Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Columbus, Ohio
When looking for a financial advisor, it’s easy to get overwhelmed as there are so many options to choose from. That’s why SmartAsset sorted through firms in the Columbus, Ohio metro area to find the top 10 choices. Read the reviews below to find out which firm might best fit your needs.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Hamilton Capital Find an Advisor||$2,813,696,204||$500,000|| || |
|2||Budros, Ruhlin & Roe, Inc. Find an Advisor||$2,732,675,367||$1,000,000|| || |
|3||Summit Financial Strategies Find an Advisor||$1,367,142,807||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|4||Windsor Advisory Group Find an Advisor||$1,296,379,717||$10,000,000|| || |
|5||Gryphon Financial Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,178,442,326||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||WealthStone Find an Advisor||$880,552,162||$500,000|| || |
|7||PDS Planning Find an Advisor||$682,207,793||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||The Joseph Group Capital Management Find an Advisor||$508,042,933||$500,000|| || |
|9||Waller Financial Planning Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$448,432,757||$500,000|| || |
|10||J.W. Coons Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$425,899,379||$1,000,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Columbus, Ohio
We considered all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered financial advisor firms in the Columbus area. SEC-compliant firms are transparent and file regulatory paperwork each year. These firms have fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interest. No firm with disclosures or disciplinary issues was eligible for this list. We also eliminated firms that don’t manage individual accounts.
The final list is ordered by most assets under management to least. All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Hamilton Capital has the most in assets under management (AUM) and more than 1,700 accounts. The fee-only firm's staff includes 28 certified financial planners (CFPs), seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), four certified public accountants (CPAs), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) and one chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS).
The firm has a $500,000 asset minimum, and it requires wealth and investment management clients to pay a minimum quarterly annual fee of $1,250. Fees are based on a percentage of assets under management.
Hamilton Capital Background
Robert “Matt” Hamilton, certified financial planner (CFP), owns the majority of the firm. He’s the founder, chairman and CEO. In the past, Hamilton’s firm was named a best financial advisor for doctors by Medical Economics magazine and one of the nation’s best financial advisors for dentists by Dental Practice Management.
Jeffrey Loehnis, CFP and certified public accountant (CPA), owns a small percentage of Hamilton Capital. He serves as the president of the firm.
This firm offers investment management, wealth management, services to fiduciaries and 401(k) plans.
Hamilton Capital Investment Strategy
The firm believes its process is what sets it apart from other financial advisors. The investment committee uses fundamental analysis to assess asset classes, not just individual securities, which is the common method. The company looks at a six-month to 24-month timeline and invests for the long term.
Hamilton Capital doesn’t use model portfolios and highlights that it is “distinct from quantitative programs that simply reduce investing to mathematical formulas.” The firm specializes in top-down portfolio management and selects outside management firms for bottom-up security selection. This helps each manager complement each other’s style.
Budros, Ruhlin & Roe
With billions in assets under management (AUM), Budros, Ruhlin & Roe follows in second place. This fee-only firm has numerous advisors on staff. The team includes includes five certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).
The firm’s minimum asset requirement is $1,000,000. Its clients include high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, pension and profit-sharing plans, foundations, endowments and business entities.
Budros, Ruhlin & Roe Background
Budros, Ruhlin & Roe was founded by James Budros, Peggy Ruhlin and Daniel Roe in 1979. Peggy Ruhlin, certified financial planner (CFP) and certified public accountant (CPA), serves as the CEO, COO and CFO. This impressive advisor was named as one of the “20 Most Influential Women to Watch in 2016” by Investment News. She owns the firm along with Roe and John Schuman.
Roe, CFP, is the chief investment officer and has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Schuman, also a CFP, is the chief planning officer and chief compliance officer. He also has a law degree.
Services offered by the firm include wealth management, retirement plan services, investment management and specialized services. You’ll find the office on a peninsula in the Scioto River, just west of downtown Columbus.
Budros, Ruhlin & Roe Investment Strategy
As a client, your advisor will create an investment policy statement. The statement is based on your initial discussions with your advisor. You’ll cover factors such as your time horizon, risk tolerance, cash flow needs and spending policy. The firm uses the following asset classes: domestic equities, international equities, global fixed income, alternative investments, commodities and real estate.
Generally, investment vehicles will include exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, individual securities, separately managed accounts and limited partnerships. Your portfolio will have a stated target allocation for each asset class.
Summit Financial Strategies
Feee-only firm Summitt Financial Strategies manages a significant amount in AUM, and its team includes 18 certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial counselors (ChFCs), two certified public accountants (CPAs), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA), one enrolled agent (EA) and one chartered advisor in philanthropy (CAP).
There is no minimum account size requirement, but you are subject to a $2,500 minimum annual fee for investment advisory services. The minimum fee is $8,500 for wealth management services and $500 for eSummit (an automated portfolio management system, also know as a robo-advisor).
Summit Financial Strategies Background
This is the second firm on the list with a woman CEO (Budros, Ruhlin & Roe is the first). Samantha Macchia has worked in financial planning since 1992 and is a CFP as well as chartered financial consultant (ChFC). She is a partner of the firm along with six other staff members. The firm is employee owned and operated.
