Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Colorado
Finding a financial advisor firm that fits your needs across a massive state like Colorado is easier said than done. So SmartAsset spent hours digging through data to determine Colorado’s top financial advisor firms. Based on the detailed information in this review, including each firm’s investment philosophy, fee structure and more, you should be able to make an informed decision as to which firm suits your needs. The SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool is an automated alternative that you can use to get paired with financial advisors in your area.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$10,687,217,357||$350,000|| || |
|2||Crestone Asset Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,429,103,718||$25,000,000|| || |
|3||IWP Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,992,744,728||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|4||Colorado Financial Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,569,961,106||$500,000|| || |
|5||GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,277,257,308||$500,000|| || |
|6||IFAM Capital Find an Advisor||$1,169,452,243||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||Western Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,124,437,674||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|8||BSW Wealth Partners Find an Advisor||$1,072,376,760||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Private Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,001,371,294||$500,000|| || |
|10||Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC Find an Advisor||$884,812,541||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Colorado
For this list, we only considered financial advisor firms in Colorado that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). That’s because they are bound by fiduciary duty, which requires them to act in clients’ best interests under all circumstances. If any firms didn’t offer financial planning, didn’t manage individual accounts or had any disciplinary issues on record, we eliminated them. The remaining firms that fit these requirements are listed here, ordered from the most assets under management (AUM) to the least.
Mercer Global Advisors, Inc.
Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. takes the first spot on our list. It's a fee-only firm with 223 financial advisors on staff and $10.68 billion in assets under management (AUM). It's headquartered in Denver, but it has offices throughout the U.S. In fact, you'll find branch locations in Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Connecticut, Montana, New Jersey, Hawaii, California, Wisconsin, New York, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Washington, Virginia and Delaware.
The firm's full team includes more than 100 certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified public accountants (CPAs). The team works with both individuals and high-net-worth individuals, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses. The firm generally requires accounts to have a minimum of $250,000 in assets.
Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. Background
Mercer Global Advisors was opened back in 1985. Initially, the firm's founder, Kendrick Mercer, started a law practice focused on estate planning. But after seeing an unmet need, he decided to launch an investment advisory firm with the mission of helping its clients achieve "economic freedom."
The firm offers its clients comprehensive investment management, financial planning, family office services, tax planning, estate planning and retirement plan design and administration.
Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. Investment Strategy
Mercer Global Advisors' investment strategies include:
- Strategically weighted investments
- Broad asset class and multi-factor diversification
- Attention to cost
- Separate account managers and institutional funds
- Systematic rebalancing
- Tax and distribution management
Beyond those basic tenets, the firm offers an array of customized strategies designed to meet varying risk tolerance levels, time horizons and investment objectives. These include total return strategies, defensive strategies and income strategies.
Crestone Asset Management, LLC
Crestone Asset Management, LLC takes the second spot on our list of the top financial advisor firms in the state of Colorado. The Boulder-based financial advisor firm has by far the steepest account minimum on this page, as it calls for a minimum initial investment of at least $25 million. Crestone employs 16 advisors and manages just over $2.4 billion in client assets. Four chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified financial planner (CFP) and one certified public accountant (CPA) currently work at the firm.
The vast majority of Crestone's assets under management come from its high-net-worth individual clients. The firm rounds out its client base with families, trusts, foundations, companies, institutions and pooled investment vehicles.
As a fee-based financial advisor firm, Crestone Asset Management may earn compensation from the sale of investment products. However, the firm makes an attempt to credit clients for these sales in an effort to offset any earnings.
Crestone Asset Management, LLC Background
Although Crestone Asset Management has been in business since just 2001, its history can be traced back as far as the early 1990s. In fact, its predecessor, the Eric J. Kramer Company, was formed in 1991. Crestone Asset Management is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Crestone Capital, LLC, which is ultimately owned by the Eric J. Kramer Company.
Crestone's inclusion of "asset management" in its title is a bit misleading. While general asset management is a part of its suite of services, the firm mainly prides itself on its investment management and wealth advisory offerings.
Crestone Asset Management, LLC Investing Strategy
In order to create investment plans best suited for its clients, Crestone has a demonstrated history of working within both the traditional and alternative investment markets. To be more specific, these alternative classes could be real estate, private equity or even hedge funds. Some investors may shutter at the introduction of investments like these, but the firm believes a well-rounded approach to investing will only help it diversify more effectively.
