Reviewed in: Oct. 2022
Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2022
The bottom line:
Pros & Cons
Reduces uncertainty when selecting a financial advisor.
Access to a range of services, including investment management and financial, tax and estate planning.
Easy to get started.
Advisors offer complimentary consultations.
No fee for using Harness Wealth to find an advisor.
The firms Harness works with may have higher fees.
Firms require $250,000 asset minimum for investment management. (No minimum for a one-time financial plan.)
Compare to Other Advisors
Up to 1%
Varies by Advisor (free initial consultation)
$2,400 and up
per year (free initial consultation)
one year of financial or tax planning
3-Month Satisfaction Guarantee
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
on Zoe Financial's website
on Facet's website
on Vanguard's website
Paid non-client promotion
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Where Harness Wealth shines
Free consultations: Harness advisors offer complimentary consultations so you can get to know a potential firm before committing to them.
Makes finding an advisor easy: Harness Wealth’s combination of a proprietary search algorithm and dedicated concierge takes a lot of the uncertainty out of the process of finding a financial advisor.
Free service: There is no fee for using Harness Wealth to find an advisor.
Where Harness Wealth falls short
High fee: While 1% may be standard for a traditional financial advisor, there are online options that offer similar services for less.
High minimum: Harness has a $250,000 asset minimum for investment management. (No minimum for one-time financial planning or tax help.)
Harness Wealth is best for
Individuals with complex financial situations.
Those unsure how to find or vet a financial advisor.
Integrated help for complex tax situations.
Harness Wealth at a glance
Reviewed: Oct. 2022
Period considered: Aug. - Oct. 2022
$250,000 for investment management. No minimum for 1:1, hour-long financial planning sessions or tax help.
Some firms on the Harness platform also offer flat-fee financial planning starting at $2,000 for a comprehensive plan.
Account management, planning or subscription fee
Setup or onboarding fee
Advisor access and credentials
To be eligible to work with Harness, firms’ advisors must have or be working toward any of the following industry-specific designations: CFP, CFA, CIMA, JD, CPA.
Clients typically work with a team of advisors (but speak with a single point of contact) with expertise across financial, tax, trust and estate. The frequency of meetings can be personalized to client preference (monthly, quarterly, annual) and based on the recommendation of the advisor as to what's needed.
Advisor firms set their own hours but are generally flexible and offer weekend access when necessary. All firms must offer phone, email, chat, videoconferencing and in-person meetings.
Financial planning services
The full range of financial planning services is available through both firms that offer ongoing advisory relationships and those offering one-time, stand-alone financial plans.
Investment expense ratios
Not rated. Investments used and portfolio costs vary by firm.
Highly tailored to meet the needs of each client.
Firms must custody with Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Bank of New York Mellon, Raymond James, or Pershing. Clients do not have to transfer assets if they’re only receiving financial planning services.
Firms can directly manage:
Harness offers free online tools to support financial and tax planning.
Wealth management firms on the Harness platform incorporate several tax efficiency strategies into their investment management services including tax-efficient investments as part of asset allocation, tax-deferred accounts for high yield investments, tax-efficient managers, tax loss harvesting, minimizing holdings turn over and integration with charitable giving plans.
Harness Tax and other tax advisory firms on the Harness platform also offer strategic tax planning services with a focus on private company equity and crypto assets.
Customer support options (includes how easy it is to find key details on the website)
Phone, chat, video call and email support Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern.
More details about Harness Wealth's ratings
Account minimum: 2 out of 5 stars
Harness has a $250,000 minimum for ongoing investment management through one of the advisory firms in its network. Some firms on the Harness platform also offer flat-fee financial planning starting at $2,000 for a comprehensive plan.
There is no minimum to use Harness’s free tax and financial planning tools or for one-on-one, hour-long financial planning or tax planning sessions.
If you’re looking for a traditional human advisor, that minimum is pretty typical. If you only want investment management and your portfolio is relatively straightforward, a robo-advisor may be a better option. Robo-advisors offer automated portfolio management, so they charge lower fees than human advisors and require lower minimum investments.
» See our picks for the best robo-advisors
Account management, planning or subscription fee: 2 out of 5 stars
The matching services offered by Harness Wealth are free.
For ongoing financial services like investment management, fees vary by advisor, but typically are 1% or less for the first $1 million of investable assets. Fees typically fall at higher asset balances.
» Looking for a lower fee? See our full roundup of the best financial advisors
Individuals who don’t meet the minimum investable assets threshold can still benefit from Harness Wealth’s services. For a one-time fee between $2,000 and $10,000, clients receive a detailed financial plan from a certified financial planner that will help them manage expensive purchases and plan for long-term goals. For $250, clients can meet with an accountant to plan for cryptocurrency or other complex tax issues.
Setup or onboarding fee: 5 out of 5 stars
Harness charges no initial setup or onboarding fees.
Advisor access and credentials: 5 out of 5 stars
The advisory firms on the Harness Wealth platform are tailored to your profile, but before they are ever presented to you, these firms pass an extensive evaluation process. To be considered for a Harness referral, financial advisory firms must be registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and act as fiduciaries, meaning the client’s best interest must always come first.
