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How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

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What a financial advisor costs depends on the fee structure they use with their clients. Advisors who charge flat fees can cost between $2,000 and $7,500 a year. There are some financial advisors who charge hourly, or charge a one-time fee for a complete financial plan you can then follow on your own.

Many financial advisors use a fee structure called an AUM fee, or a percentage of assets under management. That fee is most commonly 1% per year, though there are plenty of services (like robo-advisors ) that charge substantially less. The actual cost of an advisor's AUM fee will depend on your assets: For example, a client who invests $10,000 with an advisor who charges a 0.50% management fee will pay $50 a year, while a client who has $100,000 invested will pay $500.

Looking for an affordable advisor? Jump to an overview of the types of financial advisors.

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Financial advisor fees

An overview of typical financial advisor fee ranges is below. Keep in mind that advisor fees can vary widely depending on the level of service provided, your geographic area and other factors.

Financial advisor fees by service

There are several varieties of financial advisors, including robo-advisors, online financial planning firms who work virtually and traditional financial planners. As noted above, the cost of service will depend on the type of advisor you choose.

Robo-advisors

Robo-advisors are computer-based services that help you choose and manage investments. They're a great, low-cost fit if you're interested specifically in investment management — a robo-advisor will build and manage an investment portfolio for you based on your goals, time frame and risk tolerance. Robo-advisors often require no or a low account minimum, so it's easy for beginners to start investing.

Cost: Robo-advisors typically charge an AUM fee of 0.25% to 0.50%, which works out to $125 to $250 a year on a $50,000 account balance. There are a couple of robo-advisors that charge no management fee, including SoFi Automated Investing and Ally Managed Portfolios .

What you get for that fee: Portfolios are built and monitored with computer algorithms. Robo-advisors generally don't provide customized financial plans or personalized investment advice, but many do offer online planning tools and calculators.

» Check out our roundup of the best robo-advisors

Online financial planning services

These services operate online like robo-advisors but function more like traditional financial advisors. They may offer full-service, customized financial planning alongside investment management. Unlike with a traditional financial advisor, that planning is done virtually, through phone or video meetings. Account minimums range from zero to a few hundred thousand dollars.

The way online financial planning services work varies. Some are robo-advisors with an added human element, offering computer-managed portfolios and access to a team of financial advisors for planning guidance and advice. Betterment Premium is an example of this type of service.

Others, like Empower and Facet Wealth , offer each client a dedicated certified financial planner — a credential that requires extensive training — who works with you to build your investment portfolio and create a complete financial plan. In general, online financial planning services cost less than a traditional in-person financial advisor.

Cost: Online planning services charge either an AUM fee — in our research, it ranges from 0.30% to 0.89% — or a flat annual fee that starts at about $2,000 a year and can go up from there, depending on the level of financial advice you need. Note that some services might charge for investment management and financial planning separately.

What you get for that fee: Investment management, a comprehensive financial plan and ongoing access to financial planners for less than the cost of a traditional in-person advisor. Meetings are held virtually, by phone or video.

» Want more options? Check out our roundup of the best financial advisors.

Traditional human financial advisors

This is what most people think of when they think of a financial advisor — a local business, where you go to meet with your advisor in person in their office. ("Financial advisor" is a broad term, and it includes varying credentials, such as investment advisors . We recommend working with a CFP due to their deep expertise.)

Feeling overwhelmed? If thinking about money is stressful, it may help to talk with a financial therapist .

Traditional human advisors use a variety of fee structures. Here are some of the most common, and what you typically get for that fee:

This is the same AUM model that robo-advisors and many online planning services use. Some traditional advisors don’t think the fee they would collect on a small balance is worth their time and won’t take on clients with less than $250,000.

Cost: The median AUM fee among human advisors is about 1% of assets managed per year, often starting higher for small accounts and dropping as your balance goes up.

What you get for that fee: Investment management, and in some cases, a comprehensive financial plan and guidance for how to achieve that plan. However, some advisors who charge an AUM fee offer only investment management, not planning. You'll typically have an ongoing relationship with the advisor.

Retainer for services

A set monthly or annual fee. The cost usually isn’t linked to how much you have available to invest, but you may pay more if your situation is complex.

Cost: From $2,000 to $7,500 a year.

What you get for that fee: Typically, comprehensive planning and investment management: The advisor will create a financial plan, help you implement it, monitor your progress and adjust as needed.

Hourly rate

Some financial planners have a set hourly rate, which doesn’t change based on your asset level. You only pay for the time you need.

Cost: $200 to $400 an hour.

What you get for that fee: You can schedule a few meetings to check your retirement savings progress, plan for the kids' college or get a workable budget. Or, if you want a full financial plan, you can get that. You carry out the plan on your own and there is no ongoing oversight from the provider unless you request and pay for additional time. Betterment 's financial planning packages are an example of this kind of service.

Flat fee per plan

Some advisors charge a flat fee for creating a financial plan. There is no ongoing management or oversight; you carry out the plan yourself.

Cost: The cost will vary by service, but $1,000 to $3,000 is typical for a financial plan.

What you get for that fee: A comprehensive financial plan and guidance for how to follow it, but no ongoing services or investment management. The advisor charges a set fee for each type of service. You’ll get an outline of what's included and see the fee upfront.

Sometimes advisors are paid through commissions on the investments they recommend (and those commissions come out of your pocket).

Cost: Varies by investment, but mutual fund sales loads generally fall between 3% and 6% of your investment. This is a one-time fee paid at the purchase or sale of the fund.

What you get for that fee: Typically, only investment management. We often recommend avoiding commission-based financial advisors: While some undoubtedly put your needs first, others may be swayed by the product that pays the highest commission. And the advisor may only be required to recommend investments that are suitable for you, but not necessarily the best fit.

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» Ready to act? See our guide on how to choose a financial advisor.

Why a financial advisor's fee structure matters

No matter which type of financial planning service you choose, be sure to understand exactly how much you'll pay for services and what the services entail. That's especially important with a traditional human advisor because there are so many different payment structures used. Before hiring one, ask plenty of questions and know these terms:

A fee-only advisor doesn’t earn any commissions from investments. These advisors face the fewest conflicts of interest when offering advice. They may still piece together more than one fee type — for example, charging an AUM fee for investment management and a flat fee for financial planning.

A fee-based advisor charges a fee but may also accept commissions from investments. Many advisors combine commissions with an AUM fee.

A commission-only advisor earns their income from commissions on the investments bought and sold on your behalf.

business financial advisor cost

What is the normal fee for a financial advisor?

Unfortunately there is no "normal" fee that financial advisors typically charge. Because of the variety of fee structures and certifications used by financial advisors, the wide range of services advisors offer and geographical disparities in pricing, it can be difficult to know how much you should pay for financial advice. For example, a financial coach may offer fewer services than a CFP, but they likely won't charge as much.

The ranges in pricing can feel severe, but remember that you're only looking for what suits your needs. If you're after basic investment management of a relatively small account, a flat fee of $2,000 a year is likely too much. On the other hand, if you have six figures to manage, working with the cheapest advisor you can find may mean you won't receive the depth of financial advice you need.

Thankfully, just as there is wide variance in how much a financial advisor costs, there are plenty of options to choose from.

Related articles

How to Choose a Financial Advisor

What Is a Robo-Advisor and Is One Right for You?

Best Online Stock Brokers for Beginners

CFP: What Is a Certified Financial Planner?

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  • Types of financial advisors 
  • Robo-advisors vs. human advisors 
  • Fee-only vs. commission-based advisors 
  • Factors influencing advisor costs
  • Evaluating the cost vs. benefit 
  • Assessing the value a financial advisor brings to your financial planning 
  • How to choose an affordable financial advisor 
  • Financial advisor cost FAQs 

How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

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  • According to AdvisoryHQ, the average cost of a financial planner is 0.59% to 1.18% of your assets.
  • Not every planner charges by assets under management, though — they might charge fees or commission.
  • A robo-advisor or online planning tool will cost less than a traditional, in-person planner.

A financial planner is an expert, usually a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP), who helps you create a financial plan to reach various goals.

"They'll really try to get to know the client they're working with, try to get to know their goals, both short- and long-term, as well as understanding their risk tolerance," says Maggie Gomez, CFP® professional and owner of Money with Maggie . "Then they will help to get their money invested in a way that gets them to their goals in the most efficient way."

While you may think of a financial planner as someone who helps with your investments, their responsibilities go beyond looking at the stock market.

"Think about, do I need help creating a budget? Do I need a plan for my student loan debt? Am I trying to buy my first house?" says Lauryn Williams, CFP® professional and founder of Worth Winning Financial Planning . A financial planner can help you create a strategy to reach those goals.

The cost of a financial planner will depend on their services — for example, maybe you want a one-time meeting or ongoing financial planning sessions — and their fee structure.

Financial planner vs. financial advisor

You may hear the terms "financial planner" and "financial advisor" used interchangeably, but there are key differences . Gomez explains that the best financial advisors typically focus just on managing your investments and building wealth. A planner looks at your overall financial plan, including making investments, paying off debt, and reaching goals like homeownership.

Types of financial advisors  

Robo-advisors vs. human advisors .

A robo-advisor is a digital service that uses automation to help provide basic services offered by a financial advisor, for example portfolio management. The difference is that a robo-advisor does this through automation. 

Basically, a robo-advisor can help you put together a portfolio after asking you a handful of questions about different factors like your investment horizon, risk tolerance and goals. 

Working with a human advisor might result in a different experience, as it involves a more hands-on approach. Human advisors can potentially provide a far wider range of services, spanning basic banking to estate planning. Human advisors come in many different forms, ranging from fee-only fiduciaries to people who are effectively sales representatives working for specific financial institutions like insurance companies. 

Fee-only vs. commission-based advisors 

Certain financial advisors are fee-based, meaning that some or all of their compensation comes from fees. A portion of fee-based advisors are fee-only, meaning that they generate all of their revenue by charging their clients fees. 

Commission-based advisors earn all of their income from financial services products they sell, for example insurance policies and securities like mutual funds. Commission-based advisors are held to a suitability standard, which is set forth by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 

Basically, this standard states that commission-based advisors must recommend financial services products that are suitable to the individual investor. More specifically, the recommendation should fit the individual's investment profile. 

However, commission-based advisors have a greater incentive to sell more expensive financial services products, as they can come with a larger commission, therefore creating a potential conflict of interest. 

Common fee structures  

Percentage of assets under management (aum) .

Many financial advisors charge a percentage of the assets they manage. For example, if they charge 0.25% annually and you have $100,000 in your IRAs, you'd pay $250 for the year. If the planner has a tiered AUM structure, they'll charge you a lower percentage the higher your asset value is. 

This fee, based on the assets of a client, can be referred to as the AUM fee. Advisors can charge this fee on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. 

According to 2021 data from AdvisoryHQ , the average cost of a financial planner who charges based on AUM is 0.59% to 1.18% per year. AdvisoryHQ collected data from CFPs, wealth advisors, and asset management firms. 

Robo-advisors are less expensive. To find the average cost of a robo-advisor, we looked at 23 robo-advisors. Then we split the costs into two categories: those that charged a percentage of your assets, and those that charged a flat fee. For robo-advisors with more than one payment option, we included each fee option as a separate data point.

According to our research, the average cost for a robo-advisor that charges by AUM is 0.40% annually. (Keep in mind, we included 111 data points, and 85 were from just one company that had multiple fee options.)

Fixed fees 

Some advisors charge flat fees, a development that might make financial advice accessible to a wider range of people. More specifically, this approach might make such services accessible to individuals who would not be profitable enough to appeal to advisors if charged an AUM fee. 

