Top Financial Advisor
Life is good. You are flying high with a considerable net worth, money is flowing in from multiple sources, and you take several vacations each year. But as a high net worth individual, one question you ask yourself consistently is how can you manage your assets most efficiently.
You might have questions about diversifying your investment portfolio, increasing your income, investing in an additional home purchase, saving for retirement, or planning for generational wealth. To get answers to these questions, you might require the services of a financial advisor.
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Financial advisors are professionals that are experienced in the finance industry and will help you manage your investment portfolio, minimize your tax liability, and help you find effective strategies for managing your wealth long-term. This is especially necessary for affluent individuals with investment portfolios of $10 million and higher.
In this article by Pillar Wealth Management, we will examine what a financial advisor is, why you should hire one, and what makes a top financial advisor.
Pillar Wealth Management LLC is a wealth management firm that provides financial advisory services for wealthy clients with between $5 million and $500 million in liquid assets. If you would like to receive professional financial advice for your portfolio, you can schedule a free consultation call with Chris Snyder and Hutch Ashoo, the firm’s co-founders.
Top 10 Financial Advisor Firms
1. Fisher Investments
Many clients at Fisher Investments are high-net-worth individuals with at least $500,000 in investable assets. Other clients include institutions, corporations, and charitable organizations.
Fisher Investments offers financial planning and portfolio management for its clients.
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Fisher Investments has received multiple awards as one of the top retirement advisers by the Financial Times, as well as one of the top RIAs.
CAPTRUST began in 1997 with $400 million in assets under advisement. Today, CAPTRUST has 83 locations and $630 billion in assets under advisement.
For individuals, CAPTRUST offers retirement planning, portfolio creation and management, risk management, tax consulting, and quarterly performance reporting.
For its institutional clients, CAPTRUST provides investment advisory and fiduciary services to retirement plans, foundations, endowments, and religious organizations.
CAPTRUST clients pay a quarterly fee based on the total value of their investment account. A minimum advisory fee may be charged.
3. Mercer Global Advisors, Inc.
Mercer Global Advisors is located in Denver, Colorado. It has over 90 offices around the US, providing financial services such as financial planning, investment management, estate planning, tax planning, and corporate trustee services.
A Mercer advisor can manage every aspect of your financial life so you can focus on living your life. Your advisor will work with you to understand your financial needs, develop investment and tax strategies to customize a financial plan and provide ongoing asset monitoring, balancing, and diversification.
A Mercer client pays a monthly fixed fee based on the value of the assets in the investment account, ranging from 0.4% to 1.4%, including cash balances.
Mercer advisors are paid a fixed salary plus bonuses and commissions.
Investment strategies at Mercer Global Advisors include strategically weighted investments, broad asset class muti-factor diversification, and attention to cost.
4. Madison Investment Advisors, LLC
Madison Wisconsin is the home of Madison Investment Advisors. The company is 100% employee-owned and has approximately $25 billion in assets under management.
Madison provides investment advice to individuals, pension and profit-sharing trusts, insurance companies, foundations, charitable organizations, and mutual funds. The typical minimum account size for an individual is $1 million.
Investment advisory services include managing fixed-income, balanced, and equity portfolios. The assets are invested in ETFs, mutual funds, fixed-income securities, and equity. Securities are monitored daily.
Madison’s asset allocation recommendations are based on its proprietary models, each of which generates a different portfolio composition.
5. Summit Rock Advisors, LP
Summit Rock Advisors is registered with the SEC as a large advisory firm with at least $100 million in assets under management.
Summit Rock’s clients are mostly high-net-worth individuals with a net worth of at least $100 million. The firm also serves pooled investment vehicles and charitable organizations.
Investment advisory fees are based on the value of the client’s assets under management (typically 0.50%). There is a management fee for SRA portfolios, as well as performance fees that are assessed at 15% of the excess performance above the SRA benchmark. Other fees may be paid for third-party services.
Founded in 1994, Buckingham Strategic Wealth has its headquarters in St. Louis. In 2022, Buckingham was named one of the country’s leading fiduciaries on the Forbes Top RIA Firms list. It has more than 10,000 clients in all 50 states, managing $20 billion in assets.
