Best Online Financial Advisor

How we picked the companies to evaluate:

NerdWallet reviewed six companies that either provide financial planning services online or connect users with a financial advisor. This category does not cover wealth management services offered by brokerages or banks. It does include several robo-advisors that offer clients access to human advisors as a premium upgrade. Some of the providers are NerdWallet partners, but this did not influence our selection of the winner.

How we chose the winner:

NerdWallet evaluated each provider across the weighted criteria below to determine the winner for online financial advisor:
  • Advisor access and credentials, including meeting frequency and contact methods (29.5%).
  • Financial planning capabilities (14.25%).
  • Account management fees (14.25%).
  • Low or no setup or onboarding fees (7%).
  • Portfolio construction, including investment selection and customization capabilities (7%).
  • Expense ratios on available investments (7%).
  • Types of accounts managed (7%).
  • Account minimum (3.5%).
  • Tax strategy, such as tax-loss harvesting, asset location guidance or direct indexing (3.5%).
  • Customer service, including hours of availability and website transparency (3.5%).
  • Brokerage options (where accounts are held and whether customers have to move funds to a new custodian to receive management) (1.75%).
  • Other account fees (1.75%).

How we verified our data:

NerdWallet writers sent detailed questions to all reviewed companies. NerdWallet writers and editors also confirmed fees, rates, policies and other key features on each company's website.