Best Financial Advisors

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Contributor, Benzinga
July 10, 2023

If you’re saving for retirement, starting a college fund for a new baby or are ready to finally put down the rent checks and invest in a home, it can be comforting to have a professional in your corner. Financial advisors can offer assistance and recommendations on where you should put your money to most effectively reach your goals for the future.

We’ve reviewed some of the best financial advising sources currently available for investors who are still on the hunt for the right financial advisor, as well as some tips on deciding whether a robo-advisor or a human advisor is best for your needs.  

The Best Financial Advisors

Check out Benzinga's compiled list of the best financial advisors and get started today.

1. Best for Retirement Advice: Datalign

Datalign Advisory is a financial advisory company that aims to simplify the process of finding a suitable financial advisor based on individual circumstances and preferences. Their platform programmatically connects users with vetted fiduciary advisors from their network, providing personalized guidance and assistance. The company values partner focus, transparency, user-driven guidance, and action-oriented approach. They prioritize understanding partner needs and believe in providing transparent information upfront, free from hidden fees or fine print. By utilizing data-driven insights, Datalign Advisory aims to empower consumers to make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals.


  • Personalized matching: Datalign Advisory uses a detailed questionnaire to match customers with financial advisors who meet their specific criteria and financial needs.
  • Pre-screened advisors: The platform thoroughly vets advisors, ensuring they are licensed professionals with expertise in areas such as financial planning, retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, and more.
  • Fiduciary obligation: Datalign Advisory only accepts fiduciaries, meaning the advisors on their platform are legally bound to prioritize the client's interests above their own.
  • Free service: The Datalign Advisory platform is free to use, and customers can be matched with a verified financial advisor without any fees.
  • No obligation: Customers receive a free, no-obligation phone call with their matched advisor to discuss their needs and determine if it's a good fit before committing to the advisory relationship.


  • imited advisor research: There is no option to research potential advisors in the network ahead of time, which may limit the ability to independently assess and choose an advisor.
  • Lack of online resources: Datalign Advisory does not provide online calculators or educational resources on their platform, which may be a drawback for customers seeking additional tools or educational materials.

2. Best for Comparing Advisors: SmartAsset

SmartAsset is a unique platform that asks all the right questions, gives you all the information you need upfront and helps you do more than build wealth. You can change your lifestyle and use guidance from SmartAsset to feel better about how you use money on a daily basis.

When you visit the SmartAsset website, take the advisor match quiz. You can calculate your income taxes, or you can use the mortgage calculator to determine how much your payment should or could be.

SmartAsset connects you with an advisor that allows you to build around your family’s goals.

There is quite a lot of information about retirement, home purchases, COVID-19 stimulus money, banking, credit cards and more. Think of SmartAsset as a lifestyle company that helps you understand your money.


  • Taking the advisor match quiz is a good way to share information if you have no idea what to say or do
  • SmartAsset can teach you about any financial activity you might experience in this lifetime
  • There are calculators that help you plan for the future


  • The match quiz may not give you accurate results if your situation is extremely complex

3. Best for Self-Directed/Automated Advice: Empower

Empower is technically classified as a robo-advisor, but its service also offers a unique blend of both human intelligence and AI. The advising service seamlessly blends algorithmic reliability with human creativity, allowing users to quickly set up an account and then hand the reins off to a team of finance professionals.

Empower’s unique structure allows it to charge less in fees when compared with traditional human advising services. If you have $1 million in your account, you’ll pay 0.89% annually, while higher balance accounts pay even less. Empower also offers a host of spending management tools free for all users, including investment checkups and spending analyzers.

It’s important to note that Empower is aimed at high-value account holders; investors who have over $200,000 in their accounts get assigned two personal financial advisors dedicated to their account. If you have less than $200,000 in your account, you’ll have access to a team of advisors who work together to manage a host of accounts. However, account minimums at Empower are high—you’ll need at least $100,000 just to open an account.

Thus, Empower is best used by high net-worth investors who are looking for a hands-off approach to money management and budgeting.


  • There is a place for people to invest when they have a high net worth
  • The bank itself offers several other banking options for anyone who wants to get more service and customer care
  • You get service from both the AI and a real investment expert


  • Empower, while a wonderful place to keep your money, may not offer the level of service that you prefer

4. Best for Financial Planning: Domain Money

As you add cash to your crypto portfolio, you might wonder how to invest that cash. People who get into the crypto sector might want to buy into an exciting sector that can offer incredible returns, but how can you be sure that you have a good chance of getting the return that you want?

