Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Arkansas
Finding the right financial advisor for you and your family is an important decision that could have a huge impact on your future and financial life. When looking for someone to make sense of your entire portfolio, it’s key that it be a person whose methods you trust and who is a good fit for your specific needs. SmartAsset dedicated hours of research to determining the top 10 financial advisor firms in Arkansas to help you find the one that’s right for you. Alternatively, you can use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching service to put you on the right path.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Lathrop Investment Management Corp. Find an Advisor||$608,145,127||No set account minimum; $5,000 minimum fee|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum; $5,000 minimum fee
|2||Cabana Asset Management Find an Advisor||$608,005,4449|| |
No set account minimum
| || |
No set account minimum
|3||Meridian Investment Advisors Find an Advisor||$533,815,683||$500,000|| || |
|4||The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$476,843,824|| |
No set account minimum
| || |
No set account minimum
|5||Greenwood Gearhart, Inc. Find an Advisor||$462,810,348||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Smith Capital Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$448,756,858|| |
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|7||Ifrah Financial Services, Inc. Find an Advisor||$319,054,611|| |
No set account minimum
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No set account minimum
|8||Mustard Seed Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$226,933,091||$500,000|| || |
|9||Legacy Capital Wealth Partners Find an Advisor||$185,000,000||$500,000|| || |
|10||ClientFirst Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$163,030,596|| |
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How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Arkansas
Only firms located in Arkansas that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were considered for the list, as all SEC-registered firms are bound by fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the client. Also eliminated were any firms that had disclosures, along with those that don’t have financial planners on staff or don’t work with individual investors. Below are the top 10 financial advisor firms in the state of Arkansas, sorted by total assets under management (AUM), from highest AUM to lowest
Lathrop Investment Management Corp.
Lathrop Investment Management Corp. is a Little Rock-based firm that has more than $608 million in assets under management (AUM). Its client base is split nearly evenly between individuals and high-net-worth individuals. The firm does not have a minimum asset level requirement, but it does have a required minimum fee of $5,000 per year, which means the firm probably doesn’t make sense for those with less than $500,000 in investable assets. The firm charges fees based on a percentage of assets under management. No advisor at Lathrop is licensed with a broker-dealer or insurance company, and they do not make money for selling clients securities or insurance products.
There are four advisors at Lathrop. The team includes three chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
Lathrop Investment Management Corp. Background
Gregory C. Lathrop founded the firm in 1981. He remains the sole owner of the firm and serves as the president and as an advisor.
Services offered at the firm include:
- Discretionary investment advice
- Retirement plan advising
- Separately managed accounts
- Portfolio management
Lathrop Investment Management Corp. Investment Strategy
The firm uses fundamental analysis to determine which securities to invest client money in. It conducts its own research and uses research provided by brokerage firms from around the world. It seeks to diversify clients' portfolios and generally holds 25-35 different companies in each portfolio. Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are used when the client’s portfolio does not have enough cash to buy individual securities.
Cabana Asset Management
Cabana Asset Management is a fee-only firm based in Fayetteville. It has more than $608 million in assets under management (AUM). There are 16 advisors working at the firm, including one certified public accountant (CPA).
The firm works mostly with individual investors, though it does have a small number of high-net-worth individual clients. The firm also advises a few pension plans. There is no minimum investment required to open or maintain an account.
Cabana Asset Management Background
Cabana Asset Management was founded in 2009. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cabana Holdings, LLC, which is owned by Louis Abraham Schaff, Jon Neal Prevost, Christopher Carns, the Bettye R Morse MGR GST Trust and George Chaddwick Mason. All of the owners of Cabana Holdings either work at or serve on the board of Cabana Asset Management. In addition to its headquarters in Fayetteville, the firm has offices in Texas.
Services offered by the firm include asset management, financial planning, retirement planning, tax services, workplace benefits and legacy planning. Cabana also has a law group that offers legal services, including asset protection and securities litigation.
