Best Financial Advisors Near Me: 3 Key Cost Structures

Finding the “best financial advisors near me” can be the difference between growing your wealth sustainably for many decades and losing all your wealth before you even hit retirement. For high net worth as well as ultra-high net worth families, this difference is crucial because there’s a lot at stake.

That’s why if you are looking to invest $5 million to $500 million in liquid assets, you should be busy searching for the “best financial advisors near me” and “How do I find a good financial planner?” Before we go any further, we recommend you request your free copy of our wealth management and investment planning book here.

best wealth advisors

STRATEGIES FOR FAMILIES WORTH $5 MILLION TO $500 MILLION

7 Secrets To High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning


The insights you’ll discover from our published book will help you integrate a variety of wealth management tools with financial planning, providing guidance for your future security alongside complex financial strategies, so your human and financial capital will both flourish.

Clients frequently share with us how the knowledge gained from this book helped provide them tremendous clarity, shattering industry-pitched ideologies, while offering insight and direction in making such important financial decisions.

The truth is that it’s quite easy to find just any financial advisor, for example, by searching for the “best financial advisors near me.” However, especially when you’re a wealthy individual, hiring a good financial advisor is key to your financial success, but what are the traits of good financial advisors? Well, according to Sherri Dalphonse, an editor at Washingtonian Media Inc., a financial consultant does not only handle investments. A professional planner considers the bigger picture. Do their business clients have adequate insurance? Is there any chance they can pay lower taxes? Do they have enough resources to save for their retirement?

Only by searching for the “best financial advisors near me” can you be sure to find an advisor who will truly understand your financial targets and help you get there through the right financial planning. Accordingly, if you want to find out how to choose the best financial advisors, click here to check out our handy guide on the best financial advisors for investors worth $10 million or more.

Pillar Wealth Management is a white-glove wealth management firm offering a wide range of financial planning and wealth management services. These include investment management, risk management, debt management, retirement planning investment management, and tax planning. Our team of experienced wealth advisors is dedicated to helping our prosperous clients achieve financial success. We do this by closely working with our clients to really understand their needs and goals and developing customized financial plans.

In today’s blog, we’ll be discussing the different types of financial advisors, some of the decent financial advisors throughout the US, how you should choose one among the “best financial advisors near me,” and whether they should be a fiduciary. Let’s dive right in.

The 9 Biggest Financial Advisory Firms in the U.S.

The 9 Biggest Financial Advisory Firms in the U.S.

#CompanyFeesAccount minimum
1.Facet Wealth$1,800 and up
per year (free initial consultation)
$0
2.Vanguard Personal Advisor Services0.30%
management fee
$50,000
3.Zoe FinancialVaries by advisor$100,000
4.Betterment Premium0.40%
management fee
$100,000
5.Personal Capital0.49%-0.89%
management fee
$100,000
6.Harness WealthUp to 1%
per year
$250,000
7.Ellevest Private Wealth Management0.90%$1,000,000
8.Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium™$30
monthly
$25,000
9.WealthrampVaries by advisor$0
Source Nerdwallet

Best Wealth Advisors

Among the “best financial advisors near me,” the best wealth advisors are experts. They have extensive experience in financial planning services such as investment management, retirement planning, and tax and estate planning. When choosing among the “best financial advisors near me,” ensure they offer the services to meet your financial needs. Also, consider the advisor’s fee structure and whether or not they are a fiduciary, which can influence your choice of advisor.

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Some of the top-rated financial advisors are firms with more than $1 trillion in assets, such as BlackRock, Vanguard, and Fidelity. Others are Albion Financial Group and Heritage Investment Group.

With a complex financial situation, you should take advantage of a financial advisor as soon as possible before you retire, which should increase your retirement income.

According to NerdWallet, some of the best returns on investments can be earned from investing in Vanguard Personal Advisor Services, Betterment Premium, and Harness Wealth.

No, because a fiduciary is a financial advisor who prioritizes their clients’ interests above their own, which is not the case for all advisors, who may have conflicts of interest.

Bank of America tops the list at bankdirector.com, being the largest in revenue for its wealth and asset management business, largely due to its Merrill Lynch acquisition in 2008.

The most common answer is that you should have $100,000 to invest before getting a financial advisor. You may want an advisor when you receive an inheritance or are able to save 20% of your income.

You may be able to find an excellent advisor by consulting your personal network. Also, do some research online, particularly looking at advisors in your area, so you can meet face-to-face.

According to the 2022 Barron’s ranking, the best financial advisory companies include Edelman Financial Engines, Hightower Advisors, Creative Planning, and Captrust.

The best financial advisors will earn around $150,000 per year, on average. An advisor who works with high-net-worth individuals can earn a lot more if their revenue is based on a percentage of AUM.

