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Independent Financial Advisory Firms for the Rich- PillarWM

Affluent individuals come across a number of challenges when handling their investments and finances. These tasks can be made easier to manage with the assistance of independent financial advisory firms. If you have liquid assets between $5 million and $500 million, you should get financial advisory services from Pillar Wealth Management. Our team has expertise in several different areas of wealth management, including retirement income planning, tax planning, estate planning, etc. For more information regarding our investment approach, read our ultimate guide for investors with $10 million or more.

7 Secrets minified


7 Secrets To High Net Worth Investment Management, Estate, Tax and Financial Planning

The insights you’ll discover from our published book will help you integrate a variety of wealth management tools with financial planning, providing guidance for your future security alongside complex financial strategies, so your human and financial capital will both flourish.

Clients frequently share with us how the knowledge gained from this book helped provide them tremendous clarity, shattering industry-pitched ideologies, while offering insight and direction in making such important financial decisions.

Financial Advisors Top 5 Picks Independent Broker-Dealers

Financial Advisors’ Top 5 Picks: Independent Broker-Dealers

A broker-dealer is a person or business buying and selling securities for its customers. It may also trade for itself. Broker-dealers are registered with the SEC. Broker-dealers facilitate trading, offer financial advice, and raise capital for companies. They range from small independent businesses to global investment banks.

Here are the top five broker-dealers, according to US News.

1. Ameriprise Financial Services

Ameriprise Financial Services has been offering financial planning services since 1986. It is a publicly held company dedicated to helping you meet your financial goals. A dedicated team of financial professionals will work with you to develop a plan to achieve those goals. The firm’s services encompass financial, education, tax, investment, business, and estate planning.

Fees for Ameriprise Financial Planning Service (AFPS) are negotiable. However, the minimum fee is $500, and there is a fee of $50 per month to engage in a financial plan. If you implement your financial plan through Ameriprise Financial Services or its affiliates, wrap fees, product fees, markups or markdowns and brokerage commissions will apply, along with any ongoing fees for products and services in a brokerage account.

2. Equitable Advisors

Equitable Advisors was founded in 1999 and has its offices in New York City. The firm offers financial planning and asset management services. It may offer services to retirement plans, in some cases, but does not provide advice to government entities. Work with individuals may include tax planning, major purchase planning, and retirement and estate planning. The firm has over $27 billion in assets under management with over 75,000 accounts.

Fees for financial planning are negotiated between the client and the advisor, which may be fixed, hourly, or asset-based fees. Fees may range from $250 to $25,000. Hourly fees range from $100 to $400. Fees for asset management services are based on a percentage of the client’s account value. Equitable does not charge performance-based fees.

Equitable clients include individuals, charitable institutions, banks, and businesses.

3. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors

Raymond James Financial Services Advisors has its headquarters in St. Petersburg, FL, and has been providing financial services since 2009. The firm has approx. $245 billion in assets under management, in either discretionary or nondiscretionary assets. It provides guidance for achieving goals in all areas of financial life, including asset allocation and portfolio analysis, as well as tax, insurance, education, retirement, estate, and business planning.

Advisory fees are calculated as a percentage of assets under management, not to exceed 2.25%, or they may be charged on an hourly (up to $400 per hour) or fixed fee basis. Maintaining an account may incur other fees and commissions. The firm does not accept performance-based fees.

4. LPL Financial

LPL Financial has a network of financial professionals who offer brokerage and investment advisory services. Each LPL advisor provides access to a broad range of investment vehicles, including stocks and bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, annuities, and alternative investments. The range of options available will depend on the licenses held by your advisor.

Fees for brokerage services are transaction-based (i.e., commissions), depending on the investment and the amount invested. Investment advisory services are typically charged a quarterly fee, which is a percentage of the value of the account. These fees vary depending on the advisory program selected by the client.

5. Commonwealth Financial Network

Commonwealth Financial Network has its headquarters in Waltham, MA, and San Diego, CA. The firm was founded in 1979 by Joseph S. Deitch, under the name Cambridge Group. The name was changed to Commonwealth in 1981. The firm has approx. 2,900 advisors, who are IARs. Commonwealth has over $145 billion in assets under management.

Commonwealth has no proprietary products, so its advisors are free to make whatever recommendations they feel are best for their clients, upon evaluation of their goals, risk tolerance, and time horizons. Commonwealth does not provide legal, tax, or accounting advice. Fees are generally percentage-based. Clients are subject to account minimums depending on the investment program. For example, the PPS Custom Program, where the advisor and client develop a personalized investment portfolio, involves a $25,000 account minimum.

What Do Independent Financial Advisory Firms Do?

You might have come across the term independent financial advisory firms, but you might not have a clear picture of what they do. So, if you are wondering what does an independent financial advisor firm do then continue reading to get your answer.

