Expertise.com

Best Financial Advisors in Clearwater

Laurels
Laurels

We did the research for you!

Learn more
  • checkboxLicensing
  • checkboxUser Reviews
  • checkboxMystery Shopping Calls

Financial Advisors FAQs

Learn more
SmartAdvisor by SmartAsset logo
FEATURED
Free consultation

SmartAdvisor by SmartAsset

Clearwater, FL
  • Estate Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Financial Planning
  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

SmartAsset's free, five-minute tool makes it easy to find qualified financial advisors in your area. The exclusive tool uses a quick survey to help SmartAsset's exclusive algorithm match you with up to three advisors based on your specific financial needs. Each advisor is a fiduciary, legally bound to work in your best interest, and rigorously vetted by SmartAsset. You can speak with each for free, sometimes within a matter of minutes, and choose whom you want to work with. Hundreds of thousands of smart investors and retirees have already used SmartAsset's simple, no-cost service to find the right financial advisors for them.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.0
Google
3.2 / 5 (15)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––

Price: Free consultation

Align Wealth Management logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Align Wealth Management

125 5th Street South Suite 201, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Since 1999, Align Wealth Management has been assisting individuals and small business owners in Clearwater and neighboring areas in wealth growth and preservation matters. This independent fiduciary firm has Certified Financial Planners and Chartered Financial Analysts in the team that guides clients in retirement planning, investment management, and 401(k) plan management. They help them maximize their return while minimizing risk, cost, and tax. In 2019, the firm has been selected by Financial Times as one of the Top Financial Advisers.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Chambers Financial Group logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Chambers Financial Group

285 Clearwater Largo Rd N, Largo, FL 33770
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Private Wealth Advisor
  • Retirement Planning
  • Insurance Products

Business Description

Chambers Financial Group caters to individuals, families, and businesses throughout Clearwater. It helps clients manage their wealth and achieve financial independence by providing them with a wide range of services, including financial planning, portfolio allocation, investment management, risk management, and estate planning. The company also offers an array of insurance options such as long-term care, variable, term, and whole life insurance. Founder Curtis W. Chambers has earned the CFP designation and has been quoted in NBC News and The Wall Street Journal.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (3)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Cornerstone Wealth Advisors logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Cornerstone Wealth Advisors

4625 Little Road, Trinity, FL 34655
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Insurance Products
  • Retirement Planning
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Cornerstone Wealth Advisors is a financial advisory firm that lists the Clearwater metro as one of its service areas. It provides a broad range of financial services to help address the needs and goals of clients, including preparing for retirement and investing. Led by its president, Charles "Chuck" Walker, the firm's team of advisors assists in managing finances and planning estates. Chuck has been in the financial advisory industry for more than 38 years and is a Certified Financial Planner.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.8

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Deidre Fernald logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Deidre Fernald

780 94th Ave N, Saint Petersburg, FL 33702
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

Deidre Fernald offers financial planning to the locals of Clearwater. She crafts plans that are centered around her client's lifestyle while tackling their top priorities such as spending and savings, retirement, debt management, family and education, and family protection. She accepts clients no matter where they're starting from financially. Fernald, a Certified Financial Planner, has been providing her planning services since 2004. Her goal is to educate, encourage, and give her clients the tools they need to be confident with their finances.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
4.5 / 5 (57)
Dolphin Financial Group logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Dolphin Financial Group

2430 Estancia Boulevard, Clearwater, FL 33761
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Retirement Planning
  • Tax Planning

Business Description

Dolphin Financial Group is a wealth management company located in Clearwater. It offers financial advisory services, such as income planning, insurance planning, investment management, Social Security maximization, and risk assessment. Founder and CEO Daniel J. Wendol has 15 years of experience working in various capacities of financial planning. He also has prior experience as an equities trader. Additionally, Daniel holds licenses to act in a fiduciary capacity and as a health and life insurance broker.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (13)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
George F. Cerwin Financial Management logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

George F. Cerwin Financial Management

2764 Sunset Point Road #600, Clearwater, FL 33759
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

George F. Cerwin Financial Management helps individuals gain financial wellness in Clearwater. The firm assists clients in securing their goals through financial planning. It also offers a variety of related services, including retirement, estate, insurance, and tax planning. The business also helps clients obtain a sound investment portfolio through investment planning. Namesake and president George F. Cerwin has over 40 years of experience. Cerwin is a Certified Financial Planner who is also an APFA founding member.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
MFP Financial Services logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

