Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Albany, New York
Albany is one of the largest cities in New York State, so it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of financial advisor firms to pick from here. To help you differentiate between the options before you, we review each firm’s minimums, services, typical clientele, advisory certifications and more. SmartAsset has also created a free financial advisor matching tool that can connect you with financial advisors who serve your area, with the final choice of who to work with being up to you.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Graypoint, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,900,542,418||$500,000|| || |
|2||Independent Family Office, LLC Find an Advisor||$508,162,463||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|3||WealthOne, LLC Find an Advisor||$492,250,147||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|4||Curran Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$643,226,169||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|5||Greenbush Financial Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$382,664,300||$50,000|| || |
|6||Arista Wealth Advisors, Ltd. Find an Advisor||$292,976,357||$250,000|| || |
|7||AllSquare Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$260,000,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||Arista Advisory Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$216,643,831||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Affinity BST Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$88,120,314||$5,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$5,000 minimum annual fee
|10||AlbanyAdvisor Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$138,878,526||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Albany, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the city. Next, we filtered out firms that don't offer financial planning services, those that don't serve primarily individual clients and those that have disclosures on their record. The qualifying firms were then ranked according to the following criteria:
- AUMFirms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
- Individual Client CountFirms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
- Clients Per AdvisorFirms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
- Age of FirmFirms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article. This list may include firms that have a business relationship with SmartAsset, in which SmartAsset is compensated for lead referrals. Such relationships have no impact on our rankings, and firms are included and ranked based strictly on the above criteria.
Graypoint is a fee-only advisory firm that takes the top spot on our Albany list. The firm's client base is dominated by high-net-worth individuals, as none of its individual clients come in below the high-net-worth threshold. Institutional clients of the firm include charitable organizations, businesses, retirement plans and government entities. There is a $500,000 minimum investment requirement for new clients of Graypoint. However, the firm may be willing negotiate this minimum.
The services at Graypoint are split into two general categories: investment advisory services and holistic family office/financial planning services. Its set of investment offerings includes helping client build a portfolio according to their needs. Financial planning services are holistic and can involve tax and cash flow planning, retirement planning, estate planning, death and disability planning, insurance review and planning, budget planning and more.
Graypoint is one of the most recently formed firms on this list, as it was established in 2019. The firm came about following the merger of two former Albany-based firms called Hugh Johnson Advisors and Bender Lane Advisory. While both of these firms still operate as subdivisions of Graypoint, they are no longer independent.
On-staff at this firm, there are such certifications as chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified financial planner (CFP) and certified public accountants (CPAs).
Graypoint Investment Strategy
Graypoint bases every client portfolio it creates on what the client is looking for. More specifically, the firm will focus on important factors like your time horizon, risk tolerance, income needs, liquidity needs and overall financial and investment goals. To further flesh out the picture of your finances, the firm may also look into your past investment history, tax situation, background and family composition.
When it comes to the management and investment of your assets, the firm can do so on either a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. The firm is open to investing in a number of different securities, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), certificates of deposit (CDs), corporate and government debt securities, options and structured notes. On some occasions, the firm may even invest in hedge funds and private equity/venture capital partnerships.
Independent Family Office
Independent Family Office is perhaps the most high-net-worth-centric firm on this list. In fact, the firm’s entire client base is comprised of individuals and families with a high net worth. So while the firm does not state a specific account minimum, it’s clear that its focus is on affluent clients.
This fee-only firm does not receive any third-party commissions, as the entirety of its compensation comes from client-paid fees. Unfortunately, an overview of advisory certifications for the firm's employees and advisors is unavailable. The firm has four staffers who perform investment advisory functions.
Independent Family Office Background
Managing member W. Michael Reickert is the sole principal owner of Independent Family Office. The firm has been in business since 2005.
Investment supervisory services at this firm include asset allocation planning, risk tolerance assessment, tax liability planning, cash flow projections and more. On the other hand, financial planning is much more open and revolves around tax planning, charitable gift planning, retirement planning, estate planning and risk management.
Independent Family Office Investing Strategy
Independent Family Office isn’t shy about using a wide range of securities when investing client assets. In fact, according to its Form ADV, the firm considers investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), equities, corporate bonds, mutual funds, U.S. government securities, options contracts, municipal bonds and CDs.
Not all of the above investments will make the cut into your portfolio. Instead, your risk tolerance, time horizon and other applicable factors will determine the makeup of your portfolio.
WealthOne, formerly known as Wealthpoint, is up next on our list. The majority of the clients here are individuals with less than a high net worth. The fee-based firm also provides advisory services to high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, businesses and charitable organizations.
Many of the programs WealthOne come with minimums, and these can vary. Some of the firm's advisors can also sell insurance products or securities on a commission basis, which represents a potential conflict of interest. The firm is still a fiduciary, though.
WealthOne was originally opened in 2003, but it achieved its status as a registered investment advisor (RIA) in 2016. Managing member and chief compliance officer (CCO) Todd Slingerland founded the firm and remains its principal owner today.
Long-term investment management and financial planning services are available through this firm. While investment management is fairly straightforward, financial planning encompasses retirement planning, investment planning, personal savings planning, education funding planning and more.
