Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Amherst, New York
With so many financial advisors to choose from in Amherst, New York, it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you and your financial situation. SmartAsset's experts researched the financial advisor firms in Amherst and found the top options in the city. We provide key information on each firm, including their services, minimums, investment strategies and more. If you'd like more recommendations for advisors who serve your area, use SmartAsset's free advisor matching tool.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Nottingham Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,403,883,328||$100,000|| || |
|2||Level Financial Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$545,201,873||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||McCollum Christoferson Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$509,795,227||$500,000|| || |
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|4||Mollot & Hardy, Inc. Find an Advisor||$73,510,093||$250,000|| || |
|5||Sunbridge Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$34,000,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Amherst, 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.
Nottingham Advisors comes in first on our list of the top financial advisors in Amherst. The firm and its small team of financial advisors work primarily with individuals (both with and without a high net worth), but its client base also includes pension plans, charities and businesses. The firm generally requires a minimum account size of $100,000, though this may be waived at the discretion of the firm.
Nottingham is a fee-based advisory firm. This means that its advisors may receive sales commissions, which can create conflicts of interest. However, the firm is still a fiduciary and is legally obligated to act in the best interests of clients at all times.
Nottingham Advisors Background
Founded in 1982, Nottingham is a subsidiary of Community Bank N.A. Thomas Quealy, Jr. serves as the firm's CEO and Lawrence Whistler is its president. The firm currently employs a handful of advisors who hold the chartered financial analyst (CFA) certification.
Nottingham is a full-service financial advisor firm, providing asset and investment management, financial planning and investment modeling services to clients. Advisors provide investment management by utilizing separately managed accounts (SMAs).
Nottingham Advisors Investment Strategy
Nottingham uses a strategic and tactical framework to evaluate each client's portfolio opportunities. The core holdings look to effectively replicate market beta. The fi nal fifth of each portfolio is typically used to execute tactical trades that are designed to generate excess returns or reduce volatility.
The firm primarily uses quantitative and statistical methods known as mean-variance optimization (MVO). It also uses the Black-Litterman model in order to take advantage of relative and absolute views on various global asset classes. Specific asset allocation mixes are used to maximize returns while keeping risk at an acceptable level.
Nottingham typically offers five specific asset allocation strategies using a range of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). That said, the firm may also incorporate alternative investments, cash, fixed-income and other assets into your portfolio.
Level Financial Advisors
The second entry on our list is Level Financial Advisors. The firm employs a handful of financial advisors and manages millions of dollars in client assets. It offers several different services, with the minimum requirements depending on the type of account you're looking to open. The firm only works with individual clients. Of these individuals, about a quarter have high net worths, with the rest being less affluent.
Level Financial Advisors is a fee-only firm, meaning all of its compensation comes from client-paid fees. That avoid the conflicts of interest found at a fee-based firm, which earns transaction-based fees.
Level Financial Advisors Background
Formed in 1979, Level Financial Advisors is owned and operated by Rosanne Braxton, Steven Elwell and Michael Heburn. Braxton is the president of the firm, Elwell serves as chief investment officer (CIO) and Heburn is the firm's chief operating officer (COO). The firm employs certified financial planners (CFPs) and a chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
Level provides a range of services, including financial planning, investment management, asset management and financial consulting. Its financial planning services include retirement planning, education funding planning, life transition planning, long-term care planning, tax management and more.
Level Financial Advisors Investment Strategy
Level Financial Advisors adheres to three distinct investment strategies:
- Market timing - involves strategic buying and selling of securities to take advantage of market declines and gains
- Security selection - focuses on deep analysis of individual securities, sectors and industries to pick the best investments for portfolio growth
- Asset allocation - stresses investing in a wide range of asset classes and markets to create a suitable balance of risk and returns, based on the client's personal needs
The firm uses various asset classes when constructing portfolios for clients. These include large- and small-cap stocks, government bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), mutual funds and more. Aside from your risk tolerance, the firm will also take into account your liqudity needs and time horizon.
