If you are looking for a financial advisor in Virginia, you have come to the right place. Financial advisors offer a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you navigate the complexities of investments, saving for college, retirement planning, tax strategies, and more. In Virginia, you’ll find a plethora of talented financial advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals. In this blog, we share our findings on the eight best financial planners in Virginia.
How did we search for the best financial advisors in Virginia?
We started our search for the best financial advisors in Virginia in June 2023. Based on a thorough and independent analysis of many financial planning firms in Virginia, we came up with our top list. Our team of experts sorted through all of the details to find and evaluate the information you need to know when choosing a financial advisor.
Our data was compiled from each firm’s latest Form ADV filing on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) website. We use this method to ensure the accuracy and reliability of our rankings.
First, we narrowed down our search by only considering fee-only financial advisors. As fiduciaries, fee-only financial planners have the duty to serve their client’s interests. They do not earn commissions and they have transparent pricing. Unlike other financial advisors, a fee-only financial planner is not incentivized to sell you insurance or annuities that may not be good for you.
We searched for fee-only financial advisors in Virginia by looking at both XY Planning Network and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). This criterion effectively filters out “financial advisors” who are not fiduciaries. All of the firms listed are bound by the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) fiduciary duty.
Next, we filtered the search further by only considering Virginia fee-only financial planners that have a CFP® designation. The CFP designation is the most well-recognized financial planning designation and requires extensive training and experience.
We also added bonus points for fee-only Virginia financial planners who:
- Have a CFA designation. Chartered Financial Analyst professionals have undergone intensive training specifically on investments.
- Have an AFC® or ChFC® designation. These two designations bring additional expertise. For example, an Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) is trained in money management behaviors and the emotional aspects of money.
For relevance, we also considered the below when deciding on the top financial advisors in Virginia:
- They have a website.
- They have at least one blog post in 2023. This indicates to us that they value educating the public and giving back to the Virginia community.
- They serve professionals in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. This is a sign that they are willing to make financial planning accessible to everyone, not just retirees or the ultra-rich.
- They have at least 2 years of experience as a financial advisor.
- Have another financial planner or associate as a team member. We believe that working in a team setting greatly enhances the collective knowledge and experience that a financial planning firm can give to a client.
- They are BIPOC-aware. Meaning they have minority representation in their team or in their marketing materials, or they explicitly state they work with BIPOCs. BIPOC stands for Black, indigenous, and People of Color.
We decided to exclude the amount of assets under management (AUM). We believe that the amount of assets a firm has nothing to do with the quality of its service.
If you’re searching for a financial planner in Virginia and you’re not sure where to start, this guide is for you. Our list is designed to help you compare and narrow down your Virginia financial advisor choices but it doesn’t indicate which financial planning firm may be right for you.
Top Financial Advisors in Virginia
|Advisory Firm||Upfront Cost||Yearly Minimum||Yearly Maximum||Fee Structure|
|Ulmer Financial||No upfront cost||$1,200||$6,000||Fixed Fees|
% of AUM
|Hussmen Financial||$1,000 - $2,000||$2,400||$6,000||Fixed Fees|
% of AUM
|Sunrise Personal Finance||$5,000||$2,400||$20,000||Fixed Fees|
% of AUM
|Oakleigh Wealth Services||$2,500||$3,000||$24,000||Fixed fees|
|District Capital Management||No upfront cost||$3,540||$9,600||Fixed Fees|
% of AUM
|Impact Financial||$600||$4,000||$4,000||Fixed Fees|
% of AUM
|Pacesetter Financial Planning||$2,997 - $5,997||$4,000||$10,000||Hourly|
% of AUM
|Dream Financial Planning||$800 - $1,200||$4,200||$7,200||Fixed Fees|
% of AUM
|Pavlov Financial Planning||No upfront cost||$6,000||$14,440||Fixed Fees|
% of AUM
Who are the best financial planners in Virginia for 2023?
We’ve compiled a list of the advisors we believe take the top spot. The Virginia financial planners are listed in order of lowest to highest yearly minimums. We have included a blurb from their website and a brief note about them. This is not an exhaustive list of Virginia financial advisors and it reflects our personal opinion per our criteria above.
Hopefully, our list can help you narrow down your list and point you in the right direction.
- Pacesetter Financial Planning – Arlington, VA
“I am a fee-only financial planner who specializes in working with engaged couples and newlyweds. Getting married is one of the most exciting times in your life, but there are a lot of financial stresses that come with it. I should know, I’m a newlywed myself! I help couples all across the country learn how to effectively manage their finances as a team, integrate their financial accounts (if you want to, at least!), grow their combined income, evaluate and prioritize financial goals, and make investing decisions to help them enjoy life today while also planning for the future.”
Bill Nelson, CFP®, CFT-I™, CSLP®, founded Pacesetter Financial Planning in 2016. He specializes in helping engaged or newlyweds in their 20s and 30s get their finances in order.
