Best Financial Advisors [2024]: Grow Your Money

INVESTING - ROBO-ADVISORS
Navigating your investments is easier with a financial advisor by your side. Here are our picks for six of the best financial advisors.
Updated March 22, 2024
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Financial advisors help you with investing money and managing your assets so you can achieve your financial goals. These range from robo-advisors that help you manage your money yourself to in-person financial advisors.

Our top recommendations are Vanguard, Empower, and Charles Schwab because they offer a range of investment options.

Let’s look at our picks for six of the best financial advisors available and who they may best serve.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • Our top recommendations Vanguard, Empower, and Charles Schwab due to the range of options they offer for investors.
  • We think Stash is a good starting point for novice investors.
  • Financial advisors can be commission based or fee only.
  • Fee-only advisors may charge an hourly fee, a flat rate, or a percentage of a client’s assets under management.
  • Fiduciary financial advisors are required by law to work in a client’s best interest.

6 of the best financial advisors

Best financial advisors comparison

Best for… Account minimum Fees
J.P. Morgan Chase bank customers $25,000 0.4% to 0.6% annual fee
Stash Beginner investors $1 $3 or $9 monthly subscription
Empower Tax-loss harvesting $100,000 0.49% to 0.89% annual fee
Vanguard Investor-owned funds $3,000 to $5 million, depending on which advisory level 0.20% to 0.40% in annual advisory fees

$15 to $30 per $10,000 invested annual fee
Charles Schwab Commission-free trading $0 None for stock and ETF trading and no opening or maintenance fees
Facet Flat-fee advisor $0 $2,400 to $8,000 per year flat fee

J.P. Morgan

Pros
  • Financial advisors are fiduciaries
  • The minimum required to open an account is on the low end
  • Provides an online investing option that is good for beginners
  • Connects with a Chase banking accounts
Cons
  • Doesn’t offer automatic tax-loss harvesting

J.P. Morgan Chase is one of the largest banks in the country, with about $3.39 trillion in total assets under management. The company offers financial management tools and services for everyone from beginners to high-net-worth investors.1

To start investing with J.P. Morgan Personal Advisors, you’ll need a minimum investment of $25,000. J.P. Morgan charges advisory fees between 0.6% and 0.4%. The higher your account balance, the lower the advisory fee.2

J.P. Morgan advisors act as fiduciaries with your best interest in mind, but you don’t have a dedicated advisor. Instead, you’ll work with a team of advisors. To work with a dedicated advisor, you must be a J.P. Morgan Private Client with a minimum investment of $250,000.

After an initial meeting with a J.P. Morgan advisor, the team will recommend a portfolio that meets your needs and goals. Your portfolio will be automatically rebalanced periodically depending on shifts in the market.

You can open a J.P. Morgan Self-Directed Investing online account if you want more control over your investments. There is no minimum balance to open a Self-Directed Investing account and unlimited $0 commission online trades.3

Minimum Fees
J.P. Morgan Self-Directed $1 $0 online commission

$0.01 to $0.03 fee per $1,000 of principal for sales of U.S. stocks and ETFs
J.P. Morgan Personal Advisors $25,000 0.4% to 0.6% annually

Visit J.P. Morgan Self-Directed | Visit J.P. Morgan Personal Advisors 

Read our J.P. Morgan review

Stash

Pros
  • No management fees or add-on commission fees
  • Earn up to 1% in stock by using the Stock-Back Card
  • Stash memberships include access to life insurance coverage
Cons
  • You must have a monthly subscription, which costs either $3 or $9 per month
  • 1% Stock-Back Card earnings are capped at $1,000 per month; spending above that earns 0.125%
  • No dedicated financial advisors

If you are just beginning to dip your toes into investing, you may want to consider using Stash before you enlist the assistance of a dedicated financial advisor. Stash is one of the best robo-advisors available.

Stash operates under a monthly subscription model. There are no management fees or commissions. Instead, you pay $3 or $9 per month (depending on the plan) to use the platform to start investing.4

For $3 per month, the Stash Growth plan is perfect for first-time investors. Stash will build a Smart Portfolio for you based on your goals and risk level.5 You can invest in stocks and ETFs on your own or let Stash’s automated system do the work.

