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It’s one thing to build up enough wealth over time that you and your family are secure for the foreseeable future.
It’s another thing to take that wealth and make sure that it lasts for generations through smart investments, retirement accounts, and other financial vehicles.
But it’s tough for most people, even extremely successful individuals, to know exactly what to trade on the stock market or how best to invest their hard-earned money. That’s where financial advisors come in.
These educated professionals can help you determine where and how you shouldinvest your money, how to save for specific goals or retirement benchmarks, and how to transfer wealth successfully to the next generation.
Today, let’s break down the best financial advisors in 2022 in detail.
Best Financial Advisors
#1. Facet Wealth
- Account Minimum: $0
- Fees: $100+ per month
What Financial Services Does Facet Wealth Offer?
Facet Wealth offers a free initial consultation, then ongoing and customized financial advice from a designated CFP you’ll work with for the duration of your account’s lifetime at this service.
You’ll gain access to financial planning services, including investment advice, retirement account planning, portfolio creation, and much more.
Plus, Facet Wealth offers all of this through various communication channels, including video calls, phone calls, and more.
- Has a free initial consultation
- Offers multiple ways to meet virtually
- No extra fees for investment management
- You get a designated fiduciary CFP
- Comprehensive spread of financial planning services
- It can be tough to estimate cost due to the wide fee range
- Can’t meet in person with your advisor
Facet Wealth’s financial planning services are great for those without a ton of cash in their accounts and who want a robust, well-developed service without having to meet in person.
The low initial fees, access to a designated fiduciary CFP, and full spread of financial planning options make Facet Wealth a stellar pick for budget-minded or beginner investors who need some help creating or making the most of their portfolios.
>> More: Facet Wealth Review
#2. Zoe Financial
- Account Minimum: $0
- Fees: Vary
What Financial Services Does Zoe Financial Offer?
With potentially low fees, Zoe might initially seem like the best budget-friendly choice available.
However, Zoe Financial is actually a financial advisor connecting service; they don’t provide financial advice themselves. Instead, Zoe connects you with independent fiduciaries who work on a commission-free basis.
As a result, you can always trust their financial planning services without having to worry about them trying to upsell you. Those services include retirement planning, portfolio creation and management, and more.
- Connects you to a variety of worthwhile financial advisors
- Since there are so many advisors available, you can find practically any planning service you need
- No fees for this service while you locate an advisor
- Can’t know how much you’ll pay overall
Zoe Financial may be the best choice if you’ve been burned by a big financial planning service in the past and want to make sure you get your money’s worth this time.
Keep in mind that how much you’ll actually pay is heavily dependent on the fees your connected financial advisor may charge.
This can make it difficult for you to predict the cost of financial planning in the long term.
>> More: Zoe Financial Review
#3. Vanguard Personal Advisor Services
- Account Minimum: $50,000
- Fees: 0.3% management fee
What Does Vanguard Personal Advisor Services Offer?
Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services offer various investment and financial advice options for wealthy investors who can meet the admittedly high account minimum.
It’s a robo-advisor service through and through, although human advisors are always available; in this way, you can combine the reliability and accessibility of automated, algorithmic investing with the unique and potentially improved results you can get from a human touch.
- Has a good range of investments available
- Provides access to human advisors
- Has a low management fee
- Offers comprehensive portfolio management
- Robo-advisors provide consistent portfolio performance
- No tax-loss hosting available
- The website is not very user-friendly compared to competitors
Vanguard offers excellent account and portfolio management for relatively low fees, though the high barrier to entry will prevent many people from taking advantage of its benefits.
Regardless, this financial advisor service provides an excellent investment selection, though keep in mind that the website isn’t very user-friendly.
>> More: Vanguard Review
#4. Harness Wealth
- Account Minimum: $250,000
- Fees: 1% of portfolio value per year
What Financial Services Does Harness Wealth Offer?
Harness Wealth, like Zoe Financial, isn’t a financial advisory firm itself. Instead, it will connect you to clients from very well-reviewed and high reputation financial advising firms.
Note that the advisors it connects you to will usually charge high fees and high account minimums. That being said, the services you’ll gain access to include investment management, tax, and estate planning, retirement planning, and much more.