MFP Financial Services

335 Ninth Ave. S., Safety Harbor, FL 34695
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

MFP Financial Services offers financial guidance to the locals of Clearwater and the surrounding areas. The company works with its clients to guide them towards financial independence as they near retirement. Its advisors help clients achieve these goals through financial planning services that cover cash management, risk management, taxes and IRAs, inflation, retirement, and investing. Chris Mavrakos, the company president and CEO, is a Certified Financial Planner with more than 30 years of experience in wealth management.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (22)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Premier Planning Partners logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Premier Planning Partners

801 West Bay Drive Suite 517, Largo, FL 33770
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Retirement Planning
  • Business Formation

Business Description

Premier Planning Partners is a wealth management firm that serves clients in Clearwater. It helps individuals, families, and businesses achieve their financial goals through financial planning. The firm educates clients on 401k rollovers, IRAs, and retirement saving options to help them achieve financial independence. Its financial advisors create plans based on the needs, concerns, and goals of clients. Owner Marc D'Elia received his wealth management professional designation from The American College of Financial Services.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
ProVise Management Group logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

ProVise Management Group

611 Druid Road East, Suite 105, Clearwater, FL 33756
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

Since 1986, ProVise Management Group has been providing financial services to clients in Clearwater. It advises diverse people, from working professionals to retirees, on financial planning. The company educates them on areas like estate planning. It also offers the Personal Financial Officer program to help business owners with personal asset management. The company's CEO, V. Raymond Ferrara, was awarded the P. Kemp Fain Jr. Award in 2016 by the Financial Planning Association. He has over five decades of industry experience.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Google
4.5 / 5 (8)
Yelp
1.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The Carlson Group logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Carlson Group

26301 Us Hwy 19 N, Clearwater, FL 33761
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

The Carlson Group is a team of financial and wealth management advisors serving the community of Clearwater. Led by Mark Carlson who has more than 30 years of experience, the firm offers a goals-based approach to its client's investment-related decisions. It assists them in not only growing and preserving their wealth but also in transferring their legacy to their children. The team offers its recommendations in managing healthcare expenses, purchasing properties, and saving for retirement.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
The Holland Group logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

The Holland Group

2637 McCormick Drive, Suite 101, Clearwater, FL 33759
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Retirement Planning
  • Insurance Products

Business Description

The Holland Group is a Clearwater company that offers personal financial planning services to clients in the metro. It has been in business since 1993 and was founded by Steve and Elizabeth Holland, who both have been in the financial and insurance industry for over 30 years. Its services include wealth management, retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, and life insurance. Steve has held over 1500 financial workshops and was featured on top news outlets NBC, CBS, and Fox.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Google
4.7 / 5 (24)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Unified Wealth Management logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Unified Wealth Management

220 Pine Ave. N Suite A, Oldsmar, FL 34677
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

Unified Wealth Management offers taxation and financial planning services to clients in Clearwater. Through a goal-based and life circumstance-guided approach, it provides professional advice on long-term and short-term investments, insurance policies, retirement plans, and estate plans. The company also caters to the tax preparation needs of startups and charitable donation plans of corporations. Dave Meglay, a member of the team, is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Financial Planner with over 19 years of experience.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.6
Facebook
4.4 / 5 (54)
Google
5.0 / 5 (21)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Universal Financial Consultants logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Universal Financial Consultants

1499 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd Suite 100, Clearwater, FL 33755
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Universal Financial Consultants offers guidance to clients in the Clearwater and Tampa metro with concerns regarding growing and preserving their wealth. The firm helps clients identify their goals, analyze their current situations, and help make sure they are on the path to living the retirement of their dreams. UFC offers tax-saving strategies, business succession planning, and advanced estate planning solutions including premium financing. Universal Financial Consultants has offered financial guidance to clients for three decades and works with all of the top insurance carriers and lenders in the nation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.4 / 5 (7)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
Vernick Financial logo
Visit WebsiteWebsite

