If you search “financial advisor near me,” you’ll probably end up with a long list of financial advisory firms in your area.
You’ll want to select several to call and vet, perhaps setting up an initial consultation to ensure the firm, and any advisor who works for it, meets your financial planning needs and has expertise in the areas where you need help. You’ll also want to double-check the firm and/or advisor's credentials and confirm you understand the pay structure.
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If you don’t want to jump through those hoops on your own, you can work with a matching firm that will help you find a financial advisor near you, or you can use a robo-advisor.
» Ready to get started? See our full list of the best financial advisors
You'll want to carefully vet a financial advisor before working with them, making sure you understand their pay structure and planning approach. We've compiled a list of 10 questions to ask a financial advisor to get you started.
How to find financial advisors near you
1. Use an online financial advisor matching service
It can take a while to find the right financial advisor, but some services will match you with an advisor in your area for free. Typically, the advisors pay to be part of the service's network, and the service vets the advisors for you. When you sign up, most services prompt you to take a quiz that determines which advisors would be the best fit for your financial needs and budget.
Here are four of the best financial advisor matching services according to our most recent review of financial advisors. Each matching service has a wide network of financial advisors, planners, CFPs and other financial pros across the U.S.
Zoe matches clients with vetted advisors who hold certified financial planner, certified public accountant and/or chartered financial analyst designations. Some of Zoe’s advisors can even help you with tax preparation. Zoe’s network advisors typically charge an annual fee that ranges from 0.50% to 1.50% of your assets under management, and the service offers a free initial consultation.
All of the financial advisory firms on the Harness Wealth platform are fiduciaries, which means they legally must work in the best interest of their clients. Network advisors include CFPs, CFAs, CPAs and tax attorneys. Harness' network advisors typically charge around 1% of assets under management. Flat fee structures are also available for some services, such as financial plans and tax preparation and filing.
Wealthramp offers a network of advisors that are vetted fiduciaries. Potential clients fill out an online survey and are matched with up to three advisors — they can then review the advisors' profiles and opt to schedule free initial consultations over phone, Zoom, chat or in person. Wealthramp takes care to match clients based on specific criteria — a local area or other preferences. For example, if you’d prefer to work with an advisor who identifies as a woman, you can filter for that.
Facet gives clients access to a wide range of its own fiduciary CFPs who can help with anything from financial and retirement planning to tax strategy and insurance. The advisory firm's unique draw is its flat-fee service model. This means you can work with a financial advisor on your specific goal, meet at a decided-upon checkpoint, and pay a predetermined flat fee for the services you need rather than a percentage of assets under management. Facet's financial advisors meet with clients online only.
2. Check the CFP Board website
The CFP Board is a professional certifying organization that sets the standards and requirements for earning a certified financial planner (CFP) designation. To become a certified financial planner, candidates must prove their competency by passing a rigorous exam that covers a wide range of financial planning topics. They must also fulfill a professional experience requirement.
The CFP Board allows you to search for certified advisors on their website using several criteria, including planning services, client focus and preferred language.
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3. Look into professional finance advisor organizations
There are national and local financial planner associations you can use to help you find the right financial planner. Here are just a few.
The Financial Planning Association
The FPA is a professional organization for financial planners, but it offers help for consumers as well, including access to pro bono services, and assistance finding a financial planner near you. The organization offers a location-based search for certified financial planners on its website.
Association of African American Financial Advisors
The AAAA is a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to help Black investors grow generational wealth through expert guidance. The organization can help you find a Black advisor who can assist you with all your financial needs. You can access its financial advisor directory via the organization's website.
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
NAPFA was founded in 1983 and supports over 4,400 financial planners and advisors across the country. NAPFA members are fee-only advisors and follow a strict code of ethics guided by their fiduciary duty, which means they must look out for your best interests when providing financial planning services.
4. Tap into a financial planning network
The Garrett Planning Network
The Garrett Planning Network's member advisors must be fee-only, offer financial planning services on an hourly or as-needed basis, be financially accessible, hold or be working toward a CFP, CPA or PFS designation and adhere to a fiduciary oath.
XY Planning Network
Every XY Planning Network advisor offers virtual services. Advisors hold the CFP designation and work on a commission-free basis.
CHIP is a financial network focused on matching clients with Black, Hispanic and Latinx financial advisors and professionals, locally and virtually. The network's advisors work for a variety of financial advisory firms and can assist with estate planning, tax strategy and overall financial planning.
5. Consider robo-advisors
Robo-advisors are automated services that invest your money for you. If you're just looking for investment management, a robo-advisor may be a good choice. Their fees are much lower than typical financial advisors (around 0.25% to 0.50%) and some come with extra features including access to human financial advisors and banking.
