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Compare Investment Advisors

For most people, investment advisors are just for the wealthy. In actuality, investment advisors can provide useful services regardless of your financial means. Hiring the right investment advisor can help you choose the right retirement fund or create a trust that protects your legacy for your immediate family and future generations.

More Than Just Investments

While investment advisors perform many of the same functions as investment brokers, the two services are not interchangeable. In general, investment advisors oversee clients’ entire financial portfolios, including bank accounts, taxes insurance policies and pensions – as well as retirement and estate planning – in addition to investments. In fact, many investment advisors perform functions associated with attorneys who specialize in taxes and estate planning, insurance agents, investment brokers and accountants.

Full Service versus Limited Service

Full service investment advisors handle everything from establishing trusts to managing investment portfolios and administering retirement funds. So-called high-networth clients are often drawn to full service investment advisors. In plain English, that means that more affluent clients often have more complex financial portfolios that require individual attention.  Naturally, full-serviceinvestment advisors that are staffed with highly-qualified analysts are more expensive.

However, depending on your circumstances, an assortment of limited service investment advisors may provide a better fit. For instance, one type of 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 are often staffed by lower level agents rather than by brokers, attorneys or accountants. Such limited service firms also often rely heavily on software or automated services rather than one-on-one consultations.

Commission versus Direct Fees

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 or may not be suited to individual investment advisors circumstances.

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.

Due Diligence

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 be vetted by reading consumer reviews on SuperMoney and checking they are licensed and registered with your state securities regulator. 

Compare Investment Advisors

For most people, investment advisors are just for the wealthy. In actuality, investment advisors can provide useful services regardless of your financial means. Hiring the right investment advisor can help you choose the right retirement fund or create a trust that protects your legacy for your immediate family and future generations.

More Than Just Investments

While investment advisors perform many of the same functions as investment brokers, the two services are not interchangeable. In general, investment advisors oversee clients’ entire financial portfolios, including bank accounts, taxes insurance policies and pensions – as well as retirement and estate planning – in addition to investments. In fact, many investment advisors perform functions associated with attorneys who specialize in taxes and estate planning, insurance agents, investment brokers and accountants.

Full Service versus Limited Service

Full service investment advisors handle everything from establishing trusts to managing investment portfolios and administering retirement funds. So-called high-networth clients are often drawn to full service investment advisors. In plain English, that means that more affluent clients often have more complex financial portfolios that require individual attention.  Naturally, full-serviceinvestment advisors that are staffed with highly-qualified analysts are more expensive.

However, depending on your circumstances, an assortment of limited service investment advisors may provide a better fit. For instance, one type of 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 are often staffed by lower level agents rather than by brokers, attorneys or accountants. Such limited service firms also often rely heavily on software or automated services rather than one-on-one consultations.

Commission versus Direct Fees

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 or may not be suited to individual investment advisors circumstances.

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.

Due Diligence

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 be vetted by reading consumer reviews on SuperMoney and checking they are licensed and registered with your state securities regulator. 

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Company

Reviews

Minimum Account

Management Fee

Additional Details

Company Website

Betterment

Betterment

3
1
1
5 total votes
Management Fee 0.25% - 0.4%     0% 3%
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Show Additional Details
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Personal Capital

Personal Capital

1
 
 
1 total votes
Management Fee 0.49% - 0.89%     0% 3%
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Show Additional Details
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Acorns

Acorns

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Management Fee 0% Management Fee
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Show Additional Details
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Stash Invest

Stash Invest

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Management Fee 0% - 0.25%     0% 3%
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Show Additional Details
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Swell Investing

Swell Investing

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Management Fee 0.75% Management Fee
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Show Additional Details
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple

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Management Fee 0.4% - 0.5%     0% 3%
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Show Additional Details
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Vanguard

Vanguard

5
3
 
8 total votes
Management Fee 0.05% - 0.3%     0% 3%
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Show Additional Details
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Hedgeable

Hedgeable

1
 
 
1 total votes
Management Fee 0.75% Management Fee
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Show Additional Details
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
MassMutual

MassMutual

 
2
11
13 total votes
Management Fee 0.1% - 1.04%     0% 3%
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Show Additional Details
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
J.P. Morgan

J.P. Morgan

 
 
1
1 total votes
Starting Management Fee 1.5% Starting Management Fee
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor
Show Additional Details
  • Fee Based
  • Independent/Registered Investment Advisor