Investing can be overwhelming when you’re doing it alone. What if you could have a financial advisor in your corner? They don’t cost as much as you think, thanks to the internet. Today, online discount brokers offer plenty of help at a fraction of the price of standard brokers.
So who are the best financial advisors of 2020? Check out our favorites below.
Finding the Best Financial Advisors
Before you look for the best financial advisor, know what to ask. How do you know which advisor will work for you? Ask yourself the following questions:
- What services do you need? Are you looking for a robo advisor that automatically rebalances your portfolio? Do you need human interaction/advice or are you looking for a combination of the two?
- What is your risk tolerance? Does the advisor offer portfolios that meet that tolerance? Don’t invest outside of your comfort zone, especially if you’re a beginner. If you aren’t sure, ask specifics before investing.
- What investment strategies are you comfortable with? You want a financial advisor that thinks along the same lines. This way you know he’ll stay within your risk tolerance levels. Does the advisor work with investors in your financial situation? Does he/she primarily deal with accredited (large) investors?
- What are the fees? All advisors charge, but some charge more than others. Find one that offers what you need while charging the least amount.
Betterment is a robo-advisor. Typically, this means little human contact, and more automated investing. While Betterment offers automated investing, they offer human financial advice too. If you pay for their premium service, you even get financial advice on investments outside of Betterment. While Betterment has a 0.25% of assets under management fee or 0.4% of assets under management for the premium version, it’s worth it for the financial advice.
Charles Schwab is one of the oldest investment firms today. Many people are familiar with its name and how it operates. Today, however, thanks to the internet, they have moved into the robo advisor realm. Just because they offer automated investing, though, doesn’t mean they don’t offer financial advice.
Charles Schwab offers investors 24/7 financial advice on the phone. They also offer in-person advice if you live near a branch. If you have at least $5,000 to open an account, you can take advantage of Schwab’s excellent customer service.
Another name that’s been around for many years, Vanguard has a reputation all on its own. However, their latest offering throws a twist in the plot. Vanguard’s Personal Advisor Services combines the best of both worlds. You get a robo-advisor with a human touch.
Vanguard, like other robo-advisors, asks pointed questions to get an idea of your risk tolerance. Human advisors then put your portfolio together. You get that human touch that you can’t replicate with a robo-advisor. The advisors don’t work on commission and they have a fiduciary responsibility to act in your best interest.
Wealthfront offers passive investing opportunities. You set it and forget it, allowing your investments to work for you. Wealthfront is completely digital. You set up your account, answer the questions, and manage your account online.
If you have questions, you can chat online or via the mobile app. The key is everything is automated. You don’t have to worry about changing your portfolio, making emotional decisions, or even making changes. If you want to change your portfolio, you must answer the questions again and Wealthfront manages it for you.
Choosing the Best Financial Advisor
How do you choose the best financial advisor for you? Think about what you want. Are you comfortable letting a computer balance your portfolio or will that make you anxious? Do you want some control in your investments or do you want a completely hands-off approach?
Do you like human advice, or would you rather deal with a computer? Most brokers offer some type of customer service, even if it’s online chat. Ask yourself if you’re okay with that and if the savings make up for the lack of talking to a person.
Find what you’re comfortable with and go from there. Today there are many online brokers that offer a whole slew of services ranging from all human interaction to none at all. Choose what makes you feel the most comfortable with your investments.