At this firm, flat fees are about offering conflict-free advice

At Boston firm Single Point Partners, adviser Seth Corkin says clients don't have to worry about what's motivating advisers' recommendations

Jun 9, 2018 @ 6:00 am

By Jeff Benjamin

At Single Point Partners in Boston, charging a flat fee is all about offering conflict-free advice.

"We don't want clients wondering what might be motivating an adviser's decisions," said Seth Corkin, an adviser at the firm. "We believe this fee model increases transparency and trust, as clients don't have to wonder what's in it for my adviser when they're making high-stakes decisions such as rolling over a 401(k) or deciding how to fund a new home purchase."

Under this model, clients lay everything out on the table to determine a net worth on which they will be charged a flat fee that applies to all the services provided.

(More: Why the AUM fee model is so dominant)

The annual fees start at $7,500 for households with up to $2 million in net worth and climb to $75,000 for households worth more than $20 million.

The fees are clearly stated on the advisory firm's website, but Mr. Corkin admits "there are always nuances and extenuating circumstances."

For instance, he said, if the value of a client's primary residence "pushes you into the next tier of fees, we would probably discount that."

Having worked at firms that charge clients based on assets under management, Mr. Corkin prefers the flat fee based on total net worth as the "least conflicted" pricing model.

"There's such a conflict in a strict AUM model," he said. "There's a constant conflict in the background to get assets into a client's portfolio, which might mean rolling over a 401(k) plan into an IRA or encouraging a client to sell a concentrated stock portfolio."

Another advantage that Mr. Corkin sees in avoiding fees based on the size of a client's investment portfolio is the ability to work with people who don't yet have large portfolios.

"We have one client who is a young partner at a law firm, who makes $1 million a year but has lots of student loan debt," Mr. Corkin said. "Our fees for him are not predicated on an asset base."


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Featured video


InvestmentNews celebrates diversity & inclusion in the financial advice business

Highlights of the Excellence in D&I Awards, showcasing the achievements of 26 individuals and firms that are moving the needle when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

Latest news & opinion

7 things advisers should do today to boost diversity and inclusion

Creating diversity and inclusion within financial advice firms is challenging, but these InvestmentNews Excellence in Diversity & Inclusion award winners have suggestions that firms can put into practice today

The midterm elections: What's at stake for financial advisers

A shift in control of the House could change the course of important issues, including the SEC advice rule, tax reform and retirement policies.

What to tell your clients after they've won the lottery

The current combined Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots are more than $850 million. What should you tell your clients if they have a winning ticket?

2019 Medicare premiums announced

Slight increase in Part B premium to $135.50 per month is in line with expectations.

7 ways states got tough with unregistered individuals and firms in 2017

Rise in digital currency frauds helped trigger a crackdown by state regulators.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print