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||IWP Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,655,420,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|2||Colorado Financial Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,450,284,700||$500,000|| || |
|3||GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,254,110,700||$500,000|| || |
|4||Western Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,187,840,600||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|5||Private Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,140,911,123||$500,000|| || |
|6||CoBiz Wealth Find an Advisor||$972,702,400||$1,000,000|| || |
|7||BSW Wealth Partners Find an Advisor||$951,029,900||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||The Institute Find an Advisor||$926,227,500||$100,000|| || |
|9||First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC Find an Advisor||$915,002,900||$50,000|| || |
|10||Cherry Creek Family Offices Find an Advisor||$846,739,700||$40,000,000|| || |
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.
IWP Wealth Management, LLC
IWP Wealth Management, LLC is a fee-only financial advisor firm based in Denver. It actually ranks first on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in Denver as well.
For a large firm with more than $1.65 billion in assets under management (AUM), it employs a rather small eight-man advisory team. This team has a total of five certifications, including 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 family. 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
Headquartered in Boulder, Colorado Financial Management, LLC primarily works with non-high-net-worth individuals. To open an advisory relationship with this 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 nine certified financial planners (CFPs), four 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 1998.
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 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 ranks second on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in Denver. The firm’s typical clients 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), four certified financial planners (CFPs), three 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, 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.
Western Wealth Management, LLC
Western Wealth Management, LLC, in Golden, has fifteen times more 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) - $25,000
- Manager Access Select Program (MAS) - $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 is 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 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.
Private Capital Management, LLC
Private Capital Management, LLC is a fee-only financial advisor firm with $1.14 billion in assets under management and a 12-person team of advisory employees. At this Denver-based firm, you'll find six certified financial planners (CFPs), four 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 ETFs, but also 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.
Cobiz Wealth is the fourth-ranked firm on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in Denver. It’s a fee-only firm with 10 advisors on staff. The firm has a $1 million account minimum, the highest on this list. There are six chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified financial planners (CFPs) and one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA) working at this firm.
As far as typical clients are concerned, this firm works with individuals, estates, trusts, businesses and charitable organizations. The firm serves an equal amount of high-net-worth individuals and regular individuals.
Cobiz Wealth Background
No firm on this list has been around longer than Cobiz Wealth, which was founded in 1975. The firm is not currently an independent company, as it was bought out by BOK Financial Corporation, a Tulsa, Oklahoma-based financial holding company.
The firm’s services include will and trust review, retirement income planning, insurance review and general investment planning. The firm believes that investment planning is its most comprehensive service offering, as it takes both your current and past financial situations into account.
Cobiz Wealth Investing Strategy
To diversify its clients’ portfolios, Cobiz uses a globalized investment search. The firm primarily uses fixed-income securities and equities in its client portfolios.
The firm’s advisors aren’t the only ones who manage your portfolio, as outside portfolio managers will also weigh in on your investments. While seemingly unconventional, Cobiz says this will increase your portfolio’s chance of success by incorporating complementary investment styles.
BSW Wealth Partners
Most of Boulder-based BSW Wealth Partners' client base is made up 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 eight certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
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 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.
With just three advisory employees on its staff, The Institute has one of the smaller groups of advisors on this list. These individuals manage more than $926 millon in assets that belong to a variety of client archetypes. This fee-only firm is known to work with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, 401(k) plans, pension plans, profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, businesses, government entities and charitable organizations. You'll need no less than $100,000 in investable assets to open an advisory relationship with the firm.
The Institute has been featured by a number of publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance, CBS News and the Denver Business Journal.
The Institute Background
Founded in 2003, The Institute is now under the leadership of chief executive officer and chief compliance officer Matt Medeiros. Medeiros indirectly owns the firm through The Institute for Wealth Management Holdings, Inc., a financial services holding company.
Aside from the obligatory investment advisory services offered by most firms, The Institute provides a plethora of different variations of financial planning services. This includes debt management, estate planning, income tax management, education funding, budgeting, cash flow planning, insurance planning, pre- and post-retirement planning and more.
The Institute Investing Strategy
It's difficult to pin down a specific investment philosophy when it comes to The Institute. The firm believes that the inclusion of many different investing styles ultimately leads to a higher likelihood of success for clients, as they can be paired with a strategy that'll work best for them. Here are some of its preferred strategies:
- GTAA - invests according to general market trends as opposed to the returns of a single investment
- Global strategic - passive management asset allocation made up of mutual funds that invest in global equities, fixed-income, real estate and more
- Sector rotation - active management strategy that's focused on equity-, real estate-, commodity, alternative- and fixed-income-centric ETFs
- Cherry value - looks to build long-term growth via investments in undervalued stocks
- Cherry dividend - a more liquidity-focused strategy that looks to marry capital preservation with moderate growth
First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC
A fee-only firm, First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC ranks first on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in Colorado Springs. The firm primarily works with individuals, pension and profit-sharing plan participants and trustees, estates, trusts, businesses and charitable organizations. It serves far more individuals than high-net-worth individuals.
To work with this firm, you will need at least $50,000 in investable assets. However, that minimum jumps to $200,000 for multi-manager and fixed-income accounts. The firm leadership team includes two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), one certified financial planner (CFP) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).
First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC Background
Founded in 1999, First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC has a large network of advisors and asset managers who handle your money, depending on where you’re located in the U.S. It’s wholly owned by Folio Parent, an investment services company.
The firm offers a multitude of financial services. These include portfolio management for individuals and businesses, pension consulting, educational workshops and various publications.
First Affirmative Financial Network, LLC Investing Strategy
First Affirmative takes a unique approach to investing its clients’ assets. It emphasizes investments that take into account elements of environmental and social responsibility, so investors who are interested in these causes can invest according to their principles. Overall, the firm typically invests in stocks, bonds, ETFs, REITs, exchange-traded notes (ETNs), certificates of deposit (CDs) and federal government and Treasury securities.
As is typical for most financial advisor firms, First Affirmative uses your personal time horizon and risk tolerance to determine how your assets will be allocated across the above investment types. For those with a more condensed investment horizon, the firm will utilize short-term investments to a certain degree.
Cherry Creek Family Offices
Cherry Creek Family Offices is a fee-only firm based in Denver, and it ranks sixth on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in the city. The firm has one of the smallest team of advisors on this list at just four members. However, Cherry Creek has just 10 clients, all of whom are super high-net-worth individuals. In fact, the firm requires a lofty $40 million account minimum to begin a client relationship with its advisors.
This firm employs just two certified public accountants (CPAs), giving it a far less extensive group of advisory certifications than most of its counterparts. The firm has the simplest fee structure of any firm on this list, as it only charges clients fixed fees. By comparison, the majority of the other firms on this list also charge fees based on a percentage of assets under management, hourly fees and fixed fees.
Cherry Creek Family Offices Background
Cherry Creek Family Offices opened in 2011. Managing partner Tim Ulfig and CFO Ben Novak currently own and run Cherry Creek.
This firm combines elements of wealth management, estate planning, tax minimization and investment management to create holistic management accounts and portfolios for each of its clients.
Cherry Creek Family Offices Investing Strategy
Cherry Creek Family Offices is solely interested in helping its clients build and maintain long-term wealth, and its investment strategies reflect that. It’s also very fond of specific investments, such as fixed income, private equity, energy and real estate.
The firm explicitly states that it realizes that market changes will always happen, so it keeps an eye out for investment opportunities to take advantage of these shifts, possibly resulting in short-term gains. While this might seem to be in opposition to its long-term strategy, these short-term investments are meant to satisfy liquidity needs and grow clients’ assets.