Ulmer Financial – Charlottesville, VA
“We provide you with financial advice that is transparent and accessible so that you feel equipped to approach the future with confidence. We help you plan for the future, manage your investments, and file your taxes so that you can focus on what matters most.”
Crawford Ulmer CFP®, started Ulmer Financial in 2022 and provides financial planning from a Christian worldview.
Oakleigh Wealth Services – Charlottesville, VA
“Oakleigh Wealth Services is a flat fee financial planning and wealth management firm located in Charlottesville, VA where we meet with local clients face-to-face and meet virtually with clients from across the country.”
Colin Page CFP®, started Oakleigh Wealth Services in January 2023 but has been in the financial industry for 12 years.
Hussmen Financial – Richmond, VA
“Hussmen Financial serves many clients at different stages of their lives. Many larger firms tend to only serve those individuals/families with a minimum amount of assets. Hussmen is happy to help those in that stage of their life who are looking for answers on how they can get their money to work, and figure out how they can save to finally “fill in the blank”. We also love to help those who don’t have a large nest egg yet and are just starting this phase of their life.”
Philip Huss CFP®, CPA, founded Hussmen Financial in 2012. He now works as a team with his son, Jonathan Huss, and one other financial planner.
Impact Financial – Henrico, VA
“ We’re a financial advisory firm that helps people like you become confident and smart about your money, empowering you to live life to the fullest. Our mission is radically simple: to take good care of our clients, their families, and society as a whole.”
Taylor Jessee CFP®, CPA, founded Impact Financial in 2022 but he has been in the financial planning industry for 10 years. Each quarter he gives a percentage of his revenue to charitable causes he is passionate about.
Dream Financial Planning – Reston, VA
“I serve as an Independent, Fiduciary, Fee-Only advisor offering Financial Planning and Investment Management. I started Dream Financial Planning to help two communities that have typically been underserved by the financial planning community, young people and minorities.”
Lamar Watson, CFP® founded Dream Financial Planning in 2019 and has been in the financial planning industry for 15+ years.
Sunrise Personal Finance – Forest, VA
“Because of the challenges and joys I witnessed serving couples and young families, I launched Sunrise Personal Finance in 2022 to provide excellent financial planning services built for them. I meet with clients at flexible times. I know most couples want to meet with me together, but some can only find time after putting the children to bed. My dream is to help many more families overcome obstacles and live the lives they love.”
Joseph Schmidt CFP®, CSLP®, CKA®, started his financial planning firm in 2022 and is passionate about helping couples and young families.
Pavlov Financial Planning – Arlington, VA
“Pavlov Financial Planning believes providing smart, strategic financial advice for your complex and ever-changing life is a collaborative, continuous, and evolving process. Pavlov Financial Planning was born in 2010 to make complex financial decisions approachable. From the Founder to the current owner, we have always enjoyed working with people who see things from a global perspective.”
Hui-chin Chen, CFP® specializes in helping Americans working abroad and green card/visa holders working in the U.S. with their unique financial situations.
How is District Capital different from other financial advisors in Virginia?
District Capital is one of the fastest-growing local fee-only financial planning firms in Virginia. We primarily help professionals and entrepreneurs in their 30s and 40s maximize their money. Our mission is to provide affordable, best-in-class financial advice. We have been in business since 2013 and we have worked with many clients in Virginia.
We are a fiduciary and have CFP®, AFC®, and ChFC® professionals on our team. You will receive top-notch advice from our diverse team of experts. We will meet you where you are.
The three traits that make District Capital unique are:
1) Strong investment team. We have 2 CFA charter holders in our team and have a background in managing multi-billion dollar institutional funds. Our clients receive top-notch investment advice.
2) Modern plan. We deliver our comprehensive 30+ detailed recommendations via a modern platform that is always easy to use and available all of the time.
3) 30s & 40s niche. We’ve worked with over 300 professionals in their 30s & 40s in the tech, consulting, government, non-profit, and small business owner world. We’ve encountered almost every personal finance issue that they have faced.
Why should I hire a financial advisor in Virginia?
When it comes to managing your finances, it can be helpful to seek guidance from experienced professionals who can help you make informed decisions and achieve your financial goals. Financial advisors have extensive knowledge in various aspects of personal finance and can provide you with valuable insights and guidance tailored to your specific situation. In Virginia, there are a variety of knowledgeable financial planners who can provide expert advice and support.
A study published in the Journal of Financial Planning showed that those who had a comprehensive financial plan built significantly more wealth than those with no plan. While hiring a financial advisor involves costs, the potential benefits in terms of improved financial outcomes, peace of mind, and time savings can outweigh the fees.
How much does a financial planner in Virginia charge?
