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Finding a Financial Advisor For Your Needs – PillarWM

Managing your wealth throughout the course of your career can be stressful for just about anyone. For this reason, many wealthy individuals focus on finding a financial advisor to assist them with these duties. Investors who own $5 million to $500 million in liquid investment assets can reach out to Pillar Wealth Management for our financial advisory services. Read our exclusive guide for investors with $10 million or more to learn various strategies for effective asset management.

10 Best Financial Advisors of May 2023

10 Best Financial Advisors of May 2023

1. Facet

Facet Wealth, founded in 2016, is based in Baltimore, MD. The firm works exclusively with individuals and has over $1 billion in assets under management.

At Facet Wealth, you’re assigned a dedicated CFP, who is necessarily a fiduciary advisor, to establish a financial plan. Your advisor is available whenever you need help, advice, or information.

Facet Wealth offers online financial services with a human element. It provides financial planning and consultation, with fees ranging from $2,000 to $8,000 per year on a flat fee basis, depending on the complexity of the provided services. There is no investment advisory fee.

2. Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Vanguard holds about $8 trillion in assets under management. In 1951, John Bogle founded the Vanguard Group in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Bogle established the First Index Investment Trust in 1971. This fund, which is now called the Vanguard 500 Index Fund, is one of the earliest passive investing index funds.

Vanguard is owned by its fund shareholders. The company prides itself on offering low-cost products and services, with low expense ratios.

Vanguard launched its digital advisor in 2020.

For online advice with an advisor, Vanguard requires a minimum of $50,000 to qualify. The yearly fee is 0.30% of the account balance. With that service, you get a personalized financial plan, investment coaching, goal tracking, access to exclusive actively managed funds, and automated tax-loss harvesting.

3. Zoe Financial  

Zoe is in the business of growing wealth. Zoe Financial evaluates financial advisors so you don’t have to. First, they select only advisors with the CFP, CFA, or CPA designations. A Zoe advisor has at least five years of relevant experience.

A Zoe advisor must be unbiased and charge reasonable fees. Advisors are assessed on their knowledge and the client experience they offer.

Zoe claims to select only the top 5% of advisors. Zoe offers a free retirement planning guide.

4. Harness Wealth

Based on your profile, Harness Wealth’s technology will recommend tax, financial, or estate services advisors.

The Harness vetting process considers the advisor’s expertise, customer service, fiduciary status, and data security.

The Harness advisor marketplace covers the core pillars of financial strategies, such as wealth management, tax advice, equity services, and trust and estate planning.

Harness offers standalone financial planning starting at $1,200, using a vetted CFP.

5. Empower

Empower is a retirement plan recordkeeping financial holding company based in Greenwood Village, CO, and the second-largest retirement plan provider in the US. Empower provides both digital wealth management and traditional advisory services. It has more than 3 million users and more than $20 billion in assets under management. Personal Capital is now a subsidiary of Empower.

With the Empower Personal Wealth app, by linking your financial accounts, you can create a budget, plan for retirement, and track your investments. A financial advisor will help you use this tool to stay on top of your retirement goals.

Fees range from 0.49% to 0.89% of asset value—no hidden fees, no commissions.

6. Betterment Premium

Betterment’s investment advice is offered primarily over the internet. The investor provides the platform with information about her or his financial situation, and the software builds and manages your portfolio based on that information. The robot trades on your behalf, depending on asset allocation changes and account deposits or withdrawals. The minimum initial deposit is $10.

Asset allocations are drawn from low-cost ETFs. Third-party providers have access to traditional securities.

Betterment provides automated advice with access to financial planning experts through its Premium plan, which has a team of CFPs to offer advice through unlimited calls and emails. Betterment Premium requires a balance of at least $100,000 in traditional securities or crypto.

The Premium offering and Advice Packages provide advice from financial consultants via phone or email. The fee for a Digital client is 0.25% annually, and for a Premium client, the fee is 0.40%.

Betterment’s tools can help you figure out how much you need to save for retirement, and establish a savings plan.    

7. Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor

Merrill Guided Investing combines the Merrill Edge technology with the Merrill and Bank of America team of advisors.  Computer algorithms, despite their advantages, may miss the benefits of human experience. So, Merrill Guided combines the best that automation and people can offer to investing and portfolio management.

The Merrill Guided Investing with Advisor program offers the services of an advisor who provides customized advice and guidance to the client’s financial goals, with periodic reviews.

The minimum investment is $20,000, with an advisory fee of 0.85%, calculated monthly based on the prior month’s balance.

8. Ellevest

Ellevest is the premier investing app for women, built by women, with easy-to-use tools (according to the website).

Ellevest recommends how much you should have saved by the time you retire. The Ellevest system factors in the realities women face, such as the pay gap, career breaks, and a longer lifespan.

Ellevest invests and manages your money, making adjustments as you approach retirement so you stay on track with your retirement goals.

9. Charles Schwab

Founded in 1971 and headquartered in Westlake, TX, the Charles Schwab Corporation is one of the largest investment companies in the world, with assets under management valued at $7.13 trillion in 2022. The company acquired TD Ameritrade in 2020.

For a monthly fee, Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Premium offers automated investing with unlimited guidance from a CFP.

The digital planning tools help you stay on track, and with the help of your advisor, you can develop a customized road map to building wealth and reaching retirement in complete confidence. 

10. Wealthramp 

Pam Krueger is the founder and CEO of Wealthramp. Pam is committed to ensuring every investor can find an advisor dedicated to meeting their needs. She received the 2021 NAPFA award for her work in educating the public about the value of fee-only advice.

By thoroughly vetting fee-only fiduciary advisors, Wealthramp can match you to a financial planner who meets your requirements. There is no fee for finding an advisor. By teaming up with an advisor in the Wealthramp network, you’ll take the guesswork out of retirement planning. Fees vary by advisor.

With Wealthramp, you can be certain that your advisor is fully transparent, with no hidden agendas or conflicts of interest.

What is a Financial Advisor?

A financial advisor is defined as a professional who offers financial advisory services. Financial advisors are scattered throughout the finance industry and can be found in every city. However, most people associate the term “financial advisor” with someone who assists clients with trading on the market.

Understand What a Financial Advisor Is

A financial advisor is a professional who provides various financial services, compensated by commissions and/or fees paid by clients. Financial advisors are registered with the SEC and FINRA.   

What Is a Registered Investment Adviser (RIA)?

The SEC uses the adviser designation rather than advisor. Many financial advisors are Registered Investment Advisers, and they must abide by a fiduciary duty. RIAs may be individuals or firms. They provide financial services, including investment advice.

What Types of Services Do Financial Advisors Offer?

All financial advisors offer services related to helping you meet your financial goals. Many of them focus on one particular area. So they may take on a title such as financial planner, investment advisor, insurance advisor, estate planner, or retirement planner. However, some of these professionals can offer multiple services too.

Let’s examine some of the services these professionals provide.

Investment Advisory Services

An investment advisor is a special type of financial advisor who specializes in providing investment advice. Clients visit these professionals when they need assistance with choosing investments to expand or fine-tune their portfolio. You can learn about some portfolio expansion strategies in our special guide.

These advisors often limit their interactions to offering their investment expertise. They then encourage you to make the final investment decision yourself. However, some investment advisors may offer to manage your portfolio on your behalf.

This can be a useful option for investors who want to leave the buying and selling tasks in the hands of a knowledgeable professional.

Insurance Advisory Services

An insurance advisor specializes in offering advice related to insurance. They usually possess knowledge regarding insurance providers and their plans. An insurance advisor can assess your wealth and assets and recommend insurance coverage that keeps them protected.

Similarly, they may also recommend health insurance coverage to protect you from paying for medical emergencies out-of-pocket. Many insurance advisors work for insurance companies and receive a commission each time they successfully sell a policy. However, a wealth manager can also offer insurance advisory services without being biased towards a particular provider. Contact our wealth managers at Pillar Wealth Management to learn more about our insurance advisory services.

Estate Planning Services

Estate planners are professionals that assist you with estate planning. This includes tasks such as creating a will and selecting charities to donate to. They can also help you set up a trust to transfer wealth to your beneficiaries in a tax-efficient manner. Each of these services enables you to maintain better control over where your wealth goes after your passing.

