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Top Financial Advisors in Charlotte, NC

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by Chris Thompson Updated

Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Charlotte, North Carolina

Sorting through all the financial advisors in your area to find the best one for you can be daunting. But Charlotte, North Carolina residents are in luck: SmartAsset created this list of the top 10 Charlotte financial advisor firms to make the search easier. Below, in tables and in reviews, you can compare what each firm offers. To make the process even simpler, try SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which pairs you with advisors near you after you answer a short series of questions.

Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 $1,792,663,500

Varies based on account type

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops
2 $1,390,881,900

$10,000,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$10,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
3 $1,339,745,400

$1,000,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

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4 $1,280,469,400

Varies based on account type

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
5 $875,080,600

$500,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
6 $396,000,000

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops
7 $390,107,600

Varies based on account type

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Consulting and client referrals

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Consulting and client referrals
8 $278,285,300

$1,000,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
9 $255,100,000

At least a $19,500 annual fee

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

At least a $19,500 annual fee

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
10 $210,952,600

Varies based on account type

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Charlotte

Financial advisor firms in Charlotte that are registered fiduciaries with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were considered for this list. Any firms that did not have clean records, didn’t employ financial planners or didn’t manage individual accounts were taken out of consideration. The top 10 firms are listed here, ranked from the most assets under management (AUM) to the least.

Carroll Financial Associates, Inc.

Carroll Financial Associates, Inc.

Carroll Financial Associates, Inc., the top-ranking firm on our list, has nearly $2 billion in assets under management (AUM). The fee-based firm has 33 advisors on staff, the most of any firm on this list. It also boasts by far the highest number of advisor certifications, with 20 certified financial planners (CFPs), three certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), three chartered life underwriters (CLUs), two certified financial analysts (CFAs), a retirement income certified professional (RICP), a certified college funding specialist (CCFS), a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), an accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), a certified public accountant (CPA), a certified college planning specialist (CCPS), a chartered financial consultant (ChFC), a certified retirement counselor (CRC) and a registered financial consultant (RFC).

The firm’s account minimum varies depending on what type of account you want to open. Clients may also be offered insurance as part of their relationship with Carroll Financial Associates, Inc. However, because the firm is a fiduciary, it’s legally required to act in your best interest.

Carroll Financial Associates, Inc. Background

Carroll Financial Associates, Inc. was founded in 1980 by Larry Carroll, who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and has been listed by Forbes as as one of the nation’s top 200 wealth advisors. Carroll is the firm’s current president, CEO and chief wealth strategist. His son, Kristopher Carroll, is the firm’s principal owner and a chief investment officer at the firm. 

Carroll Financial Associates’ services include retirement planning, 401(k) advice, family financial planning, wealth management, college planning and estate planning.

Carroll Financial Associates, Inc. Strategy

At the outset of your relationship with Carroll Financial Associates, Inc., your account will be assigned to one of the firm’s 10 teams. Each team has a unique area of financial expertise and each team’s members have various certifications associated with that area.

Carroll Financial Associates builds its investments strategies around simplicity, diversification, investment prices and clients’ income needs and risk tolerance. On a bi-monthly basis, the firm reevaluates how well your strategy is serving your financial goals and it rebalances your portfolio if necessary.

Biltmore Family Office, LLC

Biltmore Family Office, LLC

Biltmore Family Office, LLC has by far the highest account minimum on this list. The firm requires its clients to have a net worth of at least $10 million. The firm’s sky-high minimum makes it no surprise that three-quarters of the firm’s clients are high-net-worth individuals.

Because Biltmore is family-based, its advisors say they are focused on building and maintaining familial wealth. The fee-only firm’s staff includes a certified financial planner (CFP), a certified public accountant (CPA) and a chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA).

Biltmore Family Office, LLC Background

Biltmore Family Office, LLC, the newest firm on this list, was created by CEO Chris Cecil in 2008.

The firm’s staff averages 22 years’ experience in the financial industry.

Biltmore’s typical clients include individuals, estates, foundations and charitable organizations, though it also serves companies and corporations. Services available to families include estate planning, budgeting, charitable giving, tax mitigation and business succession planning.

Biltmore Family Office, LLC Strategy

During your initial advisory meeting as a Biltmore client, you’ll be handed a detailed balance sheet of your family’s assets and liquidity needs. Then, the firm’s advisors will determine how to best use passive and active investment strategies in your portfolio, based on your financial goals.

The firm uses a wide range of investment opportunities, including various securities, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds.

Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc.

Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc.

