Financial Advisor Business Plan Template

Written by Dave Lavinsky

Financial Advisor Competitive Analysis

Direct and Indirect Competitors

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services is a top-rated financial advisor firm in the United States. With multiple offices across the country and a network of highly certified agents, Vanguard is able to manage numerous financial needs for their clients. Their list of investment products include mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, CDs and bonds, and money market accounts. An impressive 82% of Vanguard funds have performed better than their peer-group averages over the past ten years.

Vanguard has strategies and products to meet all types of investors, whether they want simplicity, determined to outperform the market, want low fund costs, or is focused on social responsibility. Depending on the investor type, Vanguard can match you with a personal financial advisor or the ability to solely manage your funds digitally through the Vanguard Digital Advisor. Vanguard sets itself apart from other financial advisor companies by having all of its 30 million investors own the funds that own the company.

Vanguard Personal Advisor Services has a $3,000 minimum investment for mutual funds and charges 0.30% for the personal investment advisor and 0.15% for the digital advisor annually.


Fisher Investments

Fisher Investments is another large investment company similar to Vanguard and Charles Schwab that provides investment and financial services to increase the wealth for an institution or individual. Fisher Investments is known for being at the helm of industry market knowledge and being able to adapt and modify a clients’ portfolio depending on the volatility of the market. They currently manage $159 billion for individuals, families, and institutions around the world. Fisher Investment’s roots are as an institutional money manager and are able to provide a disciplined approach and a higher level of service. The financial services Fisher provides are portfolio management, financial planning, and annuity assessment.

Fisher Investments sets itself apart from the competition by personally tailoring each portfolio to meet the needs of the client, calls regularly to keep the client informed (not just when they have something to sell), and has no hidden or layered fees.

The fee structure of Fisher Investments is simple. The asset management fee is charged as a percentage of the assets they manage for the client. They do not earn any commissions. Fisher Investments only makes money when the client makes money so as the wealth of the client grows, the fees earned by Fisher grows.


Charles Schwab

Charles Schwab is a Fortune Top 50 company based in the U.S. that offers banking, commercial banking, an electronic trading platform, and wealth management advisory services. The types of accounts they offer are brokerage, Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, 401k rollover, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, and Schwab Bank checking. Charles Schwab’s investment services are stocks, Schwab stock slices, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, options, annuities, money market funds, options, and futures.

Charles Schwab offers a satisfaction guarantee with any products or services they offer and pride themselves in providing more transparency than basic industry disclosure requirements. They participate in the Financial Information Forum Rule 605/606 Retail Execution Quality Working Group, whose goal is to provide retail investors with more visibility into execution quality.

Charles Schwab doesn’t charge any fees to open an account, but they do require a $1,000 minimum account trading or investing balance to get started. They also charge a $25 service fee for Stocks, ETFs, Options, and mutual funds.

Competitive Advantage

Prime Wealth Financial Advisors will be able to offer the following competitive advantages over their competition:

  • Personalized customer service – clients are sitting one-on-one with an advisor, not over the phone or electronically.
  • Every financial advisor tailors a personalized strategy for each client based on their needs.
  • Complete transparency and quarterly email communication giving an overview of where their portfolio stands.
  • Offers more financial services than the competitors; i.e. estate planning, trust planning, and charitable planning.