There are several portfolio styles from which you can choose, all of which have their own design that will likely fit into your portfolio and situation. Plus, you can change these portfolio selections at any time:

  • Domain Edge: The 100%, turnkey crypto portfolio that gives you instant exposure to this asset class.
  • Domain Core: A 100% stock portfolio that focuses on companies working with the blockchain, mining and in other parts of the crypto space.
  • Domain Balanced: Targeting innovative projects and stocks, with 50% on crypto and 50% on stocks.
  • Domain Metaverse: A crypto and stock portfolio that offers unique exposure to the NFT space.
  • Domain Access: A portfolio that features 80% stocks and 20% crypto.

There are no lockups, minimums ranging from $100 to $500 and a 1% annual management fee. You can save money and pour your cash into crypto, but Domain Money will do the work. Remember, too, that you can invest for the future here instead of simply dropping some money into a crypto portfolio. You might also use this platform to diversify for the future, especially if you’re hedging against risk in other part of your portfolio.


  • If you need help making a choice, the weighted themes on the platform make it easy for you to choose, set it and forget it
  • Access to the crypto space here is quite revolutionary
  • Low minimums and a low management fee intentionally make the platform affordable


  • The weighted portfolio plans may not carry the balance of investments that you prefer

5. Best for Auto Trading: Streetbeat

  • securely through Streetbeat's website
    securely through Streetbeat's website
    Best For:
    Auto Trading

Headquartered in Palo Alto, Streetbeat is a fintech platform that offers auto trading services across a range of assets; you can buy into stocks, ETFs, crypto and much more. Plus, the platform is designed to focus on you, the client. This means that you get the best information and support for each investment.

Streetbeat leverages AI technology and data solutions to help you build your portfolio, and along with these benefits, customers also get:

  • Support for investors of all skill levels
  • No trading commissions
  • Low minimums (as low as $1)
  • Bonus opportunities
  • Less than a 1% management fee when using strategies build by Streetbeat

Yes, it’s true that fees could accumulate quickly on large accounts, but Streetbeat makes it easy for you to get in on the ground floor and build your portfolio with less risk and even less overhead.


  • This platform allows you to earn bonuses on your investments
  • There are no trading commissions when you are building your portfolio
  • Low management fees are good for those who have very little to invest


  • There are fees that could mount over time, depending on what sorts of things you prefer to invest in. You should look carefully at those fees before investing.

6. Best for Customer Care: Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is an online investing service that has greatly expanded its services in recent years, including into the realm of personal financial advising and planning.

Charles Schwab operates a number of branches across the United States, where account holders can create appointments to chat with financial advisors or pop in for one of their many free workshops and seminars the company runs throughout the year.

If you’re having trouble deciding between a robo-advisor and a human financial planner, Charles Schwab’s Intelligent Portfolios service blends the best of both worlds. The minimum balance needed to open an account with $5,000  and connects clients to human financial professionals.

This, combined with the brokerage’s $0 account minimum, means that you can get started with just a small amount of money.


  • Schwab is one of the leaders of the retirement planning and personal financing space
  • A $0 minimum helps any investor simply get started on the platform
  • There are local branches around the country you can visit


  • The initial $0 minimum may not be enough for those who need Intelligent Portfolio services

7. Best for Buy-and-Hold Investors: Vanguard

Vanguard may be well-known as one of the first brokerages to help investors manage their own retirement savings with low-cost index funds, but the company also provides personal financial planning services to those with large balances.

You’ll need at least $50,000 in your account to begin with Vanguard’s financial planning services, and management fees are 0.30% of your total account’s balance. This is about on-par with other human financial advising services (including Charles Schwab), but is higher than a purely robo-centric advising service.

Vanguard’s financial planning services are best suited for large account holders who want a low-cost way to get in touch with advisors when planning for retirement, college education savings or other long-term goals. If you have under $500,000 in your account, you’ll have access to a remote team of financial experts; if you have at least $500,000, you will be assigned your own personal financial advisor dedicated to your account.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services prides itself on customizing portfolios on an individual and customized basis.

As is expected from Vanguard, customers can expect their portfolios to be built largely using Vanguard’s ETFs and mutual funds. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as Vanguard’s funds carry some of the lowest expense ratios on the market.

