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. SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool is an automated alternative that you can use to get paired with up to three advisors in your area.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$19,869,910,368||$500,000|| || |
|2||Colorado Financial Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,803,384,953||$500,000|| || |
|3||Johnson Financial Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,340,763,548||$30,000,000|| || |
|4||IWP Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,114,664,376||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||SRS Capital Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,037,859,022||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC Find an Advisor||$851,467,170||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|7||Wealthgate Family Office, LLC Find an Advisor||$769,548,212||$10,000,000|| || |
|8||Cherry Creek Family Offices Find an Advisor||$854,912,934||$40,000,000|| || |
|9||BSW Wealth Partners Find an Advisor||$1,516,032,079||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|10||GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,745,376,983||$500,000|| || |
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Colorado, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the state. 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:
- AUMFirms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
- Individual Client CountFirms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
- Clients Per AdvisorFirms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
- Age of FirmFirms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article. This list may include firms that have a business relationship with SmartAsset, in which SmartAsset is compensated for lead referrals. Such relationships have no impact on our rankings, and firms are included and ranked based strictly on the above criteria.
Mercer Global Advisors
Mercer Global Advisors takes the first spot on our list. It's a fee-based firm headquartered in Denver, but it has offices throughout the U.S. In fact, you'll find branch locations in New Mexico, Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Connecticut, Montana, New Jersey, Hawaii, California, Wisconsin, New York and more.
The firm's full team of advisors 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 retirement plans, charitable organizations and businesses. The firm generally requires accounts to have a minimum of $500,000 in assets.
As a fee-based firm, some advisors at Mercer have the ability to sell securities for a commission. This creates a potential conflict of interest, which is mitigated by the firm's fiduciary duty to act in clients' best interests at all times.
Mercer Global Advisors 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 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.
Colorado Financial Management
Colorado Financial Management primarily works with individuals, a slight majority of whom have a high net worth. 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 charities.
This fee-only firm is one of the richest in terms of advisor certifications of any firm on this list. There are several certified financial planners (CFPs) and chartered financial analysts (CFAs), along with certifications like chartered SRI counselor (CSRIC) and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
Colorado Financial Management Background
An employee-owned firm, Colorado Financial Management’s owners include chief investment officer (CIO) Brad Bickham and senior financial advisors Chris Lagudis, Meagan D’Angelo, Luke Daniel 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 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 mainly invests in exchange-traded funds 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.
Johnson Financial Group
Johnson Financial Group is a family office and wealth management firm serving mostly high-net-worth individuals. The rest of its client base is made up of non-high-net-worth individuals and charitable organizations. The firm requires each new client to have at least $30 million in investable assets, though this minimum can be waived at the firm's discretion.
As a fee-only operation, all of Johnson Financial Group's compensation comes from client-paid fees. A fee-based firm, on the other hand, can receive commissions from sources like insurance and securities sales.
Johnson Financial Group Background
Johnson Financial Group was founded in 2002. Brandon C. Johnson is the principal owner of the firm. Johnson is also the firm's president and CEO.
This firm offers portfolio management, financial planning, pensions consulting, advisor selection and family office services. The firm’s family office services include bookkeeping, expense management, bill-pay, private foundation administration and advisor coordination. The family office services are separate from, and in addition to, the firm’s main advisory services.
Johnson Financial Group Investment Strategy
Johnson Financial Group says it applies a total return approach to portfolio management and that its investment strategies focus on building globally diversified portfolios that are tax- and cost-efficient.
Investments the firm generally utilizes include domestic and foreign equities, fixed-income securities, CDs, options, mutual funds, separately managed accounts, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), private placements and alternative investments.
IWP Wealth Management
IWP Wealth Management 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. The firm's team includes six certified financial planners (CFPs).
IWP manages funds for high-net-worth individuals and non-high-net-worth individuals, as well as some pooled investment vehicles. 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 Background
Founded in 2004, IWP Wealth Management is one of the more recently formed firms on this list. President Charlie Willhoit created the firm and remains one of its owners. Willhoit has a background in financial research and previously spent more than eight years at J.P. Morgan. Other owners of IWP include Tamara Ward, Kevin McCabe, Stephanie Bowers, Christopher Hunter, Darryl LaRue, Jaye Everland, Ken O'Brien and Paul Custer.
This firm has some of the most extensive financial advisory services on this list. These consist of daily asset management (like insurance and tax reviews), investment planning, wealth creation strategies, paperwork reviews, net worth reporting, budget planning and accounting. In addition, you'll also find 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 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.
SRS Capital Advisors
SRS Capital Advisors is a fee-based firm headquartered in Denver. The firm works with mostly non-high-net-worth individuals, though their high-net-worth counterparts make up the second-largest percentage of SRS' client base. It also has a handful of pension plans as clients. There is no set account minimum at the firm.
The advisory staff here holds a variety of certifications. These include chartered life underwriter (CLU), certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and more.
Certain advisors here can receive commissions from the sale of insurance products. Although this represents a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty requires it to act in clients' best interests at all times.
SRS Capital Advisors Background
SRS Capital Advisors was founded in 2004. The firm is owned by its co-founders and managing partners: David A. Simon, Michael P. Riordan and Patrick C. South.
Custom investment management is available through SRS. The firm's financial planning services can cover retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, cash management planning, insurance planning and more.
SRS Capital Advisors Investment Strategy
The object of SRS Capital Advisors' overarching investment philosophy is to provide clients with an investment plan and portfolio that's specific to their personal needs and situation. In turn, the firm will take into account various factors like your risk tolerance, time horizon, income needs, financial goals and more. If you're interested, you can also impose some restrictions on investments made in your name.
