Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Boston, Massachusetts
When you’re trying to find a financial advisor, it can be hard to know where to begin. This list of the top financial advisor firms in Boston, which SmartAsset compiled through extensive research, can be just the place. The list lays out the firms’ fees, expertise, investment strategies and more in tables and reviews. You can also use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool to get connected with advisors near you.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||SCS Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$22,229,947,139||$25,000,000|| || |
|2||Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors, LLP Find an Advisor||$9,016,820,065||$2,000,000|| || |
|3||Eaton Vance Investment Counsel Find an Advisor||$7,742,304,852||Varies by account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries by account type
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|4||Welch & Forbes, LLC Find an Advisor||$5,589,936,058||$2,000,000|| || |
|5||The Bollard Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$5,570,524,956||$25,000,000|| || |
|6||Choate Investment Advisors Find an Advisor||$5,147,334,744||$10,000,000|| || |
|7||Ropes Wealth Advisors Find an Advisor||$5,013,720,577||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||Aureus Asset Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,833,825,187||$5,000,000|| || |
|9||Crestwood Advisors Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,291,992,162||$1,000,000|| || |
|10||Anchor Capital Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,260,497,199||Varies by account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries by account type
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Boston, Massachusetts
SmartAsset considered all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered firms within the city of Boston to determine this list of the top financial advisor firms. From that list of registered, fiduciary firms, we eliminated any firms that did not have clean records, did not have financial planners on staff or did not manage individual accounts. The remaining firms were ranked according to assets under management (AUM), from highest AUM to lowest. All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
SCS Capital Management LLC
Leading off this list is SCS Financial. The firm caters to high-net-worth individuals, serving no other individual accounts. This makes sense, considering it requires clients have a minimum of $25 million in AUM. The firm also advises pooled investment vehicles, charitable organizations and sovereign wealth funds/foreign official institutions. Fees for wealth management are charged as a percentage of assets under management, and certain funds charge a performance fee. Advisors at SCS do not make commissions for selling products to clients, but the parent company of the firm does own broker-dealers.
SCS Financial LLC Background
SCS was founded in 2002. It is owned by Focus Operating LLC, which in turn is owned by Focus Financial Partners, LLC. The firm is managed by Partners Perpetual Trust, LLC, by way of an agreement between the two firms. Focus Financial Partners is a publicly traded company.
Services offered by the firm include:
- Wealth management
- Fund of funds
- Tax planning
- Philanthropic strategy
SCS Financial LLC Investment Strategy
SCS develops a strategy that makes sense for each individual investor. It especially considers asset allocation and portfolio design, taking both risk tolerance and return objective into consideration to make the best possible choices for each person.
The firm uses a number of funds of hedge funds as an investment for its clients, all of whom are high-net-worth and likely have the ability to invest in hedge funds, which often have high barriers for entry. There are also funds of private equity funds.
Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors, LLP
Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors, LLP (LWC) is a multi-family office that’s a pioneer in socially responsible investing. To be a client, you’ll need at least $2 million in investable assets. The fee-only firm principally serves high-net-worth individuals.
LWC has several chartered financial analysts (CFAs) on its team of advisors.
Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors, LLP Background
Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors, LLP was formed in 1994. The firm, which is privately owned, was founded so the trustees of the Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Office could provide investment management and advisory services to accounts for which they don’t serve as fiduciaries.
LWC aims to encompass every detail of a family's financial life in its integrated wealth management solutions. The firm provides family office services, estate planning and settlement services, financial planning, tax planning and preparation and philanthropic strategies.
Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors, LLP: The Sustainability Group
Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge Fiduciary Advisors' Sustainability Group is dedicated to investing for social and environmental progress. The Sustainability Group was founded more than 25 years ago by Amy Domini, a nationally recognized leader in the field of socially responsible investing who continues lead the group.
The group fuses sustainability issues with fundamental analysis and a consideration of individual client's goals, needs and priorities. Its approach is three-part:
- Portfolio selection: Portfolios are managed on a standalone basis and are structured around sustainability themes, like socially responsible companies or sustainable technology.
- Shareholder engagement and proxy voting: LWC uses its standing as shareholders to hold companies accountable and to push them to do the right thing.
