How to afford a financial advisor near you


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Investing can be complicated and intimidating, so people often look to hire a financial advisor to help figure out the best solutions to meet long-term financial goals. But before they hire an advisor, investors need to know what these advisory services may cost.


However, there is no single, straightforward answer to how much a financial advisor may cost because the average fee for a professional advisor varies, often because of their degree of professional experience and the amount of assets they’re managing for each client. Nonetheless, investors should do their homework to understand financial advisor fees before hiring a professional.

Average Cost of a Financial Advisor

The average cost of a financial advisor can vary, depending on the services offered and the client’s needs.

Traditionally, financial advisors charge a certain percentage – usually about 1% – of a client’s portfolio value, known as assets under management (AUM). For example, a financial advisor would charge $100 to a client with a $10,000 portfolio, while a client with a $100,000 portfolio may be charged $1,000.


However, this fee is often charged on a sliding scale, meaning the more valuable a portfolio is, the lower the fee percentage the financial advisor would charge. An advisor may charge a client with a $10 million portfolio a lower fee than a client with a $1 million portfolio.


This fee, the percentage of assets under management charged by an advisor, is generally lower for robo and online advisors than traditional financial advisors, which can average about 0.25% to 0.30% of AUM.


Instead of or in addition to an asset under management fee, some financial advisors may have other costs that investors should know. These can be for hourly charges, typically reserved for special planning and consulting, ranging from $130 to $300 per hour, depending on the advisor and the client’s needs.


Moreover, an advisor may charge a flat rate based on AUM rather than a percentage of AUM. Depending on a client’s portfolio size, these fees can range from $7,500 to $55,000. And some advisors charge an annual retainer fee, ranging from $6,000 to $11,000 a year.


Recommended: How to Find a Financial Advisor

Financial advisor fees

Fee-Only Advisors vs Commission-Based Advisors

There are several things an investor should be aware of when it comes to financial advisors’ fee structures, including knowing the difference between fee-only advisors, fee-based advisors, and commission-based advisors.


Fee-only advisors earn money through the fees paid to them by clients, whether that’s a percentage of AUM or an hourly fee. Experts generally recommend fee-only advisors because investors don’t have to worry that the advisor is focused on selling them a product because it’ll give the advisor a nice commission. Many fee-only advisors are known as fiduciary financial advisors, meaning they are legally required to provide advice with their client’s best interests in mind.


In contrast, commission-based advisors earn money from commission on the investments bought and sold on a client’s behalf. For example, a financial advisor may earn commissions when a client invests in a particular financial product, like a mutual fund or annuity. Because the advisor is incentivized to get their clients to put money into these products, it may be in the advisor’s best interest and not the client’s.


A fee-based advisor combines the fee structures of fee-only and commission-based advisors. Fee-based advisors generally charge an AUM fee, a flat fee, or an hourly fee, but may also charge commissions.


Recommended: Fee-Based vs Fee-Only Financial Planners

Financial Advisor Fees Based on Account Type

Robo Advisor Fees

Robo advisors typically charge an AUM fee of 0.89% or lower – depending on the company – which is less than traditional financial advisors. Moreover, some robo advisors, like SoFi Automated Investing, charge no management fees.


Robo advisors use computer algorithms to provide financial guidance and portfolio management for investors rather than management by humans. Robo advising can be ideal for investors looking for low financial advisor fees.


Additionally, robo advisors may benefit investors because they require a smaller minimum account size than most traditional financial advisors. A smaller minimum account size can be a good option for investors who are just beginning to invest and want to build up their portfolios.


Though the fees are lower than traditional firms, robo advisors generally don’t provide services that some investors may be looking for, like creating financial plans or personalized investment advice.

Online Financial Advisor Fees

Online financial advisors cost more than robo advisors but less than traditional advisors. The fees for online financial advisors can vary depending on the firm, ranging from 0.40% to 0.89% of AUM.


Online financial advisors operate like a combination of robo advisors and traditional, in-person advisors. Depending on the firm, these advisors may offer financial planning services and asset management conducted by humans rather than algorithms. These services are conducted virtually through phone and video meetings. Account minimums for online financial advisors can range from zero to a few hundred thousand dollars.

Traditional Advisor Fees

As mentioned above, the fee structures for traditional financial advisors can vary, depending on the firm and the client’s needs. These fees include fees that range from 0.59% to 1.18% of AUM, hourly rates, annual retainer costs, and commission fees.


When most people think of a financial advisor, they think of a traditional advisor where the client gets in-person services and specialized planning. These advisors can be for everyone, though their higher costs may make them more suitable for investors with more money and more complex financial goals.


Recommended: What Does A Wealth Management Advisor Do & How Can They Help You?

