How do you find the right financial advisor?

sagunagoel's profile thumbnail
Hey Sofi! I just started working with Irina Macgrath (I found her via a Thumbtack search actually) and think she's great so far (also had great reviews) - helps to ask her about her philosophy on choosing clients and her approach to managing relationships.I'm really interested in understanding why people are motivated to working with financial advisors vs investing on your own via robo-advisors etc. - what value are you looking for a human to provide you here?
sofih's profile thumbnail
Great question. Ultimately, I've been privileged and fortunate enough in my life to think very little about money. Now I feel behind. I worry that my decisions aren't made very intentionally, and that I can be doing more now to set me up later. I don't know much about how to utilize the market to build toward greater financial stability and I am ready to take on some risk. All in all, I'm looking for someone I can trust and build a relationship with, not for quick wins or fancy suits. That, to me, is hard to do via robo-investors or by reading blogs. I'm happy to buy car insurance that way, but this is scary to me and I want someone to help me learn as we go. Does that help? Happy to offer more! @sagunagoel
iynna's profile thumbnail
Hi Sofi,Have you checked National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (,Otherwise here are a couple of resources for you (they also mention NAPFA) - pulled from some of my favorite Personal Finance blogs/experts:
sofih's profile thumbnail
Thank you! I really appreciate this.
hannahwebb's profile thumbnail
Hi Sofi,The most important thing BY FAR with a financial advisor is to make sure they are a fiduciary. If they are, then they are legally required to put your interests above their own. If not, then they can put their own profit before your interests. This is critical because there is actually no regulation around the title of 'financial advisor' - anyone can wake up one day and say they are a financial advisor. So, the way to tell if they are really working for you is if they are a fiduciary.Other than that, make sure they are asking what YOU want to accomplish - not what they think you should be doing. Even the best financial advice is useless if it's not what you want for your life.(Speaking as someone with a degree in finance who has passed all CFA levels and knows many financial advisors - seriously considered it for a career myself).
sofih's profile thumbnail
Thank you!!
Allison's profile thumbnail
Hi Sofi,Have you tried Finsie ( They are a financial planner match startup. If you sign up for their beta, they’ll work to get you set up.Best,Allison
sofih's profile thumbnail
I will check this out - thank you!
hannahlake's profile thumbnail
Following - I have the same question! Thanks for posting this question and to everyone sharing such helpful information.
sarapopo's profile thumbnail
@sofih, a fee-only financial planner is definitely the way to go if you want your advisor to work with your best interests in mind. National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (, as previously mentioned is the professional organization for fee-only planners. Before my career break, I was a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) practitioner and I believe this is an important criterion for vetting qualified advisors as well. These individuals will be fiduciaries and well-equipped to offer advice on investments and planning for your future. While fee-only planners will charge you a fee up front, you'll know exactly what they are earning from your relationship. Perhaps you'll want to do the work yourself and use this person as a sounding board. With other advisors, it may appear that you don't pay them anything, but be assured that there will be fees in terms of commissions, a percentage of your assets under management, or a sales fee that may be very hard to discern.
OliviaSummerhill's profile thumbnail
This is absolutely a great answer. Look for a fee-only planner! ( or
sofih's profile thumbnail
Thank you!
cathygao's profile thumbnail
@sofih Hi Sofi - are you looking for a financial advisor or a financial planner? I tend to think of the former as someone who can help you make a plan and then manage your investments for you and the latter is only one that does a multi-year financial plan with an annual check-up.Since I'm in finance and I didn't want/need someone to shuffle around a few mutual funds for me, I opted for just a planner to really help me get my financial life in order because things were getting too complicated. There aren't too many companies doing this because they mostly want your assets to manage so if this is the route you want to take, I would recommend this female-owned firm called Compass Planning Associates ( I am currently working with them and they are really accommodating and patient with me. GL!