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Northwestern Mutual Financial Planning review

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Northwestern Mutual Financial Planning
Minimum deposit
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This provider offers personalized financial strategies, but you’ll need at least $25,000 to get started.

Northwestern Mutual Financial Planning can set you up with a dedicated adviser to help you create a financial plan around your income and goals. However, it’s unclear how much you’ll be charged for their services.

In this guide

  • Review
  • Details
    • Investing features
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Your reviews
  • Ask a question


Investing features

Account types Brokerage, Retirement
Annual fee N/A
Available asset types Stocks

Who is Northwestern Mutual Financial Planning best for?

If you have specific financial goals but don’t want to manage your own investments, Northwestern Mutual Financial Planning may be a good fit.
However, customers report that fees are high if you have an account with a low balance, so it might not be a good choice for those new to investing.

How does it approach investing?

This provider provides fee-based financial planning and investment management. Its approach can be broken down into four stages:

  1. Signup. Sign up for an account with your age, income and financial goals.
  2. Connect. Northwestern Mutual matches you with a financial adviser that’s best suited for your situation.
  3. Plan. Answer questions about your risk tolerance, financial situation and goals to develop a personalized financial strategy.
  4. Manage. Your adviser helps you manage your money, balance your portfolio and make important financial decisions.

Northwestern Mutual Financial Planning fees

The Northwestern Mutual website is unclear about how much it charges for its services, as fees are negotiated case by case. This is because each financial plan is different and customer experiences can vary greatly depending on income, goals and other variables.
However, there is a public fee schedule on the website that highlights all service charges and transaction fees for various accounts.

What are the benefits of Northwestern Mutual Financial Planning?

Financial planners can help develop personalized plans for your future. Here’s how Northwestern Mutual stands out:

  • Dedicated advisers. Get ongoing financial advice based on your income, assets, liabilities and goals. As your situation changes, advisers can help adjust your strategy.
  • Flexible accounts. Northwestern offers a variety of products, allowing you to create a portfolio and strategy that meets your individual needs.
  • Hands-off investing. Depending on which investment route you follow, Northwestern Mutual can invest your money and manage your portfolio.
  • Reputation. Since it opened in 1857, Northwestern Financial has won awards for its products, services and workplace environment — including being recognized as one of Fortune’s “World’s Most Admired” companies.

What to watch out for

While this provider has its perks, there are still a few things you should watch out for:

  • Unclear fees. Fees are based on your investments, among other factors. But watch out for advisory fees and any other charges from the underlying funds your money is invested in.
  • Varied experiences. Your experience may vary depending on which adviser you’re paired with, so shop around until you find one that’s a good fit.
  • Poor customer reviews. Many customers are unhappy with their experience, citing withdrawal issues and communication problems.
  • High minimum. You’ll need at least $25,000 to open an investment advisory account and many customers mention that fees are high relative to low balance accounts.
    If you’re investing less than $25,000, you’ll need to consider other providers, like Vanguard or Betterment.
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Available asset types Stocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, Alternatives
Stock trade fee $0
Option trade fee $0
Annual fee 0%

Northwestern Mutual and life insurance policies

Northwestern Mutual specializes in life insurance, so there’s a good chance that its advisers will recommend a life insurance policy as part of your financial plan. Many people incorporate life insurance into their long-term financial strategy, but it’s not right for everyone. Watch out for upselling if it’s not something you’re interested in.

Northwestern Mutual Financial Planning reviews and complaints

Northwestern Mutual was founded in 1857 and earned a positive reputation in the eyes of consumers by allowing policy owners to probe into the company’s finances for accountability. While this tradition still remains, the company has since grown to become a massive financial services company that offers investment advisory services, life insurance and more. While this company has been around for over a decade and a half, it is not officially accredited by the BBB. However, it holds an A+ rating alongside a 1.5 out of 5 customer review score, as of October 2020. Customers on the BBB website and other review forums have made complaints about issues receiving payouts, communication problems and misleading sales representatives.

How do I get started?

Start investing with Northwestern Mutual by visiting a branch or beginning your application online:

  1. Visit the Northwestern Mutual Website and click Get Started.
  2. Enter your name, age, contact information, income and biggest financial goal, then click Get Matched.
  3. A financial adviser will reach out with instructions on how to open your account.
  4. Once your account is set up, register for an online account by clicking Log In, then Register on the home page.
  5. Enter your policy or contract number to confirm your identity, then create and secure your account.

Northwestern Mutual Financial Planning application process


In order to open an account, you’ll first need to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • 18 years old
  • US resident
  • Deposit of at least $25,000
  • State-issued ID
  • Social Security number

Required information

To start investing with Northwestern Mutual, provide the following information:

  • Name, address and date of birth
  • Contact information such as email and phone number
  • Social Security number
  • Employment information
  • State-issued identification

Depending on which services you enroll in, you may be asked for more details, including:

  • Risk tolerance
  • Investment goals
  • Social Security number
  • Debt statements
  • Balance sheet of current assets

Bottom line

Northwestern Mutual helps you save for the future with personalized financial plans and dedicated financial advisers. However, you’ll need at least $25,000 to get started, which may not work for everyone. Learn how financial planning can be a part of building your overall retirement savings.

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