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Best Investment Advisors

May 2024

Getting investment advice is no longer something reserved for the ultra rich. A new generation of investment advisors has opened the investment world to anyone interested in building a portfolio. Discover which investment advisors are best suited for your financial circumstances and future goals.
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It doesn't matter if your portfolio has $20 or $20 million; there is an investment advisor for you. Online investment advisors can help you save, diversify your portfolio, provide transparent pricing, help you track your finances, and even save money on your taxes.
Here is SuperMoney's list of the best investment advisors currently available.
Compare All Investment Advisors

Methodology: How we picked the best investment advisors

SuperMoney's list of the best investment advisors is based on the qualitative recommendations of our community members and the quantitative recommendations of our ranking algorithms. We compared the best online investment advisors and searched for companies with competitive fees, low initial investments, and intuitive interfaces.

How do you compare investment advisors?

Researching investment advisors can be overwhelming with so many options available. But it doesn't have to be complicated. Before picking an investment advisor, consider the following factors.

Is it a full-service investment advisor?

Full-service investment advisors handle everything from establishing trusts to managing investment portfolios and administering retirement funds. High net worth clients usually prefer to work with full-service investment advisors. Full-service investment advisors are staffed with highly qualified analysts and are more expensive.
However, depending on your circumstances, an assortment of limited-service investment advisors may provide a better fit. For instance, one investment advisor may specialize in retirement funds while another exclusively creates and maintains trusts. People with more modest resources frequently opt for limited-service investment advisors. These companies will typically have fewer financial experts on staff and rely heavily on software or automated services rather than one-on-one consultations.

Does it offer robo-advisor services?

In recent years, a new class of investment advisors referred to as robo-advisors has emerged. Robo-advisors provide financial advice or investment management online with moderate to minimal human intervention. They provide financial advice based on mathematical rules or algorithms. These algorithms are executed by software to allocate, manage and optimize clients' assets automatically.
Robo-advisors are bringing investment advisory services to a broader audience with lower costs compared to traditional human advice. While robo-advisors can allocate client assets in many investment products such as stocks, bonds, futures, commodities, and real estate, the funds are often directed towards index funds and ETF portfolios. Clients can choose between offerings with passive asset allocation techniques or active asset management styles.

Does it charge a fixed fee or a commission?

There are two major payment models for investment advisors: commission-based payment versus direct fee billing. Commission-based systems provide compensation for brokers or investment advisors agents based on a percentage of the services provided. Direct fee-based systems have fixed fee schedules – with set fees for specific services.
Commission-based systems naturally provide an incentive for brokers or agents to sell more services. This can be advantageous in its emphasis on individual services – but a drawback because of the temptation to push services that may or may not be advantageous to clients. On the other hand, fee-based systems are often less expensive, but savings may be realized by obliging clients to utilize one-size-fits-all services that may not suit every investor's circumstances.

What is the minimum investment requirement?

For high-net-worth individuals, minimum investment requirements imposed by investment advisor firms are often of little or no consequence. But for clients of more modest means, minimum investment requirements may present a barrier to utilizing certain services or prevent such clients from working with certain investment advisors.

What fees does it charge?

Ask potential financial advisors about their pay structure and any fees they charge. Financial advisors typically charge a management fee based on your account size. This percentage can range from 0.25% to more than 1%, depending on the advisor you choose to work with and the assets they handle on your behalf. Annual advisory fees are also common. If they’re too high based on your assets, however, they can lower the benefit of working with an advisor.

Frequently asked questions about investment advisors

What does an investment advisor do?

Investment advisors are companies (or individual finance professionals) that make investment recommendations or conduct security analyses in exchange for a fee. They typically have discretionary authority over their clients' assets and are required to follow strict standards of fiduciary responsibility.

What is the best investment advisor company?

There isn't a simple answer to that question. The best financial advisor depends on your financial circumstances, objectives, and investment styles. There are typically two categories: robo-advisors and hybrid advisors. Robo-advisors use computer algorithms to create investment portfolios and offer personalized advice. Hybrid advisors combine technology and human advice and are typically more expensive. SuperMoney's list of the top investment advisors provides a selection of the best robo-advisors and hybrid investment advisors available.

What is the difference between an investment advisor and a financial advisor?

Financial planners will typically provide a wide selection of financial services, such as retirement plans, tax planning, and estate planning. Investment advisors focus on helping you invest.

Is an investment advisor worth it?

Paying for an investment advisor, whether they are robo-advisors or humans, is not for everyone. Some people prefer to work directly with brokerages and make their own financial decisions. However, if you are looking for advice to create a financial strategy, they can be very useful. The good news is that investment advisors charge you on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. So, you can always cancel the service if you don't feel like you're getting your money's worth. You could even hire their services for a short period and replicate the strategy on your own afterward.

What is the average fee for an investment advisor?

Typically, financial advisors charge based on how much money they manage for you. That fee can range from 0.25% to 1% per year. However, some investment advisors charge a flat monthly or annual fee.

How do you check the credentials of an investment advisor?

It should go without saying that any investment advisor you’re considering working with should be thoroughly vetted. Full-service firms often include certified public accountants (CPAs) or other licensed financial advisers on staff. Limited service firms may include agents who provide generalized services. However, both can be vetted by reading consumer reviews on SuperMoney and checking they are licensed and registered with your state securities regulator.
Investment advisors are required to provide detailed, up-to-date, and accurate information on Form ADV Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These forms provide valuable data when comparing investment advisor firms.
We have reviewed the top investment advisors and summarized the most important information in easy-to-read reviews. The list above is a good place to start looking for affordable investment advisors with modest initial investment requirements and intuitive platforms. If you would like to compare more investment advisors and reviews, check our investment advisor comparison page.

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