online financial advisor

Top 8 Online Financial Advisors For 2024

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In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing financial landscape, managing your money wisely has become more critical than ever. With an abundance of investment options, savings strategies, and retirement plans available, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, thanks to advancements in technology, accessing expert financial advice has never been more convenient. Online financial advisors offer a tailored approach to managing your finances, providing personalized guidance and investment strategies to help you achieve your financial goals.

In this blog, we’ll explore some of the best online financial advisors for 2024, empowering you to make informed decisions about your financial future.

 

What is an online financial advisor? 

An online financial advisor is simply a financial advisor who works virtually. They meet with people remotely over a video call, such as Zoom, instead of in an office. They offer the same services as in-person advisors, yet they’re typically more accessible. 

Online financial advisors are also known as remote financial advisors, digital financial advisors, online financial advisors, or virtual financial advisors. The best online financial advisors are fee-only financial advisors who are fiduciary and don’t sell products that may cause a conflict of interest. 

 

The best 6 online financial advisors for 2024

Here are the results of the best 6 online financial advisors for 2024! They are arranged from the most affordable to the least affordable, based on their first year’s fees. I included a blurb from their website. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of virtual financial planners and it reflects my personal opinion per our criteria above.

 

1) Next Gen Financial Planning 

“We specialize in helping high-earning professionals in their 20s-40s make better financial decisions, and teach them how to use money as a tool to balance today’s pressing needs with tomorrow’s dreams.”

 

2) Your Richest Life 

“I help busy physicians take charge of their financial lives. I can help you navigate the financial planning seas so that you can live the life you want.”

3) Approach Financial Planning
“Approach Financial Planning is an independent financial planning practice in Montrose, CO. I meet with people throughout the U.S. via phone or secure video meetings. Regardless of your location, we can probably work together.”

 

4) District Capital Management

“District Capital Management is a fee-only financial planning firm. We are passionate about helping professionals in their 30s and 40s in the tech, government, non-profit, and small business owner world. We have four financial advisors in our team who are committed to delivering top-tier financial guidance at an affordable cost. As a virtual firm, we work with clients nationwide but primarily serve clients in Washington D.C.Virginia, and Maryland.”

 

5) Manuka Financial

“Manuka Financial is a Richmond, VA flat fee-only financial advisory firm serving clients locally and virtually nationwide. We intentionally limit the number of individuals and families we work with so that we can remain committed to providing a high level of proactive service to each one.”

 

6) Citrine Capital

“Citrine Capital is a fee-only wealth management firm committed to helping startup founders, entrepreneurs, and tech professionals conserve and create wealth. We accomplish this by working with our clients to organize their finances, manage investments, define and prioritize goals, plan for retirement and other major life events, reach financial independence, protect loved ones, and mitigate taxes.”

Top 6 virtual financial advisory fees

Year 1 MinimumYear 1 MaximumFee Structure
Next Gen Financial Planning$1,450$20,000Flat Fee
AUM
Hourly
Your Richest Life$2,400$21,000Flat Fee
AUM
Hourly
Approach Financial Planning$3,900$9,300Flat Fee
AUM
Hourly
District Capital Management$4,500$15,000Flat Fee
AUM
Manuka Financial$5,950$25,950Flat Fee
Citrine Capital$15,000$15,000Flat Fee

How did we find the best virtual financial planners?

We started our search for the best online financial advisors in March 2024. Based on a thorough and independent analysis of many virtual financial planning firms, 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 online fee-only financial advisors 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 online 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.

If you’re searching for a financial planner online 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 virtual financial advisor choices but it doesn’t indicate which financial planning firm may be right for you.

 

What sets District Capital Management apart from other online financial advisors? 

District Capital Management is a fee-only financial planning company serving professionals and entrepreneurs in their 30s and 40s. We are proud to be fiduciaries and the only way that we receive compensation is by what our clients pay us. We don’t receive commissions from the investments we recommend. When we provide financial advice, we do it because we genuinely believe it’s a good fit for you and your family. We truly want the best for our clients.

 

District Capital’s three uniques are:

1) Strong investment team. We have two CFA charterholders in our firm; the CFA designation is considered the gold standard in investing. Two of our co-founders manage a multi-million-dollar pension/foundation portfolio and meet regularly with investment analysts across the nation. Our ears are very close to the ground when it comes to investment opportunities and risks. We’re also well-versed in socially responsible investing funds.