Buckingham Strategic Wealth offers a variety of financial services, including net worth development, retirement planning, investment planning, business owner planning, education planning, charitable giving, and tax planning.
The client is charged a $3,000 minimum fee for wealth management services.
Buckingham’s approach to investing is evidence-based, focusing on the results of research conducted during the last 50 or more years.
7. Moneta Group Investment Advisors, LLC
Moneta has its headquarters in St. Louis, in addition to offices in Denver, Kansas City, Chicago, and Boston.
When the firm was founded in 1869, it adopted a policy of “problems to solve, not products to sell.” It pioneered a service called “planned estates” in 1933. As such, Moneta does not offer proprietary investment products. The recommended investment vehicles are ETFs, mutual funds, fixed-income securities, master limited partnerships, REITs, hedge funds, separately managed accounts, and private equity funds.
Moneta has no account minimums; it is a fee-only wealth management firm and does not charge performance-based fees. Fees are based on a percentage of the client’s assets.
Moneta’s investment allocations are based on the client’s risk tolerance and performance expectations, the economy, and income tax law. These factors are applied to different asset classes such as fixed income, equities, and alternatives.
8. Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.
Fort Washington Investment Advisors was founded in 1990; its headquarters are in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Fort Washington is the primary investment arm of Western and Southern Investment holdings. Western and Southern has seven life insurance subsidiaries.
Fort Washington’s clientele includes individuals and families, institutions and consultants, endowments, foundations, and insurance companies, including those of the parent firm.
The company’s approach to investment is to ensure the successful achievement of each client’s goals, using strategies that include public equity, fixed income, and private equity.
The minimum account size for an individual account is $500,000. Fees range from 0.50% to 1.00% of the value of the account assets. Either a flat fee or an hourly rate is charged for financial planning services.
9. Beacon Pointe Advisors, LLC
Beacon Pointe Advisors is the largest female-led RIA in the US. It was founded in 2002 and has headquarters in Newport Beach, CA.
Beacon Pointe provides financial advisory services to individuals, businesses, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans, governments, and private funds. Alternative investments play an integral role in Beacon portfolios.
Beacon Pointe’s investment focus is on risk control and diversification across asset classes and investment managers. The firm prefers active management, although passive management may be used for an asset class for which there is no active manager.
10. NFP Retirement, Inc.
Aliso Viejo, CA, is home to NFP Retirement, Inc., which also has offices in Canada, Europe, Puerto Rico, and across the US.
NFP Retirement provides financial advisory services, including asset management and retirement planning. Its investment advice has a limited range. Fees are based on the value of the client’s account and range between 0.50% and 1.25% of the retirement plan assets. A flat fee ranging from $2,000 to $500,000 may be charged depending on the scope of the service and its duration. Hourly fees range from $250 to $350. Advisors are commission-based.
The firm’s asset allocation uses modern portfolio theory based on research from third-party providers and the firm’s proprietary analysis. The specific strategy or model used is determined by the client’s advisor.
Among the top financial advisor credentials are CFP and CFA. Qualifications for these credentials include passing exams and having a higher education and extensive work experience.
An advisory fee of 1% is about average for the industry.
Millionaires may need help meeting their complex financial needs, such as advice on charitable giving, estate planning, and managing their investment and retirement accounts.
Certified financial analysts are qualified to act as financial advisors since they are experts in portfolio management.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, financial advisors have a median annual salary of over $90,000, and the top 10% earn over $200,000.
It can be beneficial for you to hire a financial advisor to invest your money, whether it’s $50,000 or $500,000. A good financial advisor can help you earn more than you might on your own.
You can find a financial advisor through word of mouth. You can also search the internet to find an advisor that can help you achieve your goals. There are also websites that specialize in finding advisors.
A financial advisor can become wealthy by having wealthy clients who pay large fees; for example, a dozen clients with $10 million to invest could pay $1 million in fees per year.
Having a financial advisor can be useful for anyone who needs help managing their finances, including planning for retirement, creating a budget and savings plan, and investing in the stock market.
