If you’re looking for a professional who can give you advice and guidance on your personal finances, our financial advisor matching tool can simplify and shorten the process. To get matched with a top advisor near you, we first have you answer a series of questions about your retirement plans, life status, investment preferences and the characteristics you desire in a financial counselor.
How Our Tool Finds a Financial Advisor Near You
Our matching algorithm then finds up to three advisors that best suit your needs. All of the professionals on our platform are U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered and are required to be fiduciaries. Our advisors cannot have any regulatory disclosures within the last 10 years - anyone with severe infractions on their records are not permitted. Once you’re matched, you can expect to hear from your matches within a couple of business days.
What We Consider When Finding Your Financial Advisor
When you go through SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching questionnaire, questions cover one of four of themes: life status, specialization, investment preferences and advisor preferences. These themes are all important topics to consider when our tool matches you with a financial coach.
Your Life Status
Anyone - particularly those unfamiliar with how to budget and stick to a financial plan - can benefit from working with a financial counselor. At certain stages in life, however, an advisor’s advice is extra valuable. These moments typically revolve around big life shifts or changes, including:
- When you get married or divorced
- When you have a child
- When you buy a home
- When you start a business
- When you're nearing retirement
- When you receive a large amount of money
- When you are figuring out how to pass on wealth
Another important consideration is how much you have in investable assets at your current stage in life. Some of our counselors specialize in serving high-net-worth individuals and require account minimums in the millions of dollars. Others have no set account minimum.
If you're just starting out or don't have a lot of money to invest, a robo-advisor could be a good option. Robo-advisors, which digitally manage your investment portfolio, typically have lower account minimums than traditional advisors and cost less. We recommend a robo-advisor to anyone who has less than $25,000.
Your Advisor Preferences
There are two main types of different types of financial advisors. You can opt for a traditional advisor, who you can sit down with in person, or a robo-advisor, which digitally manages your investment portfolio.Here's how the two stack up:
|Traditional Advisors||Robo Advisors|
|Fees||1% - 3% of the value of your portfolio||Less than 1% of the value of your portfolio|
|Account Minimums||Varies; while some have no set account minimum, most require at least $250,000 or more||Varies; some account minimums are as low as $0|
|Investment Strategies||Typically customized portfolios that include a wide range of investments, including individual stocks||Less flexible portfolio models that are typically limited to ETFs or low-cost index funds and don’t include individual stocks|
|Services|| || |
|Best For|| Someone who: || Someone who: |
Different Types of Traditional Advisors:There are different subsets of financial advisors on the human side to consider, as well. A financial planner, for instance, is a subset of financial advisor who can help you analyze your current financial situation and create a plan for the future. A wealth manager will comprehensively manage your entire financial situation, combining financial planning with investment advice, tax services, retirement planning, estate planning, philanthropic planning and more. Our financial advisor matching planning includes those who are investment advisors and brokers, but who are bound by the fiduciary rule. Overall, our tool can help you find a:
- Fiduciary financial advisor
- Financial planner
- Wealth manager
- Investment advisor
- Retirement advisor
Your Investment Preferences
When you complete our matching questionnaire, you’ll usually get matched with more than one counselor. That’s because it’s important to consider your options when you’re looking for the right financial advisor. We encourage you to talk to multiple matches before settling on one. Each has a unique process, investing philosophy, communication style and overall approach
One of the biggest differences between financial advisors is their investing philosophies. Some may abide by value investing, which seeks relatively undervalued stocks with the belief they will someday produce strong returns. Other investment advisors may prefer growth investing buys into companies with promising growth potential, while contrarian investing goes against the market majority.
Some may invest for the long term, which may be good if you’re far away from retirement. Others may emphasize short-term investments, which are good for people with shorter time horizons. An advisor offering socially responsible investing will consider your values and the greater social good alongside a financial return.
While many financial coaches will tailor your investing plan to suit your needs, you’ll want to consider your goals and objectives and time horizon, risk tolerance and objectives. Often, the first step in building a relationship with your financial coach is to sit down and figure this out, resulting in an investment plan.
What Specializations You Need
Depending on your life status or if you have a particular financial topic you want your advisor to address, you should take note of what specializations he or she has. In addition to giving you comprehensive guidance and advice on your personal finances, many financial professionals may also specialize in a certain area, such as:
- Estate planning
- Socially responsible investing
- High-net-worth financial planning
- Tax planning
If you have retirement on your mind, for instance, you may want to see if the advisor specializes in retirement planning or has a retirement-related certification, such as a certified retirement planning counselor (CRPC) or a chartered retirement specialist (CRPS).
Certifications are a good indicator of a financial counselor’s education and abilities.You want to look for a CFP, or certified financial planner, which requires a certain level of education, coursework culminating in a multi-day exam, a background check and an agreement to abide by the board's ethics guidelines. All CFPs are required to act as a fiduciaries, which is another key thing to look out for when you're searching for a financial advisor. Fiduciary financial advisors are bound by a code of ethics to put your interests before their own.
Top Financial Advisors in Your Area
Want to get a sense of the top financial advisor firms in your area? These reviews, compiled through extensive research, rank the top firms in the following cities according to assets under management.
- Atlanta, GA
- Aurora, IL
- Aurora, OH
- Austin, TX
- Baltimore, MD
- Boise, ID
- Boston, MA
- Buffalo, NY
- Charlotte, NC
- Chicago, IL
- Cincinnati, OH
- Colorado Springs, CO
- Columbus, OH
- Dallas, TX
- Denver, CO
- Durham, NC
- El Paso, TX
- Greensboro, NC
- Honolulu, HI
- Houston, TX
- Indianapolis, IN
- Kansas City, MO
- Lincoln, NE
- Los Angeles, CA
- Louisville, KY
- Memphis, TN
- Miami, FL
- Milwaukee, WI
- Minneapolis, MN
- Nashville, TN
- New York, NY
- Orlando, FL
- Philadelphia, PA
- Phoenix, AZ
- Pittsburgh, PA
- Portland, OR
- Raleigh, NC
- Richmond, VA
- Rochester, NY
- Sacramento, CA
- San Diego, CA
- San Francisco, CA
- Scottsdale, AZ
- Seattle, WA
- Tampa, FL
- Tucson, AZ
- Washington, D.C.
- Worcester, MA
Learn More About Financial Advisors
Still have some questions? These articles should be able to answer them. Whenever you are ready, hop back up to our tool and find your financial advisor today.
- How to Find a Financial Advisor A financial advisor can help you with your financial needs but it can be hard to find one. Here are some things to keep in mind on your journey. Read more…
- How to Choose a Financial Advisor It can be difficult to choose the right financial advisor so here are some factors to remember so you can find the best one for you. Read more…
- What Is a Fiduciary Duty? Let's explain the concept of fiduciary duty and why it's so important to understand who has one and who doesn't. Read more…