To open an account with Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc., you will need at least $1 million in investable assets. The fee-based firm has seven certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified public accountants (CPAs), one accredited estate planner (AEP), one certified fund specialist (CFS) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) on staff.

The firm’s client base is largely made up of individuals, over half of whom have high net worths. It also serves investment companies, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable groups and other organizations.

Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc. is the only firm on this list that charges commissions when an advisor makes trades for a client’s portfolio. Certain advisors at the firm may also sell insurance products. However, the firm is a fiduciary, so it must act in your best financial interest at all times. 

Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc. Background

Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc. was founded by J. Frank Bragg Jr. in 1997. It is now principally owned by Benton Bragg, Phillips Bragg and John Bragg III. The firm’s staff averages 27 years of experience in finance.

Bragg Financial Advisors offers retirement planning, estate planning, higher education planning and individual charitable-giving services. Retirement-minded investors should note that Bragg’s advisors have specific experience working with pension and profit-sharing plans, 401(k)s and 403(b)s.

Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc. Strategy

Whether you want to maximize returns or minimize risks, Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc. says it has a portfolio for you. The firm offers clients seven portfolio models to choose from, ranging from a portfolio titled “Aggressive Allocation With Emphasis on Capital Appreciation” to one called “Conservative Allocation With Emphasis on Capital Preservation and Income.”

Bragg relies heavily on its own calculations and research to determine clients’ asset allocations. The firm is consistently focused on the long term and its advisors make investments with the mindset that they will not be sold for at least a year.

Carolinas Investment Consulting, LLC

Carolinas Investment Consulting, LLC

Carolinas Investment Consulting, LLC is a fee-based firm with minimum account sizes ranging from $25,000 to $100,000. These are the lowest set account minimums on this list.

Though there are 17 financial advisors at the firm. These advisors’ certifications include seven certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one certified public accountant (CPA).

The firm’s advisors may offer you insurance policies in addition to investment services. However, the firm’s fiduciary duty legally binds its advisors to always act in your best interest.

Carolinas Investment Consulting, LLC Background

George Edmiston, Jr. founded this firm in 2000 and has remained the owner ever since. The firm’s 17 financial advisors average about 20 years’ experience in personal finance.

Typical clients of the firm include individuals and their families, business owners and executives and non-profit organizations. The services available to each client vary depending on the clients’ needs. Some of the firm’s principal offerings are retirement planning, succession planning, trust and estate creation and investment management.

Carolinas Investment Consulting, LLC Strategy

Carolinas Investment Consulting, LLC espouses a long-term investing approach. The firm determines clients’ asset allocations based on this long-term approach and on each client’s individual risk tolerance. Carolinas Investment Consulting also takes liquidity into account, so its clients can earn short-term income alongside anticipated long-term growth.

Novare Capital Management

Novare Capital Management

Novare Capital Management is the final firm on this list with more than $800 million in AUM. In fact, the next firm on this list, Rinehart Wealth & Investment Advisory, manages less than half the total assets that Novare Capital Management manages.

To be a client of Novare Capital Management, you’ll need at least $500,000. The firm primarily serves individuals, rather than high-net-worth individuals. The fee-only firm has five certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) on staff.

In June 2017, Novare Capital Management was named one of the top financial advisors firms by Financial Times. 

Novare Capital Management Background

Novare Capital Management was founded in 1999 by principals William Baynard, Jr. and Don Olmstead. The duo independently owns the firm. Baynard and Olmstead boast a combined 60-plus years of experience in finance, while the rest of the firm averages 20 years’ experience. 

The firm provides cash-flow planning, retirement planning, trust and estate creation, education tuition planning and tax minimization services to individuals, families, businesses and charities.

Novare Capital Management Strategy

Advisors at Novare Capital Management go through a six-step process to create your financial plan. Throughout this process, you and your advisor will determine your personal goals, risk profile, time horizon, liquidity needs and current financial status. Once all of that is defined, the firm will determine the proper asset allocation for your goals and needs.

Novare Capital Management Strategy says that it believes diversification across multiple asset classes is necessary for long-term success. The firm typically invests its clients’ assets in individual and preferred stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds and master limited partnerships. Novare may also use alternative investments like private equity firms, hedge funds and real estate.

Rinehart Wealth & Investment Advisory

Rinehart Wealth & Investment Advisory

Rinehart Wealth & Investment Advisory has six advisors on its team, which includes four certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and one registered paraplanner (RP). Though the firm doesn’t require a set account minimum, more than half of its clients are high-net-worth individuals. 