Financial advisors can be held liable for breach of fiduciary duty. They can be sued for negligence, stealing money from clients, misrepresentation, and excessive trading, among other behaviors.
Skills of a Top Financial Advisor
A financial advisor is a person or company that can assist with the handling, protecting, and multiplication of financial assets. To carry out these functions, the financial advisor should be highly skilled in several financial disciplines. The skills that a financial advisor needs to have to succeed in their jobs have changed immensely over the years.
In the past, advisors never really got paid for providing financial advice, rather only when selling financial services products. They may have sold insurance policies in the 1960s and 1970s, tax shelters in the 1970s and 1980s, and then stocks and mutual funds in the 1980s and 1990s. This means that the key skill that top financial advisors needed at that time was the ability to sell.
If a financial adviser could not sell financial products to their clients, they were quickly out of a job. As the years passed, financial advisors needed to become more skilled to provide increasingly personalized services to their clients.
If you need more information about how to choose a financial advisor, the team at Pillar Wealth Management, LLC, has provided a valuable resource for you – receive your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Financial Advisor: For Investors with $5 Million to $500 Million in Liquid Assets. Let’s take a look at some of the skills that are required to become a top financial advisor in the USA.
The first and probably most important skill that a top financial advisor needs is creating financial plans. Different clients have different needs, and the needs of high-net-worth or ultra-high-net-worth clients can be quite complicated when compared to the needs of an average or middle-class individual.
A top financial advisor creates comprehensive Wealth Management plans for their clients. To create these plans, a top financial advisor will look at their client’s lifestyle, expenses, and goals. They may ask the client to fill a questionnaire or simply have a sit-down conversation with the client.
Either way, the financial planner makes it their duty to know all they can about their client’s financial situation as well as their investment goals. The financial adviser also takes into consideration the risk profile of the client. The risk profile simply talks about how much risk the client is willing to take on to achieve their investment goals.
Once they get this information, the financial advisor will use it to create a comprehensive financial plan. The financial plan will describe the goals of the client and describe how these goals can be achieved.
The plan should specify what investments the clients should purchase. It will specify how these assets should be diversified to protect their investment portfolio, and the time frame of the goals will also determine how long each asset class is held. If you need professional help in planning your investment portfolio, you can schedule a free no-obligation call with the co-founders of Pillar Wealth Management LLC, Chris Snyder, and Hutch Ashoo.
When creating a financial plan, the financial advisor must take all goals of the client into consideration and determine which ones are feasible. There is a high likelihood that not all the goals that the client wants to achieve are feasible, as some will be easier to accomplish, while some others may be almost impossible. It is the duty of the financial advisor to arrange the goals in order of priority and realistic accomplishments, and then communicate that priority to the client.
Investment Portfolio Management
It is not enough to have a financial plan. If your financial goals are going to be achieved, then the financial plan must be backed up with action. Another skill that a top financial advisor must have is portfolio management. They should understand financial assets and securities and recommend the best assets that will help you reach your goals.
A top financial adviser could also have the ability to buy and sell securities on your behalf, just like an investment broker can. This skill is extremely important for top financial advisors, as they manage the investment portfolios of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth clients who can have portfolio sizes of 10 million and above.
It is also the duty of your financial advisor to keep you informed on how your investments are performing. You should have review sessions regularly with your financial advisor. These review sessions can be held often, but likely at least annually. They offer you the chance to discuss any changes that you may need to make to your investment portfolio or investment strategy to ensure that your goals remain achievable.
These review sessions can be also held in person, over the phone, or via video conferencing. If you want more information about improving your portfolio performance, then get our guide, Improving Portfolio Performance: The Shifts Multi-Millionaires Must Make to Achieve Financial Security and Serenity. The team at Pillar Wealth Management LLC has prepared this guide to show affluent clients how to potentially improve their investment portfolio performance.
Another important skill that a financial advisor could have is the ability to handle the legal side of your finances. As a high net worth individual, there are likely to be several laws that you must know and abide by. It is important that your financial advisor is knowledgeable and skilled in those fields. Your financial advisor should know what you can and cannot do with your investment portfolio.