Younger clients who have not had the time to build up much wealth and older clients who are in the process of drawing down their retirement methods might both benefit from this approach. 

A financial advisor might charge a client thousands of dollars every year in flat fees, for example. 

Hourly rates 

Some financial advisors charge by the hour, frequently requiring clients to pay hundreds of dollars an hour for such an arrangement. For example, a client might pay an advisor $500 an hour to meet with them once or twice. 

This approach could potentially make financial advice accessible to a wider range of potential clients by making these services available to individuals who have not built up substantial assets. 

Commission-based 

Some financial advisors get paid by generating commissions through sales of financial services products like life insurance policies and annuities. This approach can potentially create a conflict of interest by motivating these professionals to sell products with a larger monetary value in order to generate a more substantial commission. 

How do you choose which fee structure is best for you? Gomez says that if you're busy and just want some guidance to get started, an hourly rate might be best. If you want an ongoing relationship with a planner, an annual fee or percentage of AUM could be a good fit.

It's also important to consider whether you're comfortable with a commission structure.

"Commissions in and of themselves are not a bad thing — realtors make money that way, and that's a common profession that people are okay with," says Williams. "You just need to be mindful that if you're working with someone who charges commissions, there could be an innate conflict of interest. So it may be that they don't pick what's in your best interest because they're feeling motivated to sell in general, as opposed to doing what's best for you as the client." 

Factors Influencing Advisor Costs

Level of service and expertise.

Some major variables that influence the amount charged by advisors are the types of services they provide and how much expertise they have built up. If an advisor has built up a reputation in one particular area, they may be able to charge far more for providing that kind of service. 

Complexity of financial needs

Clients with complex needs, for example family members who need to plan for various objectives, may have far more complex needs than an individual who is single. A married parent, for example, might be planning for both their retirement with their spouse and also the college education of their children. 

Developing a complex financial plan will obviously take more time and energy to create than a simple plan that involves basic needs like retirement planning. As a result, it would likely cost more, on average, than a simple plan, if the advisor charges a flat rate or by the hour to create and implement a plan. 

Geographic location 

The cost of hiring a financial planner might also depend on the geographic location where they work. Some areas, for example Manhattan, have higher costs of living than rural areas, which could affect how much these professionals need to charge in order to keep up with their expenses and make a reasonable living. 

Evaluating the cost vs. benefit  

Assessing the value a financial advisor brings to your financial planning .

While financial planners can certainly be helpful, it is important for any benefit they provide to outweigh the cost. An easy way to perform the necessary cost-and-benefit analysis involved is to simply measure the return provided by following a planner's recommendations and then weigh that against how much it costs to employ that individual. 

If a financial planner (or advisor) provides services on a fee-only basis, this should be a rather straightforward endeavor. However, if the professional is fee-based or commission-based, this evaluation could become a bit more complicated. 

How to choose an affordable financial advisor  

Tips for finding advisors within your budget .

One of the most reliable ways to find an advisor that is a fit for your needs is to get a referral from someone you trust, for example a friend, family member or coworker. By taking this approach, you can get a recommendation from someone who has direct experience with the professional in question. 

Another simple approach is to ask professionals who might work with a financial advisor, for example estate planning attorneys or accountants. These individuals may very well have a financial planner they work with on a regular basis. 

Investors looking for an advisor that fits within their budget might also consider looking at robo-advisors, as using one of these is frequently less expensive than working with a seasoned professional. 

If an investor is looking to work with a financial advisor on an in-person basis instead of using a robo-advisor, there are databases they can search, for example the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors , which interested parties can use to find fee-only financial planners. 

The CFP Board offers a website with a search function that investors can use to look for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals. This resource lets interested parties search by geographic location, service offered or the advisor's last name. 

Questions to ask potential advisors 

There are many questions you can ask prospective financial advisors in order to evaluate whether they are a good fit for your needs. For example, you could ask them how many years' worth of experience they have, and whether they are a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professional. 

You could ask them what products and services the advisor provides, as this will give you a good sense of what options you will be able to access through working with them. This question is crucial to ask, as your needs could be relatively straightforward or very complex. 

Further, you should ask what professional experience they have (besides being a financial advisor). Your prospective advisor might be a former accountant, for example, commanding knowledge and experience that could come in handy. 

Another important question is how the advisor is paid. Do they have a fee-only, fee-based or commission-based payment structure? If they do charge fees, what type of model do they use? 

Past that, it is important to ask what your communication with your advisor will look like. Will it consist of in-person meetings, virtual meetings or some combination thereof? How often will the advisor plan on meeting with you? 

Financial advisor cost FAQs 

The costs associated with hiring a financial advisor can vary quite a bit, but many of these professionals charge between 0.59% and 1.18% of AUM every year. If they charge either a flat fee or by the hour, the expenses can fall within a wide range, based on the experience of the advisor and the services offered. 

Yes, it is possible to negotiate fees with a financial advisor. Obviously enough, some financial planning professionals will be more open to this than others. 

Some investors consider the fees worth it, as working with a financial advisor can offer personalized advice, save an investor time and potentially deliver better returns, but the answer to this question can vary substantially based on individual circumstances. 

Financial advisors may charge a fraction of AUM, charge flat or hourly fees to get paid on commission. 

When choosing a financial advisor, you should consider the professional's experience, certifications, service offerings and how they charge. 

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How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

Adam Hayes, Ph.D., CFA, is a financial writer with 15+ years Wall Street experience as a derivatives trader. Besides his extensive derivative trading expertise, Adam is an expert in economics and behavioral finance. Adam received his master's in economics from The New School for Social Research and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in sociology. He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

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Katie Miller is a consumer financial services expert. She worked for almost two decades as an executive, leading multi-billion dollar mortgage, credit card, and savings portfolios with operations worldwide and a unique focus on the consumer. Her mortgage expertise was honed post-2008 crisis as she implemented the significant changes resulting from Dodd-Frank required regulations.

business financial advisor cost

Like many people, you may be considering a financial advisor to help you navigate the complex world of personal and household finance. A financial advisor can be a valuable resource for developing a financial plan, managing investments, planning for retirement, and achieving your long-term financial goals. But before you take the plunge, it’s essential to understand the costs involved and weigh the benefits against the potential fees.

In this article, we will explore the average cost of financial advisors, comparing traditional advisors with newer technology-driven alternatives like robo-advisors. We’ll discuss the different types of fees involved and offer tips on how to reduce costs and find the right advisor for you.

By carefully considering the various fee structures, comparing advisors, and ensuring you receive fair value for the services provided, you can make a smart decision about your money and how it will be managed.

Key Takeaways

  • Financial advisors are helpful for crafting a financial plan and managing aspects of your finances.
  • However, financial advisors also come at a cost.
  • Financial advisors’ fees vary based on the fee structure—assets under management (AUM)-based, commission-based, or fee-only—and services provided.
  • Robo-advisors offer a lower-cost alternative to traditional financial advisors, but are less hands-on and more generic.
  • Finding the right financial advisor involves more than just evaluating costs, such as seeking referrals, checking credentials, researching reviews, and ensuring alignment with your financial goals.

The Average Cost of a Financial Advisor

Financial advisors today typically get paid in one of three ways (or some combination of them): a percentage based on the amount of assets under management (AUM) ; commissions based on particular products or services; or a flat fee (known as fee-only ).

The average cost of a financial advisor depends on the fee structure, the services offered, the client’s needs, and the location they serve.

Fee-only advisors charge a fixed rate for their services, typically ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 or more per year (depending on the level of service and the client’s needs), or an hourly fee ranging from $100 to $400 per hour.

For example, a standard consultation may focus on budgets and cash flow, savings ability, investment portfolios , and insurance coverages. This might take six to 10 hours (so maybe around $1,500–$2,500). A more detailed examination of your financial picture, including retirement planning, education funding, tax advice, purchasing a second home, etc., will often take longer (such as 14–20 hours) and could cost around $3,500–$5,000, or more depending upon the complexity.

Some may also charge a one-time fee for an initial consultation and the creation of a comprehensive financial plan, ranging from around $1,000 to $3,000.

Fee-based advising has seen increased popularity over the past several years, and its growth reflects a preference for fee transparency and greater objectivity from advisors who do not need to worry about different commissions or sales structures.

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) requires that its members use the fee-only method of compensation, which they say is the “most transparent and objective method available.”

The traditional fee structure for financial advisors has been based on assets managed. AUM-based advisors charge for their services based on a percentage of assets under management, which typically range from 0.6% to 1.2% of your total assets.

AUM fees have been trending downward over the past decade due to increased competition among advisors and from lower-cost fintech options. Today, the typical fee is around 1%. This means that if you have $1 million invested with a traditional advisor who charges 1% AUM, you will pay $10,000 per year in fees.

Some traditional advisors may also charge additional fees for financial planning, trading commissions, account maintenance, or product sales.

Commission-Based

Commission-based advisors earn a percentage of the sales or transactions that they execute for clients. For example, there may be a per-trade commission for buying stocks, bonds, or loads for mutual funds, as well as a percentage-based commission on insurance products and annuities. The size of the commission will depend on the size or frequency of the transaction or investment and can vary among the different financial services companies offering these products.

This compensation structure can thus create potential conflicts of interest, as commissioned advisors may be incentivized to recommend those products that generate higher commissions, even if lower-cost options are more suitable.

Are Financial Advisors Worth the Cost?

Expert guidance

Personalized service

Time saving

Access to specialized resources

Comes with fees

Potential for conflicts of interest

Often requires minimum asset levels

Limited value for DIY investors

The Cost of a Traditional Advisor vs. Robo-advisor

Robo-advisors are a relatively new class of financial advising that relies on algorithms and other technologies to automate financial planning and portfolio management—generally at very low cost and with low minimums required to open an account (sometimes with no account minimums at all).

Traditional financial advisors offer personalized advice and tailored financial plans, which often come at a higher cost and can require minimum opening balances of five or six figures, or more.

Fees for robo-advisors usually range from 0.25% to 0.50% of AUM, making them an affordable alternative for investors with lower account balances. Most robo-advisors also automate passive indexing strategies that often optimize portfolios based on modern portfolio theory (MPT) , making them suitable for most long-term investors.

At the same time, however, robo-advisors may lack the personalization and sophistication required of some clients and can have other costs associated with their services, such as fund expenses or withdrawal fees. Robo-advisors may also not be best-suited for do-it-yourself investors and more active traders who want to play a more direct role in picking which assets belong in their portfolio, since the robo-advisors’ algorithms take care of all of that without client input.

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

If you’re in the market for a financial advisor, you may want consider the following:

  • Seek referrals from friends/family
  • Check their credentials and certifications
  • Research online reviews
  • Schedule free consultation meetings
  • Evaluate their fees and costs
  • Ensure alignment with your goals

How to Reduce the Cost of a Financial Advisor

  • Compare fees and services : Shop around and compare fees and services offered by different advisors to find the best value. Not every financial advisor has the same cost structure, so it’s worth comparing. Moreover, try to avoid paying for additional services that you do not need or want.
  • Negotiate fees : Don’t be afraid to negotiate fees with potential advisors. Some may be willing to lower their rates to secure your business or to take you away from a competitor.
  • Consider robo-advisors : If you have a smaller account balance, consider using a robo-advisor for a lower-cost, set-it-and-forget-it alternative.
  • Learn how to do it yourself : For those who are willing to put in the time and effort, learning to manage your own finances can be a cost-effective alternative to hiring a financial advisor. Numerous resources are available, such as books, online courses, and forums, that can help you build your financial knowledge and develop your investment strategy. However, be prepared to dedicate time and effort to stay up to date and manage your financial plan effectively.

