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 Find an Advisor||$5,257,000,000||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||GYL Financial Synergies, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,826,137,235||$1,000,000|| || |
|3||Bradley, Foster & Sargent, Inc. Find an Advisor||$3,440,594,013||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|4||Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc. Find an Advisor||$2,661,623,147||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||Coastal Bridge Advisors Find an Advisor||$2,097,536,887||$5,000,000|| || |
|6||Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,640,432,302||$15,000 - $35,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$15,000 - $35,000 minimum annual fee
|7||Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,589,986,385||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||Greenwich Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,354,007,817||$1,000,000|| || |
|9||Private Capital Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,099,701,797||$500,000|| || |
|10||Halsey Associates Find an Advisor||$945,721,230||$1,500,000|| || |
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.
Glastonbury-based financial advisor firm Symmetry Partners, LLC has more than $5.25 billion in assets under management (AUM). That’s nearly $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 8 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.
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), three certified public accountants (CPAs), eight certified financial planners (CFPs) 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 Investing Strategy
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.
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 one of the largest teams of advisors on this list at 21. Out of this group, there are three 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. The Crystal Partners Fund has a minimum subscription amount of $100,000 and the BFS Equity Fund has a minimum initial investment of $1,000. 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.
Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc.
Though Northeast Financial Consultants, Inc. has more than $2.66 billion in assets under management (AUM), the firm has just three advisors on staff. One is a chartered financial analyst (CFA), and there is also a certified public accountant (CPA) on staff in a non-advisor role. 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 financial advisor 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
Coastal Bridge has a minimum investment of $5 million, easily the highest on this list. Such a lofty minimum is simply out of reach for many investors, making this Westport-based financial advisor 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 two certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), two chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), two chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPC), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) 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.
Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC
Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC is a fee-only firm based in Windsor. It manages more than $1.6 billion in assets and employs 22 advisors. The firm’s private client group includes three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified financial planners (CFPs) and one certificate in investment performance measurement (CIPM) holder. Fees can be paid either as a flat fee or a percentage of assets under management. FIA doesn’t list a minimum asset requirement, but charges a minimum fee of $15,000 for investment management services and $35,000 for investment advisory services.
These high minimum fees mean that high-net-worth individuals are the only individual clients the company advises. It also has a sizeable institutional business, managing assets for pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.
Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC Background
FIA was founded in 2006 and is completely owned by eight employee-principals.
Services offered to private clients include:
- Cash flow planning
- Tax efficiency analysis
- Investment strategy
- Wealth transfer strategy
- Education funding
Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC Investment Strategies
FIA uses the MPI Stylus allocator software to model portfolio allocations. This uses Mean-Variance Optimization, a method developed based on the work of Nobel Prize winner Harry Markowitz. It relies on the optimization of average returns. Investments include equities, international equities, fixed income, hedge funds and cash.
Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC
Beirne Wealth Consulting is a Shelton-based firm with more than $1.58 billion in assets under management. The firm generally does not impose a minimum required account size, so people with all ranges of investable assets may be able to find what they need. The bulk of Beirne’s clients are individuals, though it does advise high-net-worth individuals. The firm also does business with institutional clients including pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities, sovereign wealth fund, insurance companies, health savings accounts and other corporations.
There are five advisors on staff at Beirne. The staff includes one certified investment management analyst (CIMA). Fees for financial planning and consulting are normally fixed, while fees for investment management are based on a client’s total assets under management. At least one employee at Beirne is a licensed insurance agent and could sell clients insurance products, earning them a commission. This is a conflict of interest, but the firm is still bound by fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the client.
Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC Background
Beirne was founded in 2012. It is owned by family trusts, which are owned by the Beirne family. Two members of the family, John Anthony Beirne, Jr. and John-Oliver Beirne are currently the chief executive officers of the firm.
The service offered by the firm include:
- Investment management
- Financial planning
- Pension fund consulting
Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC Investment Strategy
Beirne develops an investing strategy for each client based on their personal needs, goals, risk tolerance and objectives. Client money may be invested in a variety of financial products, including separate accounts, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, bonds, stocks and options. Fundamental, technical and cyclical analysis methods are all employed to make investment decisions.
Greenwich Wealth Management
Greenwich Wealth Management, LLC is based, appropriately, in Greenwich. It manages more than $1.35 million in assets and employs seven advisors, including two chartered financial advisors. The firm’s client base is mostly high-net-worth individuals, with very few other individual investors on the books. This makes sense as the firm has a relatively high minimum account size of $1 million for portfolio management. It also has an institutional business advising investment companies, charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans and other corporations.
