Frequently-Asked Questions

Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:  Silver Maple Financial is a fee-only advisor.  How is a fee-only advisor different from a fee-based one?

A:  The distinction between fee-only and fee-based is tremendously important and can profoundly affect the quality of service you receive and the costs you incur.

Rather than taking our word for it, please take a look at one or more of the articles below.  The first one is particularly well-explained:

Q:  What makes an independent advisor (like Silver Maple Financial) different from others?

A:  An independent advisor is paid directly by you to work for you.  The compensation structure is therefore, set-up to make you, the client, the number one priority.

An independent advisor, since he/she is paid directly by you, is financially motivated by your satisfaction alone. He/she is therefore free to select the very best for you without having to worry about a conflict with his/her own compensation. If the compensation comes only indirectly from you (as in a sales commission, or “load” for a mutual fund, annuity fees, etc.), then something else is the top priority (namely selling you whatever brings the commission), and a conflict of interest is the result. If the best product for you is one that doesn’t pay the advisor a commission, do you think that you will be offered that product? Probably not.

A:  Another difference--An independent advisor is truly independent. He/she is not beholden to any particular company or investment product.

Since the independent advisor has no obligation to a company, he/she is free to do and choose what is best for you, the client. Unfortunately, many advisors receive financial compensation for affiliating with certain companies and/or for selling certain investment products. This association benefits many people that are not you. How can this be in the best interest of you, the client? It is your money, after all.

Q:  What unique characteristics about Silver Maple Financial (as compared to other advisors, and particularly, as compared to other independent investment advisors) can enhance benefits to me as a client?

A:  Thad J. Ackerman is a licensed financial advisor and a veteran educator. Thad's communication style is structured, detail-oriented, but also relaxed. He works to focus and highlight relevant details, but not get too uptight about ones that are less important. He sees a sense of humor as an invaluable asset to communicating. Thad is used to working with a wide-variety of people and has the patience, ability, and will to listen, analyze, communicate, and explain, that many other advisors may not have.  Thad understands the numbers fully—how to gather, analyze, present, and explain them. His main strength is mathematics and communicating mathematics with people. Conversely, some advisors’ main strength is sales, which does much more to benefit the advisor than the client.