Since our founding, Marathon is proud to state that we
have provided fee-only investment management services. In
doing so, we have eliminated any possible conflict of interest
that could affect our judgment. Our only compensation is
the fee you pay us (“fee-only”), which means
our only motivation is to always work in your best interest.
We do not tolerate the conflicts of interest and compromises
that come with accepting brokerage commissions, insurance
commissions, participation fees, any form of product sales
compensation, or soft dollars. We are proud to state that
Marathon meets the strict definition of "fee-only"
set forth by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
The fee-only compensation method is very different than a
"fee-based" method. Fee-based firms charge their
clients fees. Additionally, they are paid commissions for
selling specific products (such as mutual funds, annuities,
partnerships, unit trusts, etc.). Thus, “fee-based”
and “commission-based” investment advice is almost
always biased. Their investment solutions are almost always
centered around products and strategies that make them the
Perhaps the biggest deception in the investment world today
is the way in which many financial advisors lead investors
to believe that they are getting “free” investment
advice. What these “fee-based” and “commission-based”
advisors neglect to tell their clients is that the advisor
is being handsomely paid through “hidden” fees
that are levied against the client’s accounts. These
fees come in the form of one-time expenses that are as high
as 8.5%, and annually recurring fees as high as 2%-3% for
many commissions-based mutual funds. (Refer to this report on mutual funds by the Securities and Exchange Commission to gain a better understanding of these fees.) Unfortunately,
many investors are frequently taken advantage of and tricked
into believing that they are getting something for nothing.
Further, today's financial superstores tout the benefits
of "one-stop shopping," and many of them are even
fee-based. However, their focus is usually to cross-sell products
within their own mega-organization, such as mutual funds,
annuities, and insurance policies. Their goals are to maximize
the amount of money they can charge you. Obviously, talking
you into investment opportunities that maximize their own
profit does not qualify as objective advice. In addition to
providing biased advice, “commission-based” and
“fee-based” investment solutions are almost always
more expensive than fee-only investment managers.
As a fee-only investment advisor, Marathon is purely an
advocate for its clients. Not many financial firms can truthfully
make this claim. We have access to the entire world of financial
securities. Thus, we can design and implement a financial
solution that is best for you and your family, rather than
what is best for some gigantic firm. Our company only grows
when our assets under management (your assets) grow. Our
vision of offering unbiased advice has a singular goal in
mind: helping you to secure your overall financial objectives
by increasing your net worth, not someone else’s.
This is why fee-only investment advice should be the only
advice that you consider.