They can also be skilled in matters that involve both finance and law, such as taxation and estate planning. For example, it is important that your financial advisor understands the laws that govern the financial sector, and help you ensure that your taxes are filed appropriately and promptly. Other aspects that your top advisor will likely need to be skilled in include estate management, insurance, inheritances, and so on. The idea is that your financial advisor must be skilled in all the aspects that directly affect your finances.
Financial Reporting Soft Skills
In addition to the technical skills that we have covered, a top financial advisor must also have some other soft skills that will help them at their job. One such skill is empathy. A top financial advisor must be able to empathize with their clients, to ensure that the clients feel heard and understood. This is particularly important because the client must trust the financial advisor if they are going to work together.
A top financial advisor must also be emotionally intelligent. Managing finances can be an emotional subject for many clients, especially during times of volatility and increased stress. As such, it is necessary that the financial advisor be capable of handling such emotions and ensuring that they can put their clients at ease.
Finally, a financial advisor must have good communication skills. Communication is essential to the success of any endeavor, and their relationship with you is of utmost importance. Top financial advisers can be able to create financial reports. These reports should be detailed, well-written, and capable of directly communicating the market’s state to the clients and anybody who requests it.
This is an essential part of communication, and both the client and the manager must understand what decisions are made to the investment portfolio and why they were necessary. Good communication builds trust, which is essential for any financial relationship to work.
This is especially true when managing portfolios of high-net-worth clients with assets of $5 million to $500 million. If you would like to receive investment advice from experienced financial advisors, click the link to book a free consultation call with the co-founders of Pillar Wealth Management LLC, Chris Snyder, and Hutch Ashoo who have more than 30 years in the industry.
Best Financial Planners in the USA
There are many financial planners in the United States. A quick Google search for “Financial planners near me” will show you as much. There are various financial professionals that offer some sort of financial planning service. How then can we select the top financial planner from the rest of the crowd? You might be tempted to think certification is enough, but the reality is experience is often a better teacher.
Think about it – the certification process is standardized, which means that every certified financial planner or advisor has effectively the same level of knowledge, which, unfortunately, is often more suited towards handling the financial challenges of the middle class. In other words, picking a financial planner just because they are to be certified might not be in your best interest.
The quality that separates top financial planners from the rest of the pack is experience. Best financial advisors have considerable experience providing financial advice to a specific wealth class. Therefore, it is in your best interest to look for a financial advisor that has experience managing investment portfolios for affluent clients.
While your needs and your financial situation is mostly peculiar to you, a financial planner that has experience creating complex financial plans for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals can be the most beneficial to your financial security long-term.
How to Find the Best Financial Advisor
Many financial advisors claim to be the best at giving financial advice, so it can be hard to figure out which financial advisor is really the best. However, you do not need to. Who the best financial advisor is can be completely subjective. As a client, you should be more concerned about “who is the best financial advisor for me.”
Most financial advisors have niches that they specialize in, and they are the best at those niches. However, you need to ascertain if the strength of your financial adviser lies in areas where you need it.
For example, if a financial advisor is skilled at creating financial plans, but is not particularly good at handling investments, such an advisor is probably not the best for a high net worth client. If you want to know how better to manage your vast wealth, request your free copy of our hardcover book, The Art of Protecting Ultra-High Net Worth Portfolios and Estates: Strategies for Families Worth $25 Million to $500 Million. Our team at Pillar Wealth Management, LLC. will send this to your home for free.
Pillar Wealth Management Could be Considered a Top Wealth Manager
Pillar Wealth Management LLC is a national wealth management firm. They cater to wealthy clients specifically and they have considerable experience working with high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals. As for experience, they have been in the industry for more than 30 years.
You can rest assured that they are experts at what they do and will provide you with the best possible financial advice they can to help manage your considerable investment portfolio. If you are an affluent individual and have $5 million to $500 million in liquid assets or an investment portfolio of $10 million or higher, you should investigate the services of a financial advisor. You can book a free consultation call with Cris Snyder and Hutch Ashoo, the co-founders of Pillar Wealth Management.
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