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March 14, 2004 – Garrett Planning Network featured in national media: “Educated Eye for the Ordinary Guy”

Baltimore Sun, March 14, 2004 – In “Educated Eye for the Ordinary Guy: Wall Street meets Main Street as Advisers Reach for Middle Class,” writer Eileen Ambrose says: Until recently, it had been tough to find a professional financial adviser who'd give you the time of day if you weren't a fat cat. Some get a nice commission on any investments you make through them, and others just charge you a fee for their time and expertise (a third type mixes both approaches). Fee-only planners may charge by the hour, by the project or by a certain percentage of assets they manage for you. A comprehensive plan (retirement, insurance, taxes, estate planning) normally could run as high as $5,000.

But now at least 20 percent of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (www.napfa.org) are targeting the middle-income market, particularly as people hit their 40s and 50s. For those who could use a portfolio review or a financial plan but don't need a full-time adviser, there are planners such as The Garrett Planning Network (www.garrettplanningnetwork.com), founded by Sheryl Garrett, a Kansas planner who once worked for a wealth-management firm that charged a minimum fee of $4,000. "I got really discouraged having to turn away clients I would have liked to work with," she said, but who couldn't afford the fee.

Six years ago, Garrett started her own firm that charges for advice by the hour. It attracts middle-income investors who don't need a full-time adviser, but might want an expert to review a portfolio or develop a retirement plan. It also appeals to high-income do-it-yourself investors who want to bounce ideas off a professional. Garrett charges $180 an hour. The concept has been so popular that Garrett three years ago launched the Garrett Planning Network (www.GarrettPlanningNetwork.com), a group of advisers who pay to join the network and must meet certain standards. This article was also picked up by other syndicates such as the LA Times, Hartford Courant, Chicago Tribune and Newsday. Read the article!

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