Best Online Financial Advisors in February 2024

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Contributor, Benzinga
February 16, 2024

Looking for the best online financial advisors? Consider Datalign or Money Pickle to get started with no fees.

It’s official — basically every aspect of personal finances now has a digital equivalent or extension. You can bank online, instantly transfer money and buy or trade virtual currency. Why not take your investment management online, too?

Benzinga reviewed the best online financial advisors so you can design a custom portfolio, manage your investments and build wealth while working with an online financial planner — all from the convenience of your phone or home computer.

Quick Look: Best Online Financial Advisors This Year

Best Online Financial Advisors

Take a look at some of the top contenders in the online financial advisory sector who make the list of the best online wealth management services.

1. Best for Retirement Advice: Datalign

Datalign Advisory is an online financial advisory company that aims to connect clients with suitable financial advisors based on their specific needs and preferences. The company uses a platform that programmatically connects users in the market with financial advisors from their network of vetted fiduciaries. 

Datalign Advisory values partner focus, transparency, user-centricity and action-oriented approaches. It believes in starting with partner needs and providing control over site experiences, data and monetization. Transparency is emphasized, and the platform is designed to be free from hidden fees and fine print. By leveraging data-driven intuitive guidance, it empowers consumers to make informed decisions.

Pros

  • Highly rated: Datalign Advisory receives a 4.5-star rating from Benzinga, indicating a positive reputation and quality service.
  • Expert online financial advisors: The platform partners with thousands of pre-screened and licensed financial advisors with expertise in various areas such as retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning and more.
  • Tailored matches: Datalign Advisory uses a detailed questionnaire to match users with a financial advisor who best meets their specific needs and criteria. 
  • Free consultation: Users get a free, no-obligation phone call with their matched financial advisor online to discuss their needs and determine if it's a good fit.

Cons

  • Limited pre-research: There is no option to research potential advisors in the network ahead of time, which may restrict the ability to evaluate advisors' backgrounds and expertise.
  • Lack of online resources: Datalign Advisory does not provide online calculators or educational resources, which could be useful for users seeking additional information or tools.

2. Best for Quick and Convenient Financial Guidance: Money Pickle

Money Pickle is a renowned financial advising platform that offers expert guidance and personalized solutions to individuals seeking to enhance their financial well-being. With their team of experienced financial advisors, Money Pickle aims to empower individuals with the knowledge and tools needed to make informed and strategic financial decisions.

Whether you're just starting to build your wealth, planning for retirement, or facing complex financial decisions, Money Pickle has you covered. They offer a comprehensive suite of services, including investment management, retirement planning, tax strategies, estate planning, insurance solutions and much more. Their advisors are well-versed in the latest financial trends and strategies, ensuring you receive the best advice possible.

Money Pickle does not charge a fee to match users with a third-party financial advisor or to book a video call with them. However, if you decide to work with the advisor beyond the initial call, you will have to pay for their services according to their rates and terms. This is a great way to get your feet in the water before signing any long term commitments.

Pros

  • Offers a user-friendly interface and easy navigation
  • No membership or subscription fees
  • Acess to various features such as expense categorization, savings goal tracking and bill reminders

Cons

  • Lack of transparency regarding the cost of ongoing financial services

3. Best for Local Advisors: SmartAsset

If you want the option to meet with your advisor face-to-face, Smart Asset is a great resource. It can link you to your top three local financial advisor matches. 

Choose from investment planning, tax advice, retirement planning, estate planning or other financial concerns to be routed to the best-fit advisors in your area.

Pros

  • Quick connection to a financial advisor in your area helps you learn more about the options that are around you
  • The financial advice you get can be wide-ranging from taxes to retirement and many things in between

Cons

  • Keep in mind that not all online financial advisors will be a good match the first time

4. Best for High-Net-Worth Investors: Empower

If you’re someone looking to invest larger amounts of capital (think $100,000+), Empower is a great choice. Personal Capital (now Empower) delivers executive-level holistic wealth management.

You’ll integrate all your financial accounts, from your savings to your mortgage and retirement investment accounts, to get a wide view of both your net worth and your always-shifting financials. This panoramic view of your finances empowers you to successfully budget, plan and invest to meet your money goals. 

Empower makes it possible to build a relationship with your online financial advisors. Together, you’ll develop a comprehensive plan to support your financial security now and in the future. Empower builds your investment strategy from this plan, focusing on tax optimization.

Although you do need at least $100,000 in investable assets to unlock your free consultation, Empower provides free, personalized financial insights, education and management resources to all of its members through its suite of financial tools.

