Overview: Well Fargo Advisors Review—Essential Information

Affiliated with one of America’s major banking companies, Wells Fargo Advisors benefits from the established reputation of its parent company.

But what is the average customer’s experience using a Wells Fargo advisor? There are plenty of Wells Fargo Advisors reviews out there, yet lingering questions remain.

wells fargo advisors review

Photo credit: Consumer Affairs

Of course, Wells Fargo Advisors customers want to feel that their money is secure. Some of the most important consideration to determine this are:

  • Potential cons, such as Wells Fargo Advisors fees
  • Pros, such as the range of options for a Wells Fargo Advisors online account
  • The most common Wells Fargo Advisors complaints
  • The most useful benefits of Wells Fargo Advisors Solutions

A Wells Fargo advisor would only be beneficial if he or she provided a worthwhile service that customers can’t get elsewhere. To determine if this is the case, a closer look at their service is needed.

Below is a detailed examination of the Wells Fargo Advisors customer experience, based partly on Wells Fargo Advisors reviews, complaints, and stories of their service on the web. This article will cover what makes the company stand out from its competition and help customers determine if the service is right for them.

See Also: Review of LPL Financial Advisors | Rating, Fees, News—Finding an LPL Advisor

About Wells Fargo Advisors

The history of Wells Fargo Advisors can be traced as far back as 1879, but it has grown considerably since then. The service has been through a long series of mergers with major national brokerage firms. The company, then known as Wachovia Securities, was the second-largest brokerage firm in the United States when it came under the Wells Fargo umbrella in 2009.

Their service operates on three tiers, with varying services and benefits depending on what the customer is seeking from Wells Fargo Advisors. The first tier is their WellsTrade option, which allows access to a Wells Fargo Advisors online account for investment. It also includes investment research. Wells Fargo Advisors fees are minimal here, at an $8.95 charge per trade, with a discount if linked to an existing PMA account.

The next tier of service is the Wells Fargo Advisors Solutions account, which allows for personalized advice and the ability to contact an advisory team over the phone, in addition to the aforementioned online services.

The Wells Fargo Advisors fee schedule is more complex than the previous tier, as it consists of an annual fee that varies depending on the customer’s assets. Wells Fargo Advisors reviews, however, show that their advice often provides customers with mixed or poor results.

wells fargo advisors reviews

Photo Credit: Wells Fargo Advisors Review

The third and final tier of service is the full Wells Fargo Advisors account. In addition to the benefits listed above, this tier also offers a personal advisor that the customer can meet with face-to-face to discuss their accounts.

They also offer their proprietary Envision Planning system. As with the Wells Fargo Advisors Solutions account, however, it is unclear how useful this is. Wells Fargo Advisors fees, in this case, vary depending upon what services the customer expects from the personal advisor. Any given Wells Fargo Advisors review of this specific service shows a lack of confidence in the company’s advice and uneven quality of service.

Don’t Miss: Raymond James Reviews: What You Should Know (Fees, Customer Reviews, Brokerage, Advisors)

Summary of Account Options

Both the Wells Fargo Advisors and Wells Fargo Advisors Solutions accounts offer full access to the online options included in the WellsTrade account. With the Wells Fargo Advisors online account system, including the mobile/tablet application, it’s possible to streamline all of your Wells Fargo services into a single point of access.

Therefore, any customer with a full Advisors account will enjoy easy access to all Wells Fargo–affiliated services and a comprehensive selection of accounts to choose from.

In summary, there are three tiers of service that depend on the customer’s specific needs:

  • WellsTrade, paid per transaction
  • Wells Fargo Advisors Solutions, paid annually, depending on assets
  • Wells Fargo Advisors, paid with variable fees, depending on accounts

To get a clearer idea of the overall quality of service, each tier will be considered in more detail, alongside Wells Fargo Advisors reviews. The pros and cons of each account type are considered in-depth below, with guidance to show what customers and situations will benefit most from each.

Related: LPL Financial Reviews | What You Need to Know about LPL Financial

All-in-One Change Management Tools

Top Rated Toolkit for Change Managers.

Get Your Change Management Tool Today...

WellsTrade—Pros and Cons

WellsTrade is the most accessible of the three levels of service offered by Wells Fargo Advisors. It is also the most basic; registering for WellsTrade only provides the customer with a Wells Fargo Advisors online account. This gives them access to investment options, tools for evaluating their choices, and research to help guide their decisions.

The low cost of the service compared to Wells Fargo’s other options is the biggest advantage. The WellsTrade Brokerage Commissions and Fees for Stocks/ETFs will cost you $0 as of December 2019.

In addition, there is no specific Wells Fargo Advisors fee schedule, which allows for customers to be flexible in their payments. It is also available for use on mobile and tablet devices, so customers can manage their investments on the go.

The website and apps are simple but uncluttered and easy to use, particularly for inexperienced customers. It is noted in one Wells Fargo Advisors review that the simplicity of the trading system is both a benefit and a drawback.