Tips On Minimizing Financial Advisor Fees

1. Look to online and robo advisors

As noted above, online and robo advisors can be an option that costs less than a full-service investment firm. These online options generally use a more self-directed or algorithmic approach, offering investment choices that can include individual stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other options. Because there is less human involvement, the fees are lower.

2. Negotiate with your advisor

Investors can talk to their financial advisor and ask if there are ways to lower their fees. Depending upon the advisor, they might charge less if the investor is willing to use fewer available services. Or, if the client has more assets than the advisor usually manages, the advisor might be willing to negotiate the fees.

3. Hire a novice advisor

Sometimes a newer advisor will charge lower fees as they are building up a client list. This person won’t have as much experience but may be willing to negotiate fees and dedicate a reasonable amount of time to a client’s portfolio.

The Takeaway

There is no one cost that an investor can look to pay when using a financial advisor. It all depends on the type of services that a client requires and the fee structures a firm may offer. Because of this variability, you need to ask a potential financial advisor about fees to know exactly what you’re paying.


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This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by


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Bad financial advice from US presidents


We’re less than a month away from perhaps the most important presidential election in U.S. history, one that will not only decide the fate of the country for the next four years but likely the trajectory far after this term is done.

The President of the United States is the most important position in the world. With Congress and advisors’ help, the president is trusted to lead their country and move it and its people in a positive and prosperous direction.

It’s a lot to ask of one person, and despite being the Commander in Chief, the president is not always proficient or an expert in every subject. That is why there are so many advisory roles and other positions of power around the president who, typically anyway, help guide the president to make the best decisions possible given the situation.

But the president is still human, and humans make mistakes.

Even though the president has great influence over the country’s financial policies while in office, as well as a host of other factors related to your personal finances, not all presidents are financially sound themselves.

In fact, many of our presidents have been downright bad with money. It just goes to show that being the most powerful person in the most powerful nation does not always mean you’re good at managing your money.

In honor of the upcoming election and questionable presidential proficiency, we’ve brought you some questionable financial advice from U.S. presidents, along with several presidents who were downright bad at managing their money (although luckily, these typically thought better of giving financial advice).

Sit back and enjoy this bad financial advice from U.S. presidents and some equally bad stories from those you would not want to take advice from.


“I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.”

Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States and one of our Founding Fathers. He was also the primary author of the Declaration of Independence.

Despite having such a dramatic impact on our emerging nation, Jefferson wasn’t very good with money (more on that later), which may have something to do with why he was so against banks.

Jefferson wrote the above quote in a letter to John Taylor in 1816, highlighting his long-standing mistrust of government banks and opposition to public borrowing. Although Jefferson’s belief that banks can create long-term debt should be heeded, most Americans would not be able to get the funds needed to access many commodities without the ability to borrow money.

Specifically, homes, cars, businesses and other major purchases would not be possible without the existence of banks and other financial institutions.




“If a man has not made a million dollars by the time he is 40, he is not worth much.”

Herbert Hoover was President of the United States from 1929 to 1933, and was at the country’s helm as it entered the Great Depression.

While Hoover attempted to put forth a variety of policies to lift the economy, he was soundly defeated by Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1932 election. He opposed directly involving the federal government in relief efforts and was a critic of FDR’s New Deal, which ultimately helped begin to pull America toward recovery.

Because he presided over the worst financial and economic crisis this country has ever faced, his words disparaging anyone who hadn’t made a million dollars by the time they were 40 comes off as tone-deaf and condescending. Like many who have experienced success, Hoover likely underestimated how much of that success came from favorable circumstances.

Despite his reputation of being out of touch, which this quote certainly supports, Hoover was also involved in humanitarian projects during World War I and activist programs pushing for higher wages and job-creating public projects as president.


Library of Congress / WikiMedia Commons


“When the president does it, that means it’s not illegal.”

From 1969 to 1974, Richard Nixon is most remembered for the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to his resignation. However, that was not the only scandal he was involved in.

Roughly 20 years earlier, while serving as Dwight Eisenhower’s running mate, opponents accused Nixon of using political contributions from donors to live a lifestyle beyond his means. He responded with a 30-minute nationally televised address during which he discussed his family finances in detail. Whether or not Nixon misused political contributions is not clear, but his public confession saved his political career.

What is clear is that Nixon wasn’t above breaking the law to further his personal and political situation or paying others to carry out the dirty work.


Department of Defense. Department of the Army. Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations. U.S. Army Audiovisual Center / WikiMediaCommons


“The simple answer is, let’s make the whole pie bigger, and everybody gets a bigger slice.”

Ronald Reagan was our nation’s first celebrity president, having had a successful acting career before turning to politics. He also put in place policies that have heavily shaped our personal finances and economics and continue to influence them to this day.

