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. SmartAsset also offers a free financial advisor matching tool that will pair you with up to three advisors in your area.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Symmetry Partners Find an Advisor||$5,625,000,000||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$4,978,415,143||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|3||GYL Financial Synergies, LLC Find an Advisor||$4,262,118,545||$1,000,000|| || |
|4||Bradley, Foster & Sargent, Inc. Find an Advisor||$4,238,363,195||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||Northeast Financial Consultants, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,319,705,435||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Coastal Bridge Advisors Find an Advisor||$2,098,898,303||$5,000,000|| || |
|7||Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,763,847,427||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||Connecticut Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,553,425,461||$1,000,000|| || |
|9||Greenwich Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,420,081,240||$1,000,000|| || |
|10||Private Capital Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$ 1,147,413,579||$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. All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Glastonbury-based financial advisor firm Symmetry Partners, LLC employs a small team of advisors. Of the firm's individual clients, only a small percentage are high-net-worth individuals. The firm also serves corporations, pension and profit-sharing plans, government entities and investment companies.
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 just a few advisor certifications. These include chartered financial analyst (CFA) and chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA). 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 Background
Established in 1994, Symmetry Partners, LLC has been around longer than most other firms on this list. 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 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.
Fiduciary Investment Advisors
Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC is a fee-only firm based in Windsor. The firm’s private client group includes several chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified financial planners (CFPs). 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, charitable organizations, businesses and state governments.
Fiduciary Investment Advisors Background
Fiduciary Investment Advisors was founded in 2006 and is a subsidiary of DiMeo Schneider & Associates, LLC.
Services offered to private clients include:
- Cash flow planning
- Tax efficiency analysis
- Investment strategy
- Wealth transfer strategy
- Education funding
Fiduciary Investment Advisors Investment Strategies
Fiduciary Investment Advisors 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.
GYL Financial Synergies
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, charitable organizations, trusts, estates and defined contribution plans.
GYL has such advisory certifications on staff as certified investment management analyst (CIMA), certified private wealth advisor (CPWA), certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial planner (CFP) and accredited investment fiduciary analyst (AIFA).
GYL Financial Synergies Background
Founded in 2016, GYL Financial Synergies is one of the youngest firms on this list. It is managed by CEO Gerald Goldberg, CIO Jonathan Yolles and senior managing directors Michael Lepore and Claire McDonald as well as Joseph McBride and Peter A. Karadimas.
The firm’s advisory services include general investment management, institutional consulting, estate planning, trust planning and insurance analysis.
GYL Financial Synergies 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
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. Out of this group, there are several certified public accountants (CPAs) and chartered financial analysts (CFAs).
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.
Bradley, Foster & Sargent Background
Like Symmetry Partners, Bradley, Foster & Sargent 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 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
Although Northeast Financial Consultants, LLC has a large amount of assets under management (AUM), the firm has an incredibly small team of advisors on staff. They work exclusively with ultra-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals.
There is not a minimum amount of investable assets required to open an account. This fee-only financial advisor firm is located in Westport.
Northeast Financial Consultants Background
NFC Holdings, Inc. owns Northeast Financial Consultants, which recently restructured to an LLC. Elwood Davis, manager has been in the financial services industry for around 40 years. The firm was created in 1983.
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 Investing Strategy
Northeast Financial Consultants 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 Advisors has a minimum investment requirement 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, though it actually has a large number of non-high-net-worth individual clients. The firm's institutional clients include a small number of insurance companies.
At Coastal Bridge Advisors, you’ll find certifications including certified financial planner (CFP), certified investment management analyst (CIMA), chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPC), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and 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 more than 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.
Beirne Wealth Consulting Services
Beirne Wealth Consulting Services is a Shelton-based firm. