Average Commission For Investment Advisor


How The Broker Payout Grid Works

How Are Financial Advisors Paid? Fee-Only, Fee-Based, or Commission. Which Should I Hire?

The financial advisor payout grid at the typical brokerage firm offers a double incentive to earn more production credits or commissions. Not only does earning more production credits translate into higher financial advisor pay, but also at a higher overall payout rate. Here is a highly simplified example, arranged by production credit breakpoints:

  • Less than 100,000 PCs: 20% payout
  • At least 100,000 and under 250,000 PCs: 25% payout
  • At least 250,000 and under 500,000 PCs: 30% payout
  • At least 500,000 and under 1,000,000 PCs: 35% payout
  • 1,000,000 PCs and up: 40% payout

Now, to apply this sample payout grid to a few different levels of production:

  • At 300,000 PCs, pay = $90,000.00
  • At 499,999 PCs, pay = $149,999.70
  • At 500,000 PCs, pay = $175,000.00

That last example illustrates the key feature of the payout grid, as it traditionally has been applied on Wall Street. By moving the financial advisor to the next level of the grid, one additional production credit led to a staggering $25,000.30 in additional pay. Herein lies a particularly powerful example of that double incentive to increase production alluded to above.

Financial Advisor Fee Schedules: Investment Management Fees Or Financial Planning Fees

One of the other notable trends of financial advisory fees in recent years is that financial advisors have been compelled to do more and more to justify their fees, resulting in a deepening in the amount of financial planning services provided to clients for that same AUM fee, and a concomitant decline in the profit margins of advisory firms.

To clarify how financial advisors position their AUM fees, the Veres study also surveyed how advisors allocate their own AUM fees between investment management and non-investment-management services.

Not surprisingly, barely 5% of financial advisors reported that their entire AUM fee is really just an investment management fee for the portfolio, and 80% of advisors who reported that at least 90% of their AUM fee was only for investment management stated it was simply because they were charging a separate financial planning fee anyway.

For most advisors who do bundle together financial planning and investment management, though, the Veres study found that most commonly advisors claim their AUM fee is an even split between investment management services, and non-investment services that are simply paid for via an AUM fee. In other words, the typical 1% AUM fee is really more of a 0.50% investment management fee, plus a 0.50% financial planning fee.

How To Cut Financial Advisor Expenses

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In an ideal relationship, your financial advisor should be happy with what you’re paying. But what if you feel you’re paying too much? Financial advisors don’t want to charge so much that they drive away business, but they don’t want to charge so little that their services don’t appear valuable.

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For All Other Securities

Gold and Silver Certificates – Purchase and Sale

Purchase Amount
No charge No charge

1Switch orders are permitted only within the same family of funds and within the same load class. Please note: These fees are in addition to charges applied by the fund company, such as early redemption fees or deferred sales charges on back-end load funds. With the exception of CIBC funds, which have a minimum investment of $500,* there is a $1,000 minimum investment for all mutual fund orders .

* Except the CIBC Premium T-Bill fund, CIBC Premium Money Market fund and CIBC Premium U.S. Money Market fund whose initial purchase minimum is $100,000. CIBC Premium Canadian Bond fund initial purchase minimum is $50,000 and the CIBC Money Market fund and Managed Portfolio Services funds, whose initial and subsequent minimum is $100.

Fees For Registered Accounts

Average Adviser Fees Charged By Brokerage: Fees Are Declining

General Administration Fees

Fees charged are for the period of January 1 to December 31, or any part thereof, payable on September 1.

Regular RRSP, RRIF, or LIF

  • The RRSP, RRIF/LIF annual administration fee is $100 CDN.
  • There are no administration fees for any registered account with a balance greater than $25,000 CDN .

FundPlus® RRSP, RRIF, or LIF

  • The FundPlus RRSP, RRIF, or LIF annual administration fee is $12 CDN. In order to be eligible for this reduced fee, your registered account must contain only GICs, money market and fixed-income investments, mutual funds, and/or cash throughout the period

Registered Education Savings Plan

There are no annual administration fees for RESPs

Tax-Free Savings Account

There is no annual administration fee for a TFSA account.

Please note: GST/HST, QST, PST and sales taxes where applicable.


  • The Mortgage Administration Fee is in addition to the annual RRSP/RRIF Administration Fee. The Mortgage Administration Fee is $225 CDN for each mortgage established for the period of January 1 to December 31, or part thereof, payable on September 1.
  • The Mortgage Set-Up Fee is $200 CDN for each mortgage, payable at the time each mortgage is established in your Plan.
  • The Renewal Fee is $85 CDN for each mortgage.
  • The Early Renewal Fee is $100 CDN for each mortgage.
  • The Discharge Fee is $100 CDN for each mortgage.
  • The Transfer In/Out Fee is $100 CDN for each mortgage.

