In the back of the book I provide a list of useful resources, one of which was the MoneySense directory of fee-only planners. As much as I like to help people do as much on their own as possible when it comes to finances and investing, there are definitely times when it makes sense to pay for outside expert advice. For example, in the book I strongly suggest that people consult a planner as they get close to the point where they will retire and have to switch from saving/accumulating investments to spending or “decumulation” — and there are many other points in life where it can be a good idea (including just not feeling confident in a rough plan you came up with yourself). In those cases, a fee-for-service or fee-only planner (or coach or advisor depending on the terminology and specific services) can be well worth the fees — and best of all, that kind of business model is transparent and frees the advisor from most sources of conflict-of-interest.
However, there are not yet any large nationwide, name-brand firms offering this kind of service (whereas there are many banks and mutual fund companies offering commission-based or sales-tied advice), so if you want to find such a planner you’re likely going to have to consult a directory to find an independent or a smaller firm — there won’t be mass media jingles bringing their awareness to you. So having a directory is incredibly useful, and it saddens me to see that the old MoneySense directory has been taken offline.
I’ve taken it upon myself to create a new, free, open directory. It’s still in the ramp-up phase of adding advisors, but be sure to bookmark this page to check in on it, or if you are an advisor yourself, to add your name to it. Or, jump straight to this link to view the directory in Google Sheets.