All advisors in the Western Washington Financial Advisors Network (WWFAN) are independent. Independent advisors don’t represent banks, brokerage companies, insurance companies, or other financial corporations. Independent advisors work only for you.
Fee-only financial planning firms, like those listed on this website, have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their clients. As independent advisors, we work directly for our clients, not a corporate entity. Members of the WWFAN all represent independent firms. We have made this choice because we strongly believe that our advice should be focused solely on the needs of our clients.
The Benefits of Working with an Independent Advisor
Large financial companies tend to offer their own brand of products, such as mutual funds or ETFs. Many large firms also limit the universe of funds or offerings in order to direct the use of company approved (or proprietary) products.
WWFAN advisors are not affiliated with any financial product providers, so we can (and do) select from a full array of solutions instead of being constrained by the limited slate of products a corporate parent might choose to offer. Our independence helps us avoid this conflict of interest and keeps our focus solely on our client’s best interest.
Dedicated Service with Less Turnover
Across the financial advising industry, there is a tremendous amount of employee turnover. Many of the large firms have a history of hiring large groups of new financial advisors, throwing them all right into the fire after receiving some basic sales training, and keeping the few who sell enough stuff and generate enough revenue to survive. Most of them end up leaving the industry entirely. Even among those who do survive, it is not uncommon to switch firms every few years to earn massive signing bonuses or to work within what they perceive will be a better corporate environment.
Working with an independent financial advisor does not guarantee that they will stay in the industry or at their current firm, but smaller independent firms tend to have lower turnover and provide better training to increase their chances of success. Also, when you are the owner of your own firm, like all WWFAN advisors, you have much more control over your future. Moreover, much of the training we invest in is oriented towards effectively serving clients and deepening financial planning knowledge, rather than just selling products. This environment helps create better advisors, with fewer conflicts. This clarity of focus, employment security, and commitment to professional excellence results in better advisors for clients.