Crestone Asset Management has made it clear that just because your money is invested doesn't mean that its portfolio management services are needed. The firm maintains a strict "buy and hold" strategy, meaning that securities are likely to remain in your portfolio for the long-term. Due to this, earnings from these securities can throw off your asset allocation. To stop this from happening, your Crestone advisor will step in and rebalance your portfolio when needed.
IWP Wealth Management, LLC
IWP Wealth Management, LLC is a fee-only financial advisor firm based in Denver. It actually ranks on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in Denver as well.
For a large firm with almost $2 billion in assets under management (AUM), it employs an nine-person advisory team. This team includes five certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).
IWP manages funds for high-net-worth individuals and non-high-net-worth individuals. However, the firm claims to have services available for trusts, estates, retirement plans, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. IWP does not require a minimum account size.
This firm utilizes a “family office” structure, meaning that it focuses on the complete financial needs of a particular family and their associated professionals, trusts or holding companies. According to the firm, it applies this holistic approach on a case-by-case basis, allowing clients to customize what they want.
IWP Wealth Management, LLC Background
Founded in 2004, IWP Wealth Management, LLC is one of the more recently formed firms on this list. President Charlie Willhoit created the firm and remains its independent owner. Willhoit has a background in financial research and previously spent more than eight years at J.P. Morgan.
This firm has the most extensive financial management structure of any firm on this list. It’s divided into two different sections: “today” and “tomorrow.” “Today” consists of daily asset management, like insurance and tax reviews, investment planning, wealth creation strategies, paperwork reviews, net worth reporting, budget planning and accounting. The “tomorrow” side consists of stock, bond, cash and real estate investment management, customized portfolio creation, business consulting, tax planning, long-term care planning and estate planning.
IWP Wealth Management, LLC Investing Strategy
Like many modern financial advisor firms, IWP primarily invests its clients’ assets in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, fixed-income securities, mutual funds and private investments. These investments are diversified according to the client’s specific risk tolerance. The firm also factors a client’s time horizon, future inheritance and liquidity needs into its investment decisions.
This firm believes that the more hands-on an advisor is, the better he or she will be able to aid the client. Aside from traditional investment management, IWP also provides bill pay, document storage, tax coordination and constant account reporting as necessary.
Colorado Financial Management, LLC
Financial Management, LLC primarily works with non-high-net-worth individuals. To open an advisory relationship with this Boulder-based financial advisor firm, though, you must have at least $500,000 in investable assets. Aside from individuals, the firm also has experience working with businesses, estates, trusts, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and banks.
This fee-only firm is one of the richest in terms of advisor certifications of any firm on this list. There are eight certified financial planners (CFPs), five chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one chartered life underwriter (CLU) and one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) on the firm’s team.
Colorado Financial Management, LLC Background
An employee-owned firm, Colorado Financial Management’s owners include CIO Brad Bickham, operations manager Patty Meneley and senior financial advisors Chris Lagudis, Meagan D’Angelo, Luke Daniel, David Eads and Joshua Miller. The firm has been in business since 1988.
Comprehensiveness is at the heart of how this firm manages its clients’ assets. Taking into account you and your family’s assets, income and liabilities, the firm will handle anything related to your retirement, taxes, insurance needs, estate plans and general investments.
Colorado Financial Management, LLC Client Experience
The first step in opening an account with this firm is to communicate your risk tolerance, financial goals and overall time horizon so that your advisor clearly understands your needs. The firm then works to create a tax-minimized investment philosophy that will ultimately dictate your portfolio’s composition. Generally, the firm believes that high-value investments with low volatility levels are best for portfolio health.
Colorado Financial Management, LLC mainly invests in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and fixed-income securities like bonds and mutual funds. These investment types align with the firm’s long-term approach. However, because some clients need liquidity, the firm may also use short-term investments.
GHP Investment Advisors, Inc.
GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. is a fee-only firm. It also holds a spot on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in Denver. The firm’s typical clientele includes both individuals and high-net-worth individuals, corporations, pooled investment vehicles, charitable organizations and pension and profit-sharing plans. When it comes to individual clients, the firm services far more individuals than high-net-worth individuals, at a nearly four-to-one ratio.
GHP’s advisors have a relatively wide range of certifications. There are two certified public accountants (CPAs), three certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFA), two personal financial specialists (PFS) and one certified internal auditor (CIA) on staff.
The firm generally requires a minimum investment of $500,000, including for its general supervisory services. GHP does charge its clients performance-based fees. However, these fees are only applicable to investments in the GHP International Reform and Development Fund and solely apply to earnings over a high-water mark.
GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. Background
GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. has been around since 1995, making it one of the older firms on this list. Brian J. Friedman, the firm’s president, is the principal owner and a co-founder along with principal Robert Hochstadt. Friedman has accrued 25 years of experience in the financial industry.