- Connects you to well-qualified and well-reviewed financial planners
- Gain access to tons of financial planning services
- Very easy to get started
- No fee for simply using the platform to find an advisor
- Most advisors on the platform offer complimentary consultations
- Very high account minimum
- Most firms you’ll be connected to have high fees
Harness Wealth may be a particularly good choice if you are looking for a dedicated financial planner you can rely on for years to come.
Just be prepared to interview or vet multiple planners in rapid succession before finding the perfect person or firm for your needs.
>> More: Harness Wealth Review
#5. Betterment Premium
- Account Minimum: $100,000
- Fees: 0.4% management fee
What Financial Services Does Betterment Premium Offer?
Betterment Premium is necessarily a financial planning service for wealthier individuals with plenty of money to invest in their portfolios.
If you can meet the high barrier to entry, you’ll gain access to a wide range of financial advisors and planning services, including retirement planning, wealth transferring after death and estate management, and much more.
- Each account holder gets access to unlimited CFPs
- Low management fees
- Tons of great retirement planning and savings tools
- High account minimum
- No dedicated advisor assigned to you
- Only phone or email communications
Betterment Premium is certainly worthwhile if you don’t mind financial planning from a distance. The lack of in-person meetings is somewhat strange, giving the high account minimum.
Still, you can’t do much better when it comes to retirement planning or making the most of a high-wealth portfolio; you’ll be able to take advantage of the experience and expertise of dozens of CFPs with proven track records.
>> More: Betterment Premium Review
#6. Personal Capital
- Account Minimum: $100,000
- Fees: 0.49% to 0.89% management fee
What Financial Services Does Personal Capital Offer?
Personal Capital is a blend of a human and robo-advisor service. As a hybrid service, it leverages automated algorithms and also assigns you a dedicated financial advisor.
As a result, you’ll gain access to tons of financial planning services, including portfolio management and creation, retirement investments, savings goal planning and execution, and more.
- Has tons of individual securities available for investing
- Advanced tax optimization strategies
- Provides you with the reliability of automated algorithms and a dedicated financial advisor
- Good suite of comprehensive investment management tools available
- High management fee compared to others
- The relatively high account minimum
Personal Capital blends many of the strengths of robo-advisor and human advisors into a single service.
It’ll be a good choice for those with middling wealth and who don’t mind a high management fee for the potential to outplay the market or those who want a dedicated financial advisor assigned to their portfolio for long-term collaboration and planning benefits.
>> More: Personal Capital Review
What Does a Financial Advisor Do?
In a nutshell, a financial advisor helps individuals decide what they should do with their hard-earned money.
In most cases, financial advisors are sought out so their clients can make good investment or retirement decisions.
Financial advisors can also:
- Plan and execute stock market trades on behalf of clients
- Plan for long-term investment returns or savings goals
- Check with their clients regularly to update them on their portfolio progress and savings goals
- Construct personalized financial plans for their clients
- And more
In short, if you don’t have a lot of experience handling money, trading on the stock market, or making wise investments, a financial advisor could be perfect for you!
How Much Money Do You Need to Hire a Financial Advisor?
As seen above, most of the financial advisory services have “account minimums.” These are recommended, or required minimum investment amounts you must have to take advantage of their services.
Most financial advisors will require at least several thousand dollars in funds. Then, they can take those funds and make investments on your behalf, put the funds into an individual retirement account, Roth IRA, traditional ira, or similar retirement account, or otherwise start saving after drawing up a detailed financial plan.
Generally speaking, you need a good chunk of money to make hiring a financial advisor worthwhile. If you only have a few hundred dollars in your bank account, save up for a while before hiring one.
Is it Worth Having a Financial Advisor?
Yes, absolutely… provided you don’t have a lot of investment experience or don’t have the financial knowledge necessary to make wise market trades.
Financial advisors can fill in the skill and educational gaps you might have when it comes to financial literacy.
Furthermore, financial advisors can be valuable if you don’t have a lot of time to construct and monitor a detailed investment portfolio given your other responsibilities, like your family or career.
That being said, financial advisors are never necessary. But they are especially wise if you have a lot of money (such as hundreds of thousands of dollars) you want to invest smartly for maximum returns and to guarantee the safety of your wealth.
How to Compare the Best Financial Advisors
As demonstrated by the breakdown above, there are tons of different financial advisors to consider.
These main factors will help you compare and choose between the best financial advisors to find the service ideal for your needs.