Cabana Asset Management Investment Strategy
Cabana Asset Management has a number of model portfolios available for clients, each offering a different focus. These include: a conservative portfolio, a moderate portfolio, a balanced portfolio, a growth portfolio, an aggressive portfolio, an alpha income portfolio and an accumulator portfolio.
The company tends to favor investments in ETFs. It has generally found that these investments - especially large, index-based and low-cost funds - offer consistent dividends. In addition to ETFs, there is a broad spectrum of investment types used in client portfolios.
Meridian Investment Advisors
Meridian Investment Advisors is a fee-only, independent financial advisor firm that has more than $533 million in assets under management (AUM). It has three advisors on staff, two of whom are chartered financial analysts (CFA) and one of whom is a certified financial planner (CFP). There is a minimum account size requirement of $500,000, so it makes sense that more than half of Meridian’s individual clients are high-net-worth individuals. The firm also advises institutional clients including pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities and other corporations.
Fees charged by Meridian are based on a percentage of assets under management. Advisors are not registered with a broker-dealer or insurance company and do not make commissions from selling products to clients.
Meridian Investment Advisors Background
The firm was founded in 1983. Its principal owners are Pat D. Moon and Lewis W. Van Ness. Both serve as managing principals and advisors at the firm.
Meridian’s services include:
- Automated investment program
- Retirement services for defined contribution plans
- Investment management services
- Retirement income planning
- Life strategy
Meridian Investment Advisors Investment Strategy
Meridian looks to match risk level in a portfolio with a client’s risk tolerance. It primarily invests in common stocks and bonds including U.S. Treasuries and high-quality U.S. corporate bonds. It also invests in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Fundamental analysis is the primary way that advisors at Meridian evaluate and choose investments for clients.
The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc.
The Arkansas Financial Group is a fee-only firm based in Little Rock. It has more than $476 million in assets under management. The firm has four advisors on staff, including four certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one authorized investment fiduciary (AIF) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
The firm works with an even mix of individuals and high-net-worth individuals. It also has pension plans, charitable organizations, corporations and trusts as clients. A big portion of the firm’s clients are physicians, and the firm stresses that its fee structure makes sense for young doctors, who may have tremendous earning potential but do not yet have much in the way of liquid assets. There is no minimum investment required, but there is a minimum annual fee is $600, meaning that clients with less than $66,667 to invest will end up paying a higher percentage of their portfolio.
The Arkansas Financial Group Background
The Arkansas Financial Group was founded in 1985. Its primary owners are Frederik E. Adkins, Kristina K. Bolhouse and John R. Broadwater, all of whom also work as advisors at the firm. Adkins is the firm’s president and CEO, while Bolhouse and Broadwater are both vice presidents.
Services offered by the firm include wealth management, investment management and retirement rollovers.
The Arkansas Financial Group Investment Strategy
The Arkansas Financial Group uses modern portfolio theory as its guide for creating client portfolios. The firm meets at least once a week to consider how to rebalance investments to make sure client accounts remain optimized.
Investments might include mutual funds, ETFs, individual bonds and other fixed income products. Individual stocks may be used if the client wants them to be part of their investment portfolio.
Greenwood Gearhart, Inc.
Greenwood Gearhart is a fee-only firm based in Fayetteville. The firm has more than $462 million in assets under management. Six advisors work at the firm, including one certified financial planners (CFP) and one chartered financial advisor (CFA).
The firm works mostly with individuals, but it does have a few high-net-worth individuals for clients. It also advises a number of pension plans and some charitable organizations. The firm does not state its account minimum.
Greenwood Gearhart Inc. Background
Greenwood Gearhart Inc. was founded in 1982 by Mary Ann Greenwood, who no longer works at the firm. Greenwood Gearhart is independently owned and operated.
Services offered by the firm include investment management, financial planning, retirement planning and analysis, corporate retirement planning, fixed-income management and employee education.