The manner in which your funds are invested depends on what services you’re in need of. The firm provides the following services:
- Retirement and estate planning
- Education fund planning
- General investment management
- Risk management
- Income tax planning
GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. Investing Strategy
GHP Investment Advisors builds portfolios based on clients' financial plans. Rather than adhering to a certain number of investments, GHP likes to keep its options open. In its client portfolios, the firm may use exchange-listed securities, warrants, certificates of deposit (CDs), mutual funds, options, variable annuities, municipal securities, corporate debt securities and foreign issuers.
The firm typically invests for the long term. When crafting an investment strategy, it takes into account a client's goals, time horizon, liquidity needs and risk tolerance, as well as tax impact, economic conditions and international exposure. The firm relies on the GHPIA Valuation Benchmark process to determine the risk versus return of investment opportunities. The benchmark helps the firm to identy whether an investment is overvalued, undervalued, high-risk or low-risk.
Based in Fort Collins, IFAM Capital is a fee-based financial advisor firm with more than $1.16 billion under management. The firm has no minimum account size, making it more accessible for a larger number of individuals than some of the other firms on this list. It has two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs) one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and one certified behavior finance analyst (CBFA) in its offices.
IFAM Capital primarily works with four types of clients: individuals and families, business owners, retirement plans and institutions. The firm also serves pension and profit-sharing plans, estates, trusts, corporations and charitable organizations.
This firm and some of its advisors may earn commissions from selling insurance or securities to clients. However, the firm is a fiduciary, legally binding it to always act in your best financial interest.
IFAM Capital Background
Founded in 2014, IFAM Capital is one of the youngest firms on this list. However, the firm’s advisors have spent a significantly longer time in the financial services industry, averaging about 25 years of experience.
This firm offers a wide range of financial planning and management services, including:
- Investment consulting
- Retirement planning
- Trust and estate planning
- Tax planning
- Insurance planning
- Charitable giving
- Business planning
IFAM Capital Investing Strategy
IFAM Capital knows that clients’ financial needs will often be complex, so it seeks to take as holistic an approach as possible. The firm will focus on your future financial needs as well as your current needs, such as tax mitigation.
When appropriate, the firm mostly uses exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds in its clients’ portfolios. However, it also utilizes debt securities, equities and pooled investment vehicles to flesh out client accounts.
Western Wealth Management, LLC
Western Wealth Management, LLC, in Golden, has more than 10 times as many non-high-net-worth individuals as clients than high-net-worth individuals. The firm also works with corporations, executives, charitable organizations, investment companies and advisors and pension and profit-sharing plans. Western Wealth Management’s team includes six certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs), one chartered retirement counselor (CRC), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), one certified public accountant (CPA), one accredited asset management specialist (AAMS), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and one chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS).
The firm’s account minimum varies by portfolio type, ranging from $5,000 to $250,000:
- Guided Wealth Portfolios Program (GWP) - $5,000
- Optimum Market Portfolios Program (OMP) - $10,000
- Model Wealth Portfolios Program (MWP) - $10,000
- Manager Access Select Program (MAS) - $50,000
- Manager Access Network (MAN) - $100,000
- Personal Wealth Portfolios Program (PWP) - $250,000
As a fee-based firm, Western Wealth Management, LLC’s advisors may earn commissions if they sell an insurance policy. The firm is a fiduciary, though, requiring it to act in your best financial interest at all times.
Western Wealth Management, LLC Background
Established in 2016, Western Wealth Management, LLC is one of the youngest firms on this list. It’s not independently owned, as it’s part of a large network of investment advisor representatives (IARs).
Regardless of what your financial planning needs are, the firm likely offers a relevant service. The firm’s offerings include:
- Investment planning
- Asset management
- Retirement income planning
- Estate planning
- Life and disability insurance review
- Tax minimization
- Education planning
Western Wealth Management, LLC Portfolio Options
There are five different types of investment portfolios you can choose from at Western Wealth Management, including a personal wealth portfolio (PWP), a model wealth portfolio (MWP), an optimum market portfolio (OMP), a manager access select portfolio (MAS) and a guided wealth portfolio (GWP). These portfolios have varying account minimums (as listed above), and each features a specific style of financial management.
A PWP is the most basic option. It features a traditional client/advisor relationship and relies mostly on mutuals funds, fixed income securities and equities. On the other hand, an MWP is completely centered around mutual funds the chooses based on its proprietary research. Optimum fund investments solely make up OMPs, and clients are expected to have an active hand in this portfolio’s management.