Firms must be fee-only, and any firm that charges fees above 1.5% of assets under management must at least include tax, estate planning and family office services with its offering. Moreover, firms must have up-to-date technology, defined cybersecurity policies and no significant data breaches in the last five years.
Once you match with one of Harness’s advisory firms, you and your advisor can connect on your schedule, over the phone, over video or in-person if you opt for a local advisor. Advisor firms set their own hours but are generally flexible and offer weekend access when necessary.
Financial planning services: 5 out of 5 stars
A Harness advisor can help you with anything a traditional firm could, including retirement planning, starting a business, getting married, having a child, managing company equity and crypto assets.
And while this review focuses mainly on Harness Wealth’s financial advisory firms, the company also offers its service for tax and estate-planning firms. This means clients can build and manage an entire wealth management team through a single portal. The team will work together through Harness Wealth to maximize a client’s financial situation, no matter how complex.
That said, clients can also opt to use Harness to find only the expert advisor they need, whether that’s for financial, tax or estate planning (though each firm will come with its own fee structure).
Harness also offers free tax and financial planning tools that can help you see all your financial accounts as well as real estate, equity and crypto investments in one place.
Investment expense ratios: Not rated
Because Harness partners with a large number of firms across the country, and those firms vary in terms of their investment expense ratios, we have not rated Harness on these fees.
If you’re interested in using Harness to match with an advisor, be sure to ask any potential advisors about their average expense ratios before agreeing to work with them.
Portfolio construction: 5 out of 5 stars
As for the investment portfolios built by the firms, you’ll find just about anything you’re looking for, from straightforward long-term investment options to strategies specific to unique situations. Some of the speciality strategies used at some of Harness’s partner firms include:
Staggered exercise and sell schedules for stock options based on IPO or SPAC dates.
ESG (environment, social, and governance) portfolios.
Portfolios specific to those who work in the technology industry.
Cryptocurrency investment management and tax planning.
Bond program that invests in high-quality individual bonds.
Private placements and alternative investments (for qualified individuals).
Brokerage options: 4 out 5 stars
Harness firms must hold their assets at Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, Bank of New York Mellon, Raymond James or Pershing. Clients do not have to transfer assets if they’re only receiving financial planning services, but they do if they are receiving investment management.
Accounts supported: 5 out of 5 stars
Harness firms can directly manage pretty much any type of account, from IRAs and 401(k)s to digital assets such as cryptocurrency and NFTs to business accounts and nonprofit endowments. Many of the financial advisors we review cannot directly manage this many different types of accounts.
Tax strategy: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Harness Tax integrates your tax strategy into your financial plan and lets you communicate with your CPA and manage your tax documents online. Some tax specialists can also help you with topics like crypto, so you can explore your options while understanding their potential tax implications.
Clients begin by registering for an account on Harness Wealth and completing a brief quiz. Based on their responses, they can receive recommendations for financial or tax advisors that best suit their needs and preferences.
Harness Tax offers several pricing structures, which we detail in the table below. The first tier is a virtual one-hour equity tax planning session, ideal for early employees, those evaluating equity grants as part of job offers, and those planning for a liquidity event. The second is annual tax preparation and filing, and tax planning. This may be useful to people with more complex tax situations, crypto owners and small-business owners. The third tier is comprehensive tax planning. This may be suitable for those who want longer-term tax planning.
What you get
One-hour equity tax planning session
Expert review of your equity and tax documents, answers to your equity questions and projections of potential equity decisions, such as the tax implications of exercising or selling your company stock.
Tax preparation and filing
Starts at $1,000
Annual tax filing with a CPA. You can work with a CPA with expertise in niche tax fields, such as equity compensation, crypto taxes, small businesses, and residential rental real estate.
Starts at $250 per hour
Ongoing tax guidance from an accountant on tax-related issues, including your income, investments, deductions, major purchases, relocations, estate and gifts. Insights into the industry and state-specific tax issues that affect you, and quarterly estimated tax payments.
Customer support options: 3.5 out of 5 stars
When you get started with Harness, you’ll be assisted by an online concierge who can help you through the entire process and answer any questions you have.
You can contact Harness Wealth’s customer service team by phone, chat, video call and email support Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern time.
Is Harness Wealth right for you?
Harness Wealth is an appealing option for individuals who have already established some level of wealth and have so far managed it on their own but are now looking for more tailored wealth management. The service would also be beneficial to anyone whose financial situation has grown so complex and sophisticated it requires unique expertise. Often, this may come in the form of an inheritance, marriage, divorce or other milestone event.
To vet on your own as many financial advisory firms as Harness does — and then on top of that, find one that fits your specific needs — would require a significant time investment. Harness Wealth does the work for you for no fee, and fees of the partner firms are on par with traditional financial advisors. Harness’s $250,000 minimum is pretty typical for traditional investment management and financial planning.
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We collect data directly from providers through detailed questionnaires, and conduct first-hand testing and observation through provider demonstrations. The questionnaire answers, combined with demonstrations, interviews of personnel at the providers and our specialists’ hands-on research, fuel our proprietary assessment process that scores each provider’s performance across 14 factors. The final output produces star ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars).
For more details about the categories considered when rating brokers and our process, read our full methodology.