Fee Transparency

Our relationships are built on trust, open communication, and a clear understanding of our fee structure.

At Spaugh Dameron Tenny, we value transparency and want you to know the way in which we may be compensated for the services we offer and the products we recommend. You have a choice when it comes to seeking financial advice and have every right to understand the fee structure when working with an advisor and how your advisor is paid.


SDT advisors can be paid on a flat-rate basis for providing comprehensive or limited-scope financial planning advice, like how attorneys and accountants are paid for providing legal and tax services. While this can be done on an hourly or per-meeting arrangement, we have found that a flat planning and advice fee for full access to your advisor with no additional cost for meetings, phone calls, or email correspondence, leads to a greater probability of a successful financial plan. This can be thought of as a monthly subscription to your advisor or as keeping them on retainer to access as needed.

Personal financial planning and advice fees typically range from $1,800 to $4,800 per year, though can be higher depending on the complexity of your situation, scope of services provided, and frequency of review meetings. Business planning fees typically range from $3,000 to $25,000 annually depending on the scope of work.

The cost for financial planning services is waived for individual medical professionals who are currently in school, residency, or fellowship. There may be an exception to this if your household income is above $100,000 or certain complexity requires additional analysis.

In certain situations, we may continue to waive the fee for a period of time after the completion of your training or we may feel a yearly subscription for under $1,800 is appropriate.

We are not a transaction-based firm, and our goal is to work with our clients for many years. In addition, we view complimentary meetings as a show of our good faith toward building the trust needed for a lasting relationship. All clients are provided a financial planning engagement after the first meeting, which formalizes the relationship and indicates whether a fee is being charged and how much it is. There are no surprise bills in the mail. Industry regulations require that you, the client, must give written consent to a fee before we can charge one. For those in school, residency, or fellowship, your advisor will revisit the fee for services provided and propose a cost structure that fits the scope of services being offered, upon completion of your training.

Visit our Financial Planning page for more information about our financial planning tiers.


While some people prefer to take a hands-on approach in managing their investment portfolio, others may not have the time or interest to properly implement a savings plan on their own. Should you have the time and interest, it may be difficult to remain emotionally unattached and make rational decisions, particularly during times of heightened market volatility. We offer portfolio management services to provide an objective point of view, as well as free up your time.

Our advisors work with research firms and investment managers to, create the asset strategy that matches your time horizon and risk tolerance, place trades, and monitor your accounts.

Should we feel a change to your strategy is appropriate, your advisor will work in collaboration with you to discuss the recommended changes. If you prefer to hold off on making the change, simply let us know, as you have the final say on whether any recommendations are implemented.

Your advisor's investment management services start at an annual cost of 1.00% of the account balance. However, this gradually decreases to as low as 0.10% for larger portfolios.

We feel an asset-based fee best aligns our interests with yours – we both want your investment balance to grow. Occasionally, there are circumstances or products not appropriate for an asset-based fee (e.g., 529 accounts), and we will fully explain these options to you.

If you are not inclined to manage your investment portfolio on your own, working with an advisor for this area of your plan can be well worth the cost through time saved, proper coaching and decision-making during difficult economic times, and having the confidence that your accounts are receiving professional oversight.


Our clients typically add two common lines of insurance to their financial plan: disability income insurance; to protect against the inability to work, and life insurance; to protect against a premature death. As an independent firm, we do not manufacture our own insurance or investment products. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) provides a broker check where you can search to see which company your financial advisor is affiliated with – FINRA's Broker Check. We help our clients secure insurance through a multitude of carriers, which allows us to shop the market and assist you in identifying an appropriate company and policy structure.

There is no extra cost to work with an advisor at SDT for this area of your plan. The cost for these products is determined by your age, health, occupation, and other factors, regardless of which channel you go through to obtain your coverage. If you secure disability or life insurance with the help of an SDT advisor, your advisor will be paid for their assistance. Their compensation is based on the policy's premium.


When you engage a financial advisor for planning services, you have every right to expect they will perform those services in your best interest. It is important to understand the difference between a financial advisor that holds a series 65 or 66 license versus someone holding themselves out as a financial advisor. You can verify whether your advisor holds a series 65 or 66 license on the SEC Investment Advisor Public Disclosure Search Website – Click here for the SEC's IAPD search.


A CFP® professional must:

1. Act with honesty, integrity, competence, and diligence.

2. Act in the client’s best interests.

3. Exercise due care.

4. Avoid or disclose and manage conflicts of interest.

5. Maintain the confidentiality and protect the privacy of client information.

6. Act in a manner that reflects positively on the financial planning profession and CFP® certification.

CFP Board's Code Ethics and Standards of Conduct