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Sheryl Garrett: 'The Industry Thought I Was Nuts'

The pioneer in hourly financial-planning guidance weighs in on choosing an advisor and rapidly evolving business models for financial advice.

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Our guest this week on "The Long View" is Sheryl Garrett. Garrett is a legendary figure in financial-planning circles, having pioneered the concept of offering hourly financial-planning guidance. She's founder of the Garrett Planning Network, a national network of hourly, fee-only financial planners that she started in 2000. Garrett has authored, co-authored, or served as technical editor on many books, including Garrett's Guide to Financial Planning, Just Give Me the Answer$, and the Personal Finance Workbook for Dummies. She has worked with the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services regarding predatory lending regulation, financial literacy, and Social Security reform. She has also received numerous awards in the realm of financial planning during her career. Most recently, InvestmentNews named Garrett as its 2019 Icon.

Background Information

Advice Best Practices
"How would I want to receive advice?" How Garrett came to build an hourly, fee-only planning practice that eventually spawned a network of advisors. (1:03-3:58)

"The industry thought I was nuts." Why Garrett opted for an hourly fee-for-advice model. (3:59-7:53)

Advice Models
"The issue is bigger between the financial advisor's ears than it is between the client's ears." How to get clients over paying for advice out of pocket. (7:54-14:16)

"I see financial planning as a job and I see ongoing investment advice as a different job." How the advice model--and manner of charging fees--should adapt to clients' evolving needs over time. (14:17-22:30)

Subscription-based vs. hourly advice: What's the better model? (22:31-25:51)

Working With Clients
Hourly advice is most successful (and cost-effective) when the client participates. (25:52-32:54)

Temperament matters: What people should look for in a financial planner or advisor. (32:55-43:12)

Planning Business
"They look at me as their financial advisor." Are hourly financial planners constantly in customer-acquisition mode and might that attract those who are better at sales than planning? (43:13-46:06)

Commoditization: Given the popularity of planning and advice, could financial planning go the way of the Chartered Financial Analyst designation? (46:07-48:46)

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