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. If you don’t have a financial advisor yet, finding one doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||SouthState Advisory Find an Advisor||$3,116,698,205||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|2||Abacus Planning Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,507,405,296||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|3||Anchor Investment Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$935,530,524||$500,000|| || |
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|4||DaVinci Financial Designs, LLC Find an Advisor||$257,659,169||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|5||Hobbs Group Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$291,000,000||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|6||William B. Walkup & Associates, Inc. Find an Advisor||$141,443,263||$10,000|| || |
|7||Beers Kight Financial Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$160,638,241||$300,000|| || |
|8||Allison Investment Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$103,582,000||$500,000|| || |
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:
- 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 obtained through public records and is updated annually after the firms’ form ADV filing. 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. SmartAsset is not a client of the aforementioned firms, and did not receive compensation for including any of the firms on the aforementioned list.
SouthState Advisory is a fee-only firm that serves high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals, banking or thrift institutions, pension and profit-sharing plans, charities, state or municipal governments, insurance companies and corporations.
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 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, pension and profit-sharing plans, charities and corporations.
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, charitable organizations and corporations.
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:
- Tax and cash flow
- Death and disability
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.
William B. Walkup & Associates
William B. Walkup & Associates provides investment supervisory and management services to individuals, trusts, estates, business entities and pooled investment vehicles. These services, which are offered on a discretionary basis, include portfolio selection, oversight, maintenance and regular portfolio review to ensure compliance with the investment guidelines and objectives of the portfolio.
The firm has an unusual requirement to be a client: "A requirement of all clients is that they be friends whom William B. Walkup or Christopher J. Walkup or Richard B. Newsome know and trust and about whom William B. Walkup or Christopher J. Walkup or Richard B. Newsome have obtained extensive knowledge of their financial status, goals, and financial needs as well as their risk tolerance and the appropriateness of asset allocations in their portfolio."
All three of the above-mentioned advisors hold the FINRA Series 65 license.
William B. Walkup Background
William B. Walkup is the founder, owner and president and has been in the financial services industry since 1980. In November 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission accepted William B. Walkup and Associates, Inc. as a registered investment advisor. The state of South Carolina approved the firm's application in June 2012.
The fee for investment consultation and financial planning is $175 per hour, though that fee is negotiable.
William B. Walkup Investment Strategy
An initial interview and data-gathering questionnaire is undertaken to determine the client's financial situation and investment objectives and to give the client the opportunity to impose reasonable restrictions on the management of the account.
The firm invests client assets in stocks, bonds, real estate, mortgages, treasuries, CDs and notes. Individual securities are monitored on a daily or weekly basis. Since investments are made on a medium-to-long-term basis, a low volume of trading activity occurs.
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).
Allison Investment Management
Allison Investment Management provides discretionary and non-discretionary investment advisory services to individuals, pension plans, profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates and corporate entities. The fee-based firm also manages wrap fee programs.
As a fee-based firm some advisors may receive commissions from third-parties for the sale of insurance products like annuities to firm clients. However, as a fiduciary, the firm is obligated to always act in the best interests of clients.
Allison Investment Management Background
John E. Allison and his son, David Allison, founded the firm in 2002. The elder Allison is president, principal executive officer and chief investment officer of the firm.
Various professional certifications are represented by firm's two advisors, including chartered financial analyst (CFA), certificate in investment performance measurement (CIPM) and FINRA's Series 7, Series 8, Series 63, Series 65 and Series 66 registrations.
Allison Investment Management Investment Strategy
The firm is not bound to a specific investment strategy for the management of investment portfolios but rather considers the risk tolerance levels pre-determined at the account opening, as well as on an on-going basis. There are no third-party investment advisers or pre-packaged investment portfolios involved in the firm's investment process.
Allison uses asset allocation, dollar-cost averaging, technical analysis, long-term purchases and short-term purchases to create and maintain client portfolios.