Rinehart Wealth & Investment Advisory is one of just four fee-only firms on this list. It’s also the only firm on this that charges solely a percentage of your AUM. Nearly every other firm on this list charges fixed fees and hourly fees in addition to a percentage of your AUM.

Rinehart Wealth & Investment Advisory Background

After Carroll Financial Associates, Rinehart Wealth & Investment Advisory is the oldest firm on this list. Rinehart was established in 1985 by the firm’s current chairwoman, Mary Rinehart. Rinehart has given full ownership of the firm to CEO and CIO Daniele Donahoe. The firm’s team averages 15 years in the financial industry. 

Clients can choose from services like retirement planning, tax minimization, risk management, insurance consulting and estate planning. The firm states that it will “proactively address the financial and family-related changes that occur during the lifetimes of our clients.” More specifically, this means that the firm will go beyond normal estate planning, aiding clients with wealth transfers across generations.

Rinehart Wealth & Investment Advisory Strategy

A questionnaire greets you as soon as you become a client of Rinehart. The questionnaire will assess your personal and/or familial life goals and risk tolerance. Your advisor will then formulate a diversified investment plan, using asset classes and allocations that are in line with your desired risk tolerance and liquidity needs.

Instead of attempting to beat the market, this firm says it focuses on diversifying not only across multiple markets, but also within markets. Rinehart believes that these actions will protect you as fully as possible against volatility and market swings, thus better enabling long-term portfolio growth.

GreerWalker Wealth Management, LLC

GreerWalker Wealth Management, LLC

A fee-only firm, GreerWalker Wealth Management, LLC says it strives to meet clients’ needs through individualized portfolios. The firm’s staff includes two certified public accountants (CPAs), a certified financial planner (CFP), a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and a personal financial specialist (PFS). 

Geoff Owen, GreerWalker’s senior wealth manager, has a strong background in the financial issues that surround a divorce. Not only does he hold the CDFA certification listed above, he is also a member of the Charlotte Collaborative Divorce Professionals group.

GreerWalker Wealth Management does not have an explicitly stated account minimum. However, it does charge a minimum annual fee of $5,000. Well over half of the firm’s client base is high-net-worth.

Greerwalker is the only firm on this list that charges referral fees. This means the firm earns money for referring its clients to registered investment advisors. While this may create a potential conflict of interest, the firm is required to act in your best interest at all times as it is a fiduciary.

GreerWalker Wealth Management, LLC Background

GreerWalker Wealth Management, LLC has been in business since 1997. It’s affiliated with and owned by GreerWalker LLP, a CPA firm. GreerWalker Wealth Management’s CCO and managing member James N. Reichard is the firm’s principal shareholder. Monica Hamilton, director of financial planning, leads the department.

There’s no shortage of financial services available to clients who engage this firm. The firm’s advisory services include:

  • Money management
  • Retirement planning
  • Financial planning
  • Estate planning
  • Charitable giving
  • Insurance planning
  • Education planning
  • Tax planning

GreerWalker Wealth Management, LLC Client Experience

GreerWalker Wealth Management, LLC is interested in finding out more about its clients than just their risk tolerance. The firm also wants to learn about its clients’ life and legacy goals. 

The firm believes that any investment it makes on your behalf should be held for at least a full year. But if your liquidity needs call for it, the firm’s advisors may make short-term purchases as well. GreerWalker says it primarily invests its clients’ assets in mutual funds, stocks, various securities, ETFs and index funds.

Once your assets have been invested according to your individualized plan, you’ll receive a statement highlighting what to measure your plan’s progress against. These reports are followed up with meetings with your advisors, during which you can further discuss your portfolio’s status.

Kingfisher Capital, LLC

Kingfisher Capital, LLC

Kingfisher Capital, LLC is a fee-based financial advisor firm. Prospective clients must have at least $1 million in investable assets to work with the firm. However, in spite of this high account minimum, less than half of the firm’s overall client base have high net worths. 

Aside from high-net-worth individuals, Kingfisher typically manages portfolios for small businesses, corporations, charitable institutions and other foundations. Advisors at the firm hold a combined three certifications: one certified financial planner (CFP), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).

As a client of this firm, you might be offered insurance as part of your advisory package. This firm is a fiduciary though, meaning it’s legally required to always act in your best interest.

Kingfisher Capital, LLC Background

Alexander Miles and H.K. Hallett founded Kingfisher Capital, LLC in 1989. As a whole, the independently owned firm’s advisory team averages 30 years of experience in the financial field.

Kingfisher Capital says it’s family-focused and espouses a holistic financial approach that will create long-lasting wealth. The firm’s services include investment management, estate planning, tax reduction, insurance evaluation, employee benefit plans and other business strategies.