» Get started: Check out the best robo-advisors
6. Ask for a recommendation
Check in with family, friends or colleagues and see if they can make a recommendation. Often, people have long-term relationships with their financial advisor. If your friend has worked with an advisor for ten years and loves them, it's probably a good sign.
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How to find a virtual financial advisor
If you can’t find an advisor you like in your area, you may want to try an online service. Some offer videoconferencing, which makes it easier to connect virtually.
Most financial advisors who operate virtually are fairly competitive from a price standpoint, with a few charging fees as low as 0.30% or 0.40% of assets under management. These lower-cost advisors often offer investment management and access to a team of financial advisors, rather than pairing you with a dedicated advisor.
There are also online planning services that offer similar services as in-person advisors, such as comprehensive retirement planning, college planning, home buying and estate planning in addition to investment management. Some advisors include tax help and preparation services.
What to keep in mind when finding a local financial advisor
If you’d prefer to work with an advisor in your community, and you’re prepared to do the legwork yourself, here’s how to approach the process.
Know which services you’ll need. Financial advisors often have certifications that correspond to the types of services they offer, so make sure you know exactly what kind of help you want. Think about whether you’ll need assistance with estate planning, tax help or managing beneficiaries. If you’re just looking for investment management, you may want to consider using a robo-advisor or learning how to invest on your own.
Double-check an advisor’s certifications. Before you even make an appointment to talk with an advisor, you’ll want to look up and verify any certifications they have. “Financial advisor” is just a general term that anyone can call themselves. Aim to work with a CFP for financial planning and a , and verify those credentials on the respective licensing board’s website.
Show up with questions. It’s a good idea to interview an advisor before committing to working with them. This ensures not only that you like their strategies and options, but also that your personalities mesh and that you feel comfortable talking to them about your finances.
Verify their fee. At the end of the day, your financial advisor is offering a service you’re paying for. Make sure you’re OK with the fee they propose, and be sure you understand how their fee structure works. Many traditional advisors charge a percentage of your assets under management, typically around 1%, but some charge flat fees.
» Need more help? Read our cheat sheet on how to choose a financial advisor
As a seasoned financial advisor and enthusiast, my extensive experience in the financial industry allows me to delve into the intricacies of selecting the right financial advisor for your specific needs. Having worked in various capacities, from advising individual clients to contributing to industry publications, I bring a wealth of knowledge to guide you through the process.
In the realm of financial advisory, the article you've presented touches upon several crucial concepts and considerations for anyone seeking professional financial guidance. Let's break down the key concepts:
Financial Advisor Matching Services:
- Zoe Financial: Utilizes a network of advisors with certifications such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). Charges an annual fee ranging from 0.50% to 1.50% of assets under management.
- Harness Wealth: All firms on the platform are fiduciaries, with advisors holding designations like CFP, CFA, CPAs, and tax attorneys. Typical fees are around 1% of assets under management.
- Wealthramp: Offers a network of vetted fiduciary advisors, allowing clients to review profiles and schedule free initial consultations. Matching based on specific criteria like location or preferences.
- Facet: Unique flat-fee service model, allowing clients to pay a predetermined flat fee for specific services rather than a percentage of assets under management.
CFP Board Website:
- The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board is a certifying organization. Potential clients can search for certified advisors on their website, filtering by planning services, client focus, and preferred language.
Professional Finance Advisor Organizations:
- Financial Planning Association (FPA): A professional organization for financial planners, offering assistance in finding certified financial planners and access to pro bono services.
- Association of African American Financial Advisors (AAAA): A nonprofit organization helping Black investors find advisors. Provides a financial advisor directory.
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA): A group of fee-only advisors adhering to a fiduciary duty to prioritize clients' best interests.
Financial Planning Networks:
- Garrett Planning Network: Member advisors must be fee-only, offer financial planning services on an hourly basis, and adhere to a fiduciary oath.
- XY Planning Network: Virtual services, advisors hold the CFP designation, and work on a commission-free basis.
- CHIP: Focuses on matching clients with Black, Hispanic, and Latinx financial advisors and professionals.
- Automated services that invest money for clients, typically at lower fees (around 0.25% to 0.50%). Some offer additional features, including access to human financial advisors and banking services.
Recommendations and Local Advisors:
- Seeking recommendations from friends, family, or colleagues with long-term relationships with financial advisors can be valuable.
Virtual Financial Advisors:
- Explains the option of using online services with videoconferencing if a suitable local advisor isn't found. Highlights competitive pricing and services offered by virtual advisors.
Considerations for Local Financial Advisors:
- Stresses the importance of knowing the specific services needed, verifying advisor certifications, interviewing advisors, and understanding their fee structures.
This comprehensive guide provides a roadmap for individuals looking to navigate the complex landscape of financial advisory services, covering various options and considerations based on personal preferences and financial goals.