The best are certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), registered investment advisor (RIA), and certified financial fiduciary (CFF).

3 Cost Structures of Financial Advisors

3 Cost Structures of Financial Advisors

  1. Low-Cost Advisors
  2. Medium-Cost Planners
  3. High-Cost Wealth Adviser

Before you even attempt to find the “best financial advisors near me,” it’s important to ask yourself, “should I hire a financial adviser or go it alone?” If you think that you could manage your financial affairs alone, that’s fine. On the other hand, if you are among the wealthy individuals who have business assets, you should take into consideration having a financial adviser help you manage your assets.

So, before you accept that challenge of finding the “best financial advisors near me,” it’s important to evaluate exactly why you need a financial adviser. Ultimately, this will help you choose the right kind of financial adviser. Consider how much wealth you have and how much you want an advisor to manage, which services you require the most, how much you can afford to pay, etc. Once you start answering these questions, you’ll be able to forge ahead and search for “best financial advisors near me” and determine which financial adviser you should go for. Here are a few common types of financial advisors based on the services they provide.

1. Low-Cost Advisors

Mostly known as Robo-advisors, are digital service search tools that provide automatic investment advice. This specialized software answers investment questions, based on their algorithms, in regards to your assets, risks, and goals. A Robo-advisor usually starts their charge at 0.25% from the business assets that they manage in one year.

2. Medium-Cost Planners

When your financial demands move to future financial necessity, then among the results of your search for the “best financial advisors near me,” you may need to consult a proper financial planner, but one that costs less than a professional wealth adviser. You definitely need these medium-cost financial planners. Besides having an online service with a robo advisor, you can also consult with a human advisor. Additionally, you can have an interactive discussion and get a better understanding of your future financial plan. This financial service mainly charges 0.89% per year based on your managed assets.

3. High-Cost Wealth Adviser

You could consider this service coming from your personal financial counselor that you may have found by searching for the “best financial advisors near me.” This type of service is mostly provided by a wealth management firm. This is compatible with a high-net individual, family, or business client that has lots of business assets and in need of assistance in order to monitor these business assets. This is where wealth advisors come forth to assist these wealthy clients. This service usually charges at least $250,000 based on the assets under management.

Based on the above list, you probably can have a guess on what type of service can you get when you take the cost of service as a consideration. Moreover, you can also avoid a problem like choosing the wrong advisors by knowing about these cost aspects. You can learn more about such problems and signs by checking out our ultimate guide on choosing the best financial advisor.

7 Top Financial Advisors in the US

7 Top Financial Advisors in the US

  1. Kevin Mahoney
  2. Peter M. Welber
  3. Barry Glassman
  4. J. Mark Joseph
  5. Maura C. Schauss
  6. Jill Boynton & Susan Veligor
  7. Ashley Iddings & Grant Ruder

Now, you should also get to know about what exactly the services that these financial professionals could offer for you. These professionals have their own uniqueness, likes speciality bank, specialty in relationship finances, and so on. In order to give a better preparation to choose the proper planners for your financial life. Take a look at some of the “best financial advisors near me” and their specialty in the US below.

1. Kevin Mahoney

One of the leading financial consultants based in Washington DC is Kevin Mahoney. Kevin is a Certified Financial Planner and considered one of the foremost financial advisors in Washington DC. In addition, Kevin is CEO and the founder of Illumint, one of the best Washington DC financial companies. What makes him different from the other financial consultants is that he has specialization in advising relationship finances for Millennial couples. Some of his well-known planning services are to handle couples’ finance for a future necessity such as buy property like a house, managing payment student loans, and invest saving for future plans.

2. Peter M. Welber

As the President and CEO of Chevy Chase Trust Company, located in the Washington DC metro area, Peter has experience in consulting finances for more than 20 years. Providing the best financial plan for its client especially in investment advising likes risk management, family wealth services, and institutional investing. Consisting of CFA and MBA. Tax accountants and insurance specialists. Peter and Chevy Chase have proven their portfolios in financial planning services.

3. Barry Glassman

Driven by his intention to provides well-planned investment strategies and wealth management services for his clients. Barry Glassman, founder and president of Glassman Wealth Services, is one of the best Certified Financial Planners who has been featured in many media of finances. GWS itself has its offices in Virginia and Washington DC. Barry and Glassman Wealth Services is a fee-only firm that focuses on investment management, financial planning, retirement planning, charitable giving for tax and estate planning. Barry and his team have been assisting their clients with high fiduciary standards to help them achieve their financial dreams.

4. J. Mark Joseph

With his 25 years of experience in financial planning. Mark, the founder of Sentinel Wealth Management Inc, has been helping lots of clients to fulfill their financial needs. Sentinel has been featured as one of the top financial firms in Virginia and also in Washington DC, mainly offers financial planning services likes retirement, estate, philanthropic, tax income, education, and insurance.