*Paid non-client promotion. Benzinga receives compensation when a reader provides certain personal information to Vanguard after clicking “Get Started” on this page.


  • Vanguard gives you more options to invest because they manage several of their own investment funds
  • Personal Advisor services is a good way to work with an expert who is employed by one of the best funds in the world
  • The management fee is very low considering how high minimums on this platform are


  • The limit for personal financial assistance seems very high

8. Best for Those Interested in Investing in Portfolios: bills itself as a way to hack Wall Street, making it possible for you to strategize better investing plans while utilizing AI technology. The company is backed by Forbes and hosts an AI investing app that makes it easier for you to seek out financial freedom, use AI to make better decisions and even speak to a human advisor who can give you greater insight into your needs. There are also personalized investing kits that help you build a better portfolio. offers broad-based services that will:

  • Serve investors of all skill levels
  • Those who wish to invest in portfolios
  • Those who would like to access hedge fund tools
  • Handle portfolio monitoring and management
  • Provide low pricing for all users
  • Charge no investment fees


  • All types of investors can use this platform with ease
  • There are no investment fees, allowing you to add more money to your account
  • Portfolio monitoring makes it much easier for you to understand where your money is going


  • Remember that AI investing is not giving you the boutique service some people prefer

9. Best for New Investors: Wealthsimple

If you’re an investor who’s interested in socially responsible investing, Wealthsimple is a great robo-advising choice. Wealthsimple is an automated investing service that provides socially responsible choices, up front and clear pricing with no hidden fees, free tax-loss harvesting and access to financial planners.

The company has created three weighted socially responsible portfolios that concentrate on investing in companies that focus on the development of green and clean technology, that consistently score highly on diversity and employee satisfaction ratings, and that support innovation and economic development in developing countries.

While this socially responsible investing comes at a price (0.4% to 0.5%), it can be worth it if you want to invest only in a specific niche. For example, if you follow Islamic teachings, Wealthsimple offers “halal investing, a truly unique feature which allows users to invest only in Shariah-compliant corporations. Halal investors can invest in 50 individual stocks screened by a third-party committee of religious experts well-versed in the Islamic faith and principles.

This list of stocks excludes companies associated with alcohol, gambling, sexual themes or suggestive products, firearms, tobacco products and a number of other forbidden businesses. Halal portfolios also exclude bonds and other interest-producing assets, as they are also forbidden according to Islamic law.


  • The availability of Halal investment accounts for Muslims is a breath of fresh air for many investors
  • Socially responsible investment will incur low fees, making this style of investing more attractive
  • Weighted portfolio settings ensure that your investments are handled properly and balanced for your situation


  • You need to make sure that Halal account is set up to your liking as everyone’s interpretation of how those investments should be handled might vary

10. Best for New Investors: Playbook

  • securely through Playbook's website
    securely through Playbook's website
    Best For:
    New Investors

When you register with Playbook, you gain access to a financial platform that connects to your accounts and helps you chart a course to financial success. Think of this as your automatic financial planner that can change with you, adapt to the settings you choose and lay out your financial goals so that you understand your next steps.

You set your risk tolerance and goals using a simple questionnaire, and you can adjust your investment strategy as much as you need. While these settings can change, Benzinga advises users to think carefully when completing the initial questionnaire so that the initial setup is appropriate for your situation.

Playbook doesn’t charge you a percentage of your AUM to manage your financial goals—charging a flat fee instead. For $19 per month, Playbook takes care of the planning so that you can get back to your daily routine. And, you can reach out via phone or email if you have questions about your account.


  • The $19 per month fee is a reasonable cost to work with a financial planning platform
  • When you set your risk tolerance, you are deciding how your money will be invested
  • The questionnaire allows you to share more unique information about yourself


  • While Playbook can serve as an automatic financial planner, it may be difficult to assess your new situation and make changes, given the setup of the platform

11. Best for Preparing for Retirement: Retirable

With Retirable, you can build a customized retirement plan with assistance from a certified financial planner. You get help from human fiduciaries who:

  • Offer dynamic retirement advice and support
  • Help you manage cashflow
  • Ensure that you’re making retirement plans that match your funds
  • Help you make changes to your retirement plans as needed

You will incur around $250 in fees when your account falls below $33,000 in funds, but you are matched with a personal financial planner when you sign up so that you’re always working with the same person. Retirement planning services are comprehensive, and you can also take into account items like end-of-life needs, medical needs, children, grandchildren, perhaps a new business and other needs. Creating a whole retirement plan allows you to see what the future holds and make adjustments as needed.