Vernick Financial

9303 Seminole Blvd., Suite A, Seminole, FL 33772
Visit WebsiteWebsite
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Vernick Financial is an advisory firm that provides financial planning services to individuals and families in Clearwater and nearby areas. Its team of financial experts has more than 50 years of combined experience providing advice in various fields, such as retirement planning, charitable giving, risk management, and cash planning. The firm guides trustees, fiduciaries, and guardians in managing assets. Its founder, Mark Vernick, is a Certified Financial Planner who also has an Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (17)
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

There are many titles for financial professionals, so it's challenging to track what each one means. A financial advisor is probably the term you've heard most often. Financial advisor is a broad term for a professional who helps individuals or companies manage their finances, including investment choices. There are over 100 certifications that financial advisors can obtain.

  • Financial planners, wealth managers, and investment advisors are all financial advisors with different focus areas.
  • A financial planner helps an individual or a company make a plan to achieve long-term financial goals.
  • A wealth manager helps individuals maintain their wealth through various disciplines and services, such as taxes, estate planning, and investment advice.
  • An investment advisor offers investment advice and recommendations to individuals or organizations.
There’s a misconception that you have to be extremely wealthy to use a financial advisor. In reality, they can be beneficial for people from any income level. Keep reading to find answers to the most commonly asked questions about financial advisors, so you know which type can fit your specific needs.

Are financial advisors worth it?

Whether or not a financial advisor is worth it depends on your personal situation. If your finances are fairly straightforward, then you may be better off handling it on your own. But if you have substantial assets or a complex investment portfolio, then hiring someone to handle it for you can be well worth the cost.

What does a financial advisor do?

Financial advisors can have many types of specialties. Generally, a financial advisor advises on or helps to execute a financial plan. Some examples include assisting people with getting out of debt, building out an investment portfolio, and handling taxes.

How much money do I need to work with a financial advisor?

There’s no specific income level you need in order to work with a financial advisor, but there may be a minimum investment amount for certain types of services. Some financial advisors won’t manage your money unless you have $100,000 or more to invest, but this isn’t the case with financial coaches or robo-advisors.

What does a financial coach do?

Financial coaches focus on improving your financial literacy and money management skills. For example, they can help you figure out how to pay down your student loans or decide how much money to put away for retirement. They usually charge by the hour and don’t offer asset management services or investment advice.

When should I use a financial advisor vs. doing it myself?

Smart money management can give you freedom and comfort. Being responsible with your money makes it possible to meet goals and pay for major expenses. A financial advisor is trained and can offer you expertise that would otherwise take years to learn. They know how to save you money and make it go further.

How do I know if my financial advisor is trustworthy?

Because financial advisors aren’t licensed or regulated, it’s up to the client to make that determination for themselves. However, if your advisor is a fiduciary, that means they’re legally bound to act in your best interest. Some types of advisors, including Certified Financial Professionals (CFPs), are held to fiduciary standards.

What\'s the difference between a financial advisor and a financial planner?

The term financial advisor is a broad phrase that encapsulates many specialties, including financial planner. It's similar to how doctor applies to different physicians, while a cardiologist is a specialty doctor. A financial planner helps their client plan to achieve long-term financial goals, such as saving for a house or retirement.

Are financial advisor fees tax deductible?

Until 2018, financial advisor fees were tax deductible as a miscellaneous expense. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act elimited that deduction until at least 2025.

What is a financial consultant?

A financial consultant and a financial advisor are essentially the same. In recent years, financial consultant has become a less popular term, with financial advisor being much more common. Sometimes, the financial professional may opt for the term consultant when offering services to a business rather than an individual.

What is a robo-advisor?

A robo-advisor is essentially an algorithm that manages your investment portfolio for you. Because their services are automated, you’ll pay less than you would for a human advisor — often between 0.25% and 0.50%. They don’t require large initial investments either, making them a popular choice for entry-level investors. However, you won’t get the same level of advice that you would get from a personal financial advisor.

What makes someone a fiduciary?

Fiduciary is a legal term for a person who has a legal or ethical responsibility to act in your best interests. For example, a trustee and a beneficiary. A financial advisor may have a fiduciary obligation to make financial choices that are best for you, even if it means they earn less in commissions or fees.

How often should I meet with my financial advisor?

