Independent Fee-Only Financial Planning

Light Financial Services is an independent, fee-only financial planning and investment management firm. Our goal is to provide clear and unbiased financial planning and investment management services to our clients.

As defined by the College for Financial Planning and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, fee-only financial advisers are compensated solely by the client. We believe the fee-only model of compensation reduces the potential for conflicts of interest between the adviser and the client because the adviser is not compensated by insurance companies, particular investments, and/or other financial companies.

A clear distinction should be made between brokers, who often refer to themselves as "fee-based" (receiving both fees and commissions) and "fee-only" (someone who never receives compensation or incentives from a third party.)

A fee-only adviser may reduce conflicts of interest such as:

  • an incentive to make recommendations that pay higher sales commissions to the adviser when a less expensive alternative may have been available.
  • an incentive to generate commissions through the unnecessary buying and/or selling of securities (also known as churning).
  • an incentive to convert non-cash assets such as real estate and collectibles to cash and securities so that the adviser can generate a commission.
  • advising a client to buy products and make investments when holding cash and other liquid assets may have been a more suitable recommendation at that time.

Because we are an independent, fee-only firm our only obligation is to our clients. We work with a variety of clients and provide fee-only financial planning and investment advice to individuals and families regardless of their income level, net worth, or investment assets.

Investment Philosophy

  • Objectivity – We are fee-only and independent our only incentive is to generate good results for our clients. Our interests are aligned with yours.
  • Diversification - We believe in diversification in order to reduce asset class risk.
  • Discipline - Our discipline is based on rational decision making rules and asset allocation. This mitigates careless decision making and emotionally based decision errors.


Paul Light with Light Financial Services in Fargo.

Paul Light

(Certified Financial PlannerTM President)

Paul Light is President of Light Financial Services, Inc. and a Certified Financial PlannerTM Practitioner. Paul earned his bachelors' degree in Business Administration from Minnesota State University Moorhead in 1988. Paul has been working in the financial services industry for over 20 years. He started his career with Prudential Insurance Company where he worked from 1989 until 1995. In 1995, he began focusing his career on providing financial planning and investment management services to employees of public schools. Paul was employed by Educators Financial Services as a financial advisor from 1995-2001. In 2001, he left Educators Financial Services and founded Light Financial Services, Inc. as an independent firm focused on providing financial planning and investment advice to individual and their families. Paul earned his Certified Financial Planner™ designation in 1998.

Paul lives in Fargo, ND with his wife Tanya and their three children, Alex, Sarah, and Emily.

Samantha Blanchette with Light Financial Services.

Samantha Blanchette

(Investment Advisor Representative)

Samantha Blanchette is an Investment Advisor Representative for Light Financial Services, Inc. She has worked for Light Financial Services since September 2011. She previously was a Registered Paraplanner until May 2018 when she passed her Series 65 to become an Investment Advisor Representative. Samantha attended the North Dakota State University and majored in Elementary Education. In 2008 Samantha became an Assistant Manager with The Home Depot in Elk River, Minnesota. Life brought Samantha back to the Fargo, ND area where she worked for the Minnesota State Lottery before finding her way to Light Financial Services. 

Thankfully, Samantha has found her professional calling with Light Financial Services. Samantha is proud to work with the firm’s clients and their families. She does everything she can to ensure they have the best experience possible in all aspects of their financial planning.

Samantha lives in Frontier, ND with her husband, BJ, their children Hayden and Bauer, and two stepchildren Jenna and Kaleb. In her spare time, Samantha loves spending time at their lake cabin with her family and baking.

Lori Westrum of Light Financial Services in Fargo, North Dakota.

Lori Westrum

(Administrative Assistant)

Lori Westrum is an Administrative Assistant for Light Financial Services, Inc. Lori moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area, due to her husband’s work, in the Summer of 2017 from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Lori had been working in the construction industry for over 25 years. She and her husband, Joel, ran Westrum Electric, Inc. in the Big Lake, Minnesota area for several years before Joel acquired work with the railroad which took them to Sioux Falls.

Lori lives in Moorhead, MN with her husband, Joel, and their two children, Nicolai and Sonja.