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Top Financial Advisors in Columbia, SC

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Columbia, South Carolina

It can be difficult to find the best advisor for your financial situation, especially when your area offers multiple options. To help you narrow down your search, we’ve identified the top advisors in the Columbia area, comparing each firm’s investment strategies, advisory services, fee structure, assets under management (AUM) and more. Alternatively, you can also use SmartAsset's free financial advisor matching tool to connect with up to three advisors in your area.

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Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 South State Advisory South State Advisory logo Find an Advisor

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$2,468,956,365 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
2 Abacus Planning Group, Inc. Abacus Planning Group, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$1,452,693,162 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
3 Anchor Investment Management, LLC Anchor Investment Management, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$906,297,986 $500,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Retirement plan consulting

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Retirement plan consulting
4 DaVinci Financial Designs, LLC DaVinci Financial Designs, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$221,358,660 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Publication of periodicals

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Publication of periodicals
5 Hobbs Group Advisors, LLC Hobbs Group Advisors, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$222,094,000 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Consulting

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Consulting
6 J.E. Wilson Advisors, LLC J.E. Wilson Advisors, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$120,181,383 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
7 Beers Kight Financial Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor

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$152,071,930 $300,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting

Minimum Assets

$300,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting

What We Use in Our Methodology

To find the top financial advisors in Columbia, 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:

  • AUM
    Firms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
  • Individual Client Count
    Firms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
  • Clients Per Advisor
    Firms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
  • Age of Firm
    Firms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
  • Fee Structure
    Firms with a fee-only (as opposed to fee-based) compensation structure 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.

South State Advisory comes in at No. 1. The fee-only firm’s team of advisors serves clients including high-net-worth individuals, trusts, companies, partnerships, charitable institutions, hospitals, museums, schools, universities, foundations, government entities and labor unions.

There is no minimum balance to open or maintain an account at South State Advisory. There may, however, be minimum fees that clients incur, so it's important to contact the firm and your advisor if you have specific questions.  

South State Advisory Background

The Firm first registered with the SEC in 2010 under the name of First Southeast 401k Fiduciaries, Inc. The firm is now a fully owned subsidiary of South State Bank, N.A. (“SSB”), which is a national banking association.

South State Advisory maintains a Board of Directors to oversee corporate governance and various firm activities, including but not limited to financial results, ratification of programs, policies and procedures, and audit and regulatory exam results. The firm also has committees for investment and compliance. 

The firm provides investment advisory, financial planning and retirement plan services.

South State Advisory Investment Strategy

As described on its firm brochure, in general, South State Advisory's investment philosophy "balances the higher return potential available in stocks with the relative historical safety available in cash and fixed income investments." Furthermore, the firm selects stocks based on their average growth prospect and selling price. Fixed-income investments are selected to seek safety of principal while pursuing the best available yield.

The firm invests in stocks, fixed-income and cash equivalents, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and may also recommend retirement asset rollovers.

Abacus Planning Group

Abacus Planning Group, Inc. is a fee-only firm whose team of advisors serves clients including individuals both with and without a high net worth individuals, pension and profit sharing plans and charitable organizations. 

The firm’s team offers various skill sets and qualifications, including the certified financial planner (CFP), financial paraplanner qualified professional (FPQP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified public accountant (CPA) and chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) designations. 

Abacus’ minimum account size requirement isn't set, and the firm charges a minimum investment advisory fee of $18,000 per year. The firm is compensated through asset-based, hourly and fixed fees. 

Abacus Planning Group Background

Founded in 1998 by Cheryl R. Holland, Abacus Planning Group primarily offers portfolio management and financial planning services. The firm’s financial planning services target several areas of wealth management, including:

  • Goal setting
  • Portfolio analysis
  • Income tax review 
  • Estate planning review 
  • Portfolio reports
  • Risk management review
  • Cash flow projections

Abacus Planning Group Investment Strategy

As described on its firm brochure, Abacus Planning Group employs a range of investment strategies, including asset allocation and portfolio diversification. The firm also uses portfolio tools to prevent downside volatility, and advisors utilize low-cost investment products to increase returns. 

