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Finding the Right Financial Adviser – What to Consider Before You Commit

For those who need help navigating their finances, a financial adviser might be the way to go.[0] But before you commit to any one adviser, there are a few key points to consider.

Ideally, you’ll want to hire a fee-only certified financial planner.[1] These professionals have completed coursework, have experience and are held to a strict code of ethics.[2] The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) provides a “find an adviser” tool to help you locate one. Additionally, you don’t have to opt for an assets-under-management situation; some advisers charge on a per-project or hourly basis, which may be a better option for you.[2]

It’s important to make sure that the adviser you decide to go with is a fee-only fiduciary, meaning they are obligated to put your best interests first.[3] You can find fiduciary advisers through the NAPFA’s find-an-advisor tool or the Certified Financial Professional’s Let’s Make a Plan portal.

Advisers who charge 1% are generally bundling financial planning services with that asset management fee.[0] Certified financial planners (CFPs) have completed extensive coursework and professional work and can provide the most comprehensive advice. Chartered financial analysts (CFAs) also engage in rigorous exams and focus on broad financial issues such as investment management, financial reporting, and corporate finance.[1]

Hourly advisers generally range from $150 to $400 per hour and flat-fee advisers can charge anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000 per plan.[1] Are you in search of a financial adviser? This tool can find you one that fits your requirements.

Whatever type of adviser you decide to hire, it’s important to do your research and ask questions.[0] Are you having difficulty with your current financial adviser or are you in search of a new one?[1] Send an email to picks@marketwatch[1]

0. “I'm 70 and weighing whether to ‘sell everything' and put it all in Treasuries, or hire a financial adviser even though it …” MarketWatch, 15 Mar. 2023,

1. “Recently, I've been ‘over-employed,' working two jobs to rake in $300K a year. Now I have enough saved to buy a …” msnNOW, 9 Mar. 2023,

2. “‘She made about $15K last year off my money.’ My financial adviser is making money off the $1 million I invested with her — even though I’m losing money. What’s my move?” MarketWatch, 11 Mar. 2023,

3. “I plan to retire at 62. I get $1,500 a month in rental income and have $200,000 in savings. Should I get a financial adviser to help me?” MarketWatch, 13 Mar. 2023,

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