Fees to Greenwich are paid based on a percentage of assets of management. One advisor at the firm is also registered with Interactive Brokers, the broker-dealer recommended to clients. While this does not bring money directly to Greenwich, it could bring fees to that advisor commissions. This is a conflict of interest, but fiduciary duty still binds the firm to act in the client’s best wishes.
Greenwich Wealth Management, LLC Background
Greenwich Wealth Management was founded in 2006 by Michael J. Freeburg. He remains the principal owner and acts as an advisor at the firm.
Services at Greenwich include:
- Investment advisory services
- Custom tailored portfolios
Greenwich Wealth Management, LLC Investment Strategy
Advisors at the firm use fundamental, technical and macro-economic analysis to come up with the investing strategy for each client. It considers things like income and liquidity requirements, investment time horizon, risk profile, financial goals and special needs to come up with a strategy. Investments may include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, futures contracts, exchange traded funds, foreign exchange and structured products.
Private Capital Group
Private Capital Group is a West Hartford-based financial advisor firm with more than $1 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm has 10 advisors on staff. That includes eight certified financial planners (CFPs), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), one certified public accountant (CPA), one chartered mutual fund counselor (CMFC) and one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). The firm has a minimum account size requirement of $500,000 for new accounts in Private Wealth Management Services. It has a minimum initial fee of $2,500 for financial planning clients. Each individual advisor at the firm may also have an investment minimum.
The firm mainly advises high-net-worth individuals, though it also works with other individual investors along with some charitable organizations, pension or profit-sharing plans and other corporations.
PCG is a fee-based firm. Most of its revenue comes from the fees its clients pay, but some employees are also licensed insurance brokers, meaning they may recommend that you buy insurance products. These employees earn a commission from sales, which poses a potential conflict of interest. The firm is a fiduciary, though, requiring it to act in clients' best interests.
Private Capital Group Background
Private Capital Group was founded in 2003 by Benjamin D. Kille and William T. Rabbitt. The two still work at the firm as financial advisors and are the principal owners. Both have decades of experience in financial services.
Services offered by the firm include:
- Asset allocation strategies
- Cash flow strategies
- Tax strategies
- Estate planning
- Investment management
- Retirement plans
Private Capital Group Investing Strategy
Private Capital Group uses a trio of principles as the foundation for its investments: disciplined management, investment philosophy and investment research. Its investment strategies include long-term purchases, short-term purchases and trading. The advisors may also recommend the following:
- Margin: A high-risk strategy where you use borrowed assets to purchase financial instruments.
- Short selling: The sale of assets that you have borrowed.
- Options strategies: A strategy involving a contract between two parties to buy or sell an asset at a predetermined price.
Securities used by PCG advisors include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual fixed-income holdings, individual equities and alternative investments.
Halsey Associates takes the tenth and final spot on our list with $945 million in client assets under management (AUM). Five financial advisors work in Halsey's offices, including one certified financial planner (CFP) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA). This is a fee-only firm.
More than 85% of Halsey Associates' client base consists of individuals with and without a high net worth. In addition, the firm is known to work with trusts, estates, businesses, charitable organizations and pension and profit-sharing plans. You'll need at least $1.5 million in investable assets to become a client of this firm.
Halsey Associates Background
Founded in 1967, Halsey Associates is one of the oldest financial advisory firms in Connecticut. In 2015, though, the firm was purchased by The Washington Trust Company (WTC), a chartered bank that's based out of Westerly, Rhode Island. WTC has been in business even longer than Halsey, as it was founded back in 1800.
Halsey Associates specializes in investment portfolio management. It will tailor your portfolio plans specifically to your risk tolerance and other important considerations. Financial planning is available through its parent company, The Washington Trust Company.
Halsey Associates Investing Strategy
When you become a client of Halsey Associates, your advisor will work with you to develop your time horizon, risk tolerance, liquidity needs and overall investment goals. The firm may also ask to go through your prior investment history and family background for any pertinent insights.
Although this firm offers an equity-only portfolio model, most clients will have a diversified mix of asset classes and securities within their portfolio. In fact, the firm's recommendations could include individual stocks and bonds, options, no-load mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and private placements.