2) Modern and dynamic platform. We use modern technology to power our detailed, comprehensive financial plans. With our platform, our clients can easily keep track of their progress and communicate with us on a regular basis.
sample financial planThis screenshot showcases a sample plan crafted for our clients using Monday.com.

3) We are a majority-minority firm. More than half of our clients are minorities. This was recognized by the Financial Planning Association when it awarded our Managing Partner and Financial Planner Alvin Carlos the Financial Planning Association Retreat 2018 Diversity Scholarship. Many of our team members are military spouses, who have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation due to their highly mobile life.

We strive to exceed our client’s expectations and provide them with the peace of mind they deserve on their financial journey.

Is an online financial advisor the same as a robo-advisor? 

The terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, an online financial advisor is not the same as a robo-advisor. 

An online financial advisor is a human financial advisor that operates their business online rather than in person.

A robo-advisor is an automated investment platform that uses algorithms to manage investment portfolios. Unlike traditional human financial advisors, robo-advisors rely heavily on technology to analyze clients’ financial information, investment goals, risk tolerance, and other factors to generate personalized investment recommendations and manage portfolios. They typically offer low-cost investment solutions with minimal human interaction. The services they provide aren’t as comprehensive as those offered by online financial advisors.

Traditional financial advisors vs. virtual financial advisors

Traditional financial advisors typically conduct meetings in person, whereas virtual financial advisors utilize video calls, phone conversations, and email for communication. This flexibility allows digital financial advisors to serve clients across many geographical locations and time zones. Moreover, virtual financial advisors leverage technology to deliver prompt responses and streamline service delivery, enhancing efficiency and accessibility for clients.

Traditional Financial AdvisorsOnline Financial Advisors
Communication methodsPrimarily face-to-face meetingsVideo calls, phone calls, email
Geographic accessibilityLimited to local areaNationwide or global reach
Time flexibilityLimited by office hoursFlexible scheduling options
Technology utilizationRelies on traditional methodsEmbraces technology for efficiency
Client interactionIn-person interactionsRemote interactions
CostMay have higher fees due to overhead costsOften lower fees due to reduced overhead
PersonalizationFace-to-face customizationCustomization through online tools and questionnaires
ConvenienceLimited to office locationCan be accessed from anywhere with internet access

Advantages of working with an online financial advisor

1. No geographic limitations
One of the advantages of utilizing the internet to locate a financial advisor is the ability to collaborate with someone who meets your needs, regardless of their location. Traditionally, geographical proximity dictated who you could choose as your financial advisor. Nowadays, the options are plentiful, with financial advisors available globally.

As a virtual financial planning firm, we, as well as our clients, are spread across the country. Over the years many of our clients have moved to a new state, and we have been able to remain a constant source of support during those times. We find great joy in building strong relationships with our clients and helping them through different stages of life.

In addition to receiving the assistance you seek and deserve, you may also appreciate the privacy that you get from working with an online financial advisor. You no longer need to be seen walking into your local financial advisor’s office. You can get financial advice from the comfort of your own home through a video call.

2. Specialized financial planning
Previously, you might have had limited options when selecting a financial advisor near you. However, now you have the opportunity to choose from a variety of financial planners who specialize in addressing your particular concerns. While a competent CFP® practitioner may be well-versed in various areas and consider the broader financial picture, opting for a financial advisor who focuses on your primary area of interest offers distinct advantages.

For example, here at District Capital we help professionals and entrepreneurs in their 30s and 40s maximize their money. One of the main goals of many of our clients is to retire by 55. If this sounds like you, then we may be a good fit.

3. Save time and money
By availing financial planning services online, you save valuable time and money. As long as you have a device and the internet, we can meet. Rather than enduring the commute to an appointment, finding parking, waiting in a reception area, and finally meeting to discuss your needs (and repeating the process to return home), you can handle everything remotely.

You can schedule meetings with us during your lunch break at work, from the comfort of your couch at home, or even while you’re on vacation. There’s no need to take time off from work or arrange for a babysitter. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a child or two to join our Zoom meetings to say hello. Meet with us at your convenience, wherever you are, and save on gas and parking expenses.