You can find out financial advisors’ fee schedule by asking them outright, looking at the advisor’s website, or looking up their Form ADV filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (which you can do here ).

How Much Money Should You Have Before Using a Financial Advisor?

There is no definitive answer to how much money you should have before using a financial advisor. Different advisors may have different minimum requirements, fees, and services. Some advisors require a minimum of $100,000 in investible assets, and some may require $500,000, $1 million, or even more. Some large financial institutions and banks may offer more basic advisory services with lower minimums.

If you don’t meet the minimum asset thresholds to hire an advisor, you can consider seeking out other resources, such as robo-advisors, online financial planning services, or financial education platforms. These options may offer lower fees, lower or no minimums, and more accessibility than traditional advisors.

What Is the Difference Between a Financial Planner and a Financial Advisor?

A financial planner is a type of financial advisor who helps individuals and organizations create a strategy and plan to meet their long-term financial goals. The difference between a financial planner and a financial advisor is not always clear-cut, as these terms are often used interchangeably and may often overlap.

A general distinction is that “financial advisor” is a broader category that can include many professionals who provide various forms of advice or guidance on financial matters. But a financial advisor may also specialize in a specific area of finance, such as investment management, wealth management, insurance, banking, or accounting.

A financial planner usually will have a specific certification or designation, such as the certified financial planner (CFP) . Such credentials require meeting certain educational, examination, and work experience requirements. A financial advisor may or may not have any of these qualifications, depending on their role and services.

Are Financial Advisor Fees Tax-Deductible?

Advisor fees are generally not tax-deductible for individuals, especially after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, which eliminated the deductibility of several items.

Before the TCJA, Internal Revenue Code Section 212 did allow many individuals to deduct expenses incurred in the production of income, including fees paid for investment advice. Today, if you pay for advisor fees directly from certain types of accounts, such as traditional individual retirement accounts (IRAs), you can essentially give yourself a tax deduction because you are paying the IRA fees with pretax dollars. The fees must be paid directly from the account and not reimbursed by the account owner.

Understanding the costs and benefits associated with financial advisors is crucial for making an informed decision about managing your personal finances. This article has explored the various fee structures, compared traditional advisors with robo-advisors, and provided insights on how to reduce costs and find the right advisor for your needs.

By comparing advisors, assessing fees and services, and ensuring you receive fair value, you can make a smart decision about whether a financial advisor is the right choice for you. Remember, the key is to weigh the potential fees against the value of expert guidance, personalized service, and specialized resources offered by financial advisors to determine if it’s a worthy investment in your long-term financial success.

Pillar Wealth Management. “ How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost—3 Fees to Know .”

National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. “ What Is Fee-Only Financial Planning? ”

AdvisoryHQ. “ Average Financial Advisor Fees in 2023 | Everything You Need to Know .”

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “ Investor Bulletin: Robo-Advisers .”

Hayes, Adam. “ The Active Construction of Passive Investors: Roboadvisors and Algorithmic ‘Low-Finance’ .” Socio-Economic Review , 2019 vol. 0, no. 0, pp.1-28

Yahoo! Finance. “ How Much Money Do You Need to Consider a Financial Advisor? ”

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. “ Financial Planners .”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “ Personal Financial Advisors: What Personal Financial Advisors Do .”

Internal Revenue Service. “ Publication 5307: Tax Reform Basics for Individuals and Families ,” Page 7 (Page 9 of PDF).

Office of the Law Revision Counsel, U.S. Code, U.S. House of Representatives. “ 26 USC §212. Expenses for Production of Income .”

Internal Revenue Service. “ Publication 550: Investment Income and Expenses ,” Page 32.

U.S. News & World Report. “ Tax Breaks for Investors Who Engage Financial Planners .”

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How much does a financial advisor cost? 2024 costs and fees

Coryanne Hicks

Stephanie Steinberg

Stephanie Steinberg

“Verified by an expert” means that this article has been thoroughly reviewed and evaluated for accuracy.

Hannah Alberstadt

Hannah Alberstadt

Updated 10:24 a.m. UTC Oct. 27, 2023

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  • Financial advisors can be paid through commissions, hourly, flat or advisory fees, or a combination.
  • You can learn about advisor fees on Form CRS for brokers or Form ADV for investment advisors.
  • Robo-advisor fees tend to be lower, but that’s because they give less personalized guidance.

Working with a financial advisor can present a dichotomy. On the one hand, you want the best guidance you can buy. On the other hand, you want to keep your costs as low as possible. 

You can view it as an investment. You’re paying money in the hopes it will help you make even more money than you pay for the advisor long term. But for that to be true, you must ensure you get enough value relative to the fees you pay. And to do that, you must know what you pay and if the price is fair for the services you receive.

We’ll explain how financial advisors are compensated and what costs to expect when hiring one.

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How financial advisors are paid

There are three common ways financial advisors are paid:

  • Commissions: Advisors earn a commission for the products they sell to clients, such as life insurance policies or annuities.
  • Hourly or flat fees: Advisors can charge hourly fees or flat fees for specific services. For example, an advisor may charge $2,000 for a comprehensive financial plan and then $200 per hour for help implementing it.
  • Advisory fees: These fees are often charged as a percentage of the assets you have under management with the advisor, called AUM fees. “These fees are usually billed and paid directly from the accounts,” said Brian Kuhn, senior vice president and financial advisor at Wealth Enhancement Group. AUM fees are often charged quarterly. For instance, if you have $1 million with an advisor who charges 1% per year, you’d pay $10,000 for the year, or $2,500 per quarter.

Advisors can charge one or more of the above fee types. 

“For example, an advisor could simply charge a one-time fee to cover a certain amount of time spent together or a one-time fee to cover topics other than investment management and use the percentage specifically for managing the assets,” Kuhn said.

Fee-based advisors earn commissions and advisory fees, while fee-only advisors earn only advisory fees, not commissions.

“Commission-based advisory tends to be the most traditional fee model in our industry, while fee-only is somewhat newer and typical of registered investment advisory firms,” said Jane DeLashmutt O’Mara, senior portfolio manager at FBB Capital Partners.

All fees and commissions earned by a financial advisor — even online or robo-advisors — must be disclosed on Form CRS for brokerage firms or Form ADV for investment advisory firms, both of which must be given to new clients. Brokerage firms also must make fee information readily available to clients. This is often done through a hyperlink to the firm’s fee schedule.

Find a financial advisor in minutes with Datalign.

Fees to expect by service

The fees advisors charge vary based on the firm and level of service provided. Fees can be structured in a number of ways: flat, hourly or by a percentage of AUM.

Some firms use sliding scale fees, with high asset levels qualifying for lower fees. For example, a $50,000 account may incur an AUM fee of 1.18% per year, whereas a $5 million account may be charged 0.84% annually. If you have around $1,000,000 in investment assets, you might pay around 1.02% in AUM fees.

You can get an idea of how these fees stack up in the table below, based on the most recent data from AdvisoryHQ .

Typical costs of financial advisor fees

For flat fees, you might pay a fixed rate of $7,500 if you have around $65,000 in investable assets. For those with slightly more to manage, the fixed fees go up. Those with $1.2 million in managed investments can expect to pay around $12,500 in fixed fees.

In addition to these advisory fees, you might be charged fees, such as expense ratios and trading commissions related to the products in your portfolio.

“Often, clients are not aware of the embedded investment management fees associated with the products they own, so we recommend that you speak with your advisor about whether this is applicable to your situation,” O’Mara said.

Looking For A Financial Advisor?

Types of financial advisors

Thanks to technology, receiving financial advice is easier than ever. Investors can get help in whatever form they prefer, be it an in-person meeting with a “traditional” human advisor or over their computer or mobile device through a robo-advisor. There are even hybrid models that offer both robo and human financial advisors.

While each type of financial advisor has merits, it’s important to understand how your relationship and the level of guidance you receive will differ with each type of advisor.

Robo-advisors vs. “traditional” human advisors

If how much a financial advisor costs is a concern, a more economical way to get financial guidance can be to use robo-advisors. These digital platforms use algorithms to create portfolios based on your goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. 

Robo-advisor fees typically range from 0.25% to 0.9% per year. Others charge monthly or annual subscription fees, such as $3 to $30 per month or $300 per year. You may also encounter a one-time initial planning fee. For instance, Charles Schwab’s robo-advisor starts with a $300 initial planning fee and then charges a $30 monthly fee.

How can robo-advisors charge so little compared to traditional human advisors? The answer lies in personalization.

Robo-advisors are algorithms that incorporate the variables built into their computer programs when creating a portfolio. If a robo-advisor looks at only financial goals, time horizon and risk, it won’t factor in your ailing aunt who requires a lot of financial support now but may leave a big inheritance later.

A human advisor, on the other hand, can take a more holistic view of your financial situation. A human can also provide emotional support.

“As a financial advisor, we often find ourselves in the role of counselors,” O’Mara said. “We stick with our clients through the many events that take place during a lifetime, and we encourage our clients to stay accountable to their goals and their plans — even when markets seem uncertain.”

Ultimately, it’s the steady hand and peace of mind a human advisor provides that may offer the most value to clients, O’Mara said.

So which is better, a robo-advisor or a traditional human financial advisor? It depends.

A robo-advisor may be best if:

  • You’re just starting to invest.
  • You want to automate your investing.
  • You don’t need a lot of hand-holding.
  • You have a fairly simple financial situation that can easily fit into a prebuilt portfolio.
  • You don’t want help with anything other than investing.
  • You think cost is king and want to minimize investing fees.

A human financial advisor may be best if:

  • You have a complex financial situation with many moving parts and financial assets.
  • You want a customized portfolio.
  • You’d like guidance in areas beyond investment selection.
  • You could benefit from an emotional sounding board during hard times.

Related: Find a Financial Advisor in 3 Minutes

Choosing the best financial advisor for your financial needs

If you decide a human financial advisor is right for you, the question becomes, “Which human?”

Kuhn said finding the best financial advisor comes down to three factors:

  • You understand what they say when they communicate with you.
  • They are available within a reasonable time frame if you want to talk to them.
  • What they say is going to happen is what happens.

Each factor can take time to verify, so do your homework and consider trying out a financial advisor to see if they are a good fit. The value-add of having a financial advisor is to have someone to talk to and lean on. So if you don’t understand the plan, the financial advisor is unresponsive or what is presented to you differs from the actions taken, then it may be time to make a change.

Cost should also be a consideration, of course. When you start working with an advisor, you should be given a fee disclosure, but feel free to discuss it.

“You should feel permission to ask questions and check in on your fees throughout the duration of your relationship to ensure that you understand the fees that are being charged,” Kuhn said. “If anything feels outside the line, find another advisor.”

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

It is worth paying for a financial advisor if you lack the time or expertise to manage your own investments. Financial advisors can help you create a strategy for how to best save and invest your money to meet your financial goals. They can also help you stay on track and offer reassurance when market turbulence makes you uncertain.

Some banks offer financial advisors. For example, Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America all have financial advisors on staff to help clients.

The terms financial advisor and financial planner are often used interchangeably. Both advisors and planners can provide the same services. But advisors are more likely to focus on investment management, while planners are more likely to offer comprehensive financial planning services.

The best time to get a financial advisor is when you feel uncertain about your ability to manage your investments or have questions about your financial situation. Often, you can start investing with automated programs like robo-advisors and your employer-sponsored retirement plan . But as your wealth grows, working with a human professional who can take a more holistic view of your finances can be helpful.