Additional fees are applicable for most mortgages.

RRSP Deregistration

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A Life Insurance Agent’s Commission

Your agent’s commissions can vary based on the type of life insurance you choose. Every company differs, but for term insurance policies, agents may make 40% to 90% of the first year premium as a commission. A term life policy lasts for a specific time such as five, 10, or 20 years.

Top-ranking producers may get 100% of the full premium in the first year as commission, and often 2% to 5% commission from the second to the fourth year. Subsequent year commissions may drop off or be much lower. The amount of commission paid will vary based on the agreement the agent has with the insurance company or with their employer .

Whole life or cash-value policies are sometimes called universal life policies. These act like an investment and build up cash value over time. They use a different commission structure. Life insurance policy commission rates may take into account if the client keeps the policy over time. For example, if the client cancels the policy within the first few years, some companies may charge the commission back to the agent who sold it.

Does Commission Affect A Life Insurance Policy Cost

Your life insurance premium itself doesn’t change based on how much of a commission your rep gets. But It gets factored in to the price structure. It is the part of the premium the insurance company gives the rep for making the sale. It rewards them for providing a level of service that retains customers. The more times a policyholder renews, the better for the company.

Life insurance commissions factor in the time an agent spends on sales that will never happen.

For every policy sold, several will not get sold. They can be rejected due to failing medical exams. Or maybe another agent undercut the price. It’s a very competitive industry.

The type of insurance policy impacts the size of the commission. Larger, longer-term policies tend to pay out more commission.

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Types Of Financial Adviser Fees

Your financial adviser may offer you a number of different ways to pay them, depending on the services you require and the time period involved. Here are the kind of charging structure you may come across, ranked from most common to least common.

1. Fixed feeThe adviser will perform a specific service for a set price agreed in advance. You should ask for written confirmation of what is included in the fee.

2. Percentage of assetsAn adviser who is managing your investment portfolio over a period of time may charge a percentage of the portfolios total value, rather than a fixed fee. In this way the fee grows as the portfolio grows.

3. Hourly rateSome advisers may charge an hourly rate for certain services . This can be a useful charging structure for small, quick jobs such as moving investments on your behalf. However, you should make sure the adviser gives you an estimate of how long the work is likely to take.

You should discuss methods of paying in your first meeting with a financial adviser, so you know exactly how your relationship will work.

Help With Paying For Financial Advice

Investing Fees Explained! How Honest Financial Advisors Should Disclosure Their Fees

If youre not sure if you can manage the full cost of professional advice, there might be a way to make it more manageable.

For example:

  • The pensions advice allowance this allows people in defined contribution pension schemes to withdraw up to £500 tax free from their pension pot to pay for retirement advice. The £500 allowance is per tax year, but you can do it for up to three separate tax years. Check that your pension provider will let you use the allowance though, as not all of them do.
  • Employer support while companies arent allowed to offer financial advice to employees, some offer access to advice as part of their employee benefits packages, sometimes at a reduced cost.

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Ways To Pay For Financial Advice

Depending on how much you have to invest, and the complexity of the services you’re asking a financial adviser to provide, the cost of advice can often run into the hundreds, sometimes thousands, of pounds.

However, there are some ways that can make meeting the cost of professional advice a little easier for you to manage.

How Advisors Get Paid

Financial advisors are paid in different ways, such as:

  • Service fees: Advisors may be paid by an hourly fee, a transaction fee or a portfolio fee .
  • Sales fees and commissions: Some advisors are paid for each transaction or by commissions. Commissions may be built into the price of an investment. They may be charged directly and they are a percentage of the total invested.
  • Salaries: Some advisors are paid a salary. They usually work for a bank, credit union, caisse populaire or trust company. Their costs are built into the price of the investment or the service you are using.

Whether they are paid by fees, commissions or salaries, most advisors must try to give good advice based on understanding, trust and a code of conduct. You should know how your advisor is being paid and then you can evaluate her or his advice in the light of your own circumstances and goals. You should feel sure that any advisor is helping you reach your goals.

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What To Ask A Life Insurance Sales Rep

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors offers some great tips on finding a good representative. Here are some questions they suggest asking before you select a personal financial planner to help you.

  • How are you compensated?
  • Do you accept referral fees?
  • Will you itemize the commissions you will get from the products you offer me?
  • While it may be interesting to know how much commission is being paid for your life insurance policy, other things are as important. How much time has the person spent getting to know your needs? Are they explaining the options so you understand the choices? It is your money and your life insurance. You don’t have to deal with someone you don’t trust.

    Management Or Advisory Fees


    If someone is managing your money whether a human or robo-advisor youre likely paying for it.

    Many financial advisors are fee-only, which typically means they charge a percentage of assets under management, a flat or hourly fee, or a retainer. Others charge a percentage of assets under management and earn a commission from the sale of specific investments.

