Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Connecticut
Managing your finances can be a difficult proposition. So SmartAsset has determined the top financial advisor firms in Connecticut that can make it easier. Throughout this review, we’ll discuss what each firm charges for its services, its investing strategies, its specialties and more so you can become a more informed prospective client. If you’d prefer the automated route, SmartAsset also offers a financial advisor matching tool that will pair you with advisors in your area based on your personal needs.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Symmetry Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,948,000,000||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||Bradley, Foster & Sargent, Inc. Find an Advisor||$3,118,931,600||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||GYL Financial Synergies, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,867,152,100||$1,000,000 for individuals and $10,000,000 for institutions|| || |
Minimum Assets$1,000,000 for individuals and $10,000,000 for institutions
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|4||Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc. Find an Advisor||$2,794,695,400||None|| || |
|5||Coastal Bridge Advisors Find an Advisor||$1,740,909,500||$3,750,000|| || |
|6||Northstar Wealth Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$838,116,300||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|7||Resnick Investment Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$808,965,400||$250,000|| || |
|8||RZH Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$746,191,500||$3,000,000|| || |
|9||AdviceOne Advisory Services, LLC Find an Advisor||$622,580,900||$25,000|| || |
|10||Eagle Ridge Investment Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$611,843,400||$1,000,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Connecticut
SmartAsset only considered financial advisor firms based in Connecticut that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for this list. That’s because these firms are bound by fiduciary duty, requiring them to act in clients’ best financial interests. Our experts eliminated any firms that had disciplinary issues on record with the SEC, did not manage individual accounts or did not offer financial planning. The remaining firms that fit these requirements are listed here, ordered from the most assets under management (AUM) to the least.
Symmetry Partners, LLC
Glastonbury-based financial advisor firm Symmetry Partners, LLC has nearly $4 billion in assets under management (AUM). That’s $800 million more than the second firm on this list, Bradley, Foster & Sargent, Inc. Despite the amount of assets under its management, the firm employs just 18 advisors who work with the firm’s more than 16,000 individual clients. Of those individual clients, only 2% are high-net-worth individuals. The firm also serves trusts, corporations, pension and profit-sharing plans, government entities and charities.
The fee-only firm’s account minimum varies depending on the type of account you want to open. For example, mutual fund portfolios call for at least $10,000 in investable assets, while AltAxis and exchange-traded fund (ETF) portfolios require a $25,000 minimum.
The staff at Symmetry has a total of just three advisor certifications. There are two chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) on staff. Being that the aforementioned AltAxis portfolio is centered around alternative investing, it should come as no surprise that there is a CAIA at this firm.
Symmetry Partners, LLC Background
Established in 1994, Symmetry Partners, LLC has been around longer than most other firms on this list, aside from Resnick Investment Advisors, LLC and Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc. Symmetry remains under the ownership of its original co-founders, David Connelly, Jr. and Patrick Sweeny.
Whereas most firms will offer services centered around financial goals, Symmetry instead focuses on portfolios made up of specific investments types, such as ETFs, alternative investments, U.S. equities, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and mutual funds. However, it does offer the “Retirement Solutions” program, which is meant for both retirement plan providers and beneficiaries.
Symmetry Partners, LLC Investing Strategy
As stated above, Symmetry Partners’ investing strategy is largely based around ETFs and mutual funds. Identifying these investment types is just the first step, however, as the firm believes that diversification throughout domestic and global markets is key to ensuring the overall health of your portfolio.
Symmetry’s investment approach is based off of modern portfolio theory, which heavily weighs risk. The investment philosophy is based on the idea that there’s no reason to increase a portfolio’s risk level if it won’t result in a proportional increase in potential returns. This translates to Symmetry’s approach, though your portfolio’s risk level will largely depend on your own comfort level.
Bradley, Foster & Sargent, Inc.
Although the Bradley, Foster & Sargent, Inc. (BFS) home office is located in Hartford, you’ll also find branches in Wellesley, Massachusetts and West Palm Beach, Florida. This fee-only firm has the largest team of advisors on this list at 21. Out of this group, there are four certified public accountants (CPAs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one certified financial planner (CFP).
There is technically no minimum to open an account with this firm. However, if you’re referred to it via the Schwab Advisor Network, Schwab and BFS have agreed on a minimum of $500,000 in investable assets for new accounts. Possibly because of this, the firm serves 100 times more high-net-worth individuals than non-high-net-worth individuals. In addition, the firm works with trusts, estates, corporations, an investment company, pension/profit-sharing plan participants, banks, 401(k) plans and charitable organizations.
The Financial Times recognized Symmetry Partners as one of as one of the top 300 financial advisors in the country - a distinction also bestowed upon Coastal Bridge Advisors and RZH Advisors, LLC.