The average cost of a financial advisor varies depending on the fees the advisor charges, the services the advisor provides and your investment amount. There are many different business models and breakpoints, but an annual fee of around 1% is typical as an investment advisory fee.

Blueprint is an independent publisher and comparison service, not an investment advisor. The information provided is for educational purposes only and we encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding specific financial decisions. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

Blueprint has an advertiser disclosure policy . The opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Blueprint editorial staff alone. Blueprint adheres to strict editorial integrity standards. The information is accurate as of the publish date, but always check the provider’s website for the most current information.

Coryanne Hicks

Coryanne is an investing and finance writer whose work appears in Forbes Advisor, U.S. News and World Report, Kiplinger, and Business Insider among other publications. She discovered her passion for personal finance as a fully-licensed financial professional at Fidelity Investments before she realized she could reach more people by writing.

Stephanie Steinberg has been a journalist for over a decade. She has served as a health and money editor at U.S. News and World Report, covering personal finance, financial advisors, credit cards, retirement, investing, health and wellness and more. She founded The Detroit Writing Room and New York Writing Room to offer writing coaching and workshops for entrepreneurs, professionals and writers of all experience levels. Her work has been published in The New York Times, USA TODAY, Boston Globe, CNN.com, Huffington Post, and Detroit publications.

Hannah Alberstadt is the deputy editor of investing and retirement at USA TODAY Blueprint. She was most recently a copy editor at The Hill and previously worked in the online legal and financial content spaces, including at Student Loan Hero and LendingTree. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature, as well as a J.D. Hannah devotes most of her free time to cat rescue.

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Small Business Financial Advisor

business financial advisor cost

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by subject matter experts.

Updated on January 31, 2024

Get Any Financial Question Answered

Table of contents, what is a small business financial advisor.

A small business financial advisor is a professional who provides financial advice and guidance to small businesses, including financial planning , budgeting , accounting , taxation , investment strategies , and risk management .

They help small businesses manage their finances effectively and efficiently, reducing expenses, increasing revenue, and improving cash flow.

Small business financial advisors play a crucial role in the success of small businesses by providing expert financial advice and guidance to achieve long-term financial stability and success.

The Importance of Small Business Financial Advisors

Small business financial advisors play a crucial role in the success of small businesses. They help small businesses manage their finances effectively and efficiently, which is vital for long-term growth and sustainability.

These advisors help small businesses develop a financial plan that aligns with their business goals and objectives. They provide insights and recommendations on managing cash flow , investing funds, reducing expenses, and increasing revenue.

Small business financial advisors also assist in identifying potential financial risks and devising strategies to mitigate them.

Key Services Provided by Small Business Financial Advisors

Small business financial advisors provide a wide range of services to help small businesses manage their finances. Some key services small business financial advisors provide include financial planning, taxation and compliance, investment strategies, and risk management.

Financial Planning for Small Businesses

Small business financial advisors help small businesses develop a comprehensive financial plan that considers the business's goals, objectives, and financial resources.

This plan typically includes a budgeting and forecasting component, which helps small businesses plan their expenses and revenues.

They also assist with cash flow management , helping small businesses maintain a positive cash flow and avoid cash flow problems.

Financial analysis and reporting are additional services that small business financial advisors provide, helping small businesses make informed financial decisions based on accurate financial information.

Taxation and Compliance for Small Businesses

These professional financial advisors provide assistance with taxation and regulatory compliance, ensuring that small businesses comply with relevant laws and regulations.

Tax planning and preparation are crucial services that small business financial advisors provide, helping small businesses minimize their tax liabilities and take advantage of tax incentives.

Regulatory compliance services include ensuring that small businesses comply with local, state, and federal regulations related to business operations.

Investment Strategies for Small Businesses

Small business financial advisors assist with investment strategies, helping small businesses invest their funds wisely to achieve long-term financial goals.

Asset allocation and diversification are key investment strategies that small business financial advisors recommend, assisting small businesses to balance their investment portfolio to minimize risks and maximize returns .

Retirement planning and wealth management are additional investment strategies that small business financial advisors provide.

Small Business Financial Advisor Services

Choosing a Small Business Financial Advisor

Choosing the right small business financial advisor is essential for the success of a small business. Credentials and qualifications, experience and specialization, and reputation and reviews are critical factors to consider when selecting a small business financial advisor.

Credentials and Qualifications

Small business financial advisors must have relevant credentials and qualifications, such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

These credentials ensure that the small business financial advisor has the necessary education, training, and experience to provide high-quality financial advice and guidance to small businesses.

Experience and Specialization

Experience and specialization are also critical factors to consider when selecting a small business financial advisor.

Small business financial advisors with experience working with small businesses in the same industry as the business owner are more likely to provide relevant and valuable financial advice.

Additionally, small business financial advisors specializing in a particular area, such as taxation or investment strategies, can provide more focused and tailored advice to small businesses.

Reputation and Reviews

Reputation and reviews are also essential when selecting a small business financial advisor.

Small business owners can research small business financial advisors online, review their professional backgrounds, and read reviews from other small business owners who have used their services.

These reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality of service provided by small business financial advisors and their ability to meet the needs of small businesses.

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Small Business Financial Advisor

Benefits of Hiring a Small Business Financial Advisor

Hiring a small business financial advisor has several benefits for small businesses.

Small business financial advisors provide expert financial advice and guidance, helping small businesses make informed financial decisions. They also help small businesses manage their finances more efficiently, reducing expenses, increasing revenue, and improving cash flow.

Additionally, small business financial advisors can help small businesses identify potential financial risks and develop strategies to mitigate them, reducing the likelihood of financial losses.

Future Outlook for Small Business Finance

The future outlook for small business finance is positive, with continued growth expected in the small business sector. As the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic , small businesses are expected to play a crucial role in driving economic growth .

Small business financial advisors are expected to continue to play a vital role in helping small businesses navigate the financial landscape and achieve long-term success.

Final Recommendations for Small Business Owners

Small business owners seeking financial advice and guidance should consider hiring a small business financial advisor .

When selecting a small business financial advisor, it is essential to consider credentials and qualifications, experience and specialization, and reputation and reviews.

Hiring a small business financial advisor has several benefits, including expert financial advice and guidance, efficient financial management, and risk mitigation.

As the economy continues to recover and the small business sector continues to grow, small business financial advisors are expected to play an increasingly critical role in helping small businesses achieve long-term financial success.

Final Thoughts

Small business financial advisors offer essential financial advice and guidance, helping small businesses manage their finances effectively and efficiently.

They provide a wide range of services, including financial planning, taxation and compliance, investment strategies, and risk management.

When choosing a small business financial advisor, one must consider their credentials, experience, specialization, and reputation.

Hiring a small business financial advisor has several benefits, including expert financial advice, efficient financial management, and risk mitigation.

As the small business sector grows, small business financial advisors are expected to play an increasingly critical role in helping small businesses achieve long-term financial success.

If you are a small business owner, hiring a small business financial advisor could be one of the best decisions you make for your business.

It can help you make informed financial decisions, manage your finances effectively, and ultimately increase your chances of success.

Small Business Financial Advisor FAQs

What is a small business financial advisor.

A small business financial advisor is a professional who provides financial advice and guidance to small businesses, including financial planning, budgeting, accounting, taxation, investment strategies, and risk management.

Why is it essential to hire a small business financial advisor?

Hiring a small business financial advisor is important because they help small businesses manage their finances effectively and efficiently, reducing expenses, increasing revenue, and improving cash flow. Additionally, they can help small companies identify potential financial risks and develop strategies to mitigate them, reducing the likelihood of financial losses.

What services do small business financial advisors provide?

Small business financial advisors provide a wide range of services, including financial planning, taxation and compliance, investment strategies, and risk management. They help small businesses develop a comprehensive financial plan that aligns with their business goals and objectives, assist with tax planning and preparation, help small enterprises to invest their funds wisely to achieve long-term financial goals, identify potential economic risks, and devise strategies to mitigate them.

How do I choose the right small business financial advisor?

When selecting a small business financial advisor, it is essential to consider their credentials and qualifications, experience and specialization, and reputation and reviews. Look for a Small Business Financial Advisor with relevant certifications and qualifications, experience working with small businesses in the same industry as your business, and positive reviews from other small business owners.

What are the benefits of hiring a small business financial advisor?

Hiring a small business financial advisor has several benefits, including expert financial advice and guidance, efficient financial management, and risk mitigation. They can help small businesses make informed financial decisions, manage their finances effectively, and reduce the likelihood of financial losses, ultimately increasing the chances of long-term financial success.

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide , a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University , where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon , Nasdaq and Forbes .

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Part 1: Tell Us More About Yourself

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Do you need a small business financial advisor.

business financial advisor cost

Key takeaways

A small business financial advisor can help manage both business and personal finances for small business owners.

They can identify cost savings, improve cash flow and boost efficiency in your business, potentially offsetting their fee.

Risk mitigation is a key responsibility of a business financial advisor and involves advising you on succession planning and key person insurance.

If you’re a small business owner, you probably spend long hours every week managing the various aspects of your company — from sales and distribution to marketing, human resources and operations. But what about your business finances? What about your personal finances?

While financial knowledge is a critical component of business management, some owners lack the necessary expertise to ensure success. Because of this reality, a small business financial advisor can provide valuable, hands-on assistance to benefit both the business and the business owner.

Min Yoo, a wealth strategist with U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management, notes that most small business owners’ business and personal finances are closely interwoven. “A business financial advisor can help bridge the gap between an owner’s business and personal finances, including managing both business and personal cash flows,” he says. “In this way, a business financial advisor can serve as a family business CFO.”

What does a small business financial advisor do?

A small business financial advisor focuses specifically on issues and challenges that are unique to small business owners. These typically include:

  • Creating financial statements (balance sheet, cash flow statement, profit-and-loss statement)
  • Maximizing cash flow
  • Managing tax payments and reporting
  • Investing excess funds
  • Ensuring adequate insurance coverage
  • Planning for business succession

What sets a small business financial advisor apart from a general financial advisor is their ability to bring these business issues and one’s personal financial situation together. On the personal side, this usually includes:

  • Portfolio and retirement planning
  • Spending and debt management
  • Budgeting and saving
  • Insurance planning
  • Estate planning
  • Saving for college

Working with a small business financial advisor can save owners valuable time and relieve some of the stress and anxiety that can come with running a small business.

“While there’s a cost involved in hiring a business financial advisor, this is offset by the additional peace of mind and time freed up to spend with family and focus on other important matters,” says Yoo. “It’s hard to put a price tag on these things.”

“While there’s a cost involved in hiring a business financial advisor, this is offset by the additional peace of mind and time freed up to spend with family and focus on other important matters.”

Min Yoo, wealth strategist, U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management

By identifying cost savings, improving cash flow and boosting efficiency, a small business financial advisor could end up saving you more money than what is spent on their services.

Business financial advisors can help with risk mitigation

Yoo believes that risk mitigation is one of the most valuable services a business financial advisor can provide.

“On the business side, this starts with the form of business entity that’s chosen,” he says. “With a general partnership, for example, there’s no liability protection for business owners. A business financial advisor can look at this with a fresh set of eyes and make recommendations.”

Key person insurance

Key person insurance can help lower the risk of losing a key employee, while a buy-sell agreement lowers the risk of losing a partner to death or disability. On the personal side, a business financial advisor can help you decide how much life insurance you need and which type of insurance (for example, term or permanent ) is best given your circumstances.

Succession planning

Succession planning is one of Yoo’s specialty areas. “Not having an exit strategy is one of the biggest dangers I see for small business owners, and a business financial advisor can help with issues surrounding succession,” he says.

