5 Search Engines that Can Help You Find the Right Financial Advisor
These five financial advisor search engines allow you to narrow down your search so you can find just the right financial advisor. You can search by geographic area, method of compensation and even areas of specialty.
This search engine at the Financial Planning Association allows you to search a database of Certified Financial PlannersTM by their area of specialty, compensation method, and by any income or asset minimums they may have.
Pros: This is a fabulous way to make sure you are hiring a Certified Financial PlannerTM and then narrow your search to make sure you find a financial advisor that has the right area of expertise.
Boomerater provides a comprehensive listing of financial planners and financial advisors across all geographic areas. You search for them by zip code. Advisors with photos and detailed information have paid to have an enhanced listing, and are interested in working with the Boomer demographic. Boomerater also has many informative articles written by the advisors listed in their directory.
Pros: You'll find a complete list of all financial planning and investment management firms in your geographic area. The ones with enhanced listings are looking for new Boomer-age clients.
Cons: You will need to search through the listings to find firms and financial advisors that offer the services and compensation structure that you prefer. Boomerater does not pre-qualify the listings for you.
All members of NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) are fee-only. With this search engine you put in your city and state to find a listing of fee-only financial advisors who practice near you.
Pros: Compared to the population of financial advisors as a whole, NAPFA members are
often more experienced, credentialed, and have well-established practices. They also must meet stringent continuing education requirements as NAPFA requires 60 hours of continuing education every two years to remain a member.
Cons: NAPFA members may have minimum fees, or minimum asset requirements; for example some will not work with clients who have a portfolio less than $500,000 of $1,000,000.
With the Garrett Planning Network you can plug in your zip code to find a listing of financial advisors who provide financial planning for an hourly rate.
Pros: Hourly planning can be a great way to get an objective opinion about financial decisions. An hourly financial advisor can run a full blown financial plan, or help with smaller specific projects such as the allocation of a 401(k) plan.
Cons: If you are looking for an ongoing relationship with a financial advisor who knows your situation inside and out, then hourly planning may not be the way to go.
Paladin Registry provides a tremendous amount of educational material which can help you find the right financial advisor for your needs. Once you fill in the basic information about your family, you are personally matched with a few select advisors that meet your requirements. Advisors may be fee-only or fee-based.
Pros: No need to search through multiple listings. Once you complete the online form and submit your request, your situation is personally matched to a few select advisors. Your contact information is sent to them and their firm information is sent to you.
Cons: If you are not comfortable providing basic net worth and asset information, then you will find it difficult to find the right advisor using this search engine.