The fees charged by financial advisors in Virginia vary depending on various factors such as the level of experience and expertise of the planner, the services provided, and the complexity of your financial situation. Typically, financial planners charge fees in one of the following ways:
1. Fee-only: This is when financial advisors charge a flat monthly, quarterly, or hourly rate for their services. Their fees are transparent and there are no hidden costs. They don’t earn commissions on any investments or products that they recommend. They also act as a fiduciary, prioritizing your interests above their own.
2. Commission-based: These financial planners do earn commissions on products and investments that they recommend.
3. Fee-based: These financial advisors charge a combination of fees and commissions for their services.
Based on our research, the cost of a fee-only financial advisor in Virginia ranges from $1,200 – $24,000 per year. The lower end of the range usually requires an upfront fee of around $2,000. The median lowest price is about $3,540, and the median highest price is about $9,600. Fees are usually billed quarterly or monthly.
To save you time and energy, here is the fee schedule of the 8 best financial planners in Virginia according to our list, including how District Capital stacks up. We also included the ten factors we used in developing the list.
How do I find a good local financial advisor in Virginia?
Here are some steps to follow when you want to find a good local financial advisor in Virginia.
- Determine your financial needs
What are your financial goals and what type of advice do you need? Consider if you need help with retirement planning, tax planning, investment advice, general financial planning, or a combination of everything.
- Search for financial advisors
Here are some organizations that we recommend to help you find a fee-only fiduciary financial planner in Virginia.
- National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA
- XY Planning Network
- CFP Board
- Fee-Only Network
3. Check credentials
Make sure you check the credentials of any financial advisors that you want to potentially work with. You want to make sure that they have a CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) certification and that they are registered with a state or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
4. Conduct interviews
Schedule an interview with any potential financial advisors so that you can get to know them better. We have also compiled a list of 10 important questions to ask a financial advisor which you may find helpful.
5. Make a decision
After the interviews, evaluate each financial advisor and then choose one that you feel is the right fit for you and your family.
6. Review and monitor
A financial plan is a living breathing document. Make sure that you schedule a few meetings a year with your financial advisor to keep them up to date with any changes and to review and monitor your financial plan.
The 4 most important questions to ask a Virginia Financial Planner
It can be hard to know where to start when looking for a financial advisor. Choosing the right financial advisor is crucial to ensure a secure and prosperous financial future. When you have identified a few financial planners who resonate with you, schedule a discovery call with them. This is typically free. During this call, you may want to ask various questions, including the four below:
1) Are you a fiduciary? Look for a fiduciary financial planner as they will act in your best interest.
2) How do you get paid? Look for a financial advisor who is transparent about their fees and doesn’t earn commissions on products recommended.
3) What are your credentials & experience with my demographic? Look for financial planners with either a CFP®, AFC®, or ChFC® designation. They have undergone rigorous training. Ask about their typical client demographic, and whether they have encountered the goals and concerns you are sharing.
4) Is it a good fit? It is important to work with someone you trust and with whom you feel comfortable sharing sensitive topics.
For more details on the questions, you should ask a financial advisor, read our blog on 8 Questions to Ask a Potential Financial Advisor.
Who is the best financial advisor to go with?
You should choose a financial advisor who meets your needs, both in terms of services offered and cost. Research your options, think about your specific needs, and schedule consultations to find the advisor who is right for you. Ultimately, you will always be the best judge of which financial planner is best for you.
Are financial advisor fees tax deductible in Virginia?
Financial advisor fees are not tax deductible in Virginia. It was possible to deduct fees for financial advisors as miscellaneous expenses before 2018. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, however, limited that deduction until at least 2025.
Can you see a financial advisor for free in Virginia?
Sometimes, yes. We offer pro-bono financial planning for Virginia individuals who earn less than $56,000 per year or families who earn less than $75,000 per year.
We also work with clients in many regions of Virginia including:
Financial Advisors Near You
Looking for a financial advisor in a nearby city? Here are some other lists of top financial advisors in the areas near you:
– Top Financial Advisors in Washington DC
– Top Financial Advisors in Maryland
Work with the best Virginia financial advisor to maximize your money in 2023
When it comes to managing your finances, working with a skilled financial advisor can make a world of difference. The financial advisors mentioned in this blog represent some of the best in Virginia, chosen for their expertise, client-centric approach, and commitment to helping clients achieve their financial goals. Whether you’re planning for retirement, saving for your children’s education, or navigating complex tax strategies, these financial advisors can provide the guidance and support you need to make sound financial decisions and secure your financial future. Think we might be a good fit for your unique financial planning needs? Schedule a free discovery call with one of our fee-only financial planners today.
Alvin Carlos, CFP®, CFA is an investment advisor and fee-only financial planner, in Washington, D.C that works with clients across the country. He has a Master’s degree in International Relations from SAIS-Johns Hopkins. Alvin is a partner of District Capital, a financial planning firm designed to help professionals in their 30s and 40s achieve their financial goals through smart investing, reducing taxes, retirement planning, and maximizing their money. Schedule a free discovery call to learn how we can help elevate your finances.