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Sean Canonica

Senior Finance Writer

Education

BA, English, University of Washington

About

Sean is a finance writer and content strategist for ComparisonAdviser. He has over three years of experience writing about various topics, such as insurance, financial advisors, and investing. Additionally, he is a co-founder and the CEO of RateSonic, an online insurance resource. Sean values helping readers understand difficult topics by creating easy-to-read and thorough content.

Articles by Sean Canonica

Capital Gains Tax: What to Know

Updated Feb 16, 2024

Whenever you sell an asset for a profit, you’re subject to capital gains tax. Learn how it works and ways to reduce it in this guide.

Facet Review

Updated Feb 16, 2024

Facet is a full-service financial planning firm that operates exclusively online. This review breaks down what to expect from its services.

U.S. Bank Automated Investor Review

Updated Feb 16, 2024

U.S. Bank Automated Investor is a robo-advisor exclusive to existing clients of the firm. We review how it works and what it costs in this article.

Hightower Advisors Review

Updated Feb 13, 2024

Hightower Advisors offers both investment management and financial planning. This guide reviews what you can expect from the firm’s services.

Understanding Financial Advisor Disclosures

Updated Feb 3, 2024

Disclosures allow you to assess a financial advisor’s disciplinary history, including regulatory or legal actions. We explain how they work and why they’re so important.

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios Review

Updated Feb 16, 2024

Schwab Intelligent Portfolios builds and manages your portfolio on your behalf without charging an advisory fee. We review its services in this article.

What Is a Roth 401(k)?

Updated Jan 26, 2024

Roth 401(k)s allow you to make payroll-deducted contributions with after-tax dollars. We explain how these plans work in this article.

Acorns Review

Updated Feb 16, 2024

Acorns is a robo-advisor firm that allows to make micro-investments and grow your portfolio over time. We review the firm’s services in this guide.

What Is ESG Investing?

Updated Jan 31, 2024

ESG investing allows you to invest in companies that align with your values. Learn how it works and why it’s important here.

What Is a Wrap Fee Program?

Updated Feb 9, 2024

Wrap fee programs simplify how you pay for investment management and financial advice. Learn how this fee structure works in this article.

Ally Invest Review

Updated Jan 19, 2024

Ally Invest provides discretionary advisor and investment management services to clients. We review how it works and what to expect from the company.

What Is a Pension Plan?

Updated Feb 9, 2024

Pension plans are employer-sponsored programs that give you guaranteed income after you retire. We explain how they work in this article.

TD Automated Investing Review

Updated Feb 16, 2024

TD Automated Investing builds your portfolio on your behalf according to your goals. We review what you can expect from its services here.

Vanguard Digital Advisor Review

Updated Jan 19, 2024

Vanguard Digital Advisor helps you build your portfolio using a blend of ETFs, mutual funds, and bonds. We review the tool in this guide.

Beginning of Year Personal Finance Checklist

Updated Feb 16, 2024

Each year, it’s smart to look ahead and see how you can get closer to your financial goals. We offer several tasks you can complete ahead of the new year.

End of Year Finance Checklist

Updated Feb 16, 2024

As each year ends, it’s smart to review your finances to see where you stand and identify opportunities. We provide a checklist to help you with this process.

Understanding Net Worth

Updated Dec 8, 2023

Your net worth is a core indicator of your economic position and financial wellbeing. Learn how it works and why it’s important here.

Merrill Guided Investing Review

Updated Dec 1, 2023

Merrill Guided Investing offers automated portfolio management at a low minimum. We review the company and how it works here.

What Are Investable Assets?

Updated Jan 12, 2024

Investable assets are a key part of your financial picture. We explain why they’re important and how you can calculate them here.

What Is a Conflict of Interest?

Updated Feb 2, 2024

Conflicts of interest are a common issue in the financial advisor industry. Learn what they are and how you can spot them in this article.

Wealthfront Review

Updated Nov 18, 2023

Wealthfront is a robo-advisor firm that primarily offers investment management services. We review what you can expect from the company here.

Betterment Review

Updated Jan 19, 2024

Betterment is a robo-advisor firm that helps clients build their portfolios via automated tools and portfolios. We review the company here.

What Is a Financial Therapist?

Updated Nov 10, 2023

Money can cause a great deal of stress and worry in our day-to-day lives. Learn how a financial therapist can help relieve these feelings.

Managing Inflation in Retirement

Updated Jan 12, 2024

Inflation can significantly impact your retirement income. Learn why this is and what you can do about it in this article.