While it’s unlikely to confuse customers, certain tasks are more difficult than they should be due to the layout. Trading out of stocks from the positions screen seems to be a common problem.

A Wells Fargo Advisors review from wisestockbuyer.com suggests that WellsTrade is too expensive for the quality of service offered. The Wells Fargo Advisors online account system is reportedly slow to respond, laborious to use, and unsuited to active investors. The review does, however, praise the quality of its market research.

Wells Fargo’s WellsTrade—Customer Feedback

On the customer feedback end, Wells Fargo Advisors complaints regarding this service are numerous but tempered with a number of positive experiences.

This suggests that WellsTrade is potentially useful for those who are new to investing due to exemplary customer service and high-quality research. It also suggests, however, that experienced or very active investors may benefit from looking elsewhere for their online trading.

Wells Fargo Advisors Solutions—Pros and Cons

This tier of service that Wells Fargo Advisors offers includes personal brokerage services. Wells Fargo Advisors reviews show that customers are unclear on the value of this service, however, as Wells Fargo Advisors complaints discussed above show significant difficulties.

The real selling point of Wells Fargo Advisors Solutions over WellsTrade is the option of personalized advice from Wells Fargo advisors. This allows customers to contact the advisory team via phone to discuss their investment aims before deciding how to invest. It also requires a significantly smaller initial investment to use the service than a Wells Fargo Advisors account, with a $25,000 minimum instead of $100,000.

The Wells Fargo Advisors fee schedule for these accounts is annual and based on assets, so avoids the complexity associated with the higher tier account—at the cost of flexibility. In addition, this avoids some of the most significant complaints outlined in the Wells Fargo Advisor review on investorjunkie.com. The lower Wells Fargo Advisor fees for this account compared to the one at the higher tier allows for less demanding access while still benefitting from personalized advice.

This advantage of the Solutions account, judging by the complaints outlined in Wells Fargo Advisors reviews, should mitigate some of the problems associated with the top-tier Wells Fargo Advisors account.

Wells Fargo Advisors—Pros and Cons

wells fargo advisors

Photo Credit:  Wells Fargo Media

This is the top-tiered account intended only for serious investors. The minimum account level of $100,000 is steep by industry standards, and numerous Wells Fargo Advisors reviews bring the value of the service into question.

Compared to their competition, Wells Fargo Advisors fees at this level are reasonable at $100 annually per household. In addition, according to the Wells Fargo Advisors review on investorjunkie.com, there are numerous options to mitigate the costs depending on the customer’s specific needs.

They also offer a personal Wells Fargo advisor that customers have unlimited access to and whom they can meet with in person.

In addition to industry-standard personalized service from a Wells Fargo advisor, customers at this level also benefit from Envision Planning.

Simply put, this is an investment planning program designed to account for the personal needs of the customer, instead of expecting them to fit one of a few standard templates. It accounts for various dimensions specific to an individual customer, such as:

  • Life goals
  • Educational goals
  • Existing assets
  • Retirement planning needs
  • Levels of acceptable investment risk

As part of this service, Wells Fargo Advisors accounts also offer a full suite of account options so that customers can centralize their savings and investments with them. This can be managed from Wells Fargo Advisors online account or mobile applications.

Advisors Account—Customer Feedback

It is impossible to ignore the number of Wells Fargo Advisors complaints, however, particularly concerning the quality of service on this account.

Customers’ Wells Fargo Advisors reviews claim that staff are dismissive and don’t seem knowledgeable enough to resolve problems. Given the high initial investment requirements, this lack of quality customer care is a serious problem for Wells Fargo Advisors, and undermines their big selling points.

Overall View—Wells Fargo Advisors

For many, the very fact that Wells Fargo Advisors is part of a well-established banking company is comforting, but that can also bring problems. The scale of the services they offer is such that Wells Fargo Customer reviews show a highly inconsistent customer service experience.

Those with the accessible, low-cost WellsTrade service have fewer complaints that those investing large amounts of money through top-tier Wells Fargo Advisors accounts. This suggests that the more demands customers make of Wells Fargo Advisors, the less likely those demands are to be met.

On paper, the services offered by Wells Fargo Advisors Solutions and Wells Fargo Advisor accounts compensate for a high barrier to entry. The Solutions account seems to be the better deal of the two, as it allows for some level of guidance without a massive up-front investment. The Wells Fargo Advisors reviews listed on consumeraffairs.com indicate that the quality of service from personal advisors does little to justify the cost of the top-tier accounts.

The services offered are comprehensive, as noted in nearly any in-depth Wells Fargo Advisor review. The convenience of streamlining activity between other accounts through the Wells Fargo Advisors online account service could be a strong enough selling point for some.

Wells Fargo Advisors Reviews Conclusion

Wells Fargo Advisors reviews and services suggest that Wells Fargo Advisors is best suited to customers who are new or occasional investors. Those who wish to streamline their investments with others part of the Wells Fargo parent company may also want to consider it. Serious or highly active investors, however, may be better off looking elsewhere for more consistent customer care or lower initial investment.

AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.