Independent financial advisory firms can offer a range of services depending on the background of the financial advisors who work there and their areas of interest. Certain independent financial advisors specialize in providing a single service, whereas others offer several services to help their clients attain their financial objectives. These services include:

Portfolio analysis

• Investment management

Retirement planning

Tax management

• Estate planning

Each of these services holds special value for high net worth along with ultra-high net worth individuals. For more details regarding the services we offer at Pillar Wealth Management, feel free to have a discussion with our team.

Portfolio Analysis

Independent financial advisory firms offer portfolio analysis services to assist affluent individuals in optimizing their investment portfolios. Here, a financial advisor will thoroughly analyze your portfolio and identify any risks you may be susceptible to.

They can then devise strategies to structure your portfolio that lower such risks. Portfolio analysis services are quite helpful when planning for future investments. Read our guide here to find out the five essential shifts you need to make to get the highest possible investment performance.

Investment Management

Investment management is the cornerstone of wealthy and ultra-wealthy individuals’ financial plans. Whether you’re able to accomplish your financial objectives and how successfully you achieve them all comes down to how cleverly you plan your investments. Retirement income planning, tax planning, and estate planning all of them connect back to your investment portfolio.

Given the importance of investment management to your financial well-being, you really don’t have room for experimentation. Thus, this is one service that independent financial advisory firms offer. The professionals working at these firms have impressive experience in developing and handling investment portfolios, which allows them to make the best decisions about it.

Financial advisors won’t merely help you generate short-term profits but will have a much broader outlook. They will develop holistic investment strategies that allow you to receive high and steady returns for several years in the future. If you want to learn more about how you can get the maximum investment performance along with financial peace of mind, read our guide, Improving Portfolio Performance.

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Retirement Planning

Retirement planning is a task that every individual, regardless of their net worth, has to take up at some point in their life. Each person looks forward to living a hassle-free retirement where they can live off and enjoy the wealth they have collected in the past years. Nevertheless, if you don’t have a thorough retirement strategy in place, you might not be able to enjoy the expensive and lavish lifestyle you currently live.

At Pillar Wealth Management, our financial advisors provide retirement income planning services. We create a suitable plan to help you live your best retirement life. We guide you about the investments you need to choose to create a steady income stream and offer advice on how you can smoothly sustain your existing standard of living.

Keep in mind that it’s highly advisable to start with retirement planning as early in your life as possible. Doing so will ensure that you have plenty of time to implement your plan.

Tax Management

Tax management is another essential service that independent financial advisory firms offer. In fact, when you are an ultra-wealthy individual, you might not even have the time to take on this monotonous piece of work on your own.

Hence, if you want to make this task straightforward and easy for yourself, you can avail the tax management services that independent financial advisory firms offer. Moreover, such firms even offer tax planning services where they analyze your assets and finances and restructure them to become more tax-efficient. This way, you can effectively lower your tax burden, save hundreds and thousands of dollars, and ultimately make the process of wealth creation much more manageable.

Estate Planning

When you have a family, achieving financial serenity in your own life really isn’t enough. Instead, you need to make sure that you leave this legacy for your family members too! So, when you think of what do independent financial advisory firms do, this is it. The top financial advisor firms don’t just help you attain financial serenity, but they can even guide you through estate planning so your heirs can also enjoy this financial serenity.

In simple words, estate planning refers to the process of planning how your wealth will be distributed after your demise. This generally includes creating a will that clearly defines which institutions and beneficiaries receive your wealth and how much. Estate planning is crucial because it allows your heirs to get the entire amount you intend to leave them within a shorter time span.

If you’re an individual with assets worth millions, estate planning can be extremely complicated and tricky. For instance, the high amount of estate taxes can eat away a fair share of wealth your beneficiary’s inheritance. We discuss additional challenges of estate planning in our recent book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates – Strategies For Families Worth $25 Million To $500 Million.

Thus, the professionals at independent financial advisory firms develop comprehensive estate plans to ensure that all of their client’s assets and wealth get to the proper beneficiaries without any unnecessary challenges.

When Should I Use an Independent Financial Advisor Firm?    

Now that you have a fair idea of what an independent financial advisor firm does, you might be thinking, “When should I use an independent financial advisor firm?”

As discussed earlier, independent financial advisor firms have the expertise to provide a variety of investment planning and financial advisory services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals like yourself.

Let’s say you want to set up a charity foundation or want to develop a comprehensive retirement plan, or wish to launch your own business. In these situations, you can avail the services offered by a well-reputed independent financial advisory firm.

Here is a list of situations that require you to avail the services of an independent financial advisory firm.

Your Payments to Uncle Sam Are Skyrocketing

Perhaps the only disadvantage of getting profitable returns on investments is the tax liability that comes with it. Since taxes are a never-ending part of life, a well-thought-out and comprehensive tax strategy can help you save a large percentage of your wealth.

Tax planning has a very significant role in preserving and building your wealth. Our experienced financial advisors will review your current financial standing, including your assets and liabilities, to develop an optimum tax plan for you that will allow you to attain your financial goals. For example, we can suggest you leverage the great government incentives on particular types of investments to lower the payments you need to make to Uncle Sam.