Retirement Planning for Teachers

Updated Jan 12, 2024

Teachers have special financial considerations to make before retirement. Here’s what goes into an educator’s retirement and how an advisor can help.

What Is a Broker-Dealer?

Updated Jan 12, 2024

Broker-dealers are firms or individuals who trade within their account or on behalf of clients. Learn more about them and their role here.

Types of Financial Advisors

Updated Dec 21, 2023

Not all financial advisors are the same. Find the right fit for your unique needs among investment advisors, wealth managers, and more.

Edelman Financial Engines Review

Updated Dec 29, 2023

Edelman is a financial and investment advisory firm with approximately $291 billion AUM. Learn what you can expect from its services here.

Stifel Advisor Review

Updated Dec 29, 2023

Stifel is a financial advisory firm based in St. Louis, MO. This guide breaks down what you can expect from its planning and portfolio management services.

RBC Wealth Management Review

Updated Feb 2, 2024

RBC Wealth Management offers both financial planning and investment advisory services. Here’s how these services work and what they offer.

What Is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA)?

Updated Nov 18, 2023

Chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIAs) help you select and manage assets like hedge funds, private equity, and commodities. Learn more about them in this detailed guide.

Role of Financial Advisors in Retirement Planning

Updated Jan 29, 2024

Retirement planning is important, but it can be challenging for the average person. Learn how a financial advisor can help you prepare for life after work.

Raymond James Advisor Review

Updated Feb 2, 2024

Raymond James is an investment banking and financial services firm with $1.09 trillion AUM. This article reviews what you can expect from its advisory services.

What Is a Hedge Fund?

Updated Jan 12, 2024

Hedge funds give investors access to unique and alternative investment strategies. Learn more about how they work in this article.

U.S. Bank Advisor Review

Updated Feb 9, 2024

U.S. Bank is one of the largest banks in the world. In this guide, we take a look at its wealth and investment advisory services.

UBS Advisor Review

Updated Sep 30, 2023

UBS is a global investment bank and advisory firm with $3.96 trillion AUM. In this guide, we break down what you can expect from the firm’s advisory services.

Merrill Lynch Advisor Review

Updated Dec 29, 2023

Merrill Lynch offers wealth management and investment advisory for various types of clients. Learn more about the firm and its services in this guide.

Charles Schwab Advisor Review

Updated Dec 29, 2023

With over $7 trillion AUM, Charles Schwab is one of the highest rated financial services firms. This review will break down its advisory services.

What Is the Suitability Standard?

Updated Nov 23, 2023

Brokers must follow the suitability standard when they recommend investments for clients. Here’s how it works and why it’s important.

How Estate Taxes Work

Updated Sep 15, 2023

When someone passes away, their estate may be subject to the estate tax depending on its value. We explain how it works in this guide.

How to Create a Budget

Updated Feb 9, 2024

Budgeting is a powerful way to save more and spend less. Learn how it works and why it’s so beneficial in this guide.

Morgan Stanley Advisor Review

Updated Feb 2, 2024

Morgan Stanley is a financial services firm with over $1.3 trillion in AUM. This guide reviews the company’s advisory services.

J.P. Morgan Advisor Review

Updated Sep 16, 2023

J.P. Morgan, one of the world’s largest banks, offers wealth management and financial advice. Learn how these services work and what they include here.

Fidelity Wealth Services Review

Updated Jan 5, 2024

Fidelity is a broker financial services company. It also offers wealth management and investment advice. We break these services down here.

Edward Jones Advisor Review

Updated Dec 29, 2023

Edward Jones is a financial services firm with over $1.7 trillion AUM. Learn more about the company’s advisor services here.

Vanguard Advisor Review

Updated Dec 29, 2023

Vanguard is an investment and advisor firm with over $7 trillion AUM. We break down its advisor products and what each offers you.

Are Financial Advisor Fees Negotiable?

Updated Feb 16, 2024

Financial advisors can be expensive. We explain how you can negotiate with a professional to lower your total advisory fees.

What Are Certificates of Deposit (CDs)?

Updated Sep 8, 2023

CDs allow you to save your money at higher interest rates for a fixed period. Learn how they work and their pros and cons here.

How Dollar-Cost Averaging Works

Updated Jan 31, 2024

Dollar-cost averaging helps you balance risk and reward as you invest over time. We break down how it works and who should consider it.

How to Set Financial Goals

Updated Jan 12, 2024

Setting financial goals is an important step in planning for the future. We break down each step so you can get closer to your objectives.

Assets Under Management (AUM)

Updated Feb 2, 2024

Firms use AUM as a measuring stick for success, as well as a way to market to clients. Here’s how it works and why it matters.