Greenwood Gearhart Inc. Investment Strategy
Greenwood Gearhart goes through a four-step process to make its investment decisions: search strategy, security analysis, investment discussion and then a decision to purchase, monitor or reject the equity. Portfolios at Greenwood tend to be made up of 40-60 companies.
The firm looks to capitalize on asset allocation. It searches for fair-to-undervalued companies that will make the best potential investments for clients. Additionally, it looks for favorable industries that are most likely to provide attractive returns on investment.
Smith Capital Management, Inc.
Smith Capital Management Inc. is a fee-only firm based in Little Rock. It has more than $448 million in assets under management. The firm has four advisors on staff, including one certified financial planner (CFP).
The firm works with a fairly even mix of individuals and high-net-worth individuals. Clients also include pensions, corporations and a charitable organization. The firm suggests a minimum account size of $500,000.
Smith Capital Management Inc. Background
Smith Capital Management was founded in 1984. It is owned by Stephen Chaffin and Harold Crafton. Chaffin also serves as the firm’s president and managing principal. Crafton does not work at the firm.
Services offered by the firm include financial planning, retirement planning, estate planning and education planning. It can work with individual retirement plans, defined contribution plans and defined benefit plans. The firm also publishes a monthly newsletter.
Smith Capital Management Inc. Investment Strategy
Preservation of funds is the most important thing for managers at Smith Capital Management. Diversification, clear objectives and consistent investment tactics are used to look for potential growth, and firm does try to time the market. The firm manages both growth and income-focused portfolios.
Investments may include stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs. The types of investment used depend on fees and the goals of each individual investor.
Ifrah Financial Services, Inc.
Ifrah Financial Services is a fee-only firm based in Little Rock. It has more than $319 million in assets under management. The firm has 10 financial advisors on staff, including eight certified financial planners (CFPs).
Most of the firm’s business is with individual investors. It does some work with high-net-worth individuals, but it works with a much smaller number of high-net-worth individuals than individuals. The firm also advises a number of pension planners and a few other corporations. The firm does not require a minimum investment, but there is a minimum annual fee of $500.
Ifrah Financial Services, Inc. Background
Ifrah Financial Services, Inc. was founded in 2006. It is principally owned by President and CEO Patrick Ifrah, chairman of the board Stephen DeSalvo and director and financial planner Micah Brown. In addition to its main office in Hot Springs, the firm also has an office in Texarkana, Texas.
Services offered by the firm include financial planning, investment management, 401(k) plans, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance, tax planning, cash management and budgeting.
Ifrah Financial Services, Inc. Investment Strategy
Risk management is among the principle concerns for advisors at Ifrah Financial Services. The firm also uses a disciplined quantitative process to figure out which securities to buy and applies that knowledge when building a client’s portfolio.
Advisors don’t just look for great companies, they look for great stock choices that are most likely to produce a good return for clients. Elements of passive and active investing are combined to create a balanced approach.
Mustard Seed Wealth Management
Mustard Seed Wealth Management is based in Magnolia. Though it is a fee-only firm, there are potential conflicts of interest created by the fact that the firm’s employees also have relationships with other institutions - notably Peoples Bank, where some employees also work. The firm is still bound by fiduciary duty to act in the client’s best interest though, and it recommends shopping around for banking products. The firm has eight advisors on staff, including three certified financial planners (CFPs) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
The firm works mostly with individual investors, but it does advise high-net-worth individuals as well. It also does work with pension plans and charitable organizations. The firm requires a minimum investment of $500,000 to open an account.
Mustard Seed Wealth Management Background
Mustard Seed Wealth Management was founded in 2002. Its principal owner is J. David Ashby, who also works at the firm as an advisor. In addition to its headquarters, the firm has offices in El Dorado, Hope, Magnolia and Helena - all cities in Arkansas. Some of these locations are inside Peoples Bank locations.
Services offered by the firm include investment planning, tax planning, estate planning, charitable giving, insurance planning, retirement planning and employee benefit plans. The firm does not sell any insurance products.