Bradley, Foster & Sargent, Inc. Background
Like Symmetry Partners, LLC, Bradley, Foster & Sargent, Inc. opened its doors in 1994. It’s currently owned by a group of the firm’s employees, though chairman Robert Bradley is the principal shareholder.
This firm works with its clients based on their individual needs. In other words, you could receive services related to retirement, tax minimization, business succession, estates, trusts and more.
Bradley, Foster & Sargent, Inc. Investing Strategy
Bradley, Foster & Sargent is concerned with the long-term health and growth of its clients’ portfolios. Additionally, the firm is always mindful of the preservation of your assets, especially for clients who have shorter-term goals included in their long-term plans.
Bradley, Foster & Sargent emphasizes diversification across asset classes and investment types so a large portion of your money isn’t tied up in any one area. The firm claims that it typically holds around 20 stock positions in its clients’ accounts, though this number can vary depending on the amount of assets in the account.
GYL Financial Synergies, LLC
GYL Financial Synergies, LLC is a fee-only financial advisor firm located in West Hartford. It has one of the highest account minimums on this list, as individual clients will need at least $1 million in investable assets and institutional clients must have a minimum of $10 million. The firm’s typical clients are individuals (high-net-worth and not), businesses, municipalities, insurance pools, charitable organizations, trusts, estates and defined contribution plans.
GYL has three certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA), one certified public accountant (CPA), one certified financial planner (CFP) and one accredited investment fiduciary analyst (AIFA) at its main office.
GYL Financial Synergies, LLC Background
Founded in 2016, GYL Financial Synergies, LLC is the youngest firm on this list. It is independently owned by CEO Gerald Goldberg, CIO Jonathan Yolles and senior managing directors Michael Lepore and Claire McDonald.
The firm’s advisory services include general investment management, institutional consulting, estate planning, trust planning and insurance analysis.
GYL Financial Synergies, LLC Client Experience
The first step in beginning a client relationship with GYL Financial Synergies is to define your financial goals, your time horizon and your risk tolerance. Once you’ve made this clear to your advisor, he or she builds a plan that adheres to your stated desires. You’ll then have the opportunity to give the plan the final stamp of approval.
As your assets are invested and your portfolio begins to grow, the firm will keep track of any changes that are occurring and let you know about them as soon as possible. If your account begins to become unbalanced, and therefore less diversified, your portfolio will be rebalanced according to the original plan.
Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc.
Though Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc. has nearly $2.8 billion in assets under management (AUM), the firm has just two advisors on staff. These advisors don’t hold any advanced certifications. They work almost exclusively with ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, though they also have experience working with trusts, foundations and families.
Though the firm’s client base is nearly void of non-high-net-worth individuals, there is not a minimum amount of investable assets required to open an account. The fee-only firm is located in Westport.
Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc. Background
Elwood Davis, the firm’s current president, owns 100% of Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc. Davis has been in the financial services industry for almost 40 years. The firm was created in 1983, making it the oldest firm on this list.
Being that this firm is a family office that looks to manage its clients’ assets holistically, the firm’s advisors offer a wide range of services. Estate planning, insurance analysis, retirement planning, cash flow planning, tax mitigation and charitable giving are at the forefront of Northeast Financial Consultants’ offerings.
Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc. Investing Strategy
Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc. focuses not only on the financial needs of the individual client, but also on their family’s needs. Because of this, the firm says that it’s not just a trader, but rather a true financial advisor for your future.
Northeast Financial Consultants looks for long-term investments that could remain in your portfolio for a significant amount of time. But the firm does realize that its clients are likely to have some sort of need for liquidity, which is why it uses your excess cash flow to invest in equities and real estate investment trusts (REIT)s. The funds that are invested solely for the purpose of your portfolio’s growth will typically end up in mutual funds and stocks.
Coastal Bridge Advisors
With at least $3.75 million in investable assets required to open an account, Coastal Bridge Advisors easily has the highest account minimum on this list. The firm’s minimum is based off of the Westport firm’s $40,000 minimum annual investment minimum. Such a lofty minimum is simply out of reach for many investors, making this firm almost exclusively available to high-net-worth individuals. It can manage the financial needs of businesses, trusts, estates, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations as well.
At Coastal Bridge Advisors, you’ll find three certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), two chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA). The firm is an insurance broker, and certain advisors at this fee-based firm sell insurance policies on a commission basis. However, the firm is a fiduciary and therefore must always act in your best interest.
Coastal Bridge Advisors Background
Holding firm Focus Financial Partners, LLC fully owns Coastal Bridge Advisors. The firm was founded in 2009 by Kevin Burns, Jim Pratt-Heaney and Bill Loftus. This trio has spent a combined 90 years in personal finance, giving the firm’s management team some of the most extensive experience of any firm on this list.
