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Find a Trusted Advisor Near Me

Andrea Coombes

September 15, 2022

There’s a lot to think about when you’re trying to find and hire a financial advisor. Let’s boil it down to two simple facts:

  • You want to find someone who’s got experience related to your specific financial goals — whether it’s saving for retirement, investing for the future, buying a house, or any other money goal. That’s why it’s important to ask questions before hiring an advisor.
  • You want to find someone who’s focused on helping you make the most of your money, rather than someone who’s hellbent on maximizing their own profit. That’s why we recommend finding a fee-only fiduciary advisor — that’s an expert who gets paid solely by you, and focuses on your best interests.

A fee-only fiduciary advisor could be a Registered Investment Advisor, a Certified Financial Planner, a wealth manager, a financial coach — or hold any number of other titles and certifications. Find out more about different types of advisors and certifications.

Luckily for all of us, there are helpful online tools for finding vetted advisors.

To find a Registered Investment Advisor:

Use the robust tool on our website, investor.com, to search for a Trusted financial advisor. Our Trust algorithm collects thousands of regulatory filings from the SEC, amassing more than a half-million data points. We pull regulatory filing data every month to update the details for each advisor. You can search by your location or by an advisor’s name. Each advisor page offers details on possible conflicts of interest as well as questions to ask that advisor. Among specific factors considered for establishing Trusted status are the firm's years in business, conflicts of interest, disciplinary history and the security of its website. Once you find a firm you might like, contact them and be sure to ask the questions we outline in this article, including, “Are you a fiduciary in all your dealings with me?”

To find a Certified Financial Planner:

Look on the CFP Board’s Let’s Make a Plan website. Just enter your address in its “Find a CFP Professional” search tool to find CFPs near you.

  • Search on the XY Planning Network website. This site lets you filter CFPs, such as by your specific planning needs, your family structure or your career stage. All of the advisors are willing to work virtually, so you can work with a CFP anywhere in the U.S.

    To find a financial coach:

    Use this page to search for an Accredited Financial Counselor, aka a financial coach, in your area.

    To find a consumer credit counselor:

    Search for a certified consumer credit counselor:

  • The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau offers tips on how to tell the difference between a reputable credit counselor and a scam credit repair company.
  • To find a tax expert:

    Enrolled agents are tax experts who are authorized to represent taxpayers in front of the IRS. In other words, they know their stuff. Search for an enrolled agent using the search tool at the National Association of Enrolled Agents.

    Pro tip: Where you meet your advisor can offer helpful clues about your advisor that you don’t want to ignore. Check it out:

    If you find your advisor… Then…
    In a hotel conference room, and you’re there because they offered a free lunch or a free steak dinner… Seriously consider getting the heck outta there. These free-meal deals are sales pitches for pricey products.
    At your bank… Advisors at banks are often paid commissions to sell you products; ask if they’re a fee-only fiduciary so you know whether or not they’re working for your best interests at all times.
    At your investment broker… Like financial advisors at banks, some advisors at brokerages may be more focused on selling you products than helping you plan your financial future. Make sure they’re a fee-only fiduciary before you hire them.
    At a friend’s cocktail party… Cheers! This might be a fine way to get a referral, as long as you do some research on the advisor. Be sure to ask these questions before handing over any money.
    Online… Excellent. There are a lot of useful websites these days for finding a financial advisor (we linked to some above), and an online search can be a smart way to find the best advisor for you.

    Next steps

    Got questions about working with a financial advisor? We’ve got answers! Explore our complete course:




    About the author

    Andrea Coombes has 20+ years of experience helping people reach their financial goals. Her personal finance articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, MarketWatch, Forbes, and other publications, and she's shared her expertise on CBS, NPR, “Marketplace,” and more. She’s been a financial coach and certified consumer credit counselor, and is working on becoming a Certified Financial Planner. She knows that owning pets isn’t necessarily the best financial decision; her dog and two cats would argue this point. Read more about Andrea.

    About the editor

    Carolyn Kimball is Managing Editor for Reink Media Group and the lead editor for content on investor.com. Carolyn has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience at major media outlets including NerdWallet, the Los Angeles Times and the San Jose Mercury News. She specializes in coverage of personal financial products and services, wielding her editing skills to clarify complex (some might say befuddling) topics to help consumers make informed decisions about their money. Read more about Carolyn.

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