Your Wealth Is Invested in Highly Risky Places

Plenty of affluent individuals choose to invest their wealth in a number of different financial markets. If you also follow this practice, you need to know the risks associated with it. For instance, market trends can change within a second and instantly nullify your long-term profits.

Hence, if you want to lower your assets risks, you should hire an independent financial advisory firm that offers risk management services. At Pillar Wealth Management, we can develop strategies for you that will minimize the threats of such abrupt and unexpected market shifts. To get started with risk management strategies, click here, and have a detailed discussion with our team of financial advisors.

You Are Not Sure How to Translate Your Financial Goals into Actionable Targets

Independent financial advisory firms can even guide you in translating your vague goals into more actionable targets and hence, bring your financial dreams to life.

For instance, suppose you’re about to hit retirement but wish to establish a charitable organization. If you take up this task yourself, you might end up investing your wealth in the wrong place, which can potentially make you lose all that you’ve earned.

Hiring an independent financial advisory firm will guide you about the exact steps you need to take to move closer to attaining your financial goals.

Who Is the Best Financial Advisor Firm?  

At this point, we are quite confident that you are willing to hire an independent financial advisory firm. After all, being a high net worth or ultra-high net worth individual, you can surely benefit from the numerous services they provide.

But you might be bombarded with several questions about this decision. For instance, you might think, who is the best financial advisor firm, how do I choose the best financial advisory firm, and so on.

Well, the good news is that you don’t have to stress anymore because we have created a list of things you need to look for when choosing a financial advisor firm. In fact, our team has also written a complete guide on choosing the best financial advisor that you can read for more detailed insights regarding the topic.

Relevant Experience

In the world of financial advisory, there is nothing more important than relevant experience. Financial advisors and wealth managers who have the appropriate kind of experience working with wealthy investors can better understand your solutions and thus offer better solutions.

Make sure you always choose financial advisory firms that have been successful in assisting clients of your standing.

At Pillar Wealth Management, we provide exclusive financial advisory services to clients who have $5 million to $500 worth of liquid investable assets. Our team is sufficiently experienced in working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and understands their unique goals and needs. So, if you want to secure and build your wealth, our firm can be the best choice for you. You can even speak to our financial advisors and discuss how they can effectively help you manage your wealth.

Passive Investment Approaches

The passive investment approach is an excellent way to preserve your wealth in the long-run. It involves monitoring the data of financial markets and using data to make investment decisions. The benefits of passive investment management include lower fees and a lower tax rate. Since this approach allows you to cut back on various costs, it helps in the practical preservation of wealth.

At Pillar Wealth Management, our team of financial advisors is well-versed in creating the right balance between active and passive investment management strategies. This will allow you to manage your wealth in the best possible manner. To get more information regarding passive investment approaches, read our guide for investors with $10 million or more.

Fiduciary Services

Independent financial advisory firms offer fiduciary services, which means they have a duty to make decisions that work in your best interests. Fiduciary financial advisors are usually accredited by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and work as Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs).The SEC has imposed a very rigorous code of ethics on fiduciary managers to ensure they always work to benefit the client rather than their own firm.

Parting Words

At Pillar Wealth Management, we have been offering fiduciary financial advisory services to wealthy individuals for over thirty years. Given our expertise and comprehensive experience, we believe that we are the best independent financial advisory firm you can choose. To talk to our team of financial advisors, click here to schedule a free consultation with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Independent financial advisors are paid by fees and/or commissions, fixed fees, or hourly fees, depending on the advisor and the services provided.

Hiring a financial advisor can prove invaluable for someone with complex financial needs, which require the skills of a professional.

An independent financial advisor is a financial planner who is not tied to any particular financial product or fund.

Before selecting an advisor, get as much information as you can about their track record, particularly any problems with meeting regulations.

Independent financial advisory firms typically offer investment and financial planning services, working with each client to ensure their investments and financial plan meet their needs.

Many financial advisors are fiduciaries, which means they work only in the best interests of their clients and are free of conflicts of interest.

You should look for a financial advisor who is a fee-only fiduciary, is registered with the SEC, and has no disclosures.

Independent financial advisors work with a wide range of clients, including individuals, high-net-worth individuals, businesses and corporations, non-profits, governments, trusts, and estates.

When you meet with an advisor for the first time, you’ll want to discuss how they can help you achieve your financial goals, how they are paid, and their qualifications and certifications.

You should meet with your advisor at least once a year to review your account and whenever you experience a major life event that could affect your financial situation.


To be 100% transparent, we published this page to help filter through the mass influx of prospects, who come to us through our website and referrals, to gain only a handful of the right types of new clients who wish to engage us.

We enjoy working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth investors and families who want what we call financial serenity – the feeling that comes when you know your finances and the lifestyle you desire have been secured for life, and that you don’t have to do any of the work to manage and maintain it because you hired a trusted advisor to take care of everything.

You see, our goal is to only accept 17 new clients this year. Clients who have from $5 million to $500 million in liquid investable assets to entrust us with on a 100% fee basis. No commissions and no products for sale.

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