- Community development investing: The Sustainability Group's clients have almost $50 million invested credit unions, loan funds, community banks and international microfinance institutions, all of which are investments that LWC believes can drive positive change by providing access to capital.
Eaton Vance Investment Counsel
Eaton Vance Investment Counsel charges its clients a percentage of their portfolio income in addition to a percentage of assets under management and fixed fees. This fee, which isn’t all that common, means that you could end up paying more in fees at Eaton Vance than at other firms on this list.
Eaton Vance’s clients include business owners, corporate executives, private foundations and families. Account minimums may vary depending on the investment strategy.
Eaton Vance has a handful of chartered financial analysts (CFAs), certified financial planners (CFPs) and chartered investment counselors (CICs) on staff.
Eaton Vance Investment Counsel Background
Eaton Vance Investment Counsel was formed in 2004. It’s the successor of the investment counsel business of Eaton Vance Management, which has been giving investment advice since 1924. Eaton Vance Investment Counsel is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eaton Vance Corp, which is a publicly owned corporation.
Eaton Vance claims that its set-up allows it to offer both the "personalized high-touch service of a smaller firm" and the "resources of a financially sound, well-established corporation." The firm offers investment management, trust and estate planning and financial planning, which includes retirement advice, cash flow analysis, charitable strategies, insurance advice and advice on deferred compensation, concentrated stock and stock options.
Eaton Vance Investment Counsel
Eaton Vance Investment Counsel offers its clients customized advice through a range of investment strategies. Eaton Vance recommends an investment strategy after an investment counselor talks to a client about his or her investment growth objectives and financial situation.
Eaton Vance primarily relies on in-depth fundamental analysis to make its investment decisions, which aim to build and preserve wealth, minimize taxes and meet individual client objectives. The firm typically uses equities, investment grade bonds, high yield bonds, municipal bonds and floating-rate bank loans, but it may also use non-proprietary management strategies that involve funds or third-party managers.
Welch & Forbes LLC
This fee-only firm requires you have at least $2 million in assets to open an account, though it is willing to negotiate that minimum sometimes. Welch & Forbes has a client base made up of a mix of individuals and high-net-worth individuals, plus an institutional business serving pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, other advisors and corporations.
The staff at this firm includes chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified public accountants (CPAs). Fees paid for investment management are based on a percentage of assets under management. No advisers at the firm are registered as representatives of a broker-dealer and they do not make money from commissions for selling securities or insurance products.
Welch & Forbes LLC Background
Welch & Forbes is a blue-blooded Boston firm, founded in 1838. The majority stake in the firm is held by AMG Wealth Partners, and the remaining equity is held by various employees of the firm.
The firm’s services include:
- Investment advisory services
- Fiduciary services
- Trust services
- Philanthropic services
- Estate administration
- Cash flow analysis
- Tax services
Welch & Forbes LLC Investing Strategy
Advisors at Welch & Forbes can create a portfolio for any client, but there are some models the firm notes as common:
- Multi-cap core equity, with investments in stocks (domestic and international)
- Speciality, with a focus on a style or sector chosen by the client
- Open architecture, with a focus on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Income, with a focus on fixed income products
- Alternative investments, with investments in areas including venture capital, real estate, private equity or hedge funds
The Bollard Group LLC
The Bollard Group LLC is a fee-only firm that work with a very small number of high-net-worth clients. The minimum account size for clients is $25 million. The firm also manages money for pooled investment vehicles. The company does not provide a list of its advisors and their certifications.
Fees are based on a percentage of assets under management, and the minimum fee is $75,000 per year. Some services are billed at an hourly rate. Advisors may recommend clients invest in funds from the firm’s sister company Spinnaker Capital, which will charge a performance-based fee.
Advisors do not make commissions for selling financial products to clients.
The Bollard Group LLC Background
Bollard was founded in 1995. It is wholly owned by members of the senior management group and is controlled by Anastasios Parafestas, the principal at the firm.
Services from Bollard include:
- Discretionary and non-discretionary investment advisory
- Portfolio management
- Alternative investments
The Bollard Group LLC Investment Strategy
The firm uses charting, fundamental analysis and technical analysis to make investment decisions for clients. Risk tolerance and other factors unique to each client are considered when constructing client portfolios.
A number of asset types are used, including equities, fixed-income securities, options, futures, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and concentrated holdings. Short sales and leverage could be used for some clients.
