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Answer a few questions and get matched with up to 3 local fiduciary advisors.

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How it works
Answer a few simple questions Tell us a bit about yourself, including your financial situation and goals.
See your advisor matches You'll then get matched with up to three qualified, pre-screened advisors.
Book appointments You can use our online tools or concierge service to book an appointment.

How We Make Choosing a Financial Advisor Easier

If you want to find a financial advisor who can provide guidance for your personal finance decisions, our matching tool simplifies the process. First, we'll ask you a series of questions about your retirement plans, life status, investment goals and advisor preferences.

Next, our matching algorithm will match you with up to three qualified advisors in your area so you can decide which one best fits your needs.

Our matching algorithm then finds up to three advisors who fit your needs. Anyone with whom you are matched has already been carefully vetted. Before allowing investment advisor representatives onto our platform, we verify that they are investment advisors and are properly registered with either the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or the appropriate State regulator. We also confirm that they do in fact possess the licenses they say they do. They cannot have any relevant pending or valid regulatory disclosures from within the last 10 years. If an advisor has disclosed a severe infraction, he or she will not be permitted on our platform. The only exception to this rule is if the complaint has been withdrawn, denied, or otherwise dismissed.

Once you’re matched, you can expect to be contacted by an advisor within a couple of business days.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Financial Advisor

Each of the questions asked in SmartAsset’s survey relate to one of four main themes. Those themes are life status, advisor preferences, investment goals and advisor specialization. These are all important topics to consider when choosing a financial advisor.

Life Status

Anyone can benefit from working with a financial advisor. At certain stages in life, however, a professional’s advice can be extra valuable. These moments typically revolve around big life 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 sum of money
  • When you are figuring out how to pass on wealth

Another important consideration is how much you can afford to invest at your current life stage. Some of our advisors 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 and fees. Our matching tool recommends a robo-advisor to anyone who has less than $25,000 to invest.

Advisor Preferences

There are two main 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
  • Can include financial planning, investment management and consulting services
  • Easy access to a dedicated professional, with the option of in-person meetings
  • Often limited to investment services
  • Limited or no human contact, with communication typically restricted to online interactions
Best For Someone who:
  • Has a large sum of money to invest
  • Prefers to be more involved in investing
  • Wants human interaction
Someone who:
  • Doesn't have a lot of money to invest
  • Wants a more hands-off approach to investing
  • Prefers to work online

Different Types of Traditional Advisors:

There are different subsets of traditional financial advisors. A financial planner, for instance, is a type 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 tool can help you find:

  • Fiduciary financial advisors
  • Financial planners
  • Wealth managers
  • Investment advisors
  • Retirement advisors

Investment Goals

When you complete our matching questionnaire, you’ll typically be matched with more than one financial advisor. We do that so that you have options to ensure you’re truly finding the right fit. It can be a good idea to talk to multiple matches before settling on one. Each advisor 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 that those stocks will someday produce strong returns. Others may prefer growth investing, which focuses on buying into companies with promising growth potential. Still others may use contrarian investing, which advocates for going against the market majority. An advisor offering socially responsible investing will consider your values and the greater social good in addition to your returns when investing your assets.

Many advisors invest for the long term, which may be good if you’re saving up for a retirement that’s still far down the road. Others may emphasize short-term investments, which can be a fit for investors who have more immediate liquidity needs.

Financial advisors will often tailor your investing plan to suit your needs, taking into account your goals, objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance. Typically, the first step in building a relationship with your financial advisor is to sit down and determine your unique preferences, resulting in an investment plan that he or she can then implement.

Advisor Specializations

Depending on your life status or if you have a particular financial topic you want addressed, it’s a good idea to take note of each advisor’s area of expertise. Many financial professionals specialize in a certain areas, such as:

  • Estate planning
  • Socially responsible investing
  • High-net-worth financial planning
  • Tax planning
  • Insurance
  • Divorce
  • Retirement

For instance, if you’re focused on preparing for retirement, you may want to look for an advisor who specializes in retirement planning or who has a retirement-related certification. An advisor can be a certified retirement planning counselor (CRPC) or a chartered retirement specialist (CRPS).

Certifications can be an indication of a financial advisor's education and abilities. One of the most prestigious certifications is the CFP, or certified financial planner. This certification requires an advisor to have certain level of education, complete coursework culminating in a multi-day exam, submit to a background check and agree to abide by a board's ethics guidelines.

All CFPs are required to act as a fiduciaries, which is another key designation to look out for. Fiduciaries are bound by a code of ethics to put your interests before their own. All SEC-registered financial advisor firms are fiduciaries.

What industry experts are saying:

Individuals with financial advisors are twice as likely to be on track to meet their retirement goals.

Learn More About Financial Advisors

If you still have some questions, these articles can help answer them. Whenever you are ready, come back to the tool above and find your financial advisor today.

Making connections

Thousands of people used SmartAsset to find a financial advisor last month.

Top Financial Advisors in Your Area

If you want to get a sense of the top firms in your area, we’ve reviewed hundreds across the country. These reviews, compiled through extensive research, rank the top firms in the following cities according to assets under management (AUM). They include detailed information on each firm’s investment philosophy, account minimum, certifications and services, all of which can help you decide whether a firm is right for you.

Most Financially Healthy Places

SmartAsset analyzed data to find the most financially healthy places in the country. This interactive map allows you to see the most financially healthy counties in the country and in each state. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any county to learn about that region's financial health.

Rank County Debt as % of Income Bankruptcies Poverty Rate Unemployment Rate


To find the most financially healthy places, SmartAsset took a comprehensive approach, considering debt as a percentage of income, bankruptcies per 1,000 people, poverty rates and unemployment rates in our analysis. In our study, a financially healthy county means people there have low average debt as a percent of income, along with a low chance of being affected by personal bankruptcies, poverty or unemployment.

To calculate debt as a percent of income, we divided debt per capita by income per capita. To calculate bankruptcies per 1,000 people, we divided total bankruptcies by the population and multiplied that number by 1,000.

To calculate the Financial Health Index, we weighted debt as a percent of income 25%, bankruptcies 40%, poverty rates 20% and unemployment rates 15%. We ranked the counties on each of the categories and then indexed each category. We then added those indices together and indexed that.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE) Program, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, U.S. Bankruptcy Courts

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