The financial advising industry has historically consisted of advisors who don't charge a fee for advice, but rather are compensated by the company that produces the product that the advisor recommends to you. Some products have high commissions because they make a lot of money for the company that issues it. Some products have low commissions because they don't make a lot of money for those companies. When advisors are compensated in this way, they have an incentive to sell you the products with the highest commissions, whether or not those products are the most suitable for you. Of course the products which make the investment companies the most money are usually the ones that are least beneficial to you, meaning that your goals could be completely opposed with your advisor's incentives. This type of relationship sets itself up for the same results you'd get in dealing with a street vendor if the advisor doesn't possess the utmost level of integrity.
To better align the advisor's interests with the client, the industry has begun to shift from commission-based (now called "fee-based" for marketing reasons since it sounds better) to fee-only advising. PWA uses this fee-only compensation method which means that we do not sell any financial products, take commissions, accept payment for referrals, or receive monetary compensation other than that provided by you. You pay your advising fees to us, rather than us getting them from product creators, regardless of the implementation method we recommend. When combined with our fiduciary oath and our code of ethics, this fee-only guarantee let's you be certain that PWA's is never incented to recommend a solution to you which isn't suitable. The only way we make money is by keeping you as a client and helping you grow your assets. Instead of profiting from clients as some advisors set out to do, our goal is to profit along with our clients.
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