What Is an Investment Advisor Representative (IAR)?

Updated Feb 9, 2024

Investment advisor representatives work for large advisory firms and help you build and manage your portfolio. Learn more about them here.

How to Save and Invest for College

Updated Feb 16, 2024

Saving for your child’s college education is important, but it can be daunting. We break down how to plan for this crucial step in their life.

Passive Real Estate Investing Strategies

Updated Feb 16, 2024

There are ways to invest in real estate so you can create passive income. Here’s an in-depth look at seven strategies that may work for you.

What Is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)?

Updated Jan 6, 2024

Chartered financial consultants can help you with a wide range of financial planning tasks. Learn more about them here.

What Is an Executor?

Updated Aug 1, 2023

The executor is the individual who carries out the deceased’s wishes according to their will. Here’s how they work and what they do.

What Is a Letter of Intent?

Updated Sep 15, 2023

Writing a letter of intent helps you convey your last wishes to your loved ones. Here’s what you should include in this document.

What Is Asset Allocation?

Updated Feb 16, 2024

Asset allocation is an investment strategy to balance risk and reward. Here’s why it’s important and how it works.

Retiring Early: What to Know

Updated Jan 11, 2024

Retiring early is a dream for many Americans. We explain what it takes to achieve this.

How Does a Will Work?

Updated Sep 15, 2023

Wills allow you to distribute property according to your wishes after your death. Learn how they work and why they’re important here.

What Are REITs?

Updated Aug 3, 2023

REITs are a passive way to invest in real estate. Find out how they work, their pros and cons, and how to invest in them here.

What Are Bonds?

Updated Feb 9, 2024

Bonds are a relatively low risk way to diversify your portfolio. Learn how they work, as well as about the pros and cons of investing in them.

What Is a Roth IRA?

Updated Sep 8, 2023

Roth IRAs allow you to contribute and grow your money tax-free. Here’s how they work and why they can be extremely useful for retirement.

What Is an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)?

Updated Nov 18, 2023

IRAs allow you to save for your retirement with specific tax advantages. Learn more about how they work here.

What Is an Annuity?

Updated Nov 1, 2023

Annuities allow you to create an extra income stream during retirement. Find out how they work and why they can be beneficial.

Pension vs. 401(k)

Updated Jan 25, 2024

Pensions and 401(k)s are staples of employee retirement programs. However, each are very different from one another. Learn why this is and the benefits of each here.

What Are Mutual Funds?

Updated Jan 31, 2024

Mutual funds are an investment that can help you minimize risk and diversify your portfolio. Here’s how they work and what the pros and cons of investing in them are.

Fee-Only vs. Fee-Based Financial Advisors

Updated Nov 23, 2023

Financial advisors typically charge on either a fee-only or fee-based basis. Here’s what each means and what their pros and cons are.

What Is Tax Planning?

Updated Feb 16, 2024

Taxes are a necessary part of everyone’s life. With proper planning, you can avoid mistakes and maybe even save money.

What Is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)?

Updated Sep 14, 2023

CPAs are highly qualified professionals. But do you need one? Discover what role they play and whether you should hire one.

How Much a Financial Advisor Costs

Updated Feb 1, 2024

Financial advisors can be pricey. But it depends on what you need. We explain how much you can expect one to cost and ways you can pay less.

Do I Need a Financial Advisor?

Updated Dec 8, 2023

Financial advisors can help you plan for and reach your goals. But do you need one? We’ll break down situations where you may need an expert by your side.

How to Maximize Your Social Security

Updated Jan 10, 2024

Social security is a crucial part of most Americans’ retirement. Learn how you can maximize payments in six steps.

What Is Estate Planning?

Updated Dec 29, 2023

Estate planning is a necessary component of any financial plan. Here’s how it works, what it’ll cost, and how to find a planner.

What Is an Investment Manager?

Updated Jan 31, 2024

Building an effective portfolio can be hard. An investment manager can help you identify smart investments and grow your wealth the right way.

What Is a Wealth Manager?

Updated Jan 31, 2024

A wealth manager can help you preserve and grow your fortune. Discover why they’re important and how they work.

What Is a Financial Planner?

Updated Dec 8, 2023

Having a financial planner in your corner can help you get closer to reaching your goals. Learn what they do and how to find one.

What Is a Fiduciary?

Updated Nov 23, 2023

Fiduciaries are advisors who put your interests ahead of their own. Learn why this is important as well as how to find one here.

What Is a Robo-Advisor?

Updated Dec 8, 2023

Robo-advisors are a cost-effective way to plan your financial future. Learn more about what they do and how they work.