Facet Review 2023: Pros, Cons and How It Compares
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Reviewed in: Oct. 2022
Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2022
The bottom line:
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Pros & Cons
Free initial consultation.
Comprehensive, full-service financial planning.
Meetings are held virtually, via phone or video call.
No additional fee for investment management.
Fee-only advice from a designated fiduciary CFP.
Wide fee range makes it difficult for potential customers to estimate costs.
No in-person meeting option.
Compare to Similar Brokers
$2,000 and up
per year (free initial consultation)
Up to 1%
Get $250 reward
into Facet brokerage account for new members who transfers at least $5,000 within the first 90 days of their Facet membership.*
no promotion available at this time
one year of financial or tax planning
Paid non-client promotion
Paid non-client promotion
Paid non-client promotion
NerdWallet doesn’t invest its money with this provider, but they are our referral partner – so we get paid only if you click through and take a qualifying action (such as open an account with or provide your contact information to the provider). Most importantly, our reviews and ratings are objective and are never impacted by our partnerships. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here’s how we make money.
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Where Facet shines
Fees are based on service required: Facet's pricing model helps you pay for what you need, when you need it. Clients who need more basic help can get assistance with benefit elections, budgeting, or debt planning. Clients with more complex financial situations may need advice on starting a family, saving for an education, planning for stock compensation or starting a business. The fee you pay is based on the level of service required and the complexity of your financial situation.
Free consultation: Facet offers free initial consultations and meetings are held virtually, via phone or video call.
Where Facet falls short
Range of fees: Facet’s wide fee range can make it difficult for potential customers to identify costs.
Online only: There are no in-person meeting options.
Facet is best for:
People juggling multiple financial goals.
Investors who want to avoid AUM fees.
Financial guidance for life transitions.
Facet at a glance
Reviewed: Oct. 2022
Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2022
Account management, planning or subscription fee
$2,000 - $8,000 annually based on the complexity of the plan.
Setup or onboarding fee
Quarterly memberships include an additional one-time $250 fee. Fee is waived for annual memberships.
Advisor access and credentials
All advisors are certified financial planners and fiduciaries. Appointments can be scheduled outside of normal working hours at the client’s convenience. Clients typically receive a minimum of four advisor-scheduled planning meetings annually.
Financial planning services
Can advise on the majority of situations covered by full-service financial planning firms.
Not all services available at the lowest price.
Investment expense ratios
Facet covers the following asset classes with portfolios built from low-cost ETFs:
Facet manages existing accounts at Fidelity, Apex, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab. New accounts will be opened with Apex and Fidelity.
Investment account recommendations provided for workplace retirement plans and stock option plans.
Tax-loss harvesting on all taxable accounts. Fee is included in flat and fixed pricing.
Customer support options (includes how easy it is to find key details on the website)
Email support daily from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Eastern. Phone and video support can be scheduled at the client's convenience.
More details about Facet's ratings
Account minimum: 5 out of 5 stars
Facet has a $0 minimum, which is impressive: Other online financial advisors often have minimums between $25,000 and $100,000, and many traditional in-person financial advisors require $250,000 or more.
Account management, planning or subscription fee: 2 out of 5 stars
Facet uses a “pay for what you use” pricing model based on the complexity of advice a client requires. Fees range from $2,000 to $8,000 a year depending on how complex your financial needs are.
Potential customers must have a brief meeting with a Facet advisor for an estimate of the financial planning rate they'll pay. The meeting is free, which provides a low-stress "get to know each other" chat. An initial consultation is a good idea before hiring any financial advisor, but does mean you at least have to commit to a phone call before you know exactly what you’ll be paying.
To compare the cost of Facet with similar services and traditional financial advisors, it helps to translate Facet’s flat fee into a percentage of assets under management based on how much you plan to invest with the service. For example, Facet's $2,000 base annual fee would translate to 2% per year on a $100,000 portfolio.
Similar options for online financial planning and portfolio management include:
Empower is a combination portfolio management and financial planning service that gives clients access to a team of advisors. It charges a 0.89% management fee on the first $1 million invested. The minimum balance requirement is $100,000.
Betterment Premium offers unlimited phone access to a team of certified financial planners and portfolio management and other financial planning help, including estate planning, for 0.40% annually. Betterment Premium also has a $100,000 minimum.
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium has a $25,000 account minimum and provides unlimited access to a CFP, a financial plan and portfolio management for $30 a month, plus a one-time planning fee of $300.
Keep in mind that with Empower (formerly Personal Capital) and Betterment Premium, you’ll pay more as your portfolio balance increases. That makes the flat-fee pricing at Facet and Schwab particularly attractive at higher balances.