Eliminating cumbersome logistics frees up precious hours in a busy schedule. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time on more meaningful activities, such as spending quality time with loved ones or doing things you enjoy?

4. Cutting-edge technology and tools
Online advice isn’t just about using video instead of meeting at an office. The whole experience can be streamlined, and the best online financial planners make your life easy.

We use technologies that make your life easier and require less paperwork. All of our clients get access to our modern Financial Plan dashboard which will contain 40+ actionable recommendations specific to you.  Even something as simple as utilizing digital signatures through platforms like DocuSign simplifies tasks such as signing documents online. This process eliminates the need to print, sign, and scan documents back to the financial advisor, resulting in significant time savings.

It’s essential to be diligent when choosing a financial advisor, ensuring you find someone who truly has your best interests at heart. Look for a fee-only advisor who operates as a fiduciary, meaning they always prioritize your needs above all else. This ensures you’re working with someone who is committed to serving you with integrity and transparency, giving you peace of mind as you navigate your financial journey.

Disadvantages of working with an online financial planner

While there are many positives to working with an online financial, there are a couple of potential challenges.

1. Virtual isn’t for everyone
Virtual meetings can feel different from in-person meetings. Some individuals prioritize the personal connection of face-to-face interactions and may be hesitant to build relationships virtually. However, both our clients and ourselves have found that virtual collaboration can be equally meaningful. Additionally, the reduced need for commuting means more time available to spend with loved ones, making the transition to virtual work worthwhile.

2. You don’t like video meetings
If the idea of video meetings doesn’t appeal to some people, they may prefer telephone conversations. That’s perfectly acceptable. While we typically meet with clients over Zoom, we can also assist you solely through phone calls if that’s more comfortable to you.

3. Technological challenges
Occasionally, technology may present challenges, requiring some trial and error to become familiar with new tools. It’s possible that a meeting might need rescheduling or a few minutes may be spent doing that dreaded Zoom update or organizing materials when things don’t go smoothly. Although technology is generally reliable, it can be frustrating when alternative solutions are needed on rare occasions.

 

Key questions to ask an online financial advisor

Once you have chosen a few virtual financial advisors that you resonate with, you may want to set up an introductory call with them. This is typically free. 

It’s essential to ask questions during this call to ensure they are the right fit for your financial needs and goals. Some questions you may want to ask include:

1) Are you a fiduciary?
2) How do you get paid?
3) What are your credentials & experience with my demographic?
4) How good are you at investing?

We’ve compiled a list of 10 key questions to ask prospective financial advisors so that you know that they have your best interests at heart. We trust this guide will assist you on your financial planning path!

Who benefits from working with an online financial advisor?

Virtual financial advisors often cater well to:

  • Busy professionals: For busy professionals with limited time to spare for in-person meetings, opting for a virtual financial advisor could be the perfect solution.
  • Tech-savvy professionals: Clients who feel at ease managing their finances through online platforms and mobile applications.
  • Those who value privacy and discretion: Individuals hesitant about divulging personal financial details in face-to-face meetings may prefer interacting with a virtual advisor.

Should you work with a financial advisor online?

In the past, getting financial advice often meant sticking with a local planner. But times have evolved. Today, you have a plethora of options to choose from. At District Capital Management, we proudly serve clients throughout the United States, with a special focus on Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

This flexibility proves invaluable, especially for Americans living abroad part-time.  For digital nomads, who often earn substantial incomes, effective investment management is essential but frequently overlooked.

Work with an online financial advisor near me in 2024

Choosing the right online financial advisor is essential for effectively managing your finances and achieving your long-term goals. Whether you’re saving for retirement, building wealth, or planning for major life events, the best online financial advisors for 2024 offer personalized guidance, low fees, and innovative technology to help you navigate the complexities of financial planning.

If the idea of working with an online financial advisor sounds appealing, and you are interested in a comprehensive financial plan, schedule a free discovery call with one of our financial advisors today. 

Best Financial Planner Washington DC

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.

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District Capital is an independent, fee-only financial planning firm. We help professionals and entrepreneurs in their 30s and 40s elevate their finances and maximize their money. We are based in Washington, D.C and we work with people virtually nationwide.

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