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If you search “financial advisors near me,” you’ll likely 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 meets your financial planning needs and that it has expertise in the areas where you need help. You’ll also want to double-check its credentials and confirm you understand its pay structure.
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 who meets your needs.
Find financial advisors near you
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 the services to be part of their network, and the services vet 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 two of the best financial advisor matching services. Both have wide networks of financial advisors 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; higher asset balances typically net fees at the lower end of that range. Some advisors charge flat fees instead.
Zoe may be a good choice for lower-net-worth clients, because there is no account minimum to find an advisor. Some of the advisors in the network require account minimums of $250,000 to $500,000, but many have no minimum, and you will not be matched with an advisor if you don’t qualify for their services.
» Learn more about Zoe Financial
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 1% of assets under management. Flat fee structures are also available for some services. Harness Wealth’s $250,000 minimum may be steep for some investors, but the advisors on Harness' platform do offer holistic and comprehensive financial planning.
» Learn more about Harness Wealth
Virtual financial advisors
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, homebuying and estate planning in addition to investment management. Some advisors include tax help and preparation services.
» Ready to go remote? Check out the best financial advisors
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 CPA for tax preparation, 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. Here are 10 questions to ask a financial advisor.
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