Pros

  • You can integrate your finances all in one place, especially as the bank continues to grow
  • Empower will likely continue to increase its offerings over time
  • Tax optimization is a key component of its support structure

Cons

  • While Empower works hard to empower customers, you will need to spend quite a lot of money to get that free financial advice and consultation

5. Best for Preparing for Retirement: Retirable

With Retirable, you can build a customized retirement plan with assistance from a certified financial planner as your online investment advisor to create customized online financial planning services.

You get help from human fiduciaries who:

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

The management fee is just 0.75% for your first $500,000 under management. However, you will incur a $250 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 consider items like end-of-life needs, medical needs, children, grandchildren, a new business and other needs. Creating a whole retirement plan allows you to see the future and adjust as needed.

Pros

  • You can learn how to manage cash flow so that you are retiring properly or planning well for the future
  • You can adjust your retirement plan at any time to meet your current needs
  • The plan is customized, and you get support from a real, licensed professional

Cons

  • You will be charged extra fees when your account drops below the threshold

What to Look For in the Best Online Financial Advisors

Choosing the best online financial advisor is crucial for your financial success. It's not enough to simply pick one at random or solely based on their advertising. By understanding the key factors to consider, you can ensure that you are entrusting your financial future to a reputable and capable financial advisor.

Types of Accounts Managed

The types of accounts managed vary between platforms, but online financial advisors generally offer advice and investment management for some or all of the following accounts:

  • Individual accounts
  • Joint accounts
  • IRAs
  • 401(k)
  • Trusts and estates

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Be sure to find out more from your prospective financial advisors about which accounts they manage. 

Account Minimums

Some financial advisors online require no account minimums, while others only work with clients who can invest $100,000, $500,000 or more. You should be able to find an advisor within your investable assets range who is fully capable of navigating your specific financial situation. 

Online financial advisors are known for offering reasonably priced or free services and low account minimums compared to more traditional firms. If you’re retired, looking to retire or planning for retirement, you may be more confused than ever. That’s why it helps to learn all these things upfront before committing any of your funds.

Investment Options

Your advisor will choose the best investment products for your portfolio from a wide range of options based on your goals, risk tolerance and other unique characteristics. That being said, the most prevalently used asset classes are stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs. 

An investment manager may also recommend annuities, money market funds, real estate, Bitcoin or other virtual currencies, precious metals and other asset categories. Remember, you’re looking for investments that will grow over time, like the INVESCO Gold Mutual Fund, which has grown massively over its lifetime.

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Find Your Online Financial Advisor Today

Streamline your investment management by enlisting the professional help of an online financial advisor. With so many world-class options, it’s nearly guaranteed that there’s a digital advisor out there who can help you design the perfect financial plan.

Get in touch with any of the financial advisors on this list to get started today. Learn more about how much financial advice costs and what to know about investment advisors to choose the best option for your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

What are the four basics of financial planning?

A

When planning your finances, you must assess your situation, set your goals, design a financial plan and create cash flow and investment opportunities.

Q

What do we mean by financial planning?

A

Financial planning entails the organization of your finances, a plan for the future to create income, retirement accounts and more. When creating a financial plan, your goals could change, and you should invest time speaking to your financial planner as your goals and the markets adjust.

Q

Why should you hire a financial planner?

A

A financial planner is a licensed professional who can provide you with insight and expertise that will help you reach your financial goals.

Q

Who is the most trustworthy financial advisor?

A

There are many trustworthy financial advisors out there. You can check the list above for trusted financial advisors or also consider major banks’ financial advisor services like Vanguard Digital Advisor, Charles Schwab Corporation, Fidelity Investments, and J.P. Morgan Private Client Advisor.

Q

Is it worth paying for a financial advisor?

A

If you want to balance costs with investment growth, choosing an online financial advisor can make sense. For high-net-worth individuals, a financial advisor can help optimize portfolio growth.

Q

At what net worth should I get a financial advisor?

A

Anyone can get a financial advisor. Some suggest that once you have $50,000 or more in savings for investment, you should work with a financial advisor, but that depends on your individual situation and investment goals.

About Alison Plaut

Alison Kimberly is a freelance content writer with a Sustainable MBA, uniquely qualified to help individuals and businesses achieve the triple bottom line of environmental, social, and financial profitability. She has been writing for various non-profit organizations for 15+ years. When not writing, you will find her promoting education and meditation in the developing world, or hiking and enjoying nature.