High net worth or ultra-high net worth individuals typically seek out estate planning services when they believe they have accrued a significant quantity of wealth and would like to see it distributed to the right people and places. We discuss the importance of estate planning in our special book for investors The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million.

Retirement Planning Services

Wealthy individuals who wish to plan for their dream retirement use a professional retirement planner’s services. These are financial advisors who study your income, savings, and assets and use this information to create retirement plans.

They can tell you how much wealth you will need to achieve the retirement you desire. They may also encourage you to invest in assets that offer passive income in your retirement. Once your plan has been set into motion, these planners may check back to see your progress. They may then adjust your plan according to changes in your career or financial circumstances. Please speak to our wealth managers to learn about our retirement planning services.

Finding A Financial Advisor

What Are the Steps For Finding a Financial Advisor?

If you are seeking any of the services mentioned above, you should get in touch with a financial advisor. If you haven’t used financial advisory services before, you may be wondering, “how do I find a financial advisor”? High net worth or ultra-high net worth individuals should follow these steps to find the right financial advisor for them.

Determine Which Services You Need

Before searching for a financial advisor, you should know which services you require. This can be as easy as seeking a retirement planner for retirement planning services or an insurance advisor for insurance selection services. However, if you seek help with your investments, you can choose between many different types of professionals. This includes investment advisors and portfolio managers.

If you want to leave your portfolio in the care of a professional who can improve its performance, you should seek out a portfolio manager. We discuss some portfolio performance improvement strategies in our guide.

Once you have made your decision, you start looking up various advisors in your area.

Create a List of Potential Advisors

You should then cast a wide search net for financial advisors in your area. You can use the Financial Planning Association’s website to find financial advisors based on their location.

You can also use search engines such as Google and Bing to look up financial advisors based on their area of expertise. These search engines enable you to pull up a list of advisors very quickly. However, you need to perform additional research to understand who the best advisor for the job is.

You should also look up financial advisors who cater to high net worth or ultra-high net worth clients. If you are wondering, “how much do I need to hire a high net worth financial advisor?” the answer can vary depending on the financial advisor in question. At Pillar wealth management, we offer services to clients with $5 million to $500 million in liquid investment assets.[/vc_wp_text][vc_wp_text]If you are interested in knowing “at what point should I have an ultra-high net worth financial advisor,” you should have at least $30 million in investable assets.

Check Reviews and Ratings

When you have reduced your list to ten or twenty advisors, you can start looking up reviews for each one. It’s important to check for reviews on independent review sites, as many advisors cherry-pick positive reviews and place them on their own website.

By reading through reviews left by past clients, you can determine which advisors are worth your time and which ones should be avoided.

Contact Each Advisor

After narrowing your selection down to five potential advisors, you should meet with each one individually. Set up a face-to-face meeting or a video chat with the advisor and try to assess their suitability. You should tell them about your current financial position, your goals for the future, and any concerns you may have.

They will then explain their services to you and offer their expertise in helping you meet your goals. During your assessment, you should check how well they understand your position. It’s also worth asking if they have ever served another client in the same position as you. You can learn some additional questions to ask your financial advisor in our special guide.

Make Your Choice

By this point, you should have some understanding of who the best advisor for the job is. If you believe the advisor in question is knowledgeable about the services they offer, charges an acceptable fee, and is easy to reach out to, you should consider using them.

Decide What You’re Willing to Pay for a Financial Advisor’s Services

Financial advisors are paid according to one or more of the following methods.

AUM-based fees

An investor may pay a percentage of the value of the assets managed by the advisor (assets under management, or AUM). This percentage varies depending on the services provided for managing the assets. AUM-based fees range from 0.50% to 2.00%.

Fixed fees

The advisor may charge a fixed fee for a service, such as preparing a financial plan or an estate plan. The asset management fee may also be a fixed monthly or yearly fee, depending on AUM, rather than a percentage. Fixed fees start at around $2,000.