5. Maura C. Schauss

Founder of Washington Wealth Advisors (WWA), Maura is a CFP of this fee-only firm that based on fiduciary standard services. Providing wealth advisory services that cover financial planning and investment for future financial freedom.

6. Jill Boynton & Susan Veligor

Before founding Cornerstone Financial Planning, Jill and Susan were met at their previous work. They had a dream to start their own fee-only financial firm with the fiduciary responsibility to assist clients, whether an individual, family, or business, to get their financial freedom. Cornerstone has its offices located in Maine and New Hampshire, providing divorce planning besides general financial planning and investment services.

7. Ashley Iddings & Grant Ruder

These two may not be the founder or CEO like previously listed. However, back in December 2019, Wealthspire Advisors’ Ashley Iddings and Grant Ruder were named as top financial advisers by Washingtonian Magazine. Ashley as a CIMA (Certified Investment Management Analysis) and CPWA (Certified Private Wealth Advisor), has her specialization in managing the financial affairs of individuals and families. As for Grant Ruder, a CFP (Certified Financial Planner), his focus is on providing financial planning for clients to fulfill their financial future demands. This includes insurance, estate and tax planning, credit cards cash flow and retirement planning, and also investment management. As for Wealthspire Advisors itself has 12 offices from New York to Philadelphia.

These experts above have extensive experience in dealing with various financial planning services, such as investment management, retirement planning, estate planning, and more. They typically offer a full range of financial planning services that help them address all of their clients’ financial needs.

Choosing the Best Financial Advisors Near Me

Choosing the Best Financial Advisors Near Me

  1. Compensation Model: Fee-only or Fee-based
  2. Fee-only
  3. Buckingham Strategic Wealth
  4. Minimum Account Sizes
  5. Wealth management clients
  6. Institutional advisory clients
  7. Investment management clients
  8. Fee-based
  9. Glenmede Trust Company
  10. Minimum Account Sizes
  11. Conflict of Interest

Evaluating your own needs and financial situation should have given you some idea as to which type of financial adviser you should go for when looking at your search results for the “best financial advisors near me.” Whether you need insurance advisers, personal financial services to manage your cash flow or even prepare for future student loans, or maybe retirement income planning, you should understand it well. Here are some of the factors on which you can evaluate the “best financial advisors near me.”

1. Compensation Model: Fee-only or Fee-based

How the financial or money advisers have compensated matters a lot as well as this can often lead to problems. Based on fee structure, the “best financial advisors near me” can be divided into fee-only or based. This point is crucial when choosing a financial planner. In fact, it can actually affect your future financial goals when you choose it incorrectly. Additionally, understanding how a financial planner benefits from its service can help you to get a better financial future.

2. Fee-only

Among the “best financial advisors near me,” a fee-only financial planner gets their payments directly from their clients, no other sources. This type of financial planner usually known as fiduciary. Because they have no other interest besides their clients’ interest.

3. Buckingham Strategic Wealth

Some of the fee-only wealth management firms are Buckingham Strategic Wealth. Consist of the best wealth advisors, this firm has satisfied its client with superb general planning and management.

4. Minimum Account Sizes

Buckingham Strategic Wealth minimum account size depends on its client. They are as follows:

5. Wealth management clients

$500,000 initial investment and $5,000 minimum annual fee

6. Institutional advisory clients

$26,000 minimum annual fee for accounts with $5 million or more in AUM

7. Investment management clients

$250 minimum quarterly fee

8. Fee-based

As for the “best financial advisors near me” who are a fee-based payment model, many financial advisors charge a flat fee on the Assets Under Management (AUM), as is the case with some investment advisors and wealth managers. In this commission-based model, advisors usually earn a commission every time they buy and sell a security on your behalf, as is the case with brokers.

9. Glenmede Trust Company

Some of the commission-based financial firms include Glenmede Trust Company. This firm mainly deals with institutional clients. As it may be one of the “best financial advisors near me,” with some of the best institutional wealth advisers, this firm has satisfied its clients with superb general planning and management.

10. Minimum Account Sizes

Glenmede Trust Company minimum depends on the financial product. For starters, Glenmede sets the price at $100,000. The firm may waive minimums for loyal clients of its parent company or affiliates.

Pillar Wealth Management is a 100% fee-only wealth management firm. Click here to start a consultation session with us today.

11. Conflict of Interest

When choosing a financial advisor among the “best financial advisors near me,” always check for any conflict of interest. This usually occurs when you’re dealing with financial advisors following the fiduciary standard vs. the suitability standard. Advisors following the suitability standard are only obligated to recommend suitably, not necessarily the best, products.

