A fee-only advisor is one who only receives compensation on the fee that you pay directly. There are no commissions, loads, referral fees, or other hidden forms of compensation. Fee-based means that there may be fees and commissions. When compensation is affected by advice given or investment selection, it has the potential to benefit the advisor more than the client. A fee-based advisor often does not have the same fiduciary standard of a fee-only advisor. Article on fee-only vs. fee-based.