Mustard Seed Wealth Management Investment Strategy
Mustard Seed Wealth Management describes itself as “a personal chief financial officer” for its clients. The firm says it works to ensure its clients aren’t exposed to too much risk and make smart investment choices. The firm specifically mentions that it looks to protect wealth in the face of a litigious society.
The firm uses modern portfolio theory when building clients’ accounts. It generally recommends investing in ETFs, mutual funds and individual bonds. It does not limit advice to certain types of investments though.
Legacy Capital Wealth Partners
Legacy Capital Wealth Partners is a Little Rock-based financial advisor firm that requires a minimum household investment of $500,000. The majority of the firm's clients are high-net-worth individuals, though it does advise some other individual investors and a few charitable organizations. Legacy Capital has a total of $185 million in assets under management (AUM). It has offices in Springdale and Fort Smith in addition to its Little Rock headquarters.
The firm has three advisors. There are only two financial certifications listed among the advisors at Legacy Capital, both certified financial planners (CFP).
Clients of Legacy Capital will pay an annual advisory fee based on criteria including the amount of assets under management, the complexity of the work performed and the number of family members served. The fee is calculated as a percentage of assets under management. Advisors at the firm may also be insurance professionals and make a commission off products sold to you. This is a conflict of interest, though advisors are still bound by fiduciary duty to act in your best interest.
Legacy Capital Wealth Partners Background
Legacy Capital Wealth Partners is a newly formed advisory service, as it filed its first brochure with the SEC in March 2018. The firm is wholly owned by parent company Legacy Capital Wealth Holdings, LLC. The majority of that company is owned by Matthew Jones and Jason Prather.
Services offered by the firm include:
- Asset management
- Risk management
- Estate planning
- Life insurance
Legacy Capital Wealth Partners Investing Strategy
Legacy Capital uses third-party investment managers to implement the following six strategies for itis clients:
- Risk management: This strategy invests in equity markets but limits volatility. It uses money market and cash investments to minimize risk and sticks with domestic equities.
- Dynamic growth: An aggressive approach designed to maximize growth. These accounts are 100% invested in domestic equities, across classes and styles.
- Equity plus: This strategy looks for capital appreciation. A complex strategy that may be long, short and/or hedged, using both domestic and international equities in addition to bond funds and cash.
- Hedge fund/alternative: An approach that provides risk-managed growth with a “fund of funds” approach. Managed futures, fixed-income arbitrage and distressed markets may all be used.
- Long equity: A strategy that offers access to top asset managers using a proprietary platform. Portfolio are focused on a specific style or class.
- Income: An approach focused on building a consistent income stream through real estate-backed assets and bonds.
ClientFirst Wealth Management, LLC
Clientfirst Wealth Management is a fee-only firm based in Little Rock. It has more than $163 million in assets under management. There is only one advisor at the firm, but he is a certified financial planner (CFP) and a chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
The firm mostly does business with high-net-worth individuals, but it does have some individual clients who don’t have a high net worth. It’s one of the only firms on this list to specialize in serving high-net-worth clients. Clientfirst does not have any institutional or corporate clients. The firm requires a $500,000 minimum investment to open an account. However, the typical client account balance is more than $2 million.
Clientfirst Wealth Management Background
Clientfirst Wealth Management was formed in 2002. It is wholly owned by Edward P. Mahaffy, who is also the president, chief compliance officer and sole employee of the firm. Mahaffy has also written a book about choosing a financial advisor.
Services offered by the firm include investing, financial planning, retirement plans, IRAs, estate planning and personal wealth management.
Clientfirst Wealth Management Investment Strategy
Clientfirst Wealth Management goes through a four-step process to craft the appropriate investment strategy for a client. The firm starts by figuring out what each client’s individual financial situation is and what their goals are. From there, a plan is developed to help the client get their financial life to where they want it to be. The firm then implements the plan and monitors its progress.
Investments typically used in client portfolios include bonds, common stock, treasury notes, treasury bills and government securities. The firm also uses brokerage accounts and IRAs to help clients reach their investing goals.