Choate Investment Advisors LLC
Choate Investment Advisors LLC is a fee-only firm. Its clients include both individuals and high-net-worth individuals, plus institutional clients including pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. The firm prefers new relationships with a minimum account size of $10 million, though it sometimes accepts accounts of lesser value. Fees for investment management are based on a percentage of assets under management. Some consulting and financial planning services are billed at an hourly rate. Advisors are not paid commissions for selling products or securities to clients.
Choate's team of advisors includes chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and a certified financial planner (CFP).
Choate Investment Advisors LLC Background
Choate is a subsidiary of Choate, Hall & Stewart LLP, a law firm in Boston. It was originally founded in 1996 to provide investment advice mainly to attorneys at the firm. It now provides advice to a variety of clients.
Services at Choate include:
- Investment advisory services
- Financial planning
- Wealth management services
Choate Investment Advisors LLC Investment Strategy
The following investment strategies are available:
- All bond: only fixed-income investments; focused solely on producing income
- Conservative Income: mainly invests in fixed-income, with some equity-linked investments
- Income and Growth: mix of fixed-income and equity investments
- Balanced: focused on balancing capital appreciation and current income; includes equities, fixed-income and alternatives
- Growth and Income: similar to balanced, but with total return as a primary goal
- Growth: focused on capital appreciation with a minority of fixed-income investments
- Aggressive Growth: primarily equity and alternatives investments, with a diversified portfolio to mitigate risk; current income expectation is low
- Opportunistic Growth: emphasis on tactical decisions based on the market; only for those with high risk tolerance
Ropes Wealth Advisors, LLC
Ropes Wealth Advisors, LLC does not have a set account minimum. The firm serves individuals, high-net-worth individuals and families, as well as their related entities like trusts and estates, pensions, profit sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses.
Despite employing several financial advisors, Ropes Wealth Advisors only has one certified financial planner (CFP) on staff.
Ropes Wealth Advisors, LLC Background
Ropes Wealth Advisors was formed in 2013. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of the global law firm Ropes & Gray LLP.
Ropes Wealth Advisors takes an integrated approach to wealth management, as the firm says it believes that "each area of your financial life is part of a larger whole." The firm's financial planning services encompass cash flow and budgeting analysis; retirement planning; advice on corporate benefits programs; insurance analysis and advice; education planning and funding and family and charitable gift planning. The firm will also assist with things like mortgage refinancing and long-term care planning. Ropes will also work in coordination with clients' legal and tax advisors.
Ropes Wealth Advisors, LLC Investing Approach
Ropes Wealth Advisors’ takes a three-step approach to investing. First, the firm talks to clients understand their objectives, values and preferences. This information allows the firm to help clients select a long-term strategy and asset allocation, and to develop a customized investment plan.
Ropes Wealth Advisors believes that balance and diversification are key to consist returns. Once the building phase is complete, the firm helps its clients select fixed income, equity and alternative investments. The firm picks investments based on fundamental analysis and uses both active and index investing styles.
The final phase of the three-part process is to preserve. Ropes' investing philosophy rests on risk management and disciplined long-term investing and aims to minimize taxes and keep investment plans on track no matter the market conditions. Ropes routinely reviews and rebalances client portfolios to ensure they stay aligned with the agreed-upon objectives.
Aureus Asset Management, LLC
Aureus Asset Management, LLC comes next on our list of the top financial advisors in Boston, Massachusetts. Because of its minimum account size requirement of $5 million, this firm serves primarily high-net-worth individual clients. However, it works with other clients, as well, including a handful of non-high-net-worth individuals, pensions, profit sharing plans and charities. It provides these clients with comprehensive financial advisory services.
As a fee-only firm, Aureus does not receive third-party commissions of any kind. This is markedly different from a fee-based firm, which does receive commissions. A fee-based firm is subject to potential conflicts of interest due to this arrangement.
Aureus Asset Management Background
Aureus was founded in 2005 and has been in business as an SEC registered financial advisor ever since. The firm is owned by six of its employees, with Karen Firestone holding more than 25% of the company. She serves as the firm's chairwoman and CEO and has nearly four decades of investment management experience under her belt. Thaddeus Davis is the firm's president. There are a handful of chartered financial analysts (CFA) at the firm.