Depending on your balance, Facet's fee may be comparable to what some traditional brick-and-mortar financial planners charge (see our breakdown of financial planning fees). Those with complex financial situations may choose to go that route instead, especially if meeting with a financial planner in person is preferred.
» Want to compare options? See our full roundup of the best financial advisors
On the other end of the spectrum, if all you need is portfolio management and you don’t want planning guidance, robo-advisors like Wealthfront and SoFi Automated Investing are less expensive options, especially at lower balances.
Setup or onboarding fee: 4 out of 5 stars
Facet charges its quarterly members a one-time $250 fee. If you have an annual membership, that fee is waived.
Advisor access and credentials: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Like the traditional financial-planning relationship, customers work one-on-one with a dedicated CFP. In addition to being full-time Facet employees, all of Facet’s CFPs are fiduciaries, which means they are required to make recommendations that place the client’s interests above the firm’s. The CFP hashes out the client’s needs, establishes goals, develops a financial plan with action items and conducts regular plan reviews. In between formal check-ins, the advisor is available to answer questions and make plan modifications. The major difference between working with a Facet advisor and working with a traditional firm is that all meetings are done remotely (via video or phone), and the plan is assembled, tracked and managed online.
The first 90 days you work with your advisor tend to involve more frequent communication, as this is when your planner gains an in-depth understanding of your financial situation and goals. For most clients, this process begins with a robust analysis of your cash flow and budget. Following the initial 90 days, most clients will have video conference check-ins at least quarterly. Facet's planners and extended team are available for questions in between meetings as well.
Financial planning services: 5 out of 5 stars
Facet’s bespoke approach to financial planning allows it to serve as a resource for nearly any financial decision you face, from employee benefits and the tax impact of stock option plans to retirement investments and evaluating insurance needs.
Your financial plan lives on Facet’s web portal, which is an aggregation tool to track your assets, liabilities and action items, as well as a place to upload important documents like beneficiary paperwork. Facet tracks progress toward achieving goals. And whenever you update information on Facet’s portal, your advisor is notified and ensures the financial plan reflects any changes.
Investment expense ratios: 5 out of 5 stars
An expense ratio is an annual fee charged by mutual funds, index funds and exchange-traded funds, as a percentage of your investment in the fund. If you invest in a mutual fund with a 1% expense ratio for example, you’ll pay the fund $10 per year for every $1,000 invested. If high, these fees can significantly drag down your portfolio returns. The expense ratios you’ll have to pay with Facet average around 0.08%, which is quite low.
Portfolio construction: 3 out of 5 stars
Like robo-advisors, the mix of investments in client portfolios is based on the customer’s timeline and risk tolerance. But while robo-advisors automate portfolio management and draw from pre-built portfolios, Facet advisors tailor your investment strategy to meet your needs.
Facet’s investment committee meets quarterly to review investment models. Portfolios are built from a select list of low-cost ETFs with a focus on minimizing fees and maximizing diversification (providing exposure to different types of asset classes to balance potential risks and rewards).
Brokerage options: 4 out of 5 stars
Facet manages existing accounts held at Fidelity, Apex, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab. If you're not currently a customer at one of those brokerages, you’ll have to move your assets, which can be inconvenient and may invoke fees from your existing brokerage account. New accounts will be opened with Fidelity or Apex.
Accounts supported: 5 out of 5 stars
Facet directly manages non-retirement brokerage accounts, Roth, traditional, SEP, rollover and SIMPLE IRAs, solo 401(k)s and trusts.
Facet provides specific investment recommendations on accounts it doesn’t manage directly, such as 401(k)s and other workplace retirement plans and stock option plans.
Tax strategy: 4 out of 5 stars
Facet provides tax guidance for all aspects of your financial plan and works with outside tax professionals to ensure you get the best advice for your situation. Facet CFPs do not provide tax preparation services, but you can get tax preparation as an additional service.
Customer support options: 4 out of 5 stars
Facet offers email support daily from 8:00 am - 9:00 pm Eastern. Clients can also schedule phone and video support.
Is Facet right for you?
Facet offers close to what you would get from a traditional brick-and-mortar wealth management firm. Every client works with a dedicated Facet CFP — the main difference is that Facet delivers financial plans and advice virtually. Facet is well-suited to help clients navigate complex financial issues.
Facet’s “pay for what you use” fee scale means you’ll pay less in years where your planning needs are minimal, and more when you face additional complexity (getting married, a job change, transitioning into retirement). The setup is particularly attractive if you have a large investment portfolio and fairly simple financial-planning needs. In those cases, you’ll pay less out of pocket for comprehensive financial planning and portfolio management at Facet than you would at a traditional financial planning firm that charges a percentage of assets under management.
On the other hand, it isn’t a good choice if you’re seeking only portfolio management, which you could get from a robo-advisor for much less.
» See our picks for the best robo-advisors
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