Hourly fees

For some services, the advisor may charge an hourly fee (like an attorney) for consultations or other services, at around $250/hr.

Retainer fees

The client may pay the advisor a retainer fee either quarterly or yearly, in addition to account management and trading fees. The median retainer fee is around $4,000.

Should I Hire a Financial Advisor?

During the course of your search, you might repeatedly ask yourself, “should I hire a financial advisor”? It’s not uncommon to think that you can get by without using the services of these professionals. However, there are many reasons why high net worth individuals and ultra-high net worth individuals seek out these advisors. This includes:

Achieving Your Financial Goals

Everyone possesses financial goals that they wish to achieve at some point in their career. Perhaps you want to accrue a certain amount of savings by the time you retire. Or maybe you want to start investing in a sector you are unfamiliar with. The right financial advisor can help you achieve these goals.

They can offer advice or possibly even create a step by step plan for guidance. This should get you on the right track towards your eventual goal. Contact our wealth managers to discuss your financial goals.

Identifying Risks

Anyone can look up financial strategies online and attempt to implement them by themselves. However, this approach does nothing to protect you from any underlying risks. Wealthy investors are exposed to many different risks during the course of their career and even during retirement.

The right financial advisor can identify these risks and help you avoid them. A qualified advisor should have plenty of experience in this area and can guide you safely.

Re-evaluating Your Goals

You might have your sights set on achieving a particular financial goal. But what if you are aiming too high or too low? A financial advisor can help you understand which goals are achievable and which ones are out of your reach.

If they find that you are aiming too low, they may encourage you to strive for an even greater goal. A good financial advisor can help you realize your potential and create strategies to help you get there.

Why Choose a Wealth Manager From Pillar Wealth Management?

So far, we have discussed the numerous reasons why you should use a financial advisor. However, we would say that a wealth manager may be a better choice than a financial advisor. We believe this for the following reasons:

Number of Services

A wealth manager provides a wider variety of services compared to ordinary financial advisors. You may benefit more from using the services of a single wealth manager than multiple financial advisors. By choosing a wealth manager, you can have all your needs managed by one person who understands your financial background and each of your goals.

Experience With Wealthy Clients

Earlier, we mentioned that you might need to seek services from a financial advisor who caters to high net worth as well ultra-high net worth clients. At Pillar Wealth Management, our wealth managers offer services exclusively to wealthy individuals with $5 million to $500 million in liquid investment assets. Our wealth managers are familiar with such individuals’ special needs and financial goals and can create plans that suit them. You can learn about the strategies we recommend for investors with $10 million or more in our special guide.


We have over 60 years of experience with offering services to clients. We have assisted numerous wealthy investors in achieving their financial goals. So set up a meeting with our wealth managers and start working towards your financial goals in a worry-free manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Everyone can benefit from the advice of a financial expert. Qualified financial planners have tremendous knowledge about every aspect of money management.

You may consider hiring a financial planner if you don’t know how to plan for a comfortable retirement or if you have some money to invest by don’t know how to get started.

You can expect to pay an annual fee of 0.5% to 2% of the value of the assets managed by your advisor; this percentage typically is lower for assets valued over $1 million or when using a robo-advisor.

If your financial situation is so confused that you don’t know how to save for retirement or start investing, it’s worthwhile to pay an expert to help you get on track.

You should research various investment firms, banks, and independent advisors before making your choice. Talk to several advisors to find one with whom you feel comfortable discussing your finances.

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.

Although you could benefit from the advice of an expert, you can create an investment portfolio on your own if you understand markets and the various investment vehicles available.

A financial planner creates a financial plan that allows the client to reach their goals. Of course, creating and implementing a financial plan isn’t free, and some planners are better than others.

A percentage fee of 1% is not too much; it’s about the average, so you can trust that number as long as the advisor is working hard to help you generate considerably more than 1% in wealth each year.

You can take advantage of the expertise of a financial planner as soon as you start accumulating wealth, such as putting money in a savings account whenever you get paid.


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.

You see, our goal is to only accept 17 new clients this year. Clients who have from $5 million to $500 million in liquid investable assets to entrust us with on a 100% fee basis. No commissions and no products for sale.

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