Finding a Financial Advisor

Many professionals offer financial advice, but how do you know which one to turn to? Browse Investopedia’s Top 100 Financial Advisor list—plus unique advice from those featured and more in our expert-written library—to find the right financial advisor for you.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What does a financial advisor do?

    A financial advisor is a professional who builds personalized financial plans to achieve the life goals of clients. Financial advisors help clients analyze and visualize their financial situations, including risk tolerance and risk capacity. Plus, they provide a buffet of services to improve clients’ financial futures, including investment advising, debt management, retirement planning, and tax assistance, among other services. Even after constructing an initial financial plan with a client, a financial advisor will regularly reassess the client’s situation to keep financial goals on track and ensure clients’ comfort and satisfaction with financial decisions.

  • How do I choose a financial advisor?

    You can find a financial advisor by asking for recommendations from family and friends, or you can search online. Many professional financial planning associations offer searchable databases of advisors such as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and the Financial Planning Association. No matter what title an advisor claims to have, it is recommended that you vet any potential advisor's credentials, experience, and fee structures before sharing your financial information. You can look up a firm's or individual's background by looking up the firm's Form ADV on the Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website.

  • How much does a financial advisor cost?

    The cost of a financial advisor can vary based on the kind of advisor you choose to work with and their payment structure. Financial advisors are usually paid through fees, commissions, or a blend of the two. Fee-based advisors earn a set hourly rate for their services or a set percentage of clients’ assets under management, while commission-based advisors earn commission through the products they sell. Within the field of financial advisory, there are three main types of advisors: human advisors, robo-advisors, and digital advisors. The cost—and what you get with each one—will vary. 

  • What is the Investopedia 100 program?

    The annual Investopedia 100 Awards celebrates financial advisors who are making significant contributions to critical conversations about financial literacy, investing strategies, life-stage planning and wealth management. With more than 100,000 independent financial advisors in the U.S., the Investopedia 100 spotlights the country’s most engaged, influential, and educational advisors.

  • How is the list of Investopedia 100 winners determined?

    The annual Investopedia 100 list honors independent U.S.-based financial advisors who have demonstrated top-of-the-industry commitment to financial literacy by using their social and traditional media reach, and who have received community support through peer nominations. To determine winners, Investopedia's data science and editorial teams measure each advisor's domain authority of their personal blog or website, followers across social media and podcasts, participation in workshops, programs, nonprofits or collaborations to spread financial education, and peer nominations by industry professionals outside of their own firms. Applications are checked for accuracy and quality, too.

  • What are the best investing books to learn from?

    In addition to working with a financial advisor, you may wish to continue your education on investing, growing wealth, or general financial planning. As part of the 2023 Investopedia 100, we asked seven of our top financial advisors to share the investing books that they have read and shared with their clients. The books touch on financial planning for couples, the behavioral psychology of money, and how to start legacy planning.

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