Positivly Review: Customized Financial Advisor Recommendations

Finding a like-minded financial advisor can be difficult. You might spend weeks interviewing financial advisors before your find a good match. Or worse, start working with an advisor that you later find out wasn’t the best one for your situation.

Positivly is an online platform that can help you find personalized financial advice. The service offers a free financial personality quiz and can use your results to pair you with a compatible financial advisor.

Table of Contents
  1. What is Positivly?
  2. How Positivly Works
    1. Impact Investing Emphasis
  3. Positivly Features
    1. Free Financial Personality Quiz
    2. Personalized Investment Ideas
    3. Find a Financial Advisor
  4. Is Positivly Safe?
  5. Positivly Pros and Cons
    1. Pros
    2. Cons
  6. Who Should Use Positivly?
  7. FAQs
    1. Is Positivly Free?
    2. Does Positivly Require a Minimum Balance?
    3. How Does the Advisor Matching Service Work?
    4. Are Positivly Advisors Licensed?
    5. Does Positivly Require a Specific Brokerage for Managed Investing?
  8. Summary

What is Positivly?

Positivly is an online service that can pair you with a financial advisor to provide personalized investment guidance. 

The platform offers three primary services for individual investors:

  1. Free financial personality quiz
  2. Personalized investment recommendations
  3. Finding a compatible financial advisor 

There isn’t any requirement to sign up for an advisor and there are no high-pressure sales pitches. You can also only use the service for the free personality quiz to learn more about how you make your investment decisions.

How Positivly Works

Instead of simply being an online directory of financial advisors adhering to certain principles, Positivly uses behavioral finance methods to help you learn about your financial personality and recommend an SEC-registered advisor that matches your temperament.  

If you have spent time looking for a financial advisor, you know how time-consuming it can be to find an advisor you connect with, even if they have years of experience.

For the most part, any experienced advisor can help improve your financial situation. But finding one that shares your mindset can produce better results and easily build trust.  

To help you find the best advisor, you start by taking a 3-minute financial personality quiz. This quiz is similar to a risk tolerance quiz your online broker may offer to recommend a model investment portfolio.

However, instead of receiving a recommend risk-based asset allocation (i.e., 80% stock and 20% bonds), the quiz results highlight four dimensions of your investing values and decision-making tendencies. 

Then, you can request a free portfolio analysis with a Positivly advisor. The matching service pairs you with an advisor that can be a good fit for your quiz score. This free portfolio analysis can help you decide if it’s a good idea to hire this advisor or continue searching.

Impact Investing Emphasis

One trait that makes Positivly different than other advisory services is its emphasis on impact investing and ESG investing (environmental, social, and governance). 

Many investment advisors and robo-advisors recommend passive index funds of stocks and bonds. These funds have rock-bottom expense fees but also invest in the companies composing the benchmark index. 

For example, an S&P 500 index fund holds positions in “big oil” companies like Exxon Mobil and Chevron. However, you may wish to avoid fossil fuel energy companies because of their negative environmental impact.

A Positivly advisor can add ESG-friendly investment recommendations to your portfolio. 

Learn more about Positivly

Positivly Features

Here is a closer look at what this platform offers.

Free Financial Personality Quiz

You start by taking a free financial personality quiz consisting of 21 questions and takes approximately three minutes.

This quiz determines your financial personality and can help your financial advisor provide individual investment advice.

Some of the quiz questions include:

  • What is the maximum portfolio pullback you’re comfortable with during a stock market correction?
  • Have you avoided buying items due to ethical, environmental, or social reasons?
  • Will you only work for a company aligning with your vision and purpose?
  • What percentage of your annual income do you donate?  
  • How much income would you bet on a high-conviction investment idea?
  • How frequently do you think about recent world events?

After answering these questions, you enter your name and email address to view your results.

The quiz results are similar to the Myers-Briggs Indicator (i.e., ENFJ, ISTJ, ESFP, etc.) to learn about your social personality. You have taken this test during college orientation or a corporate culture course.

Instead of telling you if you’re an extrovert or analyzing your thought process, the Positivly quiz can help measure your cognitive bias with four scoring factors to determining your investment preferences.

The four financial personality measurement factors are:

  • Purpose: Values-based investing (i.e., ESG and impact investing)
  • Security: Do you prefer stable investments or riskier, growth-focused investments?
  • Touch: Do you prefer hands-on investment guidance from advisors and friends?
  • Viewpoints: Investing in sector, geographic, or thematic funds

Your quiz results display your PSTV score and a brief summary of how your personality relates to each factor.

The results focus on your current investment mindset instead of your budgeting style or non-investing financial priorities. So, you can save those topics for your financial advisor. 

Personalized Investment Ideas

Your quiz summary concludes with a few investment ideas that can be a good fit for your personality. 

For example, you may receive several recommendations for ETFs that promote worthy causes such as clean energy, water sustainability, or reduced carbon emissions.

You can purchase these funds from most investing apps but you must perform your own research. 

The investment ideas section doesn’t recommend a model portfolio or an asset allocation.

Seeing your financial personality is the best reason to take this quiz. For investment advice, working with an advisor is still the better option.

These recommendations are not individual investment advice. Positivly most likely lists the same investment funds to others quiz takers with a similar financial personality.