Yoo recommends that owners start the succession planning process between five and 10 years before their planned exit from the business, so there’s plenty of time to identify successor owners and bring them up to speed on the company.

“For example, you might be planning to pass the business on to your children , but are you sure they want to run the business?” asks Yoo. “If not, you’ll need to decide whether to sell to key employees or to an outside buyer. All of this takes time, so planning early is critical.”

How to find a small business financial advisor

When searching for a business financial advisor , start by asking other small business owners for referrals and recommendations. Check out online reviews and ask any potential candidates for references.

“A business financial advisor will become a key partner, so perform careful research and due diligence before making a decision,” says Yoo. “Find out what kinds of businesses they’ve worked with and for how long. And try to determine if the advisor will be a good fit with you and your other advisors. Trust your gut instinct.”

It’s wise to choose a business financial advisor who’s more of a generalist than a specialist.

“Most owners are already working with a CPA who specializes in finance and accounting and an attorney who specializes in the legal side of things,” says Yoo. “A generalist can help you manage your business and personal finances from a big-picture perspective.”

A business financial advisor can help bridge the gap between your business and personal finances. Find a financial advisor that works with business owners in your area.

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Financial Advisor Fees and Costs

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Hiring a financial advisor is a great way to get a handle on your finances and start making better financial decisions. Your financial advisor will work alongside you to evaluate your current financial situation and recommend steps you should take to reach your goals.

Some people hesitate to reach out to a financial advisor due to uncertainty over the fees they charge or the perception that they are only for the very rich. But working with a financial advisor is one way to have the best money year — regardless of your income level. This guide will break down financial advisor fees and costs to better understand how much financial advisors charge.

What is a financial advisor?

A financial advisor is a professional who offers a range of services aimed at helping clients manage their finances better. Financial advisors may recommend investments and strategies, make comprehensive financial plans and manage investment portfolios for their clients. They can also help you prioritize certain financial goals or adjust your finances after a major life transition, such as a divorce or retirement.

How much does a financial advisor cost?

Several factors play a role in determining the cost of working with a financial advisor. A major factor, however, is whether you choose a human advisor or a robo-advisor.

Human advisors

If you want to work directly with an actual person on your finances, you should look for a human financial advisor. Advisors generally work under one of three types of payment structure: fee-only, fee-based and commission-based.

Fee-only advisors

Fee-only advisors make money by charging a flat fee, which can be an hourly fee or a fee based on how much money they manage for you — also known as an assets under management (AUM) fee. They don't make any money from commissions.

You can expect to pay around $2,000 to $7,500 per year as a retainer for your financial advisor’s services if they charge a flat annual fee. In exchange, you’ll typically get comprehensive investment management and asset planning throughout the year.

Financial advisors who charge hourly rates generally charge between $200 and $400 per hour. In this fee structure, you only pay for the time you spend working with the advisor. Your advisor typically won’t provide additional oversight over your investments or assets unless you pay for extra time.

AUM fees for traditional in-person financial advisors are typically around 1% of the assets the advisor manages for you. For example, if you hire a financial advisor to manage $500,000 in assets, the advisor would likely charge you about $5,000 over the year. Advisors who charge for their services using AUM fees may not take on clients with balances under a set amount like $250,000.

Fee-based advisors

Fee-based advisors are similar to fee-only advisors in that they also charge their clients AUM, hourly or flat fees for their services. The key difference is that fee-based advisors also get paid from other sources like commissions.

Don’t assume that fee-based advisors are always more expensive than fee-only advisors simply because they charge commissions. Costs vary, and neither fee-based nor fee-only advisors are automatically more affordable than the other.

Commission-based advisors

Some financial advisors get paid via commissions on the financial products they recommend to each client. Commission-based financial advisors make their money exclusively from commissions. When they recommend certain investments, they receive payments. For mutual funds, expect your financial advisor’s commission to fall between 3% and 6% of the value of your investment, for example. Those fees come out of your pocket.

Some people worry about working with financial advisors who make money through commissions due to potential conflicts of interest. Registered investment advisors do have to disclose any potential conflict of interest in writing to their clients, but if it’s still a concern, you can simply choose a fee-based advisor instead of a commission-based advisor.

Fee-only advisors make their money on client fees alone. That said, advisors who work for fees tend to be more expensive than commission-based advisors. Keep these differences in mind when you’re deciding how to choose a financial advisor .

Robo-advisors

Robo-advisors are automated digital tools that offer clients financial advice or directly manage their finances with little human intervention. They rely on software, data and advanced algorithms to provide insights about your finances and help you reach your financial goals. Most robo-advisors offer a range of investing services, including investment rebalancing and tax optimization.

Robo-advisors offer the most affordable services because they only provide investment management. Robo-advisor fees can be as low as 0.25% of the assets the robo-advisor manages for you, up to 0.50% or higher. If you manage $100,000 in assets through a robo-advisor, for example, a 0.25% AUM fee would only be $250 per year.

Using a robo-advisor typically isn’t a perfect substitute for working with a human financial advisor, however. Some people prefer the human element of building professional relationships with their financial advisors.

Online financial planning tools

Some online wealth management platforms, such as Empower (formerly known as Personal Capital), can act as alternatives to working directly with a financial advisor. Other platforms, such as Zoe, put you in touch with advisors. These tools are digital, like robo-advisors, but offer more comprehensive services beyond investment management. They charge either a flat annual fee (starting at around $1,000 per year) or an AUM fee — typically between 0.3% and 1%.

You can also consider free financial counseling services from reputable non-profits if you can’t afford the costs of hiring a financial advisor. Just be cautious of anyone claiming to be a free financial advisor since scammers use this tactic to gain access to sensitive financial information.

How to find a financial advisor

If you decide you need a financial advisor, try these methods to find a qualified financial advisor near you:

  • Ask family and friends for recommendations. A personal recommendation from someone you know and trust is arguably the ideal way to find a financial advisor. Ask your family and friends if they can refer you to a financial advisor whose services meet their expectations.
  • Use a search engine. Don’t overlook searching for a personal financial advisor through search engines. You may search “financial advisor near me” or “certified financial advisor in [your location]” to find top results in your area. Searching online will also make reading reviews and learning more about each advisor's services easy.
  • Check the National Association of Personal Finance Advisors. The NAPFA website allows you to search for fee-only fiduciary financial planners by zip code or location.
  • Search the CFP Board. Similarly, the CFP Board website has a feature that allows you to find certified financial planners based on your location and the planning services you’re interested in. Examples of planning services you can search for include tax planning, small business planning and estate planning.
  • Work with a robo-advisor that offers advisor access. Many robo-advisors include access to human financial advisors as part of your fees. For people who only need a few questions answered and do a lot of their financial management themselves, this can be a great option.
  • Choose an online financial advisor. If you can’t find a local financial advisor, you can look for one who provides services entirely over the internet. These financial advisors can help you regardless of where you’re located in the country.

Important questions to ask a financial advisor

When deciding which financial advisor to hire, it’s a good idea to prepare a list of questions for your top candidates to help you better understand their services. You can ask each candidate the following questions:

What are your qualifications?

Anyone can claim to be a financial advisor, but if you’re trusting someone to help you make important financial decisions, you want them to have qualifications backing up their expertise.

Generally, financial advisors need at least a business-related bachelor’s degree and some on-the-job training to begin working in the field. Many financial planners pursue additional degrees after graduating, such as a master’s degree in finance or business administration.

Some financial advisors also have professional certifications like certified financial planners, chartered financial analysts and chartered financial consultants. These certifications show that the financial advisor has specialized knowledge in a niche like tax and retirement. Financial planners sometimes must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission or obtain state licenses to practice. For instance, if the financial planner directly buys and sells certain stocks and bonds, they may need more credentials.

Ask financial advisors about how long they’ve worked in the field and the ways they’re qualified to help you. If one of the financial advisor’s qualifications doesn’t seem related to the services you’re interested in, that’s a sign a different financial planner might be the better choice.

What's your fee structure?

You should ask financial advisors about their fee structures up front, so there aren’t any cost-related surprises down the line. Going with a financial advisor who charges a flat fee may be the way to go if you want to know how much you'll pay at the outset.

Are you a fiduciary?

Ask any financial advisors you might work with whether they are fiduciaries. A fiduciary manages another party’s assets and has a legal and ethical obligation to put that party’s interests, in this case, yours, ahead of their own. Financial advisors may or may not be fiduciaries, but certified financial planners and registered investment advisors are always fiduciaries.

Knowing whether your advisor is a fiduciary is important because fiduciaries have a higher standard of care. You don’t have to eliminate any advisors who aren’t fiduciaries from your list of potential choices, but it is something to keep in mind.

What other costs should I expect to pay?

Financial advisors should also tell you if there are any other costs associated with the services they provide. If they don’t, remember to ask whether you must worry about other charges.

Some advisors may not include fees on the investments you choose in their advisory fees. You need a complete picture of the charges you may incur with each financial advisor to find one worth the money.

Financial advisor vs. financial planner

It’s easy to confuse financial advisors and planners since people often use the two terms interchangeably.

Financial planners are a subset of financial advisors. They specialize in creating a detailed plan that helps you tackle your long-term financial goals.

Financial planners may or may not manage your investments as part of their services. Some specialize in particular areas of financial planning, such as divorce planning or retirement planning. If you’re specifically interested in learning the best money moves for events in your future, a financial planner may be what you’re looking for.

Is a financial advisor really worth it?

If you’re struggling with a financial decision and want the help of a professional, working with a financial advisor can be a great investment in your future. If, on the other hand, you’re already hitting your financial goals, the financial advisor fees may not be worth it. Here are some points to consider as you weigh the pros and cons of paying for financial guidance:

  • Financial advisors help you manage your finances, including investments, savings, and goals.
  • Pay attention to each financial advisor's fee structure — fee-only, fee-based or commission-only.
  • Consider expanding your search beyond human advisors to robo-advisors and online financial planning tools.
  • Compare quotes from multiple advisors to find the best option for your goals and budget.

How much money should you have before hiring a financial advisor?

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The world of investing and retirement planning is complex, and a couple simple mistakes can cost you a small fortune over time. It’s no wonder many people consider hiring a financial advisor to help them navigate the process.

But consulting with one of these professionals isn’t free. Some advisors won’t work with clients unless they meet minimum account requirements. If one of your goals is to save money and get your finances on track, you might be wondering how much money you actually need to make an advisor worthwhile.

Here’s what you need to know.

Need expert guidance when it comes to managing your investments or planning for retirement? Bankrate’s AdvisorMatch can connect you to a CFP® professional to help you achieve your financial goals.

How much do financial advisors cost?

Financial advisors offer guidance, develop plans and manage your investments for a fee. There are several ways they charge clients for their services, including:

  • Percentage of assets under management (AUM): This fee is based on how much money an advisor manages for you, and it typically ranges from 0.25% to 2% annually.
  • Flat fees: A set annual fee, regardless of your portfolio size. This can be helpful for smaller amounts.
  • Hourly rates: Typically used for specific tasks like tax advice or creating a financial plan . Hourly fees can range from roughly $150 to $500 or more.

You don’t need a lot of money to set up a one-time meeting with a financial advisor. Many advisors offer an initial discovery session for less than $300.

So, while having some investable assets or a few thousand dollars in the bank might be ideal, focusing solely on the dollar amount misses the bigger picture. A better question to ask yourself is: Do you need help managing your money in a way that justifies the cost?

Financial advisors often provide the most value if you have a complex financial situation, lack comfort or familiarity with managing your investments or you’re going through an important change in your life.