McCollum Christoferson Group
McCollum Christoferson Group (MCG) places third on our list of the top financial advisor firms in Amherst. This firm's client base includes individuals with and without a high net worth, pension plans, charities and businesses. Of its individual clients, most do not have a high net worth. There is a $500,000 minimum account size requirement to become client of MCG, though it may be willing to waive this.
The firm has a fee-only compensation structure, which means that its only compensation comes from the fees that clients pay. In other words, you don't need to worry about sales commissions that could incentivize advisors to recommend certain securities transactions or insurance products.
McCollum Christoferson Group Background
MCG was established in 2012 and is wholly owned by Katherine A. Christoferson, the firm's current CEO and one of two senior financial advisors. The firm's other senior financial advisor, William R. Deacon, is a certified financial planner (CFP). This advisory duo has decades of financial services experience between them. Charles McCollum serves as a research consultant.
The firm provides financial planning services along with investment management. Its investment management services consist of customized and standardized portfolios. It also provides consulting for retirement account asset allocations.
McCollum Christoferson Group Investment Strategy
In crafting its standardized model portfolios, MCG uses a blend of technical and fundamental analysis to determine the intrinsic value of certain investments. The firm primarily invests in individual equities and debt securities. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds are utilized to a lesser extent.
While the firm does adhere to particular strategies when crafting portfolios, advisors also look to abide by the wishes of each individual client. Your advisor will take into account your overall financial state and risk tolerance in order to create a portfolio that can help you reach your goals.
Mollot & Hardy
Up next on our Amherst list is Mollot & Hardy. This firm serves a client base comprised entirely of individuals, most of whom do not have a high net worth. The minimum account size at the firm is $250,000, though the firm may decide to accept clients with less money than that.
Some of the advisors at Mollot & Hardy can sell insurance and securities on a commission basis. These roles can potentially present a conflict of interest, but the SEC-registered firm is a fiduciary, legally binding it to act in clients' best interests.
Mollot & Hardy Background
Alan R. Mollot founded Mollot & Hardy in 1970. He remains the president and principal owner of the firm to this day, and is a chartered life underwriter (CLU) and certified financial planner (CFP). The firm also employs one other CFP and CLU each.
There are a wide range of financial services provided by Mollot & Hardy, including financial planning and investment management. Financial planning services include estate planning, retirement planning and more.
Mollot & Hardy Investment Strategy
Mollot & Hardy takes a comprehensive approach to investment management, seeking to help clients through risk tolerance assessment, frontier plotting, fund profiling, portfolio optimization and portfolio rebalancing. The firm most often uses fundamental analysis to inform investment decisions.
The firm constructs portfolios using primarily mutual funds, equities, debt securities and variable life or annuity sub-accounts. Investment strategies include a mix of long-term and short-term investments, but the firm will look to adjust your portfolio and your investment strategy to help you meet your financial goals.
The final firm, Sunbridge Management, is also the smallest on our list, in terms of both assets under management and advisory staff. Sunbridge works with a small client base that is entirely made up of individuals, the majority of whom are non-high-net-worth individuals. It also works with a handful of high-net-worth individuals.
Sunbridge doesn't have a minimum account size, and it is a fee-based firm. This means that the firm or its advisors may receive commissions from selling financial products to clients. This potential conflict of interest is mitigated by the firm's status as a fiduciary that is legally obligated to act in the best interests of clients at all times.
Sunbridge Management Background
Sunbridge Management was founded in 1997, but is still one of the youngest firms on our list. In fact, it wasn't until 2006 that Sunbridge became an SEC-registered investment advisor, after nearly ten years of state-level registration. Gerald Dewes is the firm's owner and only advisor.
Sunbridge provides its clients with portfolio management services and financial planning services. All of its assets are currently managed on a discretionary basis.
Sunbridge Management Investment Strategy
Sunbridge Management, like many other financial advisory firms, works with clients to determine what their investment objectives and financial situations are before providing advisory services. This way, the firm can tailor its advisory services to the specific needs of clients, instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach.
The firm utilizes various research sources and investments to help drive growth in client portfolios. Specific investments may include exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds, equities, mutual funds, and alternative investments.