Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Baltimore, Maryland
The hunt to find a financial advisor that meets your needs can be challenging and lengthy. That’s why SmartAsset researched all Baltimore-based financial advisors registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and pored through each company’s paperwork. Based on this research, we've provided information on the top financial advisor firms in Baltimore.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||1919 Investment Counsel, LLC Find an Advisor||$17,554,381,658||$2,000,000|| || |
|2||Maryland Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,946,435,369||$500,000|| || |
|3||Facet Wealth, Inc. Find an Advisor||$625,195,334||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
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|4||WBH Advisory, Inc. Find an Advisor||$856,562,066||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||GGM Wealth Advisors Find an Advisor||$425,217,854||$250,000|| || |
|6||Brightside Partners Find an Advisor||$344,643,090||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||A.G. Campbell Advisory, LLC Find an Advisor||$335,388,046||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||&Wealth Partners Find an Advisor||$295,528,272||$10,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$10,000 minimum annual fee
|9||Armstrong Dixon Find an Advisor||$284,115,364||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|10||Buttonwood Financial Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$131,144,689||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Baltimore, Maryland
To find the top financial advisors in Baltimore, Maryland, 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:
1919 Investment Counsel
1919 Investment Counsel has branches in eight states, which is part of the reason it manages such a high total of assets. The firm is fee-only, which only allows advisors to earn compensation from a set management percentage fee. New clients will need at least $2 million to engage most of 1919 Investment Counsel’s services. Other accounts have different minimum requirements, though.
Among its many advisors are several chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified financial planners (CFPs). Other employees have other financial certifications as well.
1919 Investment Counsel Background
1919 Investment Counsel can trace its roots back to, as you might expect, 1919, when it was known as Scudder, Stevens & Clark. In 2014, the firm was renamed 1919 Investment Counsel and was acquired by the Stifel Financial Corporation. Stifel is a full-service brokerage and investment banking firm headquartered in St. Louis and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SF.
Harry O’Mealia serves as the CEO and president of 1919 Investment Counsel. He’s worked in the financial services industry since 1985 and previously worked at JP Morgan and other prominent companies. O’Mealia has an MBA from Columbia University and a law degree from Boston College.
1919 Investment Counsel Specialty Investment Departments
You’ll find some unique investing options at this large firm, including socially responsible investing, global total return investing and multi-cap core equity investing. 1919 Investment Counsel has over 40 years’ experience in socially responsible investing. Investments include environmentally focused securities, social and corporate governance.
The global total return option incorporates fundamental analysis to identify global companies to invest in. These companies have to meet a number of criteria, including well established and experienced management, potential for sustained growth, and market cap usually above $500 million.
Multi-cap core equity investing is a strategy that’s focused on U.S. small-cap and mid-cap stocks. This strategy invests in stocks for the long term, using bottom-up fundamental research.
Maryland Capital Management
Maryland Capital Management is a fee-only financial advisor firm requiring at least $500,000 to open an account. However, the firm may waive this requirement at its discretion. All of its individual clients are high-net-worth individuals. The firm does have some institutional clients too, including retirement plans, charitable organizations, government entities, other investment advisors and corporations.
The firm has several advisors with certifications, including chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified financial planner (CFP). Maryland Capital charges an investment management fee based on assets under management.
Maryland Capital Management Advisors Background
Maryland Capital Management was founded in 1978 and it is 100% owned by employees. The employees with more than 25% ownership are John Blair and Greg Heard. The two are principals at the firm, and Blair also serves as the president.
Services here include portfolio construction and investment planning. Financial planning can cover topics like cash flow, income planning and more.
Maryland Capital Management Investing Strategy
Maryland Capital has four main strategies it offers to clients:
- Equity strategies: Focused on companies with high quality and potential for above-average growth.
- Fixed-income strategies: Looking to preserve capital and generate income.
- Alternative strategies: Providing optimal market exposure and capitalizing on global trends.
- Balanced strategies: Blending all of the other above strategies at the firm.
Facet Wealth does not impose a minimum investment or minimum fee for its investors. All of its clients are individuals, with just a few of a high-net-worth nature. The firm does not advise any institutional clients.
Facet Wealth has many on-staff financial advisors and planners. Among this group are a very large quantity of certified financial planners (CFPs).
While many firms charge a fee based on assets under management, Facet charges a flat fee generally ranging from $1,200 to $15,000 per year. This is a fee-only firm, as all of its compensation comes from the fees clients pay and not third-party commissions.
Facet Wealth Background
Facet Wealth was founded in 2016. The firm has raised money from companies like Warburg Pincus and Slow Ventures, and the current CEO is co-founder Anders Jones. Executive chairman Patrick McKenna, Jones and Warburg Pincus combine to own the firm.
Services offered by the company include comprehensive financial planning, cash flow and income planning, retirement planning, estate planning, debt management, education planning, income tax planning, employee benefit planning and charitable planning.