For example, if you recently received an inheritance , own a small business or are juggling multiple income streams, you’ll likely benefit more from expert guidance. Similarly, if you’re nearing retirement , getting married or going through a divorce, consulting with an advisor can help avoid common financial pitfalls so you can navigate the transition with confidence.

In short, if your finances are relatively simple or you don’t have much money, you might not immediately need an advisor. Focus instead on educating yourself, utilizing reputable online resources, and building good financial habits like budgeting and saving consistently. Likewise, if you enjoy researching and managing your money, it’s probably more cost-effective to take a DIY approach. As your money grows and your financial situation becomes more intricate, consider consulting with an advisor.

But if you have a sizable portfolio and complex financial needs or limited investment knowledge, consulting with a financial advisor is probably a smart move.

How do you pick a financial advisor?

Once you decide to hire an advisor, you’ll want to find a trustworthy professional who meets your needs and fits your budget.

Here are some things to keep when searching for a financial advisor :

  • Seek recommendations: Ask friends, family, or colleagues for referrals.
  • Check online directories: Online databases from organizations like the CFP Board can help you find financial advisors in your area and narrow down your options.
  • Interview potential advisors: Ask about their experience, qualifications, fee structure and investment philosophy. Ensure they align with your needs and comfort level.

Remember, you’re interviewing an advisor just as much as they’re evaluating you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions so you can feel confident choosing someone you trust. And when it comes to cost, make sure to compare fees and understand the value you’re receiving for the price. Don’t hesitate to negotiate fees if you feel comfortable doing so, or ask if they offer any payment plan options.

Alternatives to financial advisors

Some traditional financial advisors have minimum investment amounts they require to work with clients. These can range from $20,000 to $500,000 or even more. Why? Because their fees need to cover their time and expertise, and managing smaller portfolios may not be cost-effective for them.

But don’t worry if you’re just starting out. There are other, low-cost alternatives out there that might fit your needs.

  • Robo-advisors: These automated investment platforms use algorithms to manage your portfolio based on your goals and risk tolerance. The best robo-advisors usually charge a low 0.25 percent fee on your investments, and many offer no account minimums to keep started.
  • Financial planning tools and educational resources: Several online brokers offer free tools that help you create a financial plan, track your net worth or simply learn more about investing. It’s not the same as personalized guidance, but it can be a good starting point. And some of the best online brokers , like Fidelity and Charles Schwab, don’t require a minimum amount to get started.
  • Money coaches and financial counselors: If you mostly need help with budgeting, saving money or paying down debt, working with a financial coach or counselor might be a cheaper alternative.
  • Nonprofit credit counseling: This low-cost service is provided by organizations focused on helping people reduce their debt and improve their credit. You can find a directory of credit counseling agencies in your area at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling .
  • Fee-only financial planners: These advisors charge a flat fee or hourly rate, eliminating potential conflicts of interest from earning commissions on specific products. Look for a certified financial planner for extra qualifications.

Bottom line

Ultimately, there’s no magic number dictating when to hire a financial advisor. If you lack financial knowledge, have a complex financial situation or crave expert guidance, an advisor can be invaluable, regardless of your net worth. However, if you’re comfortable managing your money and have simpler goals, consider DIY options and educational resources first. Remember, a financial advisor is a tool, not a shortcut to wealth. The most important investment is your own understanding and involvement in securing your financial future.

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There are hundreds of financial professionals in your area. However, choosing the right advisor that understands your financial situation and meets your needs may be quite daunting. WiserAdvisor has a network of vetted financial advisors and advisory firms and has listed them below. You can find the details of each advisor, such as their qualifications, service offerings, etc., that you could use while searching for the financial advisor that best suits your financial and investment goals. We have been in business for the last 2 decades and constantly update and maintain a highly trusted directory of vetted fiduciary advisors that meet rigorous standards.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different types of financial advisors in idaho.

Our directory for the state of Idaho features various types of financial advisors, including investment advisors, portfolio managers, wealth managers, financial planners, retirement planners, and more. These professionals specialize in managing investments, providing ongoing financial advice, assisting with goal planning, and providing guidance for retirement savings strategies. To further explore how financial advisors can support you, learn more about the different types of financial advisors and their areas of expertise.

What services do financial advisors in Idaho typically offer?

Financial advisors in Idaho typically offer a wide range of services, including retirement planning, investment management, estate planning, tax planning, insurance planning, and wealth management. The specific services that an advisor offers may depend on their area of expertise, as well as your financial needs and goals. Read on to better understand how financial advisors can assist you with the various services they provide.

How much does a financial advisor in Idaho typically charge for their services?

The cost of hiring a financial advisor in Idaho varies depending on the advisor's experience, services, and fee structure. Financial advisors typically charge a percentage of assets under management, ranging from approx. 1.02% or a fixed rate of approx. $7,500 and above. Meanwhile, other advisors charge an hourly rate, flat fees, or based on commission. It's important to understand the advisor's fee structure and any potential conflicts of interest before engaging in their services. To get a better understanding of how financial advisors charge and the factors influencing their fees, read more on what are the costs of hiring a financial advisor.

What factors should I consider when choosing a financial advisor for comprehensive financial planning in Idaho?

When choosing a financial advisor in Idaho, it's important to consider key factors including an advisor's qualifications, experience, and method of compensation. Additionally, it's important to consider their investment philosophy, approach to financial management, and whether a financial advisor is bound to act in your best interests. To ensure you are making an informed decision and choosing the right financial advisor to manage your finances, we recommend our guide on the 5 things to consider when hiring a financial advisor.

What are the benefits of working with a financial advisor in Idaho?

Working with a financial advisor in Idaho can offer many benefits. As the advisor's client, you can benefit from the advisor's extensive knowledge, experience, and perspective resulting in you gaining peace of mind. Working with a financial advisor can also save you time managing your finances, help minimize investment risks, and potentially increase your investment returns. They can also help you identify areas of financial weakness and recommend strategies for improvement. To learn more, read about the benefits of working with a financial advisor.

How can a financial advisor in Idaho help me plan for retirement?

A financial advisor in Idaho can assist you in planning for retirement by creating a personalized financial plan that considers your assets, income, expenses, and goals. They can help you develop a savings strategy, choose retirement accounts, manage investments, plan for healthcare expenses, and ensure your assets are distributed as per your wishes. To learn more about how an advisor can help you prepare for retirement, read on about why you should hire a retirement advisor.

What are the qualifications required to become a financial advisor in Idaho?

In order to become a financial advisor in Idaho, individuals must obtain the appropriate licenses and certifications that comply with state and federal regulations, such as holding licenses as investment advisor representatives (IARs) and often having credentials such as Certified Financial Planners (CFP), Chartered Financial Analysts (CFA), Chartered Financial Consultants (ChFC), and more. To further explore the various credentials required of an advisor, read more about advisor designations.

What should I expect during my first meeting with a financial advisor in Idaho?

During your first meeting with a financial advisor, they will likely ask you about your financial goals, current financial situation, and risk tolerance. They may also request information about your income, expenses, assets, and about your investment experience, and any specific concerns you may have. For more information on how to prepare for your first meeting, refer to this guide on how to prepare for a meeting with your financial advisor.

How often should I meet with my financial planner in Idaho?

How often you should review your financial plan with your planner or financial advisor in Idaho may depend on your individual needs and circumstances. It is recommended that individuals meet with their financial planner at least once a year to review their financial plan and make any necessary adjustments. However, if you experience a significant life change or have complex finances, you may need to meet with your financial advisor more frequently to ensure that your plan remains on track. Read on to learn more about how often you should meet with your advisor.

What questions should I ask a potential financial advisor in Idaho during the initial consultation?

During the initial consultation with a potential financial advisor in Idaho, it's recommended to ask them about their experience, areas of expertise, investment philosophy, fee and compensation methods, and their approach to financial planning. You should also ask about their fiduciary duty, which means they are legally and ethically bound to act in your best interests. It's important to choose an advisor who communicates clearly and transparently and whose values align with your own. To further understand if a financial advisor is best suited to your financial needs, consider using the following 10 Key Questions You Should Ask Your Financial Advisor.

Are there financial advisors in Idaho who are familiar with the state's unique regulations and incentives for small business owners?

Yes, there are financial advisors in Idaho that provide financial guidance for small businesses and are familiar with the unique regulations and incentives for small business owners in the state. These advisors can provide tailored guidance and strategies to help small business owners navigate complex tax laws, take advantage of available incentives, and optimize their financial operations to achieve their business goals. To further explore how financial advisors listed on our directory for the state of Idaho can support you, read on about if you need a financial advisor as a small business owner.

Do I need a financial advisor if I have a small portfolio?

Yes, financial advisors can provide valuable guidance and support regardless of the size of your portfolio. Even with a small amount to invest, an advisor can help you develop a tailored plan to reach your financial goals, mitigate risks, and make informed financial decisions. To explore how financial advisors can assist with investment management and grow your portfolio, read more about the impact of asset allocation on your portfolio.

How do I ensure that a financial advisor in Idaho is trustworthy and reliable?

To determine the trustworthiness and reliability of a financial advisor in Idaho, it's important to conduct complete research and background checks through reputable regulatory bodies like FINRA and the SEC. These organizations regulate the financial industry and can help ensure that advisors are held to high ethical standards. You can also check online reviews, ask for referrals from friends and family, and do your own research to verify the advisor's credentials and track record. If you are searching for a trustworthy financial advisor, we recommend using the free financial advisor match tool to find and compare pre-screened and vetted advisors matched to your needs.

How can a retirement planning advisor in Idaho help me optimize my Social Security benefits?

A retirement planning advisor in Idaho can provide valuable guidance on optimizing your Social Security benefits by analyzing your unique financial situation. They can help you determine the most advantageous age to start claiming benefits based on factors such as your expected lifespan, other sources of income, and individual goals. They'll consider how working during retirement and potential tax implications might impact your benefits. Through careful analysis and personalized strategies, they can assist you in making informed decisions that maximize your Social Security benefits over the long term. To learn more about how you can further benefit from the help of a retirement planner, explore why you should hire a retirement advisor.

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Wealthminder helps to connect individuals seeking financial advice with licensed financial advisors in Moscow Mills, MO. Whether you are seeking help with financial planning, retirement planning, investment management, tax planning, or another area, Wealthminder can help you to find and connect with the right financial advisor for you. Use the filters below to search for financial advisors by location, compensation method, or financial industry designation. When you find an advisor with whom you would like to speak, click the blue contact button to connect with them.

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  • CFA = Chartered Financial Analyst
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Lesley Kilcullin, financial advisor Moscow Mills MO

Lesley Kilcullin (CRD# 6043832) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Kilcullin Financial Life Planning, LLC in Moscow Mills, MO and has 1 year of experience in the finance industry. Lesley Kilcullin has taken additional exams to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) . CFP professionals must pass the comprehensive CFP Certification Examination, pass CFP Board's Fitness Standards for Candidates and Registrants, agree to abide by CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rules of Conduct which put clients' interests first and comply with the Financial Planning Practice Standards.

Ryan Lee, financial advisor Moscow Mills MO

Ryan Lee (CRD# 5411382) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Edward Jones in Moscow Mills, MO and has over 9 years of experience in the finance industry.

Sara Losh, financial advisor Moscow Mills MO

Sara Losh (CRD# 5737908) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Edward Jones in Moscow Mills, MO and has over 3 years of experience in the finance industry.