Aureus provides a full range of financial advisory services to clients. They are all grouped under the umbrella of contemporary wealth management services. This services includes financial planning, portfolio management, investment consulting and anything else that clients need help with.
Aureus Asset Management Investment Strategy
Aureus, like many other firms, tailors its investment strategy to the wants and financial objectives of each individual client. This involves meeting with clients to determine their goals and develop an investment profile and investment strategy. Advisors invest client assets in a variety of assets, all depending on the client. These typically include equities, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), non-traditional assets and other investment vehicles.
In investing, advisors at Aureus prioritize diversification and risk management. They also use fundamental research to inform their investment decisions. The firm looks to invest across a range of geographies and asset classes, stressing a global approach.
Crestwood Advisors Group, LLC
Crestwood Advisors Group, LLC is the next firm on our list of the top financial advisory firms in Boston, Massachusetts. It works mainly with individual clients. Of these individuals, over 70% of them are individuals with a high-net-worth. The firm works with a small number of other clients as well. These other clients include pensions, profit-sharing plans, charities, insurance companies and other businesses. You'll need an account of at least $1 million to work with Crestwood.
Crestwood is a fee-only firm. This means that the firm does not receive third-party commissions of any kind. A fee-based firm, on the other hand, receives commissions and is subject to a potential conflict of interest as a result.
Crestwood Advisors Group Background
Crestwood Advisors Group was founded in 2003. It also has offices in Darien, Connecticut and Westport, Connecticut. In 2017, Crestwood Advisors, LLC, the predecessor firm, became Crestwood Advisors Group, LLC. The current firm is part of the Focus Financial Partners, LLC partnership. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Focus Operating, LLC. The firm is led by Michael Eckton, CEO. It employs several chartered financial analysts (CFA), certified financial planners (CFP) and other financially cretified individuals.
Crestwood works to provides clients with comprehensive wealth management solutions. It also provides an automated investment strategy platform.
Crestwood Advisors Group Investment Strategy
Crestwood Advisors crafts individualized investment strategies to help clients meet their individual financial needs and objectives. Because the firm's advisory services are comprehensive, each client relationship involves a series of information gathering meetings in order to properly assess and take note of each client's risk tolerance, liqudity needs, investment history and and other relevant information.
Crestwood advises on any type of investment held in a client's portfolio, but mainly invests in equity and debt securities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), exchange-traded notes (ETNs), mutual funds and equity options. Advisors rely primarily on fundamental methods of analysis to help them inform investment decisions.
Anchor Capital Advisors, LLC
Anchor Capital Advisors, LLC rounds off our Boston, Massachusetts list of top financial advisors. This firm's account minimums vary by division of service, with institutional minimums sitting at $5 million per client. Anchor works with a wide range of clients. The majority are individuals both with and without a high net worth. Other clients include pensions, profit sharing plans, charities, state and municipal government entities and other businesses.
Anchor Capital is a fee-only firm, meaning it doesn't receive commissions from third-parties. Fee-based firms, in contrast, may receive commissions from the sale of insurance products or securities. Such a setup is a potential conflict of interest.
Anchor Capital Advisors Background
Founded in 1983, Anchor Capital Advisors is one of the older firms on our list. Boston Private Financial Holdings bought ownership of the firm in 2018. 70% of the firm is currently owned by Anchor employees. Lincoln Peak Capital, a private investment firm, owns 30% of the firm. William P. Rice, Jr is the firm's CEO and his father, William P. Rice, is the firm's executive chairman. The firm has one chartered financial advisor (CFA) and one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA).
Anchor has institutional, managed accounts and private client divisons. It also provides service to wealth advisory accounts and investment advisory accounts. Other services include financial planning and consulting.
Anchor Capital Advisors Investment Strategy
Across its multiple account and divison offerings, Anchor stays constant in that it looks to craft its investment strategies around the wants, need and objectives of clients. However, the firm does tend to stick to certain predeteremined investment models and asset allocation models. Clients are permitted to impose reasonable restrictions on the investment of their assets, and advisors try to invest in areas that work with the goals of their clients.
In order to determine the best possible investments for client portfolios, Anchor and its advisors rigorously screen potential investments and then use fundamental analysis to ultimately determine where to invest. They also primarily take a long-term approach to investing.