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.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Carroll Financial Associates, Inc. Find an Advisor||$4,085,363,115||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$2,272,123,381||Varies by account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries by account type
|3||Colony Family Offices, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,982,934,772||$10,000,000|| || |
|4||Carolinas Wealth Consulting, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,491,765,369||$100,000|| || |
|5||Novare Capital Management Find an Advisor||$1,224,687,540||$500,000|| || |
|6||Linden Thomas Advisory Services, LLC Find an Advisor||$991,832,284||$400,000|| || |
|7||Kingfisher Capital, LLC Find an Advisor||$494,184,812||$1,000,000|| || |
|8||Queens Oak Advisors Find an Advisor||$577,970,527||$1,000,000|| || |
|9||Innovation Partners LLC Find an Advisor||$57,285,886||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|10||MBL Wealth, LLC Find an Advisor||$487,307,435||$5,000,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Charlotte
For this list, 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: assets under management (AUM), number of clients, number of advisors, years in business and fee structure.
We only selected firms registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), because all SEC-registered firms honor a fiduciary duty to serve each client’s best interests. We also included firms that offered investment management, financial planning services and account management for individuals. Additionally, at least half of each firm’s client base consists of individuals, and none of the firms selected have disclosures on their Form ADV. Each firm selected met these requirements. We’ve ordered our results from highest to lowest AUM.
Carroll Financial Associates, Inc.
Carroll Financial Associates, Inc. is the top-ranking firm on our list. This fee-based firm has a large team of advisors, featuring certified financial planners (CFPs), certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), chartered life underwriters (CLUs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and more.
The firm’s account minimum varies depending on what type of account you want to open. Clients may also be offered insurance or securities as part of their relationship with Carroll Financial Associates, Inc., for which advisors may receive a commission. 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 four decades 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 chairman emeritus. 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 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.
Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc.
To open an account with Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc., you will need at least $1 million in investable assets, though some accounts require a $3 million minimum investment. The fee-based firm has certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified public accountants (CPAs) on staff.
The firm’s client base is largely made up of individuals, many 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 one of the few firms on this list that charges commissions when an advisor makes trades for a client’s portfolio. Certain advisors at the firm may also sell financial 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, John Bragg III and Steve H. Scruggs. The firm’s staff averages about three decades 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) plans 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 that will match your particular needs. 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.
Colony Family Offices, LLC
Colony Family Offices, LLC is a fee-only advisory firm that has been registered with the SEC since 2013. The firm provides comprehensive financial and investment management services to ultra-high-net-worth families. To work with the firm, a family generally needs a collective account balance of $10 million.
Colony Family Offices, LLC Background
Colony Family Offices is wholly owned by Eric D. Ridenour, who currently serves as managing director. The Colony Trust Company also exists to focus on providing trust and estate planning services to its clients.
The home office team includes certified financial planners (CFPs), a chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified public accountants (CPAs) and even a chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA).
Colony Family Offices, LLC Investing Strategy
Colony Family Offices aims to build investment portfolios driven by passive and active passive strategies for long-term growth. But the firm also states, “We will likely recommend and implement tactical allocations in order to seek to capitalize on short-term investment opportunities or defend against market risks or dislocations.”
Based on your needs and goals, the firm may invest your assets in equity, fixed-income, mutual funds or private investments like hedge funds.
In addition, the firm can provide the following services separately upon request:
- Investment Policy Statement Creation and Maintenance
- Asset Allocation Strategies
- Ad hoc Investment Research
- Consolidated Performance Reporting
Carolinas Investment Consulting, LLC
Carolinas Investment Consulting, LLC is a fee-based firm with a general minimum account size of $100,000.
The firm's advisory team features certified financial planners (CFPs) and certified public accountants (CPAs).
The firm’s advisors may offer you insurance policies and securities in addition to investment services. Commissions they can earn on these sales present a potential conflict of interest. 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 financial advisors average about 20 years’ experience in personal finance.
Typical clients of the firm include individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable institutions, foundations, endowments, estates, trusts, and corporations and business entities. 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
To be a client of Novare Capital Management, you’ll need at least $500,000. The firm serves individuals and high-net-worth individuals as well as pensions, profit sharing plans, charities and other businesses. The fee-only firm has a number of financially certified individuals on staff, including certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and a chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
Novare Capital Management Background
Novare Capital Management was founded in 1999 by principals William Baynard, Jr. and Don Olmstead. The principal owners are Baynard, Jr., Don E. Olmstead and The Baymen Group, LLC.
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 multi-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, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and master limited partnerships. Novare may also use alternative investments like private equity firms, hedge funds and real estate.
Linden Thomas Advisory Services, LLC
Linden Thomas Advisory Services, LLC is based out of northern Charlotte. The firm serves mostly high-net-worth individuals, though it also works with a handful of non-high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans, trust accounts and charitable organizations.
Regardless of the type of client you are, Linden Thomas calls for a minimum initial investment of $400,000. However, under certain circumstances, the firm may decide to waive or reduce this requirement.
The staff at Linden Thomas features a few advisory certifications. These include chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified financial planners (CFPs).
Linden Thomas Advisory Services, LLC Background
Linden Thomas Advisory Services was established in 2017, although it didn't begin managing client assets until 2018. The firm is under the ownership of Linden Thomas Financial Group, LLC, a financial services holding company. The firm's founder and managing principal is Stephen Thomas.