WealthOne Investing Strategy
WealthOne believes long-term investing is the safest route to solid returns. More specifically, this long-term angle means the firm prefers to leave investments in a client’s portfolio for at least a year at a time. Should your income needs or rebalancing call for it, though, the firm may sell securities before you reach that mark.
Curran Wealth Management
Curran Wealth Management has one of the largest advisory staffs on this list. This group boasts certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP) and certified public accountant (CPA). The firm is known to work with individuals with and without a high net worth, businesses, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.
The minimum account sizes and annual fees at this firm vary depending on the services you’re looking for. Here's a breakdown:
- Portfolio management accounts: $100,000, with a $2,500 minimum annual fee
- Institutional accounts: $3,000,000, with a minimum annual fee of $15,000 to $22,500
This fee-based firm employs advisors that can earn commissions when they sell certain insurance products or securities, which has the potential to be a conflict of interest. Regardless, the firm is a fiduciary and is therefore legally bound to act in your best interest.
Curran Wealth Management Background
Thomas J. Curran founded Curran Wealth Management in 2004, and currently acts as its CEO. He runs the firm with co-CEO and chief investment officer (CIO) Kevin T. Curran, and the duo have about 60 years of combined experience managing client assets. Thomas Curran is the firm’s sole owner.
The firm splits its services into investment management and financial planning offerings. The former involves investing assets according to the firm’s overarching philosophy, whereas financial planning is more goal-based. Some examples of this are retirement planning, education cost planning, tax preparation services, insurance analysis and more.
Curran Wealth Management Investing Strategy
When you become a client of Curran Wealth Management, your advisor will go over your personal risk tolerance, time horizon, investment goals and income needs. Based on this all-important information, the firm will throw together an asset allocation that fits what you’re looking for. When it comes to specific investments, Curran normally utilizes equities, bonds, warrants, commercial paper, CDs, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), money market accounts and more.
Greenbush Financial Group
Greenbush Financial Group offers both investment management and financial planning services to clients. Financial planning can cover a range of topics, such as investment consulting, tax planning, risk management, retirement planning, estate planning, cash flow optimization and more. Investment management involves the design and supervision of a personally created investment portfolio.
Generally speaking, you'll need at least $50,000 in investable assets to become a client of Greenbush Financial Group, though this requirement is negotiable. The firm's client base is dominated by non-high-net-worth individuals, but it also includes high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans and businesses.
As a fee-based firm, certain on-staff advisors at Greenbush can receive commissions from the sale of specific insurance products or securities. Although this presents a potential conflict of interest, the firm is legally bound by fiduciary duty to act in clients' best interests at all times.
Greenbush Financial Group Background
Greenbush Financial Group has been around since 2000 when it was founded by partner David Wojeski. Today, the firm is owned by Wojeski, partner/chief investment officer (CIO) Michael Ruger and partner/chief compliance officer (CCO) Robert Mangold, Jr.
Despite its relatively small team of advisors, Greenbush boasts a number of advisory certifications, including certified financial planner (CFP), certified public accountant (CPA) and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
Greenbush Financial Group Investment Strategy
When deciding which investments to invest client assets in, Greenbush Financial Group utilizes a combination of fundamental and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis uses an evaluation of a security or company's tangible and intangible factors, economic factors, qualitative factors and more to determine its intrinsic value. On the other hand, technical analysis evaluates the value of a security by looking at overall market activity, historical prices and past volume.
Greenbush uses both long- and short-term purchases within its clients' portfolios, which gives it the flexibility to meet clients goals regardless of their associated time horizon. The firm sometimes uses other investment strategies as well, including option writing, short sales and trading.
Arista Wealth Advisors
Arista Wealth Advisors has one certified financial planner (CFP) across its advisory staff. This team manages client assets for a collection of non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals and pension and profit-sharing plans. The firm also imposes a $250,000 minimum for investment advisory services, though it may be willing to waive this requirement under certain circumstances.
Some of the advisors on Arista's staff can earn third-party commissions for things like insurance sales. However, the firm is a fiduciary and is legally obligated to act in the best interests of clients at all times.
Arista Wealth Advisors Background
Arista Wealth Advisors was formed in 1988, making it the lone firm on this list that came into existence prior to the current millennium. President Timothy E. Casserly founded the firm, though he now shares ownership of it with vice president and partner Karin J. Lopez.
Investment supervisory services are available at Arista Wealth, but most of what it does revolves around financial planning. To be specific, its advisors deal with insurance needs analysis, retirement planning strategies, income tax planning, estate planning and wealth preservation, cash flow analysis and more.
Arista Wealth Advisors Investing Strategy
Arista Wealth Advisors chooses to focus on the ratio of securities in your portfolio rather than individual security selection. This asset allocation-based approach dictates that the full composition of a portfolio is a major determinant in terms of both return and risk. In addition to this, the firm will look to diversify your assets across multiple asset classes and market sectors.
AllSquare Wealth Management
AllSquare Wealth Management is a fee-based firm that comes in next on our list. Most of AllSquare’s client funds belong to high-net-worth individuals, but non-high-net-worth individuals comprise the majority of its client base. The firm also maintains relationships with pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. There is no minimum needed to become a client here.