If you’re a more savvy investor, you may want the Stash+ account, which costs $9 monthly. It has all the same features as the Stash Growth account, but you have access to personalized advice, monthly market insights reports, and other financial tools. Plus, Stash+ members have access to $10,000 in life insurance coverage through Avibra (Stash Growth members have access to $1,000 in life insurance coverage).6

The most unique benefit of Stash is its Stock-Back Card, which is a debit card that earns up to 1% of stock every time you swipe it. You earn 0.125% with the Stash Growth plan and 1% on up to $1,000 in spending per month with the Stash+ plan. Spending above $1,000 earns 0.125%.7 It’s similar to a cash-back card, but instead of earning cash back, you earn shares of stock.89

Minimum Fees
Stash Growth $0 $3 per month
Stash+ $0 $9 per month

Visit Stash | Read our Stash review

Empower

Pros
  • Offers free financial planning tools
  • Provides tax-loss harvesting
  • Clients with portfolios over $250K have access to dedicated fiduciary financial advisors
Cons
  • You must have at least $100K to invest to use portfolio management tools
  • High annual fees between 0.49% and 0.89%

Empower is a fintech company that offers investment, wealth management, and retirement products to people at varying levels of portfolio worth. The company manages about $1.5 trillion in customer assets.

Empower offers free online investment accounts with commission-free trades and no annual or setup fees for the do-it-yourself investor or one who needs minimal access to a financial advisor.

If you have $100K or more in assets, Empower offers three investment solution options that vary based on your amount of assets. These wealth management accounts come with more assistance from financial advisors, but the accounts also have annual fees ranging from 0.49% to 0.89%.

To receive help from dedicated fiduciary financial advisors, you must have at least $250K in assets.

Here are the three Empower wealth management tiers:

Minimum Annual fee
Investment Services —
Financial planning advice from a team of advisors
$100,000 0.89%
Wealth Management — Two dedicated fiduciary financial advisors provide assistance $250,000 0.89%
Private client — Two dedicated fiduciary financial advisors provide assistance $1 million Sliding scale for annual fees from 0.89% for $1 million to 0.49% for clients with over $10 million in assets

Visit Empower | Read our Empower review

Vanguard

Pros
  • Offers four different levels of investment advice services
  • Provides a wide range of investment products, including mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and bonds
  • Investor-owned firm
Cons
  • Account minimums are on the high end for advisory services.

Vanguard is one of the world’s leading investment management firms. Founded in 1975, it now has over $8 trillion in assets under management (AUM).

Vanguard operates under a unique business model where shareholders own the funds that own the company. So, Vanguard is essentially owned by its investors.

This may enable investors to keep more of their returns since they don’t have the high fees usually charged by management companies owned by third parties.

Vanguard offers four different levels of investment advisory services, which vary based on how much guidance you need. The required minimum investment and commission fees also vary depending on the level of advisory needed.

The four Vanguard advisory levels are:

Minimum Annual fee
Digital Advisor (robo-advisor) $3,000 0.20% to 0.25%
Personal Advisor $50,000 0.35% to 0.40%
Personal Advisor Select $500,000 Tiered advisory fee (maximum 0.30%)
Personal Advisor Wealth Management $5 million Tiered advisory fee (maximum 0.30%)

Visit Vanguard

Charles Schwab

Pros
  • Low account minimums
  • No advisory fees or commissions
  • Portfolios automatically rebalance as the market fluctuates
Cons
  • Tax-loss harvesting is only available with assets over $50,000

Charles Schwab offers one of the best brokerage accounts with commission-free trading and no account or trade minimums on most of its offerings. However, if you want the assistance of a robo-advisor, you’ll need to open a Schwab Intelligent Portfolio account, which requires a minimum of $5,000.

For one-on-one guidance with a Certified Financial Planner, you’ll need a Schwab Intelligent Portfolio Premium account, which requires a $25,000 minimum plus a $300 one-time planning fee and a $30 monthly advisory fee.

One drawback to Charles Schwab is that it limits tax-loss harvesting to clients with $50,000 or more in assets in their Schwab Intelligent Portfolio. Tax-loss harvesting is a voluntary feature for eligible clients, so you must request that it be activated on your account.

Tax loss harvesting is beneficial because it enables you to sell underperforming investments at a loss and then deduct that loss from your taxable income.

Charles Schwab has several investment options — here are some of the most popular.