    In most cases, youll pay around 1% for financial management by an advisor.

    Robo-advisors are companies that manage your investments via computer algorithm, and they often charge substantially less, because theyre taking the human element out of the equation. A typical fee is 0.25% of assets some advisors, like Personal Capital and Facet Wealth, combine computer monitoring with dedicated financial advisors and charge more.

    » Need advice? View NerdWallets picks for the best robo-advisors

    Note that management fees are in addition to the expenses of the investments themselves.

    Where to find details: A financial advisor should carefully go over fees with you before you sign up for his or her services. Robo-advisors clearly state management fees on their websites. On an ongoing basis, you should be able to see how much youre paying in management fees on your account statements.

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    Can I Get Free Financial Advice

    Many financial advisers offer a free initial consultation, which involve explaining what your financial needs are and identifying where you need help.

    A good adviser will also talk you through your options and the services it offers to help you take the next steps.

    That’s where the free bit ends. If you decide that you want a professional adviser to manage your financial affairs, you will only get firm recommendations and a strategy provided to you if you go ahead and agree to use their services.

    However, if you’re looking for general advice – sometimes called ‘guidance’ without recommendations, there are a few options – particularly if you are planning your retirement.

    • MoneyHelper – money and pensions guidance over the phone, online and face-to-face
    • Citizens Advice – guidance on a variety of issues from money to consumer rights, benefits and legal issues
    • Pension Wise – set up when the pension freedoms were introduced, over-50s can speak to someone over the phone or face to face to understand your pension options
    • The Which? Money Helpline – free for Which? Money members, our team of experts can help answer any financial queries, from savings, investments, pensions and tax

    How Much Do Financial Advisors Cost In All

    The caveat to this analysis, though, is that it doesnt actually include the underlying expense ratios of the investment vehicles being purchased financial advisors on behalf of their clients.

    Of course, for those who purchase individual stocks and bonds, there are no underlying wrapper fees for the underlying investments. However, the recent FPA 2017 Trends In Investments Survey of Financial Advisors finds that the overwhelming majority of financial advisors use at least some mutual funds or ETFs in their client portfolios , which would entail additional costs beyond just the advisory fee itself.

    Fortunately, though, the Veres study did survey not only advisors own AUM fee schedules, but also the expense ratios of the underlying investments they used to construct their portfolios. And as the results reveal, the underlying expense ratios add a non-trivial total all-in cost to the typical financial advisory fee, with the bulk of blended expense ratios coming in between 0.20% and 0.75% .

    In addition, the reality is that a number of financial advisors work with advisory platforms that separately charge a platform fee, which in some cases covers both technology and platform services and also an all-in wrap fee on trading costs . Amongst the more-than-20% of advisors who reported paying such fees , the median fee was 0.20%/year.

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    How Much Does A Financial Adviser Charge

    Many financial advisers offer an initial meeting free of charge. This isnt designed to give you specific advice about your situation. Its a chance to see how they work, how much they charge and to get a sense of whether you feel comfortable with them.

    A financial advisers fees vary depending on several factors, including what they are charging you for and how you pay.

    Some advisers offer different ways that you can pay for advice.

    If theres a particular option you prefer, ask the adviser as they might be happy to negotiate. These include:

    • An hourly rate this will vary from £75 an hour to £350, although the UK average rate is about £150 an hour.
    • A set fee for a piece of work this might be several hundred or several thousand pounds. This will be dictated largely by the complexity of the work and the time it takes .
    • A monthly fee this might be a flat fee or a percentage of the money you want to invest.
    • An ongoing fee an adviser can only charge you an ongoing fee in return for providing an ongoing service, unless youre paying off an initial charge over time through a regular payment product.

    Independent Financial Adviser Fees

    How Much do Financial Advisors Charge

    1 Averages calculated from a range of responses to Unbiased.co.uk research to our customer base in July 2018)2 Value of Advice research 2015

    Your first question about financial advice may be, What can it do for me? The second is probably, How much does a financial advisor cost?

    When we surveyed our customers, we found that advice fees can be anything from around £500 for investment advice to £5,000 or more for some kinds of pension advice. The exact amount that advisers charge depends on what kind of help you need and costs may vary nationally – but good advice should always cost less than no advice at all.

    Note that independent financial advisers are not paid by commission. If financial advice appears to be free, then you are not dealing with an independent adviser but a salesperson.

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    Choose The Right Advisor For Your Personal Goals

    The right advisor can save you time and money. When you have clearly defined goals, its easier to identify the best products and services. For example, if you have a financial plan in place and need someone to review it, you may not need to pay for full-service management. On the other hand, paying an hourly rate may not make sense if you like the ability to pick up the phone and call your advisor every time you have a question.

    This article has been updated with additional reporting since its original publication.

    Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content thats accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates processes and standards in our editorial policy.


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