01Find a Certified Financial Planner
This search engine at the Financial Planning Association allows you to search a database of Certified Financial Planners by their area of specialty, compensation method, and by any income or asset minimums, they may have. CFP(R)s must pass a rigorous exam, and have three years of experience before they can use the CFP(R) designation, so when you hire a CFP you know you are getting someone that is not brand new.
Pros: This is a fabulous way to make sure you are hiring a Certified Financial Planner and then narrow your search to make sure you find a financial advisor that has the right area of expertise.
02Advisors Who Work With Boomers
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.
03Find a Fee-Only Financial Advisor
All members of NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) are fee-only, which means they do not sell commissioned products. 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 or $1,000,000.
04Financial Advisors Who Charge Hourly
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 comprehensive financial plan, or help with smaller specific projects such as the allocation of a 401(k) plan, or whether to fund a Roth IRA or Traditional IRA.
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.
05Paladin Registry: A Matching Service
Paladin Registry provides a tremendous amount of educational material which can help you find the right financial advisor for your needs. They pre-screen their advisors and won't let just anyone on their platform. To use the service, you fill in basic information about your family, and then you are personally matched with a few select advisors that meet your requirements.
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 company information is sent to you.
Cons: If you are not comfortable providing net worth and asset information, then you will find it difficult to find the right advisor using this search engine.
5 Best Search Engines to Find a Financial Advisor
These five financial advisor search engines allow you to narrow down your search so you can find the person who is just right for you. You can search by geographic area, how the financial advisor is compensated, and by areas of specialty.