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 and which serves your area.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Hamilton Capital Find an Advisor||$3,634,513,893||$500,000|| || |
|2||Budros, Ruhlin & Roe Find an Advisor||$3,399,072,487||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||Summit Financial Strategies, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,720,399,939||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
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|4||Windsor Advisory Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,726,006,881||$10,000,000|| || |
|5||Gryphon Financial Partners Find an Advisor||$1,650,792,828||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||John E. Sestina and Company Find an Advisor||$550,774,332||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|7||The Joseph Group Capital Management Find an Advisor||$763,777,757||$500,000|| || |
|8||Waller Financial Planning Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$593,231,125||$3,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$3,000 minimum annual fee
|9||TCP Asset Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$416,721,715||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|10||J.W. Coons Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$514,545,372||$1,000,000|| || |
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Columbus, 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 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.
Hamilton Capital leads off our list of Columbus' top financial advisors. The fee-only firm's staff includes certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), certified public accountants (CPAs) and a number of other, more specific financial certifications.
The firm has a $500,000 suggested 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 Matthew Hamilton, a CFP, owns the majority of the firm. He’s also its 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.
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 such certifications as certified financial planner (CFP), certified public accountant (CPA) and chartered financial analyst (CFA) and more
The firm’s minimum asset requirement is $1 million for investment management services, though this minimum may be waived. Wealth management services do not carry a minimum, but there is a $4,250 minimum quarterly fee. Budros' clients include high-net-worth individuals, non-high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, retirement plans, foundations, endowments and businesses.
Budros, Ruhlin & Roe Background
Budros, Ruhlin & Roe was founded by James Budros, Peggy Ruhlin and Daniel Roe in 1979. Peggy Ruhlin was once chairman of the board, but no longer is. This impressive advisor was named as one of the “20 Most Influential Women to Watch in 2016” by Investment News. Today, the firm is under the ownership of CI US Holdings, Inc., a financial services holding company.
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
Fee-only firm Summitt Financial Strategies manages a significant amount in AUM, and its team includes certified financial planners (CFP), chartered financial counselors (ChFC), chartered financial analysts (CFA) and a number of other certifications, many of which are more specified.
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 $10,000 for wealth management services and $500 for eSummit, an automated portfolio management system, also know as a robo-advisor.
Summit Financial Strategies Background
Summit was founded in 1994. Ted Saneholtz is the founder of Summit Financial, though it's now owned by Samantha Macchia, Brian Sutliff, Liam Hurley, Wendy Trout, Michael Scherer and Timothy Swain.
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 is a fee-only firm serving individual and institutional clients. The slight majority of the firm’s individual clients are high-net-worth. Its institutional clients include pooled investment vehicles, retirement plans, charitable organizations, insurance companies and corporations. Windsor's staff includes advisors with such certifications as certified financial planner (CFP), certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and 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 GroupBackground
Windsor Advisory Group was founded in 2002. The firm is principally owned by Harry M. Dye, III (Trey), Jonathon S. Eesley, John Mozola and Clayton Hall. All four work as principals and advisors at the firm.
Windsor's services include:
- Advisory services
- Portfolio management
- Private investment fund
Windsor Advisory Group 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
Gryphon Financial Partners 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 has a small institutional business managing money for pension and profit-sharing plans.
Gryphon's staff includes a couple of certified financial planners (CFPs), among others. Fees for services may be based on a percentage of assets under management, a fixed fee or an hourly fee. There is no minimum fee or investment at Gryphon.
Some of the advisors at Gryphon can sell securities on a commission basis. While this presents a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty means it must act in clients' best interests.
Gryphon Financial Partners 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 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 (ETFs)
John E. Sestina and Company
Up next on our list of the top financial advisors in Columbus is John E. Sestina and Company, a large firm that currently works exclusively with individual clients. Of these individuals, about 90% are non-high-net-worth individuals. The remaining 10% have a high net worth, and the slight majority of the firm's assets under management come from these high-net-worth clients.
Financial planning services at the firm carry a minimum $4,000 annual fee. Portfolio management services, on the other hand, carry a minimum investment requirement of $100,000. John E. Sestina and Company is a fee-only firm.
John E. Sestina and Company Background
John E. Sestina and Company was founded in 1970, making it the oldest firm on our Columbus list. MTBW, LLC is the sole shareholder of the firm. MTBW, LLC is in turn owned by four entities: Lukan Enterprises, LLC (owned by Stephen A. Lukan), Int2Own, LLC (owned by Tyler V. Cook), Hilde, LLC (owned by Anthony W. Payne) and Constantinovich, LLC (owned by Craig A. Constantinovich). Each of the listed individuals are financial advisors at John E. Sestina and Company.