Reagan’s policies became known as Reaganomics, and his presidency saw huge tax cuts and less government regulation of business. He thought if the focus was on growing the economy through making it easier for businesses to invest and grow, everyone would benefit. This idea of “trickle-down economics” espoused that tax policies that benefited the wealthy would create a trickle-down effect and ultimately reach the poor.

With the wealth-gap wider than ever, it is probably safe to say that trickle-down economics mostly allows the pie owners to take bigger slices while the pie makers get the leftover crumbs.


Public Domain


“Getting rich is easy. Staying rich is harder.”

Finally, we come to our current president and the second major celebrity to be elected to the land’s highest office.

While President Trump has claimed a net worth of $2.5 billion, which would make him the wealthiest president in history, recently leaked tax documents suggest that the president is also currently carrying quite a lot of debt and has paid very little in taxes the last decade.

If nothing else, President Trump’s tax situation exposes the loopholes and tax laws that businesses can exploit to avoid paying taxes despite making millions and even billions each year.

Whatever your political leanings, I think it’s safe to say that getting rich is easy when you inherit $413 million, but staying rich becomes much easier when you have the capital to take advantage of almost any financial opportunity that comes your way.

After all, it takes money to make money.


Now let us switch gears a bit and now talk about five presidents who were bad with money, and some despite being outstanding leaders.

Here are five presidents you would not want to take money advice from.


This notable Founding Father not only distrusted banks, but he was also terrible at managing his money.

Jefferson was born into an affluent family, owned a 5,000-acre plantation and had an estimated net worth of $236 million in today’s dollars. He also profited from enslaved labor.

But despite these advantages, Jefferson also had significant debt in his later years and was even unable to leave an inheritance to his daughter, who was forced to live off charity. He not only inherited debt from his father-in-law, but he also lent money freely (often not getting it back) and was impacted by a combination of bad crop years, bad loans and overspending.

He ultimately filed for bankruptcy and died with debts equaling $107,000, which would be over $1 million today.


cudger / istockphoto


William Henry Harrison is best known as the shortest-serving president in history, serving just 31 days before dying of an illness.

Harrison was the victim of a life of public service and misfortune. First, an Army man and then a politician, he depended on his family farm for income. While serving as the Ambassador to Colombia, his farm lost all its crops due to bad weather, and creditors came calling.

He was broke as he ran for president and died a month after winning the presidency virtually penniless. Luckily, Congress voted to give his widow a special $25,000 pension so she could live comfortably.


Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes. Edited by: Fallschirmjäger / WikiMedia Commons


James Garfield is not one of the better-known presidents, but he was likely the poorest.

Garfield was born in a log cabin, and his family, already of little means, fell into poverty upon the death of his father when he was still a toddler.

Garfield worked many jobs to pay the bills and put himself through college, most notably as a janitor and a carpenter. Despite earning a law degree and passing the Ohio bar exam, Garfield spent his life in public service and never earned much money.

In fact, he was essentially penniless when he was assassinated in 1881.


Unknown; part of Brady-Handy Photograph Collection / WikiMedia Commons


Ulysses S. Grant – brilliant general, war hero, president and bad businessman.

Grant’s war exploits paved the way to a successful presidency, in which he led the nation out of the Civil War following the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Unfortunately, while he was a successful military strategist, he was not a sound financial one. Grant and his wife had a reputation for living beyond their means, traveling the world in luxury and spending money on fine dining. President Grant was also once ticketed for driving his horse-drawn carriage too fast through Washington, D.C.

But the downfall of President Grant came after investing in a financial firm with his son. He was defrauded by his son’s business partner and lost $100,000, which forced him into bankruptcy.

Grant died pretty much broke. But he gave his family some financial security after his Civil War memoirs were published posthumously by Mark Twain.


Brady-Handy Photograph Collection, Library of Congress / WikiMedia Commons


Finally, Harry Truman makes our list of presidents you wouldn’t want to take money advice from after a series of bad business deals forced him to move in with his mother-in-law.

Truman took over as president following FDR’s death and was at the nation’s helm at the end of World War II. However, before becoming involved in politics, Truman cycled through a series of businesses that largely failed, which meant that he was in serious debt by entering the White House.

While Truman managed to avoid filing for bankruptcy, he and his wife were forced to move in with his mother-in-law once he left office to help save money. He was also one of the first presidents to receive a pension, which amounted to $25,000 a year.


National Archives and Records Administration. Office of Presidential Libraries. Harry S. Truman Library. / WikiMedia Commons


Just because someone is the leader of the free world does not mean they are knowledgeable or proficient in all areas. Especially when it comes to personal finance.

Knowledge is power, but power does not always equal money.

This article originally appeared on YourMoneyGeek.comand was syndicated by


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