The firm features a number of advisory offerings across investment management, financial planning and retirement plan services. These include:
- Portfolio customization
- Ongoing investment monitoring
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Tax planning
- Employee benefits planning
- Education fund planning
- Risk management
Linden Thomas Advisory Services, LLC Investing Strategy
Modern portfolio theory (MPT) is an award-winning philosophy that Linden Thomas uses as a basis for all of its investment decisions. MPT attempts to maximize returns and minimize volatility for a given level of risk through a diversified asset allocation. In the case of Linden Thomas, diversification occurs on a global scale, and it invests in various small-, mid- and large-cap stocks as well as bonds.
In order to ensure your original asset allocation remains intact, Linden Thomas' staff will keep a close eye on how your portfolio performs. Depending on how much these returns affect your portfolio's composition, the firm may decide to rebalance your assets.
Kingfisher Capital, LLC
Kingfisher Capital, LLC is another of the top 10 firms on our list of Charlotte, North Carolina's top financial advisory firms. This firm works primarily with individuals both with and without a high net worth. It also services clients who are pensions, profit-sharing plans, charities and other businesses. You'll need at least $1 million in investable assets in order to work with Kingfisher.
This firm is considered fee-based, as certain advisors may receive commissions from selling insurance products to clients. As a result, the firm is subject to a potential conflict of interest. However, the firm is a fiduciary and is legally obligated to act with the best interests of clients in mind at all times. A fee-only firm does not receive commissions and is not subject to this same conflict.
Kingfisher Capital Background
Founded in 1989, Kingfisher Capital is one of the older firms on our Charlotte list. H.K. Hallett and Alex Miles are the firm's principal owners.
Kingfisher provides a wide range of financial services to its clients. They consist of the following three groups:
INVEST focuses on investment management, whereas CONSULT focuses just on planning and consulting. WEALTH entails more comprehensive financial planning.
Kingfisher Capital Investment Strategy
Kingfisher Capital's investment strategies focus on the individual wants, needs and financial objectives of each client. They take a holistic approach, also helping client craft their goals and create investment strategies that work for them, no matter their financial background or situation. The firm also offers several investment strategies, including equity, fixed income, and global asset allocation.
Advisors at Kingfisher use a range of investments to populate client portfolios. These include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), derivatives and alternative investments. They may also use third-party money managers. Kingfisher uses a top-down approach to identify investments that have the potential to perform. It then uses a bottom-up approach to pick individual investments based on fundamental methods of analysis.
Queens Oak Advisors
Queens Oak Advisors is a fee-only advisory firm registered with the SEC. It provides financial planning, portfolio management and advisor selection services for various clients including individuals, corporations and endowments.
The firm serves mostly high-net-worth individuals and non-high-net-worth individuals. To open an account with Queens Oak, you’d generally need a minimum opening balance of $1 million.
Queens Oak Advisors Background
Queens Oak Advisors was formed in 2009 as a fee-only firm. So it doesn’t sell its own products or earn commissions from making certain recommendations. It collects asset-based compensation based on the services it provides to you.
The team features several certified financial planners (CFPs), a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
Queens Oak Advisors Investment Strategy
Unlike some of the firms on this list, Queens Oak Advisors places a slightly higher degree of emphasis on active investment strategies. According to its website, the firm says it believes it can "provide exceptional risk-adjusted performance by consistently outperforming the benchmark and our peer group" by implementing a comprehensive investment approach that integrate's a client's goals and risk tolerance.
The firm generally invests client assets in equity, fixed-income, alternative investments and cash. It also deploys the following strategies:
- Global asset allocation
- Institutional fixed income
- Institutional equity
Innovation Partners LLC is a fee-based firm that provides services to a variety of clients that includes individuals (both with and without high net worth), pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations or other businesses, charitable organizations as well as state or municipal government entities.
According to its latest SEC filing, the firm currently has mostly individual clients. To open an account with the firm, a minimum investment amount would be required, but it varies depending on account type.
Innovation Partners Background
Innovation Partners LLC (IPLLC) was established in 2007. Its Registered Investment Advisory Services Division was implemented on June 28, 2008. Its principal offices are located in Charlotte. The owner of the firm is E. Stricker Holdings LLC.
The firm provides the following services: high value risk management, actuarial analysis, benefits consulting, investment banking, financial consulting, management consulting, insurance consulting, and investment advisory services.
Innovation Partners LLC Investment Strategy
Representatives of the firm provide individualized services to clients and are able to choose from a variety of strategies: fundamental analysis, technical analysis, cyclical analysis, asset allocation, mutual fund and/or ETF analysis as well as third-party investment advisors.
MBL Wealth, LLC is a fee-based advisory firm registered with the SEC. It provides investment advisory services to the following types of clients: individuals, high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, businesses and retirement plans. To open an account with the firm, clients must have at least $5 million. This minimum may be negotiable based on the discretion of the firm.
Professional designations across the firm's team include certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), chartered life underwriter (CLU), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), accredited estate planner (AEP), registered health underwriter (RHU) and certified investment management analyst (CIMA).
MBL Wealth Background
MBL Wealth was founded in 2020. The firm is fully owned by MBL Advisors Holding, LLC (which is majority-owned by MBL Wealth CEO Luther Lockwood). Jonathan Dry acts as chief strategy officer, Brian Gift acts as chief investment officer and Billy Morton acts as president and CCO.
The firm offers wealth management services, a selection of other advisors, financial planning services and retirement plan consulting services.
MBL Wealth Investment Strategy
MBL Wealth uses the following approaches in its investment strategy: macroeconomic analysis, fundamental analysis and technical analysis.
The firm puts together and executes strategies that are long-term and goal-driven based on clients' particular needs (such as objectives, risk profile, specific tax circumstances, liquidity needs, etc.). The firm strongly believes in using modern portfolio theory (MPT) to maximize expected returns for a given level of risk and/or minimize risk for a given level of expected return. MBL Wealth also makes sure to focus on asset class diversification when building portfolios.