  • There are real fiduciaries available to help you make sense of your account and investment
  • The platform has tools that will help you better plan for retirement
  • These accounts allow you to plan for a range of life events from grandkids to end-of-life, etc.


  • Because there is a fee structure for accounts that get below $33,000, you may want to prepare your funds before opening an account

Robo-Advisor vs. Human Advisor: Which is Right For You?

The first decision you’ll have to make when searching for a financial advisor is whether you’d like to work with a human advisor or a robo-advisor. Robo-advisors are automated investing platforms that use algorithms to determine the best investments for your unique life situation.

When you sign up with a robo-advisor, you’ll answer a series of questions about your age, family status, savings goals and progress you’ve made toward retirement. The robo-advisor will then use your unique situation to compile an ideal portfolio and shift the portfolio’s asset composition over time. This process is intended to offer a low-cost mimic of traditional financial advising and management services.

Is a personal financial advisor or a robo-advisor right for you? Some of the considerations you should take into consideration:

  • Your financial goals: Robo-advisors are most often formatted to handle only passive investing strategies. This is great for investors who want to save for far-off goals like retirement or a child’s college fund. However, if you’re looking for more active management, you’ll likely to be better off with a personal financial advisor.
  • The amount of assets you have under management: If you have a high-value account (greater than $250,000 in assets), you will likely need a human advisor to handle your money to ensure that it is diversified at high level for protection, yet concentrated for your wealth to grow. If you have a lower value account, taking advantage of the lower fees and $0 account minimums of a robo-advisor can help you save more of your money.
  • The complexity of your investing portfolio: If you’re just beginning to invest, a robo-advisor will typically have enough power to handle your needs. However, if you own your own business, make money through rental properties, or have a complicated income situation, a human financial advisor may be better suited for your needs.
  • Your financial expertise: The greatest writer has an editor, and the greatest athlete has a coach. Even if you’re an expert, you need a little guidance. You may want someone you can bounce ideas off of, or you may prefer the calculated guidance a robo-advisor offers.
  • The personal side of business: Everyone has their own idea of how business should be done. Do you handle everything face-to-face, or are you satisfied with an email? Do you need help in the moment, irrespective of who it is? Or, do you want to develop a relationship with an advisor who can become your friend, confidante or who may well grow with you through the years? Determine how much of the personal side of business you need in order to feel comfortable with your investments before making your final decision.

Three Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

If you’ve decided that a human financial advisor is the best choice for you, you aren’t quite done. All human advisors are not created equal—unlike robo-advisors, which differ based on the algorithm that their company has created but essentially offer the same service .

Firms may have better and worse advisors on their teams. Before you sign a contract with a personal advisor, be sure to ask him or her these three crucial questions.

  1. What specific services do you provide? Unlike some other industries that require specialized training or certification to claim a title, anyone can call himself a financial planner —even if they have no experience or education in finance. Ask your candidate to explain what he or she provides to their clientele—as well as what they do not provide—so you can make sure that all of your needs are covered. Financial advisors who actually manage your money for you must be registered and licensed by FINRA
  2. What is your investment strategy? Each financial advisor has his or her own unique investment strategy, but you’ll need to choose an advisor whose strategy aligns with your risk tolerance. Be sure to ask each candidate how he or she decides which securities to buy and when it’s time to sell.
  3. Who is your average client? You’ll want to look for an advisor who works with people like you—financial experts who have experience and have seen success with men and women like yourself will be more likely to succeed with your investments. If your candidate has only worked with clients far above or below your income, move on.

Find Your Financial Advisor Today

Whether you’re an investing expert or you’re just getting started, it’s always comforting to have a helping hand guiding your choices. To learn more about long-term investing, check out Benzinga’s guide to opening your first IRA.

Frequently Asked Questions


What does a financial advisor do?


A financial advisor provides clients with a range of expertise that is related to savings, investment portfolios, real estate, retirement and other financial concerns. While this is not a personal relationship, you are encouraged to get to know your financial advisor quite well and make sure that they fully understand your goals.


Are financial advisors worth it?


Financial advisors are often worth the cost because they can help manage your overall portfolio when you simply do not have the time or expertise.


Are robo advisors a good idea?


Robo advisors are a good investment for those who do not want to forge a relationship with a planner and would prefer to use AI or a software platform to achieve their financial goals.

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