Ted Saneholtz is the chief financial officer and founder of Summit Financial. He’s also a CFP and ChFC as well as a certified public accountant (CPA). Liam Hurley, CFP, CFA, certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and enrolled agent (EA), serves as the chief investment officer.
Summit Financial offers wealth management (including financial planning) and investment advisory services.
Summit Financial Strategies Investment Strategy
Summit Financial believes that markets are generally efficient. Modern portfolio theory, the popular investment theory of the last several decades, establishes that sentiment. According to Summit’s investment philosophy deck, advisors also believe “expected returns will depend on portfolio asset allocation.”
The ratio of cash, core bonds, marked diversifiers and equities is what helps or hurts your portfolio in the long run. To build your portfolio, your advisor will ask you about your risk tolerance, time horizon, tax bracket, family situation and cash-flow needs. Generally, your assets will be invested in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, cash equivalents, individual equity and fixed-income securities.
Windsor Advisory Group
Windsor Advisory Group, LLC is a fee-only firm serving individual and institutional clients. The majority of the firm’s individual clients are high-net-worth. Its institutional clients include pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, insurance companies and other corporations. Windsor's staff includes one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
Fees at Windsor may be based on a percentage of assets under management, a fixed rate or some combination of the two. Advisors do not make commissions for selling securities or financial products. The firm generally wants clients with a net worth of at least $10 million, but it has the discretion to lower this threshold.
Windsor Advisory Group, LLC Background
Windsor Advisory Group, LLC was founded in 2002. The firm is principally owned by Harry M. Dye, III (Trey), Joseph S. Davies and Jonathon S. Eesley. All three work as principals and advisors at the firm.
Windsor's services include:
- Advisory services
- Portfolio management
- Private investment fund
Windsor Advisory Group, LLC Investment Strategy
Advisors at Windsor put together an individual investment plan for each client. Asset classes that may be used include:
- Real estate
- Private equity
- Private debt
- Mutual funds
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Gryphon Financial Partners, LLC
Gryphon Financial Partners, LLC is a fee-based financial advisor firm managing billions in client assets under management (AUM). The majority of the firm’s individual clients are high-net-worth, though it also manages money for non-high-net-worth clients. The firm also does a small institutional business managing money for pension and profit-sharing plans.
Gryphon's staff includes two certified financial planners (CFPs). Fees for services may be based on a percentage of assets under management, a fixed fee or an hourly fee. Some advisors at the firm may make commissions selling securities to clients. This is a conflict of interest, but advisors are bound by fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the client. There is no minimum fee at Gryphon, but some services won’t be beneficial for those with less than $1 million.
Gryphon Financial Partners, LLC Background
Gryphon was founded in 2014 and registered with the SEC in 2017. The managing members are Joel J. Guth and Catherine Z. Cory, who are also the firm's founders.
Services that Gryphon offers to clients include:
- Investment management
- Non-discretionary investment consulting
- Financial planning
- Estate planning
- Retirement planning
- Tax planning
- Wrap fee programs
Gryphon Financial Partners, LLC Investment Strategy
Gryphon Financial Partners uses a number of types of analysis to come up with investment strategies for its clients. This includes fundamental analysis, charting and asset allocation. After coming up with a strategy, the following types of strategies may be used:
- Long-term purchases
- Short-term purchases
- Margin transactions
- Options trading
- Exchange-traded funds (ETF) investments
WealthStone offers a number of services and has no asset minimum or minimum annual fee specified. It has multiple advisors on staff overseeing about 300 client accounts. The firm's fees are based on a percentage of assets under management.
The firm has more than millions in assets under management (AUM). Like many of the firms on the list, WealthStone’s compensation model is fee-only.
The team includes seven certified public accountants (CPAs), six certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one chartered financial counselor (ChFC) and one chartered advisor in philanthropy (CAP).
James Wyland started Professional Planning Consultants, the predecessor of WealthStone, in 1977, with a goal-oriented planning approach that continues to this day. In addition to a financial planning team, the company has tax, insurance, investment and real estate development teams that cover the whole financial spectrum.
Wyland still serves as president and owns the majority of the firm. He is a chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and certified life underwriter (CLU). Paul Breen, certified public accountant (CPA) and personal financial specialist (PFS), is a part owner and serves as director for tax consulting and compliance services.
WealthStone Investment Strategy
WealthStone uses fundamental economic data, trend and technical market indicators and investment manager relative value when making investment recommendations. The firm also uses multiple methods of analysis to evaluate securities before building your portfolio. As a client, a WealthStone advisor will build a model portfolio for you. Depending on what you prefer, your portfolio will or will not consider your outside assets. Your portfolio will be in line with your financial objectives, time horizon, cash needs and risk tolerance.
PDS Planning offers a number of services in the financial planning and investment planning spectrum. You’ll need to pay at least $3,000 a year for the required minimum fee. The firm's team includes five certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).
You can find the firm managing accounts for clients in 24 states. The firm’s headquarters is located on the northwest side of Columbus.