They are concerned with their own interests as well as yours. On the other hand, fiduciary advisors among the “best financial advisors near me” are wholly concerned with your best interests. Besides this, click here to read about the other shifts you must make to maximize portfolio growth strategies from this handy guide.

Should Your Financial Advisor Be a Fiduciary?

In case it wasn’t clear, and you’re still asking yourself, “should my financial adviser be a fiduciary?” the answer is yes. Advisors, resulting from your search for the “best financial advisors near me,” who abide by the suitability standard don’t lead you towards bad investments. Ultimately, it’s in their best interests to keep you happy with good investments and keep you on as a client for a long time.

However, perhaps between two suitable products, they might not always suggest the best one and rather encourage the one that better serves them. That’s why fiduciary advisors are always the better and safer choice, once you’ve considered your list of the “best financial advisors near me.” They don’t suffer from any conflicts of interest and are dedicated to helping you entirely.

best financial advisors near me

Finding a financial advisor: 6 tips to choosing the right one     

A financial advisor is someone who will become intimately familiar with your financial affairs, in particular, how you earn money and how you spend it. Over time, you will establish a working relationship with your advisor, and you will want that relationship to be built on open communication and mutual trust. Here’s what to look for.

1. Find a real fiduciary

A fiduciary is someone who puts the client’s best interests ahead of their own. Your financial advisor should be working exclusively for you, not for the commissions or bonuses they may earn. One indication of their commitment is if they pursue ongoing education or training, such as being up-to-date on tax laws and retirement accounts.

2. Check those credentials

Another indication that the advisor is a real fiduciary is reflected in their credentials. Some designations require exams and ongoing training. For example, a CFP is required to be a fiduciary. You can check the CFP Board’s site to verify the advisor’s credentials.

3. Determine the advisor’s fee structure

You’ve decided that you want a professional to advise you in your financial life. Now, you need to decide how much you’re willing to pay for financial advisory services.

Different advisors have different fee structures. They may charge a percentage of the value of the assets that they manage for you. Or they may charge you an annual retainer. They could charge you a flat fee for certain services, like preparing an estate plan. Hidden costs would include fees charged when an investment is sold.

4. Choose a fee-only advisor

Some advisors are paid commissions on the products they sell, creating a conflict of interest. They act more like a salesperson than an advisor. You will benefit more from an advisor who is a fiduciary and whose income is based only on the fees they charge their clients.

5. Insist on transparency

As mentioned above, your relationship with your advisor should be based on trust. You should be able to get clarity by asking questions, and you should expect to get clear and understandable answers. If your advisor is unable to provide clear explanations for their fees and investment recommendations, you need to change advisors.

It’s critical that you know how the advisor is compensated and that you have that understanding before making a commitment to work with that advisor.

6. Find an advisor who keeps you on track

With your advisor, you will develop a financial plan based on your financial goals and needs. Your plan can include not only the assets in which you want to invest, but also how you will save for retirement, and how you will budget and control your expenses and manage any debts you have. The plan will include your long-term financial goals.

Your advisor will work with you to implement your plan, and they should be tuned into your interests and life goals. They need the soft skills of good communication and emotional intelligence to guide and advise you through the rough patches in the market and in your life as well as celebrate your successes in meeting both short- and long-term goals. 

Questions to ask a financial advisor

Here are some sample questions to ask an advisor:

How do you get paid? Ask about the advisor’s fee structure, whether it’s fee-based or fee-only.

What are your credentials? Determine what types of certifications the advisor has, such as CFP or CPA certifications.

Are you a fiduciary? You will want your advisor to be a fiduciary, which means they are obligated to make your best interests their priority.

What happens if you change firms? Ask if you can continue to work with the same advisor if they move on to another position.

How do you measure your performance? Ask the advisor about their prior successes with clients like you.

Wrapping Up

When you find yourself asking, “who are the best financial advisors near me?”, you should first ask yourself, “why do I need a financial advisor?” Because it’s important to find the top financial adviser instead of finding just any consultant. Only then will you be able to achieve your financial goals efficiently.

Pillar Wealth Management is a 100% fee-only wealth management firm. We have some of the best wealth advisers on board who are always striving to help our affluent clients achieve their financial goals and targets. We offer customized financial plans that best align with our clients’ needs. With a broad range of financial services, our experienced team is well versed in various aspects of wealth management.

To be 100% transparent, we published this page to help filter through the mass influx of prospects, who come to us through our website and referrals, to gain only a handful of the right types of new clients who wish to engage us.

We enjoy working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and families who want what we call financial serenity – the feeling that comes when you know your finances and the lifestyle you desire have been secured for life, and that you don’t have to do any of the work to manage and maintain it because you hired a trusted advisor to take care of everything.

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