Kingfisher Capital, LLC Strategy

Kingfisher Capital, LLC decides how to allocate your assets through a two-step process. 

The initial step is focused on the “macro.” The firm first looks for growing investment opportunities that it expects to outperform the rest of the market. Next, the firm takes a bottom-up approach, searching for currently undervalued securities that it believes have the potential to gain value.

Typically, Kingfisher Capital invests its clients’ assets in stocks, bonds, ETFs, index funds, mutual funds, alternative investments and other niche strategies. Your portfolio’s exact asset allocation depends on your risk tolerance, liquidity needs and legacy goals.

Byron Financial, LLC

Byron Financial, LLC

Byron Financial, LLC principally serves high-net-worth clients, businesses, charities and foundations. The firm does not have a set account minimum. Instead, it imposes a minimum annual fee of $19,500.

Staff certifications at this firm include a certified public accountant (CPA), a certified financial planner (CFP) and a personal financial specialist (PFS). 

Byron Financial, LLC is a fee-based firm, and certain advisors at the firm sell insurance products. 

Byron Financial is a fiduciary though, meaning it’s legally required to act in your best interest at all times.

Byron Financial, LLC Background

William McComas Byron is the founder and majority owner of Byron Financial, LLC. Byron has 27 years of experience in personal finance and is a member of the Business Advisory Council in Washington, D.C.

The firm offers a plethora of services to individuals and their families, including asset management, tax deduction, insurance and risk-management planning, philanthropic planning and estate preservation. Business owners will also find relevant services, including business succession planning, banking and lending consulting and debt/finance structuring.

Byron Financial, LLC Client Experience

Byron Financial, LLC opens new client relationships with a face-to-face meeting. During this initial conversation, you’ll discuss your present financial situation, risk tolerance and ultimate financial objectives.

The firm primarily allocates its clients’ assets to long-term investments, which are meant to remain a part of your portfolio for at least a year. But Byron Financial also thinks that short-term investments can be useful, especially if you need more liquidity.

If your financial state changes or your goals are realigned by life events, you can revise your priorities. Once you do this, your advisor will reallocate your assets appropriately. A change in priorities isn’t the only reason your account could see some movement, though. Rebalancing is a major piece of this firm’s investment strategy. Rebalancing is meant to ensure that your funds remain within your target asset allocation.

Harbor Capital Management, Inc.

Harbor Capital Management, Inc.

Harbor Capital Management, Inc. is a fee-based firm with just over $2 million in assets under management (AUM). You will need at least $125,000 to open an enhanced tactical allocation account with this firm, though that total could jump as high as $250,000 for a traditional investment account. The firm’s typical clients are non-high-net-worth individuals and businesses.

Of the 10 employees on the firm’s financial advisory staff, there are three certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered life underwriters (CLUs) and one retirement income certified professional (RICP).

Harbor Capital Management is a licensed insurance agency, meaning it may sell its clients insurance products on a commission basis. While this does present a potential conflict of interest, the advisors at Harbor are fiduciaries, which means they’re legally required to act in your best interest.

Harbor Capital Management, Inc. Background

Harbor Capital Management, Inc. was established in 1991 by principal owner C. Mack Washam. On average, the firm’s advisory team has accumulated more than 20 years in the financial management industry. 

Harbor Capital Management, Inc. offers IRAs and other retirement accounts, long-term lifestyle planning, brokerage accounts, cash management and insurance/long-term care planning. The firm also has experience assisting business owners with 401(k)s, pension and profit-sharing plans, major medical insurance and general brokerage accounts.

Harbor Capital Management, Inc. Strategy

Harbor Capital Management, Inc. bases its clients’ individualized portfolios on their time horizons, risk tolerances and liquidity needs. Once this information is established, the firm will match you with one of its investment strategies. Depending on your goals, you’ll either be assigned a traditional discretionary strategy or an enhanced tactical allocation strategy.

In a traditional discretionary strategy, your assets are placed into passive investments, with an emphasis on index funds. This strategy is focused solely on sustained long-term growth. 

Enhanced tactical allocation strategy is much more reliant on trends. This strategy uses up-trending investments and eschews underperforming markets, with the goal of making short-term gains. There is an inherent risk to this strategy, though, as the investments it uses tend to be very volatile.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about cost of living in retirement there.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities. Using that calculation, we determined how many years $1 million would last in retirement in each major city.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors throughout the country. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%, reflecting the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Finally, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would last in each of the cities in our study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research