#1. Compare Fees
Firstly, consider the fees that a financial advisor service may charge. Some financial advisors charge annual fees, fees on a per-trade basis, or something else.
The lower the fees incurred, the more money you’ll save. But keep in mind that some pricier services offer extra features or better returns in exchange for their higher cost.
#2. Review Industry Reputation
Next, always consider the industry reputation that a financial advisor has before signing up with their firm.
The best financial advisory services will have excellent industry reputations for long-term returns and excellent portfolio performance.
#3. Create Goals and Set Expectations
The best financial advisory service will allow you to create financial goals and set reasonable expectations.
If a financial advisor promises to be able to double your wealth in six months, look elsewhere. Reasonable expectations are key; even the best financial advisors are only able to occasionally outperform the market. Try not to be drawn in by wild promises or speculation.
#4. Ask Current Customers About Their Experience
If you still aren’t sure whether a given financial advisor service is worthwhile, ask their current customers about their experiences.
They may be able to give you some insight into how they are treated, what features, or fees are included, and more.
#5. Interview Multiple Financial Advisors
It’s also a wise idea to interview multiple financial advisors at the same time. Let them compete against each other to offer you the best rates, the best portfolio plans, and so on. You aren’t stuck with any of them until you sign on the dotted line.
#6. Choose a Financial Advisor You Can Trust
Above all else, make sure that you choose a financial advisor you feel you can trust. After all, the advisor will be taking control of a good chunk of your wealth; you need to be able to trust their decisions and insights, even if your portfolio takes a momentary dip.
Should I Choose a Robo-Advisor or an Online Financial Planning Service?
Online financial planning services rely on human insights and experience, so they can outperform the market and construct more unique portfolios better tailored to your specific needs or financial goals.
Robo-advisors, on the other hand, are more rigid and rely on moneymaking or stock trading algorithms. Although they don’t usually outperform the market, they can be affordable and stable ways to grow your wealth by investing in exchange-traded funds and similar instruments over time.
If you have a lot of wealth and want to make sure that it is kept safe and grows reliably, an online financial planning service is probably a better idea. If you don’t have a lot of wealth to trade with or save, a robo-advisor is good enough for most people.
>> More: Best Robo-Advisors
Is it Safe to Use a Financial Advisor?
All legitimate financial advisors and firms must be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC.
This means they’ve already been investigated before receiving their license and are legally allowed to trade or handle the portfolios of the people in the US.
Furthermore, licensed financial advisors are insured. If something illegal ever happens to cause you to lose your money, your portfolio will be insured either partly or fully.
What Licenses Should I look for When Choosing a Financial Advisor?
Aside from the above-mentioned SEC license, you should also look for a CFP or CFA when choosing a financial advisor.
A CFP rating means the financial advisor is a Certified Financial Planner, indicating that they have extra education and experience and are well-equipped to maximize the performance of your portfolio over time. Moreover, a Chartered Financial Analysts specializes in portfolio and asset management.
Online Financial Planning vs. In-Person Financial Planning
Online financial planning is convenient but has several limitations. For example, many of the best financial advisors won’t meet with clients over the phone or online, requiring in-person visits.
So, if you are determined to use online financial planning, you may also be stuck with robo-advisors – they are very common nowadays. In-person financial planning has several benefits. For one, you can meet in person with your financial planner and get a greater grasp of their personality and risk levels.
Furthermore, in-person meetings allow you to customize your portfolio and financial strategy with more detail than otherwise.
Still, online financial planning can work. Just be aware that its limitations mean that you might not have as much control over who handles your portfolio and may need to rely on automated algorithms some of the time.
Bottom Line: Best Financial Advisors
Overall, the best financial advisor for you is dependent on your budget, your financial goals, and what exactly you’re looking for in a financial advisory service. Our advice?
Check out each of the above financial advisors in more detail, then interview at least three of them before making your final decision.
This way, you’ll be able to rest assured that you’ve chosen the best financial advisor for your unique needs out of the bunch. Good luck!
To select the best financial advisors and online financial planning services, we reviewed over 20+ services. Our evaluation included reviewing the credentials, reputation, account fees and minimums, availability, security, online experience, financial planning services offered, expense ratios, and transparency. Analysts value firms and advisors that are affordable, reputable, transparent, and implement security safeguards to protect private client information. Read our strict editorial guidelines and rating methodology for financial advisors to learn more about the integrity and accuracy of our reviews.