William Meyer, financial advisor Ballwin MO

Bill Meyer (CRD# 1018380) is President of Cutter Company and specilzes in helping small business owners. Bill works like a financial physician, diagnosing business and family monetary positions, subsequently providing remedies to their problems or ideas to improve their overall financial fitness.

A 1978 graduate from Maryville College, Bill earned his Chartered Life Underwriter and Chartered Financial Consultant degrees from The American College of Bryn Mawr Pennsylvania in 1983. In January, 2013, Bill obtained the Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation (“AIF®”) authorized by the Center...

Amy (kwasny) Sharpe, financial advisor Chesterfield MO

Amy (kwasny) Sharpe (CRD# 3168400) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Creative Planning in Chesterfield, MO and has over 24 years of experience in the finance industry.

Nathan Aagard, financial advisor Wentzville MO

Nathan Aagard (CRD# 5472794) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Fidelity Personal And Workplace Advisors in Wentzville, MO and has over 16 years of experience in the finance industry.

Chad Abel, financial advisor Saint Charles MO

Chad Abel (CRD# 2692648) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Arbor Point Advisors in Saint Charles, MO and has over 28 years of experience in the finance industry.

Meghan Abeln, financial advisor Saint Louis MO

Meghan Abeln (CRD# 6888880) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Krilogy in Saint Louis, MO and has over 6 years of experience in the finance industry. Meghan Abeln has taken additional exams to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) . CFP professionals must pass the comprehensive CFP Certification Examination, pass CFP Board's Fitness Standards for Candidates and Registrants, agree to abide by CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rules of Conduct which put clients' interests first and comply with the Financial Planning Practice Standards.

Stephen Adair, financial advisor Chesterfield MO

Stephen Adair (CRD# 2770239) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC in Chesterfield, MO and has over 25 years of experience in the finance industry. Stephen Adair has taken additional exams to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) . CFP professionals must pass the comprehensive CFP Certification Examination, pass CFP Board's Fitness Standards for Candidates and Registrants, agree to abide by CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Rules of Conduct which put clients' interests first and comply with the Financial Planning Practice Standards.

Jasmine Adams, financial advisor O'fallon MO

Jasmine Adams (CRD# 6881927) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Citigroup Global Markets Inc. in O'fallon, MO and has over 6 years of experience in the finance industry.

Some things to think about when hiring a financial advisor in Moscow Mills, MO

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Want to Hire a Remote Financial Adviser? What to Consider

Working with a financial adviser who isn’t local isn’t as big of a deal as it used to be, but there are still some things to think about before diving in.

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A financial adviser talks with a client on his laptop while in his office.

Since 2020, the world has changed how we work and interact with one another. It has particularly impacted how investors meet with their financial advisers. From my experience, most investors preferred to meet with their adviser in-person pre-pandemic. Post-pandemic, I have seen a huge shift, and most investors now prefer to meet with their adviser on Zoom because of its convenience. Clients can now meet with their adviser from anywhere in the world or the convenience of their kitchen.

This presents a considerable advantage for investors — you now have an endless supply of advisers at your fingertips and are not limited to those in your local area. In my previous article How to Find a Financial Adviser , I emphasized that the most important thing in an adviser relationship is their ability to listen to their clients and understand their clients’ “why” beyond the usual numbers and risk tolerances. This still stands and is incredibly important.

In this day and age, you don’t need to work with a local adviser, especially if you are comfortable using technology. If you choose a non-local adviser, focus on their credentials — a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) is a must, along with their experience and your chemistry with them. It’s also very important to ask for references, as most advisers will have a list of clients willing to speak to prospective clients on their behalf. I would rely less on website reviews, as most firms have not implemented them yet due to compliance restrictions.

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Read on for three critical aspects to consider when working with an adviser remotely.

1. Figure out the role technology plays.

One important element to consider is how comfortable you are using technology. Being advised remotely will require a lot more technology, as you can’t pop into an office to sign a form or drop off a document — everything will need to be sent securely , as email should not be used to send confidential documents. Firms set up to do business virtually should be able to do everything over the internet — signing forms, sharing trust documents through a secure portal, sending timely reports, etc.

With that being said, sometimes people prefer to be in person for a stronger sense of connection to an individual. If this is the case for you, then working with an adviser remotely is probably not for you.

2. Set expectations for communication.

When hiring an adviser, it’s important to establish clear communication guidelines. This is especially important when working with a remote adviser. You’ll want to know how many formal meetings you can expect a year, how many times you can call them with questions and their preferred communication method. As some advisory firms are not permitted to use text messaging due to compliance restrictions, you will want to confirm that with your adviser upfront. If you are a huge texter, but your adviser can’t text you back, that could create some friction in the relationship.

Another important element is knowing who else you will be working with. Understand the team structure within the firm to know who your primary contact will be and how it aligns with your financial goals. If you are working with just one adviser and they go on vacation or call out sick, who else can you speak with?

Last but not least, inquire about other forms of communication the firm may or may not offer, such as webinars, in-person events, newsletters, social media, etc. There is a wealth of information out there, so you want to ensure you are maximizing your relationship and getting relevant information for your personal situation.

3. Build a relationship.

If you choose to work with a remote adviser, building a lasting relationship with them is important. They should care about how you think about things, why you think about things and the deeper meaning behind your short- and longer-term goals.

Since this is such an intimate relationship, it’s important for you to understand what the adviser is thinking, too. I would pepper them with questions and get to know how they think about things, their process, why they do their work and what they do when they are not working.

Make sure to meet with them via Zoom with your camera on so they can get to know you, too.

Last but not least, ask what kinds of clients they prefer working with — their answer may be enlightening and help you identify if you are the right client for them!

Technology, communication style and building a relationship are all key factors in determining whether having a remote adviser makes sense for your situation. Years ago, having adviser/client relationships exist completely remotely was less common, but it’s become a lot more normal.

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Kelli Kiemle holds multiple roles with Halbert Hargrove . As Managing Director of Growth and Client Experience, she sets the tone for the quality and character of Halbert Hargrove's client service relationships. She also manages the associate wealth advisers and client service managers. Kelli is also responsible for overseeing the firm's wide-ranging marketing and communications initiatives, including their mentor program.

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This is not an easily answered question, other than 'when you’re the youngest and healthiest you can be.' Your occupation, habits and extracurricular activities will also affect your premium.

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In some cases, you could buy life insurance instead and get a better deal in protecting your spouse. There are some things to keep in mind, though.

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Mandates that associations have adequate reserve funds for maintenance and repairs mean older buildings could be retired to make way for new development.

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Entrepreneurs work best with wealth managers who are also entrepreneurs and understand what it’s like to grow a business.

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Rusty Schatz  

872 Troy Road, Suite 130, Moscow, ID Website

Firm: D.a. Davidson & Co

What should I know about this advisor?

Rusty Schatz is a financial advisor in Moscow, ID . They have been in practice for 16 years, the last 16 years at D.a. Davidson & Co.

No Certifications

16 Years Experience

4 Fee Structures for D.a. Davidson & Co

6 Services offered by D.a. Davidson & Co

0 Disclosures obtained from SEC

What does this Advisor Specialize in?

Find a financial advisor who specializes in the area of expertise you require. It's important to find an advisor who can help you approach your personal and financial goals in addition of any unique situations you may have.

Financial Planning

An advisor with a financial planning specialty can help you develop an effective plan to reach your financial goals by examining your assets, which can include investment, savings and retirement accounts. If you want to make a large purchase, like a house or car, this individual can also tell you if it's a smart buy based on your financial situation.

Provides Educational Seminars

If you're interested in learning more about a financial topic, such as saving for your child's college education, planning for your retirement or taking out a mortgage, this financial advisor holds the type of educational seminars you might be looking for.

Portfolio Management for Individuals or Small Businesses

Individuals and small-business owners can consult an advisor with this specialty for assistance making the most money from their investment portfolios. Advisors with this background can help you choose good investments and recommend whether you should take an aggressive or conservative investment approach.

Pooled Investment Management

Financial advisors might manage pooled investment funds, a type of investment vehicle in which money from numerous individuals is combined into one account. Pooled investments, such as hedge funds, allow investors to purchase shares for a lower price and spread their money across more investments.

Portfolio Management for Business

Many businesses need help managing financial investments. A financial advisor who specializes in portfolio management can create and handle investment portfolios that comprise bonds, stocks and funds for midsize and large companies. This type of portfolio management includes advising clients on which investments to pick to maximize returns, as well as supervising the business's portfolio performance.

Pension Consulting Services

Pension plan administrators often need help from a financial advisor to create an effective investment strategy, choose brokers and money managers, pick mutual funds for participants and track the performance of investments. An advisor who offers pension consulting services can assist in developing pension plans that provide the most value to beneficiaries and participants.

How is this advisor paid?

Compensation types are listed for D.a. Davidson & Co .  Contact the advisor for individual fee structure details.

Fee-only (I do not receive commission from services rendered)

Percentage of Assets, Hourly Fee

Fee-based (I receive commission from investment or insurance products, and I also charge a fee)

Commission-based (i only receive commission from services rendered), related content.

business financial advisor cost

Years of Experience

Years of Experience is the number of years an individual is registered as an investment advisor only, rather than combined years of experience as either an investment advisor or broker.

More about the advisor

Disclosure events.

This advisor has no disclosure filings

Employment history

Client types.

Client information is for D.a. Davidson & Co  and are based on percentage of assets under management. Client types are by firm, and represent a percentage of assets under management. For additional information on Rusty Schatz 's client base, please contact the advisor.

Individuals

High Net Worth Individuals

Charitable Organizations

Corporations or Other Businesses

Office Location & Contact

872 Troy Road, Suite 130, Moscow, ID 83843

The Most Important Ages for Retirement Planning

business financial advisor cost

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What Is a Flat Fee Financial Advisor?

A financial advisor discussing flat fees for services.

Whether you’re planning for retirement, saving for a child’s education, or simply aiming to grow your wealth, understanding how financial advisor fees work can significantly impact your financial strategy and overall satisfaction. One common fee structure is a flat advisor fee. This type of fee charges a fixed fee for services, whereas other advisors can charge fees based on assets under management. Here’s a breakdown of how this fee works. If you need help with your finances, consider speaking with a financial advisor .

How Financial Advisor Fees Work

Financial advisor fees typically work by either charging a percentage of assets under management, a flat fee, or a combination of both for their services. Each fee type has a direct impact on the net returns of investments. For example, higher fees can significantly diminish returns, which makes it important for clients to understand how these fees are structured and applied. Here are three common fee structures:

  • Flat fees : Flat fees are straightforward and predictable, charged as a fixed amount for specific services or advice, making them suitable for clients seeking targeted financial guidance without ongoing management.
  • Fees based on AUM : Percentage-based fees, or asset-based feeds , are calculated as a percentage of the assets under management (AUM) and are typically used for comprehensive portfolio management services. This model aligns the advisor’s incentive with the client’s asset growth, promoting a focus on long-term asset performance.
  • Commission – based Fees : Commission-based fees are earned based on the financial products sold to clients and are prevalent in sales-focused financial environments. While this structure might lead to conflicts of interest, as advisors could be incentivized to recommend products that maximize their commissions rather than those that best meet the client’s financial objectives, it is important to note that regulatory standards and transparency are intended to mitigate these risks.

Fee-Only vs. Commission-Based

A financial advisor breaking down different types of advisor fees for a client.

The fundamental differences between fee-only and commission-based models lie in how advisors are compensated and the potential conflicts of interest that may arise. As we explained earlier, fee-only advisors typically charge a fixed amount for their services. This can be annually, hourly or just a flat rate.