PDS Planning Background
PDS Planning was founded in 1985 with the goal of helping clients “eliminate the stress usually associated with planning for their financial future.”
The firm is owned by four individuals: Rita Itsell, president and managing principal; Jamie Menges, principal and client advisor; Kurt Brown, chief investment officer, chief compliance officer and principal and Robert Cochran, co-chief investment officer and principal. Itsell has been with the firm since 2002. Menges is a certified financial planner (CFP) and certified public accountant (CPA). Cochran is also a CFP and Brown is a CFA. In total, PDS Planning has 14 employees; five are CFPs, one is a CPA and one is a CFA.
PDS Planning Investment Strategy
Before you even start a relationship with the firm, you can try the free portfolio risk analysis offered on the company’s website. The digital form walks you through a series of questions that will tell you what your current risk is after you input your name and email address.
The first meeting you’ll have with the firm, either in-person or remote, is a “fact-finding” session. You’ll discuss your financial objectives, risk tolerance, time horizon, special circumstance and cash-flow needs. After that, you’ll have three to four additional meetings where your advisor will provide options, recommendations and insight. Once your financial plan is set into motion, you’ll meet about once a year to review your account and current finances.
The Joseph Group Capital Management
The Joseph Group Capital Management has a $500,000 minimum asset requirement. The firm is fee-only. The firm's staff includes three certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one chartered advisor in philanthropy (CAP), two chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIAs), one qualified kingdom advisor (QKA), one certified public accountant (CPA), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), one certificate in investment performance management (CIPM), one chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS) and one chartered financial counselor (ChFC).
Fees are based on a percentage of assets under management.
The Joseph Group Capital Management Background
Twin brothers, Mark and Matt Palmer, founded The Joseph Group Capital Management in 1999. They remain the majority owners of the firm. Mark, the chairman, has a law degree and Matt, the CEO, is a chartered advisor in philanthropy (CAP).
Services offered by the firm include investment management, retirement plan services and wealth advisory services.
The Joseph Group Capital Management Investment Strategy
Working with The Joseph Group Capital Management means your portfolio will use a set strategy developed by the firm’s advisors. The five strategies are: the conservation strategy, the provision strategy, the harvest strategy, the abundance strategy and the home grown stock portfolio. Each strategy corresponds with a risk level (volatility) and objective. If you have a smaller account, the firm has the provision seed strategy, the harvest seed strategy and the abundance seed strategy.
The firm developed the strategies based on the idea that clients have one of four common goals for their money: to protect principal and maintain liquidity, to sustain a certain lifestyle over an extended period of time, to grow assets toward a long-term goal or to get to a higher level of wealth by growing capital.
John E. Sestina and Company
Waller Financial Planning Group, Inc. (WFPG) is a fee-only firm managing millions in client assets. The firm has more than 1,700 clients, including individuals and high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations and pension and profit sharing plans. For advisory services, clients either pay asset-based fees, hourly fees and/or fixed fees.
Some of WFPG’s advisors’ industry credentials feature the certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), accredited estate planner (AEP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), financial paraplanner qualified professional (FPQP) and chartered advisor in philanthropy (CAP) designations.
The firm has a minimum account size requirement of $500,000.
Waller Financial Planning Group, Inc. Background
WFPG began its operations in 1985. Founded by Larry Waller, the firm is also equally owned by Charles A. Kerwood, III, Jason A. Eliason, Jason E. Farris and Christopher O. Olsgard. WFPG’s primary advisory services include portfolio management and financial planning.
The firm also participates in a wrap fee program, and it offers periodicals and newsletters.
Waller Financial Planning Group, Inc. Investment Strategy
WFPG mainly uses economic analysis to determine market trends, and the firm relies on other data sources for mutual fund research, according to its firm brochure. The firm’s portfolio construction process consists of asset-allocation, sub-asset allocation, active and/or passive allocations, asset location and manager selection.
The firm largely invests in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds.
J.W. Coons Advisors, LLC
Finishing off our list is J.W. Coons Advisors, LLC. Coons Advisors is a fee-only firm providing an array of advisory services to more than 300 individuals, high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations, trusts, estates, retirement entities and other legal entities.
Coons Advisory charges asset-based fees, fixed fees and performance-based fees for its advisory services. The firm also imposes a minimum account size requirement of $1,000,000.
The firm’s staff offers multiple qualifications, including the chartered financial analyst (CFA) and chartered market technician (CMT) designations.
J.W. Coons Advisors, LLC Background
Coons Advisors was established in 2003 by James W. Coons. The firm’s three owners are Coons, Robert H. Hoffman and Keith M. Blankemeyer. As for advisory services, Coons Advisors mainly provides portfolio management, financial planning and pension consulting services.
The firm also has an office in Naples, Florida.
J.W. Coons Advisors, LLC Investment Strategy
Coons Advisors describes on its website that its security selection process prioritizes individual stocks of established companies with large and growing amounts of free cash flow, promising returns on invested capital and growing payouts.
The firm generally holds securities for long-term time horizons, according to its firm brochure.