The MAS and GWP alternatives are much less traditional. In fact, GWPs are actually robo-advisors that select three separate diversified exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for your portfolio. These portfolios also offer automatic rebalancing and tax-loss harvesting. Lastly, MASs are for those who want to outsource their portfolio’s management but want Western Wealth to help choose an appropriate portfolio manager for the job.
BSW Wealth Partners
Most of this Boulder-based financial advisor firm's client base consists of individuals with and without a high net worth, charitable organizations and retirement plans. The firm also states it works with families, trusts, estates, not-for-profit organizations and businesses. However, it does claim to have a few specialties. The firm particularly focuses on serving entrepreneurs, divorcees, medical professionals, impact investors and high-net-worth individuals.
There is no minimum account size required at this fee-only firm. It currently employs nine certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and one chartered SRI counselor (CSRIC).
BSW Wealth Partners Background
BSW Wealth Partners is an employee-owned firm. Ownership interest is divided between founding principal Debi Baydush, managing principal David Wolf, COO Matthew Samek and financial advisors Ben Weaver, Drew Simon, Raliegh Riddoch and Tim Wojtalik. The firm has been in business since 1992.
Clients of this firm will find many different financial planning services at their disposal. These are the firm’s most common services:
- Investment planning
- Wealth management
- Diversification planning
- Tax planning
- Estate planning
- Charitable giving strategies
- Employee stock options
BSW Wealth Partners Investing Strategy
BSW believes that to build a portfolio that fits with a client’s risk tolerance, time horizon and overall financial goals, it must consider all investment types. The firm commonly uses exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), equities, hedge funds and private equity in client portfolios. BSW is dedicated to a long-term investing approach.
This firm says that it keeps a vigilant eye on your portfolio and asset allocation. Its advisors will rebalance your portfolio on an as-needed basis, no fewer times than twice a year. In addition, the firm provides consistent client-advisor communication, so you stay as up-to-date as possible on the status of your portfolio.
Private Capital Management, LLC
Private Capital Management, LLC is a fee-only financial advisor firm with $1 billion in assets under management (AUM) and an 11-person team of advisory employees. At this Denver-based firm, you'll find seven certified financial planners (CFPs), five chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
The most typical clients of Private Capital are individuals both with and without a high net worth. However, the firm also has services available for trusts, estates, businesses, corporate retirement plans, charitable institutions and foundations. You will need at least $500,000 in investable assets to work with one of its advisors, though.
Private Capital Management, LLC Background
Private Capital Management is not an indepedently-owned firm, as its currently a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, which is also based in Colorado. Managing principals Justin Apt and Gary Wagner head the leadership staff at the firm.
Financial planning and investment management are the overarching themes of Private Capital's advisory services. Clients will have access to retirement planning, estate planning, insurance review, risk management, tax planning, investment management, active manager selection and more.
Private Capital Management, LLC Investing Strategy
When it comes to investment decisions, Private Capital Management, LLC maintains an ideology steadfastly focused on the long-term. Unsurprisingly, the firm has a preference to invest client assets into mutual funds, index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), but also certificates of deposit (CDs), exchange-listed securities, options and insurance contracts.
In an effort to find the right portfolio composition to fulfill your needs, Private Capital will build a specific asset allocation prior to making any final investment decisions. This involves figuring out your risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity needs and applying them to investment types that suit your investor profile.
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC is a fee-only firm that operates out of Denver. More than half of the firm's client base is made up of individuals and high-net-worth individuals. Syntrinsic provides services for a number of other client types as well, such as private foundations, public charities, affinity-based foundations and philanthropic private clients.
Regardless of your asset level, you're eligible to join Syntrinsic. The firm has a rigorous process for selecting clients, though.
The eight-person team of advisors at Syntrinsic includes two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) and one advisor with a certificate in investment performance measurement (CIPM).
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC Background
CEO Ben Valore-Caplan founded Syntrinsic Investment Counsel in August of 2008. Valore-Caplan is still the sole owner of the firm.
In-depth investment advising is the core service of Syntrinsic. It is available in three variants: full discretionary management, partial discretionary management and non-discretionary management.
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC Investing Strategy
Based on proprietary market forecasts, Syntrinsic Investment Counsel's staff will recommend an exact asset allocation that pairs admirably with your risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs and investment goals. The firm does this on both long- and short-term scales, which it defines as 10 years and less than three years, respectively. This is done to ensure that regardless of your investor profile, it will have a specific list of preferable securities already prepared.