10 Best Online Financial Advisors of July 2024

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Contributor, Benzinga
July 3, 2024

By opting for online financial advisors, you get to pick the best of the best from anywhere in the country. This way, you can rest assured that your finances are in good hands. Working with an online professional saves you time from in-person meetings, eliminating travel time and waiting in the lobby.

Benzinga has compiled a list of financial advisors to help you find your ideal advisor and build wealth.

Quick Look: Best Financial Advisors

Best Financial Advisors

Look at some top contenders for the best financial advisors this year.

1. Best for Comparing Advisors: SmartAsset

SmartAsset makes it easy to compare the best financial planners. Provide some basic information about how much you have to invest, what your goals are and how you want to communicate with your advisor to find ideal pairings. You’ll then see a list of advisors that match your criteria to interview and meet with to ensure your finances are off to a great start.


  • Find a financial advisor based on your needs
  • Build a shortlist of advisors quickly
  • Compare various advisors based on their strategies and requirements


  • Still requires that you meet with various advisors to hire one
  • Account minimums and fees will vary

Fees: Varies based on the advisor you select

Account Minimum: Varies based on the advisor you select

Investment Approach: Varies based on the advisor you select

2. Best for Video Matching: Money Pickle

Find a financial advisor who can help you get on the right path toward retirement, investing, handling life events and more. Money Pickle lets you input important details about your finances or questions and get paired with a financial advisor. The initial video call is free because the advisor covers the expense. Then you can decide whether to keep working with the advisor after that.

All advisors on the platform must be in good standing and have five years of experience. Money Pickle screens each advisor to ensure they are a good fit for its clients.


  • Pairing with a financial advisor based on needs
  • Free video consultations
  • No pressure to continue beyond the initial consultation
  • Convenient call scheduling


  • No list of options for advisors; just a blind pairing
  • Account minimums and fees beyond the initial consultation are not shown

Fees: Free for initial consultation

Account Minimum: None

Investment Approach: Varies

3. Best for Retirement Advice: Datalign

Enjoy a personalized approach to retirement planning. Get paired with prescreened licensed financial advisors in the USA. Instead of focusing only on your portfolio size and location, Datalign uses various factors to help you find the financial advisor that will best meet your needs.

Instead of creating a list, Datalign provides the top financial advisor based on your unique financial factors to reduce the burden of making your selection.


  • Free financial advisor pairing based on a vetted list
  • One financial advisor recommendation based on a detailed questionnaire
  • Start with a free consultation


  • Datalign lacks calculators and other free tools similar sites provide
  • No option to see multiple advisors to choose from
  • Reaching customer service with questions or complaints is not easy

Fees: Free initial consultation; then variable based on the advisor’s fee schedule

Account Minimum: None

Investment Approach: Variable based on the ideal advisor for you

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

Empower is the strongest in two areas: hands-off investors and those looking for tax optimization. While the fees are somewhat high and will reduce the total ROI from your investments, the money is worth it if you have the assets to place under Empower’s watchful eye.

If your assets are $100,000-$250,000, you’ll have a team of advisors. Once your assets exceed $250,000, you’ll have dedicated advisors. Regardless, you can reach your advisors via phone during normal business hours or digitally through your dashboard.


  • Comprehensive portfolio management available
  • Tax optimization strategies available
  • Option to select individual securities


  • High account minimum requirements
  • High portfolio management fee, compared to competitors

Fees: 0.89%

Account Minimum: $100,000

Investment Approach: Dynamic portfolio allocation

5. Best for Low-Cost Financial Advice: Facet Wealth

Using low-cost ETFs, Facet Wealth helps you grow your wealth through smart investments. While the flat-rate fee structure makes budgeting somewhat complex for investors, it also translates to a competitive 0.8% for those with $300,000 or more investments.


  • Flat rate fee
  • Easy to collaborate virtually
  • Small account minimum requirement to get started


  • Flat fee per year starts at $2,000, making it hard for those just getting started
  • Fewer assets under management mean Facet is not as well established as other options on the list

Fees: Starts at $2,000 per year

Account Minimum: $250

Investment Approach: Diversified investments with smart risks

6. Best for Financial Planning: Domain Money

Domain Money is unique among financial advisor companies because it writes a plan based on your goals and then puts you in charge of implementing it. You can request a plan at any time that is convenient for you. Plans are customized based on the information you give Domain Money about your finances and goals.


  • Three plans to choose from to help you manage your finances
  • Personalized plan to help you take control of your finances
  • Puts you in control of money management with no ongoing fees


  • No ongoing portfolio management
  • Initial fee is pricey and more expensive than most top-rated financial advisor firms
  • Requires some financial know-how to implement the plan

Fees: Starting at $2,500

Account Minimum: None

Investment Approach: Varies based on the information you provide

7. Best for Customer Care: Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab frequently gets high ratings for customer care. And the best part is, you don’t have to pay for fees or services you don’t need. You’ll see a full breakdown of fees and commissions for working with a financial advisor based on the investment strategy that meets your goals. 