Commission-based advisors , on the other hand, could earn up to 6% in commissions for the sale of specific investment products. This percentage can lead to conflicts of interest, as advisors are incentivized to recommend products that yield higher commissions rather than those that best meet the client’s needs. And this could mean, for example, that a commission-based advisor could recommend high-commission funds despite the availability of lower-cost alternatives that can suit you better as a client.

Advantages of Using a Fee-Only Financial Advisor

Fee-only advisors could benefit clients seeking transparent and unbiased financial guidance. Here are four common benefits of working with a fee-only financial advisor:

  • Fee transparency : One of the most compelling reasons to choose a fee-only financial advisor is the clarity and straightforwardness of their fee structure. Unlike their commission-based counterparts, who often earn money from the financial products they sell, fee-only advisors charge their clients directly for their services.
  • Unbiased financial advisor: The absence of commission incentives is another significant advantage of working with fee-only advisors. Since these advisors do not receive any compensation from product providers, you can have peace of mind that they are offering unbiased and objective advice that aligns with your best interests.
  • Alignment of interests: The compensation model of fee-only advisors directly aligns their interests with those of their clients. Since their income is derived solely from the fees their clients pay, these advisors succeed when their clients succeed. This symbiotic relationship motivates fee-only advisors to work diligently towards enhancing their clients’ financial well-being.
  • Long-term cost efficiency: Although the initial cost of hiring a fee-only advisor might appear higher than that of commission-based advisors, the long-term savings can be significant. Fee-only advisors do not earn commissions from selling financial products, which can lead to lower overall costs for clients, especially those with substantial investment portfolios or those in need of long-term financial planning.

Bottom Line

Two clients reviewing different types of advisor fees.

Understanding how a financial advisor gets paid can help you choose a fee structure that promotes unbiased financial advice without the conflict of interest inherent in commission-based arrangements. And this can position you to optimize your investments and ensure that they align with your financial goals .

Tips for Financial Planning

  • A financial advisor can help you create a long-term financial plan and even manage your finances in your behalf. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now .
  • You can also use an investment calculator to see how your money could grow in your portfolio over time.

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BLUEPRINT FOR RESTAURANT SUCCESS: AN 8-PART WEBINAR SERIES

Date and time.

Thursday, May 16, 2024 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. PDT

Destiney Iglesias [email protected] 209-803-9076

Host organization

UC Merced SBDC

Type of event

Resource Partner event

Event description

Join our free 8-part series of our Restaurant Webinar led by an experienced business advisor! Learn how to build a successful Food Business from the ground up! Gain insight on how to budget finances, calculate food costs, labor laws, and much more!

Session dates and information:

From 2:00PM to 3:30PM

  • Apr. 4th - Session 1: Is Starting a Food Business Right For You?
  • Apr. 11th - Session 2: Budgeting and Projecting Restaurant Financials
  • Apr. 18th - Session 3: Starting a Restaurant Business Right - Tips to Saving Time and Money in Start-Up
  • Apr. 25th - Session 4: How to Calculate Food Costs and Price Food Products to Make a Profit
  • May 2nd - Session 5: The Labor Laws an Entrepreneur Must Know to Protect Their Profits
  • May 9th - Session 6: The Successful Supervisor Mindset For Small Businesses
  • May 16th - Session 7: Costs Entrepreneurs Must Control to Make Profits in the Restaurant Business
  • May 23rd - Session 8: Marketing a Successful Food Business: Standing Out from the Competition

This series is brought to you by Central California SBDC and taught by SBDC advisor Celeste Young-Ramos. Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) provide quality business assistance to small businesses at no cost! Our business advisors provide clarity and pathways to get businesses off the ground and push current businesses to their full potential. 

Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) provide quality business assistance to small businesses at no cost! Our business advisors provide clarity and pathways to get businesses off the ground and push current businesses to their full potential. Learn more here: https://centralcasbdc.com/ 

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  2. How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

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  4. How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

    business financial advisor cost

  5. How Much Does A Financial Advisor Cost?

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  6. How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

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  5. Business Financial Health Checkup #banks #businessconsultant #businesstips #businessgrowth

  6. How I find trusted investment and savings advice?

COMMENTS

  1. How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

    Fee type. Typical cost. Assets under management (AUM) 0.25% to 0.50% annually for a robo-advisor; 1% for a traditional in-person financial advisor. Flat annual fee (retainer) $2,000 to $7,500 ...

  2. How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

    In this case, knowing how much a financial advisor's services normally cost is crucial. Financial advisors typically charge a fixed-rate fee between $7,500 and $55,000, or a percentage-based rate of 1.02% of assets under management (AUM) for ongoing portfolio management for $1 million is assets, according to a 2023 report by Advisory HQ.

  3. How Much Does A Financial Advisor Cost?

    Another common way financial advisors charge clients is based on a percentage of the assets they manage for you. These percentages average around 1% per year (or 0.25% to 0.5% for robo-advisors ...

  4. What to Know About Financial Advisor Fees and Costs

    Investment product fees are added to the advisor's fee to determine the total fee. So, a client may pay a 1% advisor fee and a 1% investment fee, for a 2% total fee. The advisory fee is payable ...

  5. How Much Does A Financial Advisor Cost?

    How much you should spend on a financial advisor will depend on your unique circumstances. Most advisors charge a 0.25 to 1 percent fee to manage your assets, though some may charge an hourly rate ...

  6. Do you need a financial advisor as a small business owner?

    Speaking with a small business financial advisor is an investment in your company's future. This professional can help you navigate retirement planning and long-term financial planning, acting ...

  7. Do Small Business Owners Need a Financial Advisor?

    A small business financial advisor does that as well but with a specific focus on the issues and challenges that small business owners are most likely to deal with. That includes things like maintaining positive cash flow, managing debt and tax obligations and improving the business's overall profitability. So, for example, some of the things ...

  8. Understanding Financial Advisor Costs

    Advisors can charge this fee on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis. According to 2021 data from AdvisoryHQ, the average cost of a financial planner who charges based on AUM is 0.59% to 1.18% per ...

  9. How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

    Fee-only advisors charge a fixed rate for their services, typically ranging from $1,000 to $7,500 or more per year (depending on the level of service and the client's needs), or an hourly fee ...

  10. How much does a financial advisor cost? 2024 costs & fees

    1.05% - 1.02%. $500,000 - $1,000,000. For flat fees, you might pay a fixed rate of $7,500 if you have around $65,000 in investable assets. For those with slightly more to manage, the fixed ...

  11. Financial Advisor Cost

    Average Cost of Financial Advisors. The average cost of working with a financial advisor in 2023 is 0.5% to 2.0% of the assets they manage, $200 to $400 hourly consultation, a flat fee of $1,000 to $3,000 for a one-time service, a 3% to 6% commission fee on the products that they sell. These estimates vary widely by firm and service offering.

  12. Small Business Financial Advisor

    Small business financial advisors offer essential financial advice and guidance, helping small businesses manage their finances effectively and efficiently. They provide a wide range of services, including financial planning, taxation and compliance, investment strategies, and risk management. When choosing a small business financial advisor ...

  13. How Much Does a Financial Advisor Cost?

    The following are some general guidelines that can help you better estimate the costs you'll face in hiring a financial advisor. While it may be difficult to find flat-fee financial planners, a comprehensive one-time financial plan — usually the simplest financial advice — will likely cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000.

  14. Do You Need a Small Business Financial Advisor?

    Key takeaways. A small business financial advisor can help manage both business and personal finances for small business owners. They can identify cost savings, improve cash flow and boost efficiency in your business, potentially offsetting their fee. Risk mitigation is a key responsibility of a business financial advisor and involves advising ...

  15. Financial Advisor Fees and Costs

    They don't make any money from commissions. You can expect to pay around $2,000 to $7,500 per year as a retainer for your financial advisor's services if they charge a flat annual fee. In exchange, you'll typically get comprehensive investment management and asset planning throughout the year.

  16. How much money should you have before hiring a financial advisor?

    Flat fees: A set annual fee, regardless of your portfolio size. This can be helpful for smaller amounts. Hourly rates: Typically used for specific tasks like tax advice or creating a financial ...

  17. Fee-Only Financial Planner vs. Fee-Based

    Fee-only financial planners typically use one of these fee structures: Assets under management, or AUM. The planner's fee is a percentage of the money you entrust to them. If you have $1 million ...

  18. How to Buy a Financial Advisor Book of Business

    SmartAsset AMP (Advisor Marketing Platform) is a holistic marketing service financial advisors can use for client lead generation and automated marketing. Add new clients and AUM at your desired pace with SmartAsset's Advisor Marketing Platform. Sign up for a free demo today. Buying a book of business can help you to scale but at some point ...

  19. Best Financial Advisors in Moscow, Idaho

    The cost of hiring a financial advisor in Idaho varies depending on the advisor's experience, services, and fee structure. Financial advisors typically charge a percentage of assets under management, ranging from approx. 1.02% or a fixed rate of approx. $7,500 and above.

  20. How much does a financial advisor cost?

    Industry research indicates that the standalone fee for a basic financial plan prepared by a CFP starts at about $2,400. The more complicated your needs, and the closer you are to retirement, the ...

  21. Financial Advisors Moscow Mills MO

    Lesley Kilcullin (CRD# 6043832) is an Investment Advisor Representative working at Kilcullin Financial Life Planning, LLC in Moscow Mills, MO and has 1 year of experience in the finance industry. Lesley Kilcullin has taken additional exams to become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).CFP professionals must pass the comprehensive CFP Certification Examination, pass CFP Board's Fitness ...

  22. Want to Hire a Remote Financial Adviser? What to Consider

    3. Build a relationship. If you choose to work with a remote adviser, building a lasting relationship with them is important. They should care about how you think about things, why you think about ...

  23. Rusty Schatz, Financial Advisor in Moscow, ID

    872 Troy Road, Suite 130, Moscow, ID 83843. Website. Website. Map. Open in Google Maps. Learn more about Rusty Schatz, a financial advisor in Moscow, ID with the US News Advisor Finder.

  24. What Is a Flat Fee Financial Advisor?

    Financial advisor fees typically work by either charging a percentage of assets under management, a flat fee, or a combination of both for their services. Each fee type has a direct impact on the net returns of investments. For example, higher fees can significantly diminish returns, which makes it important for clients to understand how these fees are structured and applied.

  25. Legal Advisors and Family Business Owners: A Transaction Cost

    Legal Advisors and Family Business Owners: A Transaction Cost Understanding of "the Ownership Contract" ... Home-based family firms, spousal ownership and business exit: A transaction cost perspective. Small Business Economics, 54(4), 991-1006. Crossref. Google Scholar. Malach S., Robinson P., Radcliffe T. (2006). Differentiating legal ...

  26. TOP 10 BEST Financial Advisors near Moscow, ID 83843

    Top 10 Best Financial Advisors in Moscow, ID 83843 - January 2024 - Yelp - Edward Jones - Financial Advisor: Carolyn S Hicklin, Northstar Financial Management, HRC Wealth Management, Edward Jones - Financial Advisor: Jeff Bollinger, Edward Jones - Financial Advisor: Jay Mlazgar, Thirty30 Wealth Advisors, Edward Jones - Financial Advisor: Jon Abdallah, Idaho Central Credit Union

  27. Blueprint for Restaurant Success: an 8-part Webinar Series

    Join our free 8-part series of our Restaurant Webinar led by an experienced business advisor! Learn how to build a successful Food Business from the ground up! Gain insight on how to budget finances, calculate food costs, labor laws, and much more! Session dates and information: From 2:00PM to 3:30PM Apr. 4th - Session 1: Is Starting a Food Business Right For You?