To get individualized advice, you will need to work with a licensed financial advisor. 

Learn more about Positivly

Find a Financial Advisor

After completing your quiz, you have the option of getting a free portfolio analysis from a financial advisor. 

This service is optional but is the primary reason to use Positivly. To enroll, you enter your phone number and zip code. Positivly then recommends an advisor who will contact you in the coming days for a virtual meeting. 

You won’t upload your investment portfolio or other personal details such as your age and annual income to the Positivly platform to request a consultation. Instead, you save these details for your advisor appointment.

The one question Positivly asks during the quiz is your current amount of investable assets. This question gives your prospective advisor an insight into whether you’re trying to grow wealth or transition into a wealth management strategy. 

Whether you use Positivly or another resource to hire a financial advisor, a free initial consultation is standard practice to review your current financial health and decide if the advisor can help you achieve your various goals.

After the initial consultation, your advisor can help you develop a financial plan and manage your investment portfolio. The financial planning process and investment brokerage options vary by advisor.

Risk-Adjusted Portfolio

One advantage of using an advisor for managing your investments is having a second set of eyes. First, your advisor can look for areas of improvement to reduce portfolio risk.

When the inevitable market corrections occur, your advisor may also provide a second opinion during volatile times to prevent panic selling and other hasty decisions. 

Custodial Integration

Positivly is a relatively new platform but integrates with traditional online brokerages. 

Your advisor can trade investment recommendations on these platforms:

  • Charles Schwab
  • TD Ameritrade
  • Fidelity Institutional

If you currently invest somewhere else, you can still use this advisory matching service. Your advisor may have different direct brokerage linking options.

Thematic Investing

You may also consider hiring a Positivly advisor if you want to add thematic investing themes to your portfolio.

These themes can help you invest in assets with one of these traits:

  • Sector: Invest in specific industry sectors like clean energy or artificial intelligence
  • Geographic: Get exposure to a particular country or continent
  • Themes: Invest in themes like healthy living, education, or real estate

More investors want their investment strategy to reflect their personal values and avoid assets that can present a potential conflict of interest. 

You can invest in different investing themes, and an advisor can compare your options and recommend a new asset allocation for your portfolio. 

Is Positivly Safe?

Positivly only matches you with an SEC-registered advisor. You may decide to perform your own research into the advisor’s reputation and credentials before agreeing to an ongoing relationship.

If you decide to hire the Positivly advisor, you can begin receiving tailored advice for investment products that require a professional service to recommend. 

Also, the Positivly financial personality quiz is free to take, doesn’t collect sensitive personal information, or require purchasing any services or subscriptions.

While the quiz lists some investment ideas that may be of interest, you decide to buy or avoid these recommendations. 

If you have any questions about the Positivly features, live chat support is available Monday-Friday from 10 AM to 7 PM Eastern.

Learn more about Positivly

Positivly Pros and Cons

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using this service.

Pros

  • Free, 3-minute financial personality quiz
  • Learn more about your investing values
  • Can match with a compatible financial advisor
  • Managed investment portfolios

Cons

  • Must hire an advisor for personalized advice
  • Free quiz only provides general personality insights
  • Free investment ideas are basic recommendations
  • May need to interview several advisors to hire one

Who Should Use Positivly?

Positivly is an excellent option if you’re looking to find an independent financial advisor that shares your investment values. 

There can be many advisors in your local area but they may not want to manage your portfolio in the way you desire. 

This platform can help you find advisors that can be knowledgeable with ESG and thematic investing.

Even if you’re unsure about hiring an advisor, the free quiz can be exciting and provide different insights than previous surveys you have taken.

FAQs

Here are some questions we can clarify with this Positively review.

Is Positivly Free?

Yes, the financial personality quiz and using the advisor matching service initial consult are free. If you continue using the matched advisor, normal advisory fees apply. The individual advisor sets these rates.

Does Positivly Require a Minimum Balance?

There are no minimum balance requirements to take the quiz or request an advisor match. However, make sure you include an accurate measurement of your investable assets to pair with a proper advisor for your wealth level.

How Does the Advisor Matching Service Work?

After completing the free financial quiz, Positivly uses your personality type to find a similar advisor. You submit your phone number and email. Next, a potential advisor contacts you to schedule a free portfolio review.

Are Positivly Advisors Licensed?

Yes, all advisors are registered with the SEC. The certifications can vary but this service focuses on providing personalized investment advice.

Does Positivly Require a Specific Brokerage for Managed Investing?

Not necessarily. Each advisor has their own direct brokerage connections.

Summary

Positivly can provide a clearer understanding of your financial priorities and make it easier to choose a financial advisor that can provide personalized advice for your circumstances.

The service is free and worth a try if you want a second set of eyes on your portfolio and want hands-on help with values-driven investment strategies.  

Positivly

9

Product Rating

9.0/10

Strengths

  • Free, 3-minute financial personality quiz
  • Learn more about your investing values
  • Can match with a compatible financial advisor
  • Managed investment portfolios

Weaknesses

  • Must hire an advisor for personalized advice
  • Free quiz only provides general personality insights
  • Free investment ideas are basic recommendations
  • May need to interview several advisors to hire one

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About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (I studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

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