Some advisors at this firm can earn commissions off the sale of specific insurance products or securities. While this has the potential to be a conflict of interest, the firm is a fiduciary and must act in its clients’ best interests at all times.
AllSquare Wealth Management Background
AllSquare Wealth Management has been providing advisory services since 2010. Principals Douglas J. Bauer and Daniel D. Bauer own the firm and boast more than 60 combined years of experience in the financial services industry.
Financial planning services at this firm cover retirement income projections, financial statement development, income tax planning, college education funding, existing investment analysis, risk management review and more. If you’d prefer a more general approach, the firm offers investment management as well.
AllSquare Wealth Management Investing Strategy
In its Form ADV, AllSquare Wealth Management states that its strategy is “based on the underlying premise that publicly traded financial markets are efficient and that any attempt to distinguish attractive from unattractive securities is futile.” The firm will work to develop a specific asset allocation for you that features passively-managed securities, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), open-ended mutual funds and individual treasury securities.
Should your asset allocation stray from its target, the firm will rebalance your portfolio as needed. The same may be done if your overall investing goals shift at all.
Arista Advisory Group
Arista Advisory Group is up next. As all of the firm's compensation comes from client-paid fees, this firm is a fee-only operation. This is a different from a fee-based firm, which can receive client fees in addition to third-party sales commissions.
There are far more non-high-net-worth individual clients at this firm than their high-net-worth counterparts. Charitable organizations, businesses and pension and profit-sharing plans also hold accounts at this firm. Arista Advisory does not have a minimum investment needed to become a client.
Arista Advisory Group Background
Having been established in 2016, Arista Advisory Group is one of the youngest firms on this list. Managing partner and chief compliance officer (CCO) Gerald Max Schwartz both principally owns the firm and founded it. Schwartz is a true veteran of the financial services industry, having worked in it for over 40 years.
If you subscribe to portfolio management services at Arista Advisory, you’ll receive asset allocation planning, investment strategy customization and regular portfolio monitoring. Financial planning clients will have access to retirement planning, college fund planning, debt/credit planning, tax planning, life insurance analysis and investment planning.
Arista Advisory Group Investing Strategy
For the most part, Arista Advisory Group tends to use long-term trading strategies during its investment process. What this really means is that the firm looks to make investments in securities that it will ideally hold onto for at least one year. This approach is intended to reduce transaction costs and keep your returns more stable.
Affinity BST Advisors
Affinity BST Advisors is a small Albany-based financial advisor firm that serves almost entirely individual clients, most of whom have less than a high net worth. The firm’s institutional client base includes retirement plans, charities, government entities and businesses. While the firm doesn’t have a specific minimum account size, it requires clients to follow a $5,000 minimum annual fee.
As a fee-based firm, certain advisors at Affinity BST can receive commissions for selling insurance products to clients. While this presents a potential conflict of interest, the firm has a fiduciary duty to act in clients’ best interests at all times.
The advisory staff at this firm includes one certified financial planner (CFP).
Affinity BST Advisors Background
Through a number of affiliated companies, Affinity BST Advisors is owned by Gary Sancilio and Nicholas Preddice. Sancilio and Preddice are listed as partners at the firm. This firm was founded in 2016.
This firm’s main service is investment management, which is customized to clients’ needs. Financial planning can cover estate planning, retirement planning, tax planning, insurance planning, charitable gift planning and more.
Affinity BST Advisors Investing Strategy
Affinity BST customizes client portfolios according to their specific needs. These needs will become apparent following a conversation with each client that details their risk tolerance, long-term financial goals, investment preferences and overall time horizon.
The firm focuses heavily on diversification when building client portfolios. This involves dividing your assets across multiple areas of the investment market in an effort to avoid large market downturns.
Each advisor at AlbanyAdvisor Group holds a certified financial planner (CFP) designation. One of them also holds a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) designation. This team works exclusively with individuals, most of whom are below the high-net-worth threshold. There is no specific account minimum for prospective clients of this firm.
Certain advisors at AlbanyAdvisor can sell insurance products or securities on a commission basis. Although this represents a potential conflict of interest, the firm’s fiduciary duty means it must act in clients’ best interests at all times.
AlbanyAdvisor Group Background
AlbanyAdvisor Group is one of the youngest firms on our list, as it was founded in just 2021. It’s currently under the ownership of its three founding partners: Marc Agel, Susan Hart and Lori Murphy.
This firm provides services within both investment management and financial planning. While the former is customized to your needs, the latter is defined by a number of offerings. These include retirement planning, long-term goal planning, education fund planning, insurance needs analysis and more.
AlbanyAdvisor Group Investing Strategy
Generally speaking, AlbanyAdvisor Group tends to invest in some combination of ETFs, mutual funds, stocks and bonds when managing client assets. The determination of your portfolio’s asset allocation will depend entirely on your needs and goals. This includes your risk tolerance, time horizon and income needs.
The firm also states that it prefers to invest for long-term gains as opposed to trying to beat the market in the short term. Tax considerations are also made when choosing investments for client portfolios.