Coastal Bridge Advisors has created a family office service model that illustrates exactly how it intends to work with clients and their families. This nine-tier model includes overall investment management, trust and estate planning, business planning, family planning, banking analysis, insurance review, retirement planning, tax planning and philanthropic gift planning.
Coastal Bridge Advisors Investing Strategy
Coastal Bridge Advisors has a unique self-check program set up to give its investment plans a rigorous once-over prior to implementation. Once you and your advisor have come up with a mutually agreeable plan, the firm passes it through the algorithm-based Monte Carlo analysis to ensure that the investments chosen align with your financial goals.
The firm uses a variety of investment types in its client portfolios, including mutual funds, ETFs, private equity, structured products and various hedge funds. However, mutual funds make up the majority of client portfolios.
Northstar Wealth Partners, LLC
Northstar Wealth Partners, LLC has almost 2,800 individual clients, but only 30 of those clients are high-net-worth individuals. The rest fall below that threshold, giving the West Hartford-based firm significant experience working with that non-high-net-worth investors. The firm also provides services to trusts, estates, retirement plans, charitable organizations and businesses.
This fee-only firm has a variable account minimum that’s dependent on the type of account you want. As a result, the following minimums are applicable:
- Manager access select portfolio - $100,000
- Model wealth portfolio - $25,000
- Optimum market portfolio - $10,000
- Personal wealth portfolio - $250,000
On the firm’s advisory staff, you’ll find three certified financial planners (CFPs), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), one chartered investment counselor (CIC) and one registered financial consultant (RFC).
Northstar Wealth Partners, LLC Background
Aside from GYL Financial Synergies, LLC, the third firm on this list, Northstar Wealth Partners, LLC is the youngest firm. Northstar Wealth Partners was founded in 2014. It is no longer an independent firm, as its ownership is split between founding partner Robert Laraia and Integrity Partners, LLC, a holding company.
Clients of this firm have a plethora of different financial planning options available to them. The firm’s services include:
- Estate and retirement planning
- Charitable planning
- Education cost planning
- Personal and corporate tax planning
- Real estate analysis
- Debt analysis
- Insurance review
- Cost segregation analysis
Northstar Wealth Partners, LLC Investing Strategy
Northstar Wealth Partners utilizes one of four portfolio models for many of its clients, depending on the client’s financial objectives, risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity needs. The firm’s model portfolio options are manager access select portfolios, model wealth portfolios, optimum market portfolios and personal wealth portfolios. These portfolios almost always include some combination of individual stocks, ETFs and mutual funds, though the firm reserves the right to vary these.
Should the firm decide that you’d be better served by a custom financial strategy, it will give you recommendations on how to create new plans or amend existing ones. This could refer to a number of areas, such as insurance coverage, retirement savings and wills or trusts. These consultations generally take about six months, but the firm leaves the final decision on each change up to you.
Resnick Investment Advisors, LLC
For every high-net-worth client that Westport-based financial advisor firm Resnick Investment Advisors, LLC serves, it works with about three non-high-net-worth individuals. This fee-only firm’s clients also include foundations, charities, pension and profit-sharing plans, trust programs, endowments and municipalities. It requires a $250,000 account minimum.
Resnick’s team has a total of seven advisor certifications. These include four certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and one accredited estate planner (AEP).
Resnick Investment Advisors, LLC Background
Resnick Investment Advisors, LLC is owned by the holding company Focus Financial Partners, LLC, the same group that owns Coastal Bridge Advisors. On this list, only Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc. has been in business for longer than Resnick Investment Advisors, which was founded in 1990.
Resnick Investment Advisors focuses on providing services to meet each client’s individual needs. To find out what the firm would have in stock for you, send a letter to its team and you’ll receive an answer.
Additionally, this firm offers a weekly newsletter, as well as long-form educational articles that will teach you how to deal with financial issues in times of strife. Events are also held by Resnick every so often, with dates listed on its website.
Resnick Investment Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
Planning for your long-term financial health is the central focus of this firm. Because of this mindset, Resnick’s advisors believe that properly allocating your assets is the key to achieving your financial goals in the distant future. The firm looks to avoid investing tactics such as stock-picking and market-timing, since it regards them as gimmicky and overly risky.
As has become popular in the investment world, ETFs and mutual funds make up a large portion of this firm’s investing choices. These types of investments are right in line with the firm’s ideology, as both are aimed at investing in a growing market as opposed to selecting a few potentially market-beating opportunities.