Abacus offers advice on an array of securities, including exchange-listed securities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), over-the-counter (OTC) securities, foreign issues, corporate debt securities, hedge funds, limited partnership interests, municipal bonds, mutual fund shares and U.S. government securities.

Anchor Investment Management

Fee-only financial advisor firm Anchor Investment Management, LLC serves non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, estates, corporations, trusts, charitable organizations and pension and profit-sharing plans.

The firm is compensated solely for the services it provides, and it charges clients fees that consist of a percentage of AUM. Anchor Investment also charges fixed fees. 

The firm imposes an account minimum size requirement of $500,000. 

Anchor Investment Management Background

Anchor Investment Management was founded in 2000 by W. Patrick Dorn, Jr. Anchor Investment’s services include portfolio management, financial planning and consulting and retirement plan consulting. 

The firm offers both fiduciary and non-fiduciary consulting services. Its fiduciary consulting services consist of investment selection services, non-discretionary investment advice and investment advice. Anchor Investment’s non-fiduciary services provide education services and group enrollment meetings that aim to increase retirement plan participation. 

Anchor Investment Management Investment Strategy

Anchor Investment Management describes on its website that it strives to provide long-term, tax efficient financial solutions. The firm generally invests in equity securities, but advisors may also use ETFs and mutual funds where applicable. 

Advisors utilize fundamental analysis when selecting equity securities, and the firm says it also takes into account price-to-earnings ratios, dividend yields, financial strength ratios and growth rate-to-price earnings ratios. The firm may also invest in debt securities, corporate or municipal bonds or U.S. government debt instruments, depending on client circumstances.

DaVinci Financial Designs

DaVinci Financial Designs, LLC is a fee-based firm in Columbia. The firm’s advisors offer various specialties, including the certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC) desigations. Its client base consists of non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates and charitable organizations. The firm serves more than 500 clients. 

DaVinci Financial’s fee-based fee structure allows advisors to earn commission-based compensation from the sale of insurance products. This is because some of the firm’s representatives are separately licensed as insurance agents or broker-dealers. Any compensation received would be in addition to the other advisory services the firm provides. This could create a conflict of interest if advisors favor these products over client needs, but the firm’s fiduciary duty prevents this. 

The firm's account minimums vary based on account. It also requires minimum fees and minimum account investment amounts for certain services. Account minimums vary from $10,000 to $250,000.

DaVinci Financial Designs Background 

Owned by Agostini & Associates Inc. and Zoller & Associates LLC, DaVinci Financial Designs functions as an independent financial planning firm offering various advisory services since 2012. The firm specializes in portfolio management, financial planning and advisor referral services. 

DaVinci also works with LPL Financial to offer a range of brokerage services and financial solutions. Jim Agostini acts as the firm’s managing partner. 

DaVinci Financial Designs Investment Strategy

When making investment decisions, DaVinci Financial Designs utilizes outside investment research, as well as technical and fundamental analysis. The firm’s investment strategies also consist of modern portfolio theory (MPT) and long-term purchases. 

DaVinci Financial generally builds client portfolios using mutual funds, individual stocks, ETFs and bonds. The firm also employs portfolio diversification, and it says it uses equity investments to maximize the long-term growth of client assets.

Hobbs Group Advisors

Fee-based financial advisor firm Hobbs Group Advisors, LLC serves non-high-net-worth individuals and high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit sharing plans, corporations and other businesses. The firm has a small team of advisors whose specialties include the certified financial planner (CFP) and certified public accountant (CPA) designations.

Hobbs Group charges its clients asset-based fees and hourly and fixed fees. The firm’s account minimum requirement is $100,000, but it also has a digital investment platform for which it requires a minimum of $5,000. 

