based model if it really appeals to us in how we serve our clients.

Your advisor, whomever they are, should be grappling with this industry-wide shakeup. I don’t want you to get taken advantage of because you’ll find out years later that you were just lining the pockets for some financial advisor who was selling you a bill of goods.

If you have dreams for the future I hope this shift in the planning world opens your eyes to focus on more than investing… but discover the power and benefits of relationships and ongoing financial planning.

Do you agree? Tell us why you see it differently, share your story, we would love to learn more about you and your goals.

It’s not about making a little bit more money year over year, it’s about really moving towards the things you DESIRE for the future.


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