RZH Advisors, LLC
Perhaps the most striking fact about this firm is its $3 million account minimum. Furthermore, the lowest annual fee you’ll ever pay is $33,000. Unsurprisingly, this fee-only firm based in Stamford primarily serves high-net-worth individuals and their families.
The firm’s team includes three certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified public accountants (CPAs), two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
RZH Advisors, LLC Background
RZH Advisors, LLC is owned by chief investment strategist Carl Zuckerberg, chief planning strategist Dana Hanson and director of research and strategy Spencer Cooper. All three have been named one of Financial Times’ top 300 registered investment advisors (RIAs) multiple times over the last five years. The firm was created in 2000.
A multitude of financial services are offered by this firm, with some services centered around wealth management and others around planning for the future. They include:
- Family financial review/planning
- Business financial review/planning
- Estate planning
- Retirement planning
- Charitable giving
- Insurance review and planning
RZH Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
The goal of RZH is to create investment plans that are based more on your personal financial goals than on where the market is headed. It does this for a few reasons: to preserve your existing assets to produce liquidity for income purposes and to minimize your stress.
Because of its focus on asset preservation, the firm says that it won’t risk your hard-earned money on attempts to select investments that are projected to beat the market.
AdviceOne Advisory Services, LLC
Although AdviceOne Advisory Services, LLC has a few branches across the eastern half of the U.S., it’s headquartered Glastonbury. At this office, you’ll find four certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), one chartered life underwriter (CLU) and one registered financial consultant (RFC).
At $25,000, AdviceOne has the lowest set account minimums on this list. Likely because of this, the firm serves three times as many individuals as high-net-worth individuals. In addition, the firm works with pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations and non-profit organizations.
This is a fee-based firm. Some of the advisors at this firm are insurance brokers, and they may earn commissions from selling policies. However, the firm is a fiduciary, binding it to act in your best financial interest.
AdviceOne Advisory Services, LLC Background
President and founder Michael Grossman is the sole owner of AdviceOne Advisory Services, LLC. He opened the firm in 1998, though his financial services experience dates back to 1990.
Everyone has his or her own set of financial management needs when approaching an advisor firm. To address the needs of a larger pool of prospective clients, AdviceOne has built a well-rounded group of services:
- Retirement planning
- Estate preservation planning
- College education cost planning
- Small business planning
- Investment strategy creation
- Employee downsizing and retirement package analysis
- Mortgage review
AdviceOne Advisory Services, LLC Investing Strategy
Generally speaking, AdviceOne Advisory Services will apply either its fixed-income or equity portfolios to every client account it manages. The fixed income option is heavily focused on giving clients liquidity and income in the short term, whereas the equity portfolio is centered on the long term. Either way, both options rely heavily on open-ended mutual funds.
Aside from the traditional considerations of each client’s risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity needs, this firm also uses other outside risk factors to choose investments. More specifically, market volatility, interest rates, inflation, the currency exchange rate and business risk are taken into account for each investment that is analyzed.
Eagle Ridge Investment Management, LLC
Although fee-only financial advisor firm Eagle Ridge Investment Management, LLC technically requires a $1 million account minimum, this is flexible. Certain family accounts will be granted lower minimums if the firm and its advisors deem them worthy. However, the Stamford-based firm still manages more high-net-worth accounts than not.
The firm’s staff includes four chartered financial analysts (CFAs). Notably, Eagle Ridge is the only firm on this list that charges performance-based fees as part of its fee structure. The firm will only earn this fee if your account outperforms projections. The firm does abide by fiduciary duty, requiring it to act in your best interest.
Eagle Ridge Investment Management, LLC Background
Eagle Ridge Investment Management, LLC is partly owned by employees and partly by the holding company, Tillson Family Holdings, LLC. The firm was established in 2008. On average, the firm’s advisors have 20 years of experience managing client assets.
While it might seem as though this firm has a limited number of financial planning services, it’s actually just intently focused on building unique investment plans for clients based on their own requirements. These planning services include estate and trust creation, charitable gift planning, retirement and pension planning and general investment management.
Eagle Ridge Investment Management, LLC Investing Strategy
The vast majority of Eagle Ridge Investment Management’s client assets are invested in some fusion of the following investment types:
- Common stocks
- Preferred stocks
- Mutual funds
- U.S. government securities
- Corporate bonds
- Master limited partnerships (MLPs)
To find the stocks best suited for its managed portfolios, Eagle Ridge uses its own stock-ranking method. This involves analyzing each business’ financial statements, growth drivers and other competitive advantages that may mark the investment opportunity as ideal for certain clients.
When it comes to fixed income investments, the firm typically uses investment grade bonds or, at the very least, ETFs that include such bonds. As these are ideally long-term investments, they’re typically held to maturity to avoid short-term risk.