After your initial meeting, you may only need to check in with your financial advisor on a quarterly or annual basis. Ask them in advance how often you can expect to hear from them, and whether they offer in-person, phone, or virtual meetings.

Should your financial advisor be a fiduciary?

It’s important to understand that only some — not all — financial advisors have a fiduciary obligation to their clients. Always ask your financial advisor if they’re bound by fiduciary duty. If not, it’s possible that they’ll push products or services that earn them the highest commission, not necessarily what’s best for you. Opt for a financial advisor bound by fiduciary duty whenever possible.

Can my financial planner help with taxes?

Financial advisors aren’t necessarily accountants or tax preparers, so don’t expect them to prepare your taxes for you. However, they may be able to provide tax-related advice to help you optimize your returns and deductions. If you need an advisor who can file your taxes, look for one who is also a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).

Do I need a financial advisor?

Ask yourself if a financial advisor can fill a need or solve a problem you can’t easily handle on your own. They can be helpful in a wide variety of ways, such as building budgets or financial plans, finding ways to save money on taxes, creating an investment portfolio, or offering investment advice.

How do financial advisors get paid?

Clients pay to work with a financial advisor whether it’s through fees, commissions, or salaries. If they’re paid by client fees or commissions, their salary is tied to how much business they bring in. The harder they work, the more they make. In comparison, a salaried employee is guaranteed their wage no matter how many clients they have.

What experience should I look for in a financial advisor?

 If you have specific goals or a unique financial situation, look for a financial advisor with expertise in that area. For example, some financial advisors specialize in working with millennials or focus on socially responsible investing.

How much does a financial advisor cost?

A financial advisor’s costs depend on their fee structure. Some advisors charge a fee — either hourly or a percentage of the client assets under management. Another common option is to charge a commission on the products sold or investments made.

Should I hire a financial advisor before buying a house?

While not always necessary, a financial advisor could help you decide how large of a mortgage to apply for, how much money to put down, and how to balance the purchase with other savings and investment goals.

How many financial advisors are there in the U.S.?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s estimated that there are 218,050 financial advisors. California is the state with the highest employment of financial advisors across the nation.

Do banks offer financial advisors?

Yes, many banks have financial advisors on staff. Your bank may also offer incentives to work with their financial advisors, such as lower fees or free accounts. However, it's important to note that many of the bank's financial advisors don't have a fiduciary obligation and might prioritize the bank's products above all else. There is a cost when working with your bank's financial advisor.

Should I hire a wealth manager?

A wealth manager can help offer complex financial planning services, including tax guidance, estate planning, and legal assistance. While you don't have to be a high-income earner to benefit from a financial advisor, a wealth manager is typically for those that have a high net worth. However, many people build wealth and need a wealth manager later on in life.

Is wealth management worth it?

Wealth management is typically worth it for those who need help with multiple endeavors or comprehensive financial situations, such as charitable contributions or investment portfolio management, or want to protect their assets. A wealth manager can also offer you guidance if you’ve been neglecting your finances or making poor judgements.

How can you tell if a financial advisor is bad?

Your relationship with your financial advisor is a very personal one, as you’re trusting them with your wealth and future. Some general signs that your financial advisor is bad include:

  • They can’t answer your financial questions
  • You have worked with them for a while but haven’t seen a financial improvement
  • They don’t provide you with progress reports
  • They don’t check in with you

What do you need to be a financial advisor?

As mentioned, there are over 100 types of certifications for financial advisors. The training or experience you need will depend on which specialty you want to pursue. Generally, financial advisors need to have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree
  • A General Securities Representative license (Series 7 license)
  • A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification isn’t mandatory but is often preferred

Where do financial advisors work?

Where a financial advisor works will depend on what type of financial advisor they are. Financial advisors can work at a variety of places, including:

  • Securities and commodity brokers
  • A bank
  • A credit union
  • Independently
  • Insurance companies
  • Financial investment firms
  • Small investment advisory firms

How much do financial advisors make?

In 2019, the national average salary for a financial advisor was $87,850. However, it’s important to note the average salary varies from state to state and the different focus areas — an investment advisor may make a lot more than a financial planner. Lastly, salary can depend on how the individual is getting paid. Financial advisors can be paid by client fees, commissions, or salaries.

Read all FAQs