Facet Wealth Investment Strategy
Facet advisors use fundamental, technical and cyclical analysis to pick securities for purchase. The firm uses both long-term and short-term purchases to maximize returns. Potential investments include open-end mutual funds, closed-end mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), individual equities and individual bonds.
At WBH Advisory, there is no minimum account size, so technically just about anyone can become a client. The majority of the firm’s clients are individuals without a high net worth, though it does serve a number of high-net-worth individuals. It also does business with institutional clients, including retirement plans, charitable organizations and government entities.
The advisory team at WBH includes chartered financial analysts (CFAs), certified financial planners (CFPs) and certified public accountants (CPAs).
WBH is a fee-only firm, meaning it only makes money from advisory fees. The fees are based on a percentage of assets under management or can be charged as a flat fee.
WBH Advisory Background
WBH Advisory was founded in 1986, and it was formerly known as Wagner Bowman Management Corp. In 2017, it changed its name when ownership of the firm was transferred from founder Daniel E. Wagner to long-time investment professional and chief compliance officer (CCO) Marc J. Hertzberg.
Services offered by the firm include investment management, retirement planning, income tax planning, education fund planning, insurance planning and estate planning.
WBH Advisory Investment Strategy
WBH tailors its investing strategy to the goals and wishes of the client. Potential investments include individual equities, exchange traded funds, individual bonds, certificates of deposit, mutual funds and publicly traded partnerships. The firm has clients with all-equity portfolios, all-fixed-income portfolios and portfolios made up of a combination of the two. The asset allocation in each portfolio is up to the client.
GGM Wealth Advisors
GGM Wealth Advisors, a fee-only firm, has a $250,000 minimum investment requirement for new clients. In some cases, the firm may decide to waive or reduce this minimum, though. The firm's client base is comprised of mostly high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals, as well as businesses, charitable organizations and retirement plans.
This firm has a wide range of certifications on staff. These include certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), certified public accountants (CPAs) and more. The firm was also featured by CNBC as one of its Top 100 Fee-Only Wealth Management Firms.
GGM Wealth Advisors Background
GGM Wealth Advisors has been around for longer than two decades, as it was established in 2000. The firm is owned by Gross Mendelsohn & Associates and Grant Capital Management, LLC.
Custom investment management and financial planning are the two pillars of services at GGM.
GGM Wealth Advisors Investing Strategy
GGM Wealth Advisors works with clients personally before investing their assets. This involves looking into your risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs and long- and short-term goals. These factors will inform what types of securities your assets are invested in, what your asset allocation will look like and how often your investments will be bought on sold.
As your portfolio ages, the firm will review the performance of your investments. If your returns affect your asset allocation's makeup, the firm may rebalance your assets according to your original asset allocation and goals.
Brightside Partners is the next firm on our list. This firm is quite small when it comes to its client base, but still earns a spot on our list due to its strong clients-per-advisor ratio. Brightside works almost exclusively with individual clients, the vast majority of whom have a high net worth. The firm does not list a specific minimum account size requirement.
Brightside is a fee-only firm. This means that neither the firm nor any of its advisors receive third-party commissions from the sale of financial products to clients. A fee-based firm, on the other hand, can receive such commissions and is therefore subject to a potential conflict of interest.
Brightside Partners Background
Founded in 2019, Brightside Partners is one of the youngest firms on our Baltimore list. While it's website provides almost no information, the firm is owned by Pace R. Kessenich, Abigail C. Holmes, Ryan D. Pollard, Gregory D. Danseglio, Nicolas R. Daly and Jeffrey R. Cooke. Kessenich is the firm's CEO. There is at least one chartered financial analyst (CFA) on staff.
Brightside describes itself as a "multi-family office and investment advisor catering to families with a shared interest in private market investing." It manages all of its assets on a discretionary basis, providing clients with financial planning, consulting, wealth management and alternative investment management services.
Brightside Partners Investment Strategy
Like many other financial advisory firms, Brightside Partners tailors its investment strategy to the individual needs and wants of its clients. Especially with such a small client base, the firm looks to make sure that each client is treated as an individual, with their financial situation being addressed directly. Advisors at the firm meet on a regular basis with clients to determine and stay up to date with their financial profile.
Brightside primarily uses pooled privately placed securities (such as hedge funds and private equity funds), private placements and alternative investments. Brightside also invests client assets among mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs) and third-party money managers. Advisors look to invest across a wide range of risk and liquidity as to make profiles as successful and protected as possible.
A.G. Campbell Advisory
A.G. Campbell Advisory does not have a minimum account size. Its clients are split fairly evenly between non-high-net-worth individual investors and high-net-worth individuals. It also advises a small number of corporations and retirement plans.
The management fee charged by the company is based on assets under management. The firm is fee-only, so advisors do not make additional money selling clients commissionable securities or insurance products. The firm's advisory staff includes one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).