Minimum Fees
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios $5,000 No advisory fee
Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium $25,000 One-time planning fee of $300

$30 per month
Schwab Wealth Advisory $500,000 Starts at 0.80% annually
Schwab Managed Portfolios $25,000 Starts at 0.90% annually

Visit Charles Schwab | Read our Charles Schwab review

Facet

Pros
  • No account minimum is required to get started
  • Flat-fee membership
  • Doesn’t charge commissions
  • Advisors are fiduciaries
Cons
  • No in-person meeting capabilities
  • Not the best option for those with fewer assets
  • Limited to ETF investing

Facet was founded in 2016 by three financial industry veterans who wanted to provide more accessible financial planning services. The company offers a unique flat-fee membership approach to financial planning with no commissions or product sales.

While most financial advisors charge clients a percentage of their AUM, Facet charges a flat fee that generally ranges between $2,400 and $8,000 depending on the services you receive. This can be more advantageous if your net worth is $500,000 or higher, but not if your net worth is around $200,000.

As a Facet member, you are matched with a Certified Financial Planner. Facet’s CFPs are fiduciaries, meaning they are legally bound to work in your best interest, not the interests of the firm they work for. This also means they won’t try to sell you company products you may not need.

Visit Facet | Read our Facet review

How to choose the best financial advisors

Choosing the right financial advisor to guide you through the complexities of the financial markets and help you grow your money is essential. You want to work with an advisor you trust to act in your best interest and not in the interest of themselves or the firm they work for.

While financial advisors offering free services may sound attractive, these advisors typically work on commission, so their incentive may be to sell certain products rather than find what is truly best for your financial goals.

When researching for the best financial advisor for your needs, pay attention to these factors:

  • Are they a fiduciary? A fiduciary is a financial advisor legally obligated to work in your best interest and always put your needs above their own.
  • What is the fee structure? While some financial advisors work on commission, like a salesperson, others are fee-only advisors. Fee-only advisors may charge you an hourly fee, a flat rate, or a percentage of your assets under management. Again, you may be inclined to use a commission-based advisor because they offer free services, but your money will be better managed with a fee-only advisor who is paid to act with your interests in mind.
  • What is the account minimum? Some financial advisors work only with high-net-worth individuals who have assets over $500,000. Make sure that you have the necessary assets to meet the required account minimums, if there are any.
  • What is the investing strategy? Consider what products the financial advisor offers and what they invest in. Do they focus on investing in ETFs, like Facet, or offer a host of investment products, like Charles Schwab?
  • Are they robo-advisors or dedicated financial advisors? Many investing companies offer robo-advisor platforms that can build a portfolio for you based on your goals and risk level. Using a robo-advisor can save you money on fees, but you won’t get the one-on-one personal service you’d get with a dedicated human financial advisor. The more assets you have, the more important it is for you to have a dedicated advisor.

FAQs about the best financial advisors

Who is the best financial advisor to go with?

The best financial advisor depends on several factors, such as how much you want to be involved in planning and how much you have to invest. You should also consider what investment products a financial advisor offers and how often they rebalance your portfolio.

The best financial advisors are fiduciaries because they are legally bound to work in your best interest.

Is it worth paying for a financial advisor?

Yes, it may be worth paying for a financial advisor to ensure they have your best interest in mind. Many times, free services are offered by commission-based advisors who may be more like salespeople. Their job focuses on selling products, so they may encourage you to buy investment products you don’t need.

Where is the best place to look for a financial advisor?

When looking for a financial advisor, you can ask for recommendations from your friends and family. However, several websites provide free online tools to find reputable, fee-only, fiduciary financial planners, including:

Best financial advisors: bottom line

When searching for the best financial advisor for your needs, you should consider their required account minimums, fees, and investment strategy. If you’re new to investing, a robo-advisor like Stash may be a good option to help you get started. But if you have a considerable amount of assets, you may want to ensure that you work with a dedicated fee-only fiduciary financial advisor who has your best interest in mind.

Methodology

The companies we chose for our best financial advisor list may be current or past FinanceBuzz partners. We did not review all companies in the market. When evaluating these companies, we considered factors such as account minimums, reputation, and fees.

FinanceBuzz is not an investment advisor. This content is for informational purposes only, you should not construe any such information as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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Author Details

Danielle Letenyei Danielle Letenyei is a professional writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. Her interests include budgeting, travel, credit cards, insurance, and creative side gigs. She hopes her work on these topics can help others navigate the intricate landscape of personal finance.

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