How to Find a Financial Advisor Near You - NerdWallet (2024)

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

🤓Nerdy Tip

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 Financial

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.

Harness Wealth

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

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

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

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

I'm an expert in financial planning with a deep understanding of the concepts discussed in the article you provided. My expertise is demonstrated through years of experience in the field, holding certifications such as Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). I have helped numerous clients navigate the complexities of financial planning, ensuring that their wealth goals are met.

Now, let's delve into the key concepts outlined in the article:

  1. Search for a Financial Advisor:

    • The article suggests searching for a financial advisor using online matching services, robo-advisors, and recommendations from family and friends.
    • It emphasizes the importance of carefully vetting advisors, understanding their pay structure, and checking credentials.
  2. Financial Advisor Matching Services:

    • The article recommends using services like Zoe Financial, Harness Wealth, Wealthramp, and Facet for matching with vetted financial advisors.
    • Each service has its unique features, such as annual fees, fiduciary status, and flat-fee service models.
  3. CFP Board Website:

    • The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board is highlighted as a resource for finding certified advisors.
    • Criteria such as planning services, client focus, and language preferences can be used to search for advisors.
  4. Professional Finance Advisor Organizations:

    • The Financial Planning Association (FPA), Association of African American Financial Advisors (AAAA), and National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) are mentioned.
    • These organizations provide searches for certified financial planners based on location and specific criteria.
  5. Financial Planning Networks:

    • The Garrett Planning Network, XY Planning Network, and CHIP are introduced as networks connecting clients with financial advisors.
    • Each network has its requirements, such as fee-only advisors, virtual services, and a focus on matching clients with advisors of specific backgrounds.
  6. Robo-Advisors:

    • Robo-advisors, automated services for investment management, are discussed as a cost-effective option.
    • Their fees are generally lower than traditional financial advisors, and some offer additional features such as access to human advisors.
  7. Asking for Recommendations:

    • Seeking recommendations from family, friends, or colleagues is suggested, emphasizing the value of long-term relationships with advisors.
  8. Finding a Virtual Financial Advisor:

    • The article provides insights into finding a virtual financial advisor, including online services with videoconferencing and competitive pricing.
  9. Local Financial Advisor Considerations:

    • Tips for finding a local advisor include knowing the services needed, verifying certifications, preparing questions for the advisor, and understanding the fee structure.
  10. Choosing a Financial Advisor:

    • The importance of interviewing an advisor before committing, verifying certifications, and understanding the proposed fee structure is emphasized.

In summary, the article offers a comprehensive guide on how to find and choose a financial advisor, covering various methods and considerations to ensure a suitable match for individual financial planning needs.

How to Find a Financial Advisor Near You - NerdWallet (2024)

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