For years, I’ve been predicting that the planning profession is eventually going to have to convert its revenue model from AUM to retainer fees — for a lot of good reasons.

People push back when I say that retainers entail fewer conflicts of interest than asset management fees. But I have personal experience with trying to hire an adviser, only to have this well-respected professional immediately bury his nose in my portfolio statements. Every time I would try to redirect his attention to my financial planning questions, he would guide the conversation back to the importance of having him manage my assets. I’ve always thought it was interesting that consumers who hire AUM-compensated planners just happen to always need that planner to also manage his or her retirement account.

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