Hobbs Group Advisors Background

Hobbs Group Advisors was founded in 2007 under the management of firm principals Mark T. Hobbs and Peter A. Pigeon. Hobbs is the firm’s president, and Pigeon is the firm’s chief operating officer (COO). 

Hobbs Group’s advisory services include portfolio management, financial planning and consulting, pension consulting and advisor referrals. The firm’s financial planning services offer guidance in various other areas of wealth management, including:

  • Personal
  • Tax and cash flow
  • Investments
  • Insurance
  • Retirement
  • Death and disability
  • Estate

Hobbs Group Advisors Investment Strategy

Hobbs Group Advisors’ dominant investment methods include asset allocation, fundamental analysis, mutual fund and/or ETF analysis and long-term purchases. 

The firm invests in a range of securities, including foreign issuers, warrants, OTC securities, exchange-listed securities, corporate debt securities, commercial paper, certificates of deposit (CDs), municipal securities and U.S. government securities. Advisors may also use variable life insurance, variable annuities, mutual fund shares and interests in partnerships.

J.E. Wilson Advisors

J.E. Wilson Advisors, LLC is a relatively small advisory firm that works mainly with individuals, both with and without a high net worth. It also serves pensions and profit sharing plans. The firm does not require any minimum account size. Personnel professional certifications include certified financial planner (CFP) and financial paraplanner qualified professional (FPQP).

J.E. Wilson Advisors is a fee-only firm, and does not receive any third-party commissions. It receives advisory fees directly from clients. It is not subject to a potential conflict of interest as a fee-based firm would be.

J.E. Wilson Advisors Background

J.E. Wilson Advisors was founded in 1982, but only registered as an investment advisor with the SEC in 1997. James E. Wilson owns and operates the firm himself. Wilson is the firm's founder and is a certified financial planner (CFP). J.E. Wilson Advisors is one of the oldest fee-only financial planning firms in South Carolina.

J.E. Wilson provides its clients with investment advisory services, goal planning services and financial planning services. Assets are managed on a discretionary basis.

J.E. Wilson Advisors Investment Strategy

J.E. Wilson Advisors works with clients to create investment strategies that are tailored to their individual wants and needs as retail investors. The firm uses what it calls Wealth Rx in order to help clients establish their priorities and develop an investment management and asset allocation plan that fits their needs. The firm may take into account a client's financial situation and help them plan for the future as well.

The firm looks to diversify client portfolios across several different asset classes, as a way of minimizing and mitigating risk. The firm primarily uses mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in client portfolios.

Beers Kight Financial Advisors

Beers Kight Financial Advisors, LLC is a fee-only firm in Columbia, South Carolina. The firm serves high-net-worth individuals, pensions and profit-sharing plans. Clients pay asset-based, hourly and fixed fees for the firm’s advisory services. 

Beers Kight’s two advisors impose a minimum account size requirement of $300,000, and the firm also requires a minimum annual fee of $3,000 for portfolio management services. 

Beers Kight Financial Advisors Background

Beers Kight Financial Advisors was established in 2011 and is owned by Beers Financial, LLC and McGregor Financial Advisors, LLC. Managed by Val H. Beers and Barry T. Kight, the firm provides investment management, financial planning and pension consulting services. 

The firm’s pension consulting services feature four key areas of planning, including investment policy statement preparation, selection of investment vehicles, investment performance monitoring and employee communication.

Beers Kight Financial Advisors Investment Strategy 

Beers Kight says it typically recommends stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The firm then builds portfolios according to each client’s investment objectives, risk tolerance, time horizons and liquidity needs. 

The firm describes on its firm brochure that it strives to create a diversified mix of assets that will generate long-term returns. When analyzing securities, advisors fundamental, technical and mutual fund and ETF analysis. Beers Kight also invests in cash and cash equivalents and real estate investment trusts (REITs)

How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

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

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

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

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

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

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