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Practice Management > Compensation and Fees

Fees vs. Commissions

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While debate about compensation from fees versus commissions continues, with passionate points of view on both sides, IA wanted to hear what readers have to say on the subject. IA asked readers: “In your practice, what percentage of income is derived from fees versus commissions?”

With the highest response rates for any poll that IA has run, here is what advisors who participated had to say. By far the largest group of advisors, 30%, derive 100% of their income from fees alone. Another 16% say they receive 75% of their income from fees, while 18% are split more evenly, getting 50% of their income from fees, and 50% from commissions. An additional 14% of respondents are mostly commission-based, earning 25% from fees and the rest from commissions. It’s “commissions only” according to 18% of advisors in our sample, who say they produce 100% of their income from commissions. And 4% who took the poll answered “Other” with some specifying that they were in the process of moving from commissions to fees.

A new IA Poll is up on the front page of It asks, “For the first time in 18 years the U.S. has a new Fed Chairman, Ben Bernanke. What’s the most critical issue for him to address?” As always, IA welcomes your participation.


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