John E. Sestina and Company provides clients with full service financial planning, portfolio management and financially educational seminars. It may provide multiple services at the same time.
John E. Sestina and Company Investment Strategy
John E. Sestina and Company tailors its advisory services to the financial needs and investment objectives of its clients. It does so on a client-by-client basis, so it's rare that two investment strategies are exactly the same. Advisors primarily use mutual funds to invest client assets, but may also use fixed-income securities, real estate funds, insurance products, equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds, commodities, venture capital funds and more.
Advisors at John E. Sestina and Company heavily rely on modern portfolio theory to inform their investment decisions. It primarily trades investments on a long-term basis.
The Joseph Group Capital Management
The Joseph Group Capital Management has a $500,000 minimum asset requirement, though the firm is willing to waive this. This is also a fee-only operation, meaning all of its compensation comes from client-paid fees.
The firm's staff includes certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA), qualified kingdom advisor (QKA), certified public accountant (CPA), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS) and more.
The Joseph Group Capital Management Background
Twin brothers, Mark and Matt Palmer, founded The Joseph Group Capital Management in 1999. They indirectly remain the majority owners of the firm. Mark has a law degree, and Matt has a Master's degree.
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.
Waller Financial Planning Group
Waller Financial Planning Group (WFPG) is a fee-only firm managing hundreds of millions in client assets. The firm's clients include individuals with and without a high net worth and charitable organizations. For advisory services, clients either pay asset-based fees, hourly fees or fixed fees.
Some of WFPG’s advisors’ industry credentials include 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 does not have a minimum account size requirement, but it does have a $3,000 minimum annual fee.
Waller Financial Planning Group 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 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.
TCP Asset Management
TCP Asset Management is the second-to-last firm on our list. This firm works almost entirely with just one type of client: non-high-net-worth individuals. It also has a handful of high-net-worth clients, as well as a single business client.
TCP doesn't have a minimum account size requirement. It is, however, a fee-based firm. Advisors at the firm can sell insurance and securities to clients in exchange for commissions, and this is a potential conflict of interest. Despite this, the firm is still a fiduciary. This makes it legally obligated to act in the best interests of clients at all times.
TCP Asset Management Background
Founded in November of 2016, TCP Asset Management is one of the youngest firms on our Columbus list. It became an SEC-registered investment advisor one year later, in 2017. The firm is princiaplly owned by Phillip J. Susi, Joshua Richard Allen, Philip Hunter Bervig and Branda Rhae Allen.
TCP provides clients with financial planning and portfolio management services. It also provides access to model portfolios to help clients achieve their financial goals.
TCP Asset Management Investment Strategy
As is the case with most financial advisory firms, TCP Asset Management works with clients to determine their overall financial profile and objectives so that they can tailor their advisory services to each client. This process involves meeting with clients and gathering such information as a client's risk tolerance, tax levels and income.
Advisors at TCP Asset Management use both fundamental and technical methods of analysis to help inform investment decisions. Advisors trade investment on a long-term basis.
J.W. Coons Advisors
J.W. Coons Advisors is a largely high-net-worth-centric firm. In fact, most of its client base is composed of high-net-worth individuals. It also works with non-high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations and businesses, though. The firm also institutes a $1 million minimum account size, though it may be willing to waive this under certain circumstances.
About half of the advisory team at J.W. Coons holds a chartered financial analyst (CFA) certification. One advisor is also a chartered market technician (CMT). This is a fee-only firm, meaning all of its compensation comes from client-paid fees.
J.W. Coons Advisors Background
Founded in 2003, J.W. Coons Advisors is an independent firm. It’s under the ownership of three employees: James W. Coons, Robert J. Hoffman and Keith M. Blankemeyer.
The services at J.W. Coons is based largely around retirement account management and planning.
J.W. Coons Advisors Investing Strategy
J.W. Coons Advisors works with each client at the outset of their relationship to build a specific investment policy statement (IPS). This is done to ensure that all of their needs, goals and other factors are taken into account during the creation and management of their portfolio. It also covers their risk tolerance, time horizon, income needs and more.
Generally speaking, the firm tends to invest in some combination of individual stocks and bonds, with the objective of balancing the two. It also sometimes uses ETFs and options in client portfolios.