A.G. Campbell Advisory Background
A.G. Campbell Advisory was founded in 2012 by Alexander G. Campbell and Mark Scott. Campbell currently owns 75% of the firm and serves as managing member. Scott owns 25% of the firm and is the director of operations and chief compliance officer (CCO).
The firm offers the following services:
- Financial planning
- Investment management
- Non-discretionary and discretionary portfolio management
A.G. Campbell Advisory Investment Strategy
One of the hallmarks of the firm’s investment strategy is that the advisors invest in the same securities as their clients. Potential investments include mutual funds, variable annuities, stocks, bonds and additional securities.
The firm makes investment choices based on the potential of the company, and it invests across asset classes. It does not consider market capitalization or geography when making investment choices.
&Wealth Partners is a Baltimore-based financial advisor firm focused on providing financial services "for women who are recreating their lives," according to its website. The firm was founded in 2009 and has one of the smallest advisory teams on our list.
While there isn’t a required minimum account size, the $10,000 minimum annual fee makes the most sense if you have at least $1 million in assets under management. Almost all of the firm's clients are high-net-worth, defined by the SEC as a net worth of $1.5 million or more. &Wealth has fewer than 100 total clients.
&Wealth Partners Background
Dorie Fain founded &Wealth Partners in 2009 after spending 12 years as a financial advisor at Smith Barney, now known as Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. She’s a certified financial planner (CFP) and third-generation investment advisor.
The firm has offices in Baltimore, as well as New York City.
&Wealth Partners Unique Services
There's no account minimum to work with &Wealth, and you can engage the firm for standalone financial planning, a significant practice at the firm. As &Wealth puts it, “this allows us to work with people who may not have liquid assets, may not be ready to invest or may not want to leave their current broker, but still recognize the value of planning beyond picking stocks and bonds.” Financial planning at &Wealth covers net worth sheet preparation, lifestyle analysis, budget preparation and ongoing support, retirement plan analysis, insurance review and investment review.
Another facet of &Wealth is its divorce financial services. The company will work with you and your attorney to help you plan your finances and avoid costly mistakes. This service includes what the firm calls Historical Lifestyle Analysis™, a process that helps you understand your past income and expenses and what you’ll need going forward after a divorce.
Armstrong Dixon is a fee-based financial advisor. This means that certain members of its advisory staff can receive commissions from the sale of insurance products or securities to clients. While this is a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty requires it to act in your best interest no matter what.
Founded in 2013, the firm offers financial planning and advisory services, risk management and investment management. There is no set minimum asset requirement to become a client. Armstrong Dixon has a well qualified team of advisors, including several certified financial planners (CFP).
Armstrong Dixon Background
Roy Dixon and Gregory Armstrong founded the company in 2013. In 2015, they merged with Celestial Wealth Management and became Ade LLC, doing business as both Armstrong Dixon and Celestial Wealth Management. Hugh J. Breslin IV and Armstrong own Ade LLC.
Dixon has been a financial advisor since 1986, but has now retired. Armstrong has nearly two decades of investment experience, having worked at three different firms before founding Armstrong Dixon.
Armstrong Dixon Investment Strategy
The firm generally uses fundamental, technical and cyclical security analysis. The firm explains that “these types of analysis in isolation have flaws. However, by including all three types of analysis, the strengths outweigh the weaknesses.” In addition to conducting research on specific securities, the firm will also analyze mutual funds, ETFs and separately managed accounts.
Managers are evaluated in both an up and a down market cycle. Armstrong Dixon advisors will look at the rate of return, Sharpe ratio, Sortino ratio, beta, alpha correlation, capture ration, manager turner and more. Lastly, long-term purchases, short-term purchases and options are investment strategies that the firm may use when managing your portfolio.
Buttonwood Financial Advisors
Buttonwood Financial Advisors is an almost entirely individual-centric financial advisor firm. In fact, over 95% of its client base is comprised of both high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals. The firm's institutional clients include charitable organizations and businesses. There is no specific account minimum here.
The team of advisors at Buttonwood includes two certified financial planners and chartered financial analysts (CFAs). As a fee-only firm, all of Buttonwood's compensation comes from the fees that clients pay.
Buttonwood Financial Advisors Background
Founded in 2008, Buttonwood Financial Advisors is based in central Baltimore. The firm's owners are Damian J. Gallina and Jeffrey A. Malcolm. Gallina is Buttonwood's president and chief compliance officer (CCO), and Malcolm acts as vice president.
Individual portfolio management is customized to clients' needs at Buttonwood. Financial planning includes estate planning, educational fund planning, insurance planning, retirement planning and more.
Buttonwood Financial Advisors Investing Strategy
Buttonwood Financial Advisors has a wide range of securities that it may invest clients' assets in. More specifically, the firm may put your money in individual stocks and bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and certificates of deposit (CDs). If you feel that you don't want to invest your money in certain things, the firm will allow you to impose reasonable restrictions on your portfolio.