The firm uses two main, proprietary strategies when trading client assets: the Trending Strategy and the QMT Strategy. The former divides the stock market into six distinct categories that focus on market capitalizations and growth/value characteristics, with ETFs being the main investments. The latter follows a similar category structure, with money divided evenly between all six categories, though this can vary based on market conditions.
First Affirmative Financial Network
Colorado Springs-based First Affirmative Financial Network is, according to its Form ADV, heavily focused on providing "investment advice consistent with the philosophies of sustainable, responsible, impact (SRI) investing." This means the firm tends to invest in areas of the market that support environmental and social responsibility, such as animal rights, renewable energy, racial equity, corporate behavior and more.
The firm works with individuals both with and without a high net worth, as well as some institutional clients. Investment minimums at the firm vary based on the type of account you open, with requirements ranging from $25,000 all the way up to $250,000.
Some of the advisors who work here can sell insurance products on a commission basis. This presents a potential conflict of interest, though the firm's inherent fiduciary duty legally binds it to act in clients' best interests at all times.
First Affirmative Financial Network Background
Established in 1999, First Affirmative Financial Network offers its services to clients through on-staff advisors, outside partnered advisors and other means. These advisors are scattered all around the U.S. The firm's leadership team includes CEO George Gay, chief operating officer (COO) Amy Thacker, chief compliance officer (CCO) Kathleen Lewis and chief investment officer (CIO) Theresa Gusman.
As we state above, SRI investing is the premier service that First Affirmative offers. Financial planning services relating to retirement, estates, taxes and more are available as well.
First Affirmative Financial Network Investing Strategy
First Affirmative Financial Network provides clients with three different versions of its investment management services. Here's a breakdown of each:
- Custom Sustainable Investment Solution: These portfolios are built completely personal to your needs and desires. They typically include stocks and fixed-income securities that align with your ethical preferences and the firm's SRI research.
- Multi-Manager Account: This approach instead uses portfolio models, though the model you're given is specifically chosen because it fits your needs. You can explicitly choose to exclude fossil fuel investments from these portfolios.
- Managed Mutual Fund: As their name states, these portfolios are based on mutual fund investments. Again, investment decisions will align with the firm's SRI research and your needs.
Wealthgate Family Office
Wealthgate Family Office is an extremely exclusive financial advisor firm. In fact, the firm's minimum investment requirement is a quite high $10 million. The firm surprisingly works with more non-high-net-worth individuals than those with a high net worth, though the vast majority of the firm's assets under management comes from the latter.
This is a fee-only firm. That means all of the firm's compensation comes from client-paid fees and not from third-party sales commissions.
Wealthgate Family Office Background
Wealthgate Family Office was founded very recently in 2020. The firm's founder and CEO, Alexander Paul, principally owns the firm.
Investment management services are available at Wealthgate, as are an extensive set of financial planning services. The firm divides these services between family and legacy planning, business consulting, risk management, administrative support and lifestyle management.
Wealthgate Family Office Investment Strategy
At the dawn of your client-advisor relationship, Wealthgate Family Office will work with you to develop an investment policy statement (IPS). This document will be the basis for your entire investment portfolio plans, as it will detail your risk tolerance, time horizon, income needs and short- and long-term goals. Through these insights, an asset allocation will be built for you. As your portfolio begins earning returns, the firm will send you reports on how things are going and what, if anything, your advisor plans to change about your portfolio.
Cherry Creek Family Offices
Cherry Creek Family Offices, a family office based in Denver, has a very high minimum investment requirement at $40 million. As you might expect, the firm's client base is small, with all of its individual clients coming in above the high-net-worth threshold. The firm has a single institutional client, which is a pooled investment vehicle.
The staff here includes two certified public accountants (CPAs). It is also a fee-only firm.
Cherry Creek Family Offices Background
Cherry Creek Family Offices has been around for about a decade, as it was founded back in 2011. The firm is principally owned by managing partner Timothy J. Ulfig and chief financial officer (CFO) William B. Novak III.
Financial planning at this firm can cover a wide variety of topics, including risk management, retirement planning, tax planning, investment planning and more. Investment management services are also available.
Cherry Creek Family Offices Investment Strategy
Because it's a family office, Cherry Creek works closely with you to ensure your investment portfolio incorporates all of your needs and accounts for all of your goals. This involves doing a deep dive into you and your family's short- and long-term financial goals. The firm primarily invests in equity and debt securities, with specific investment decisions depending on your investor profile.
In an effort to keep your portfolio updated with your situation and goals, your advisor will consistently meet with you on at least a quarterly basis. At these times, your advisor will also gather information about how your financial plans may be affected by any changing factors.
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, businesses and retirement plans. The firm does claim to have a few specialties, though. It particularly focuses on serving entrepreneurs, divorcees, medical professionals, impact investors and those in or nearing retirement.
There is no minimum account size required at this fee-only firm. It currently employs certified financial planners (CFPs), certified public accoutants (CPAs) and chartered financial analysts (CFAs), among other certified advisors.
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, Julie Martinez, Elias Bachmann 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.
GHP Investment Advisors
GHP Investment Advisors 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 non-high-net-worth individuals and high-net-worth individuals, corporations, pooled investment vehicles and retirement plans.
GHP’s advisors have a relatively wide range of certifications. Such certifications include certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analyst (CFA), personal financial specialists (PFS) and 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 Background
GHP Investment Advisors has been around since 1995, making it one of the older firms on this list. Brian J. Friedman, the firm’s president and chief investment officer (CIO), is the principal owner and a co-founder along with Robert Hochstadt. Friedman has accrued nearly three decades of experience in the financial services 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 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.