  • Established, reputable company in the financial space
  • Competitive management fees
  • Pay for only the services you want/need
  • Receives high rankings for customer service


  • High account minimum
  • ROI on investments is average

Fees: 0.8%

Account Minimum: $500,000

Investment Approach: Varies based on your goals

8. Best for ESG Robo-Investing: Wealthsimple

If you’re unsure where to start investing but want a simple platform that keeps you in control, Wealthsimple is a wise choice. This is one of the best financial advisor firms for robo-investing. That means you can set up your account, provide some basic information and allow the tool to make investment decisions based on that information.


  • Automated investing
  • Get access to fractional stocks and ETFs
  • Simple, easy-to-use platform and mobile app
  • No commissions on stock and ETF trades


  • Minimal control over investments makes the platform not ideal for advanced investors
  • Limited tools, such as calculators and knowledge base learning

Fees: 0.5% management fees for managed accounts; 1.5% currency conversion; $10/month upgraded account; $45 broker-assisted trades

Account Minimum: None

Investment Approach: Robo-advisor

9. Best for New Investors: Playbook

Playbook is one of the top advisory firms for tax advantages. It will help you grow your money while paying less in taxes by helping you learn where to put your money and what actions you should take in each account. Playbook focuses on helping you increase returns while lowering your taxes to maximize the money that you have. 


  • Invest based on long and short-term goals
  • Automated financial decision-making
  • Maximize tax advantages to do more with the money you have


  • Self-employed individuals will need to go elsewhere for advice
  • To see the platform pay off, you’ll need $100,000 in assets

Fees: Starts at $9/month

Account Minimum: None

Investment Approach: Taking advantage of tax strategies

10. Best for New Women Investors: Ellevest

  • Ellevest
    securely through Ellevest's website

    *Banking products and services are provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to license by Mastercard International. The Ellevest Spend and Save accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per depositor through Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC.

    **Domestic ATM transaction fees will be reimbursed if a payroll direct deposit has been received within the prior 30 days of the ATM transaction settlement. International ATM withdrawal fee of $5 will apply.

    ***If you opt in to the Roundup Program for debit card purchases, each settled (i.e. fully completed) purchase transaction made with your Ellevest Debit Card will be rounded up to the nearest whole U.S. dollar. The Roundup amount will be transferred from your Spend account to your Save account. Foreign purchases are rounded up to the nearest whole dollar after the purchase is converted to U.S. dollars. ATM withdrawals and transactions in whole US dollars, e.g. $20.00 are excluded from the Roundup program. If, at the time of settlement of a purchase, your Ellevest Spend Account has insufficient available funds to cover the full amount of the Roundup transfer, the Roundup Transfer will not be made.

    If a purchase is canceled or reversed for any reason (including disputes), the corresponding Roundup Transfer will not be reversed.  You can opt out of the Roundup Program at any time.


If you’re looking for the best investment advisors for women, Ellevest is a smart choice. The platform is designed to help women navigate the unique complexities they face when investing. Whether you’re headed toward retirement, navigating a career, or needing advice about buying a second home, Ellevest’s advisors can guide you. The advisory team comprises all women who help bring clients perspective and a sense of ease.


  • No minimum to get started
  • Option for a rollover with automated IRA
  • Get discounted access to financial planners through your account
  • Those with $1 million to invest can access private wealth management


  • Cannot take advantage of tax-loss harvesting
  • Investments focus on ETFs and bond ETFs
  • Does not allow for joint or custodial accounts

Fees: $12/month

Account Minimum: None

Investment Approach: Diversification is key, so much so that Ellevest does not allow you to invest in individual stocks but instead invests in various companies on your behalf.

How to Determine What Financial Advisor is Best for You

1. Determine What Aspect of Your Financial Life You Need Help With

It's important to consider your current financial situation and what aspects of your financial life you might need help with. Consider whether you need financial guidance to set up long-term systems or help to reach specific goals. 

Are you planning for retirement and wonder whether you're saving enough? Are you dreaming of a second home and want to know if it's possible with your current income? In these cases and others, a financial advisor can help you align your financial actions to specific goals.

2. Know the Different Types of Financial Advisors

Familiarize yourself with the various types of financial advisors. But before choosing to work with a professional, check your investment professional with the SEC to ensure they are in good standing.

  • Investment advisors: Those who provide investment advice or manage client assets directly.
  • Broker-dealers and brokers: Individuals or companies that buy and sell securities such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds on behalf of a client or themselves.
  • Certified financial planner®: Certified professionals who meet the requirements of the CFP Board and have a fiduciary responsibility.
  • Financial consultant: A general term; look for a chartered financial consultant or CHFC.
  • Financial coach: This is not a regulated term. Financial coaches may focus on basic financial planning points, such as how to save money or reduce spending.
  • Portfolio, investment and asset managers: These professionals manage clients' assets or portfolios. 
  • Wealth advisors: Work with wealthy clients to offer holistic financial planning and investment guidance.
  • Robo-advisor: Inexpensive automated investment management services, usually available as a low-cost subscription or a small percentage of assets under management. 

3. Choose What Type of Financial Service You Need

You can choose from various financial services, including investment advice, budgeting, retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, and more. Financial advisors can offer diverse services to meet specific needs or holistic services.

4. Determine the Cost and Fees of Financial Advisors

The cost of hiring financial advisors can vary based on the fee structure. They may charge a flat monthly fee, a percentage of assets under management (AUM) or another fee structure.

5. Research and Compare Financial Advisors

Research and compare the credentials and qualifications of several financial advisors before hiring one. Look for a financial advisor with a fiduciary responsibility to ensure they have your best interests in mind. Read financial advisor ratings to learn from other customers’ experiences.

6. Important Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor

Be sure to speak with the financial advisor and take advantage of a free initial consultation to understand if the financial advisor is a good fit. When selecting a financial advisor, you will want to ask them about:

  • Whether they are a fiduciary and have fiduciary responsibility?
  • What is their fee structure?
  • What are their average returns in the case of investment management?
  • How do they get paid? 
  • What are the all-in costs?
  • What are their qualifications or certifications?
  • How will the relationship work? 
  • What is the financial advisor's investment philosophy?
  • What custodian do they use?
  • What resources will you have?
  • What asset allocation do they use?
  • In the case of investments, what investment benchmarks are used?

Best Financial Advisors Alternatives

If you decide that working with a financial advisor is not right, consider one of these alternatives.

  • Robo-advisors: When you open a robo-advisor account, you can access an algorithm that makes financial decisions without human intervention. The algorithm works on input information, such as goals and risk tolerance. While the fees on these accounts are minimal, they also don’t earn as high as human-led accounts in most cases. But if you’re cost-sensitive and don’t know how to select your investments, a robo-advisor might be right.
  • DIY investing platforms: You don’t need a financial advisor to get started investing. You can choose your investments and be your portfolio manager. Individuals who know their way around investments should consider using a DIY program because you won’t have to give up any of your earnings to pay an advisor or a robo-advisor program. However, you do need to have the time to devote to managing your account.
  • Fee-only financial planners: You don’t have to share your investment proceeds with a fee-only financial planner. Instead, you’ll pay a flat fee or a percentage of the assets under management to your fee-only financial planner. This can benefit individuals with a great deal of assets to invest, which could mean thousands of dollars in earnings each year.

Setting Up Your Financial Future

Financial advisors can offer valuable insight and strategies to optimize tax savings, set up long-term investment accounts and plan for short- and long-term goals. You can help protect your family's future and retirement with the right advice. Review the top wealth managers by performance to find a good fit based on your needs. All the options above offer personalized solutions at various price points to take you from where you are to your next goals. Take the first step toward financial security and schedule a consultation with one of these trusted advisors today.

Frequently Asked Questions


Who are the top rated financial advisors?


The top financial advisor firms are Vanguard, Charles Schwab and Fidelity Investments. Look to your community for leaders in your area or select SmartAsset, Money Pickle or Datalign as an online financial advisor.


Is it worth paying for a financial advisor?


Whether paying for a financial advisor depends on your financial skill set, understanding of investments, and time you can devote to the process. If you can’t devote the time or don’t have the expertise, a financial advisor is well worth it.


Who gives the best financial advice?


The country’s leading financial firms, including Vanguard, Charles Schwab, and Fidelity Investments, offer the best financial advice.


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


The best place to look for a financial advisor is your network. Ask friends, family, and colleagues who they use and how happy they’ve been with the results of their work with the professional.


How do financial advisors determine their fees?


Financial advisors determine their fees based on the assets they manage on your behalf. It’s often based on a percentage of the funds they oversee, ranging from 0.25% to 1% of assets under management annually.


What credentials should I look for in a financial advisor?


Your financial advisor should have a CFP or CFA designation, which shows they’ve completed the necessary professional training to provide financial advice.


Are there any hidden costs associated with working with a financial advisor?


Working with a financial advisor can involve fees. These include annual fees charged by the mutual funds or other investments your advisor recommends. These fees can be up to 2% of the value you invest in these areas, but your advisor has likely recommended them because the ROI outweighs the fees.


How often should I expect to meet or communicate with my financial advisor?


You should plan to meet with your advisor at a minimum once a year. However, you might meet more frequently to check in on how you’re tracking toward goals, tax liability, etc.


Do financial advisors have a minimum investment requirement?


Many financial advisors do have a minimum investment requirement to get started. However, you can likely find one willing to work with you based on the specific amount you can invest.


Do financial advisors offer personalized investment portfolios?


Yes, a financial advisor will tailor your investments to meet your goals and risk tolerance.


Are financial advisors regulated by any governing bodies?


The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulates financial advisors.


How do I know if a financial advisor is acting in my best interest?


If your financial advisor is a fee-only firm, they likely act in your best interest since they are paid only through your annual fee, not commissions, for selling specific products or securities.

Rebekah Brately

About Rebekah Brately

Rebekah Brately is an investment writer passionate about helping people learn more about how to grow their wealth. She has more than 12 years of writing experience, focused on technology, travel, family and finance. Her work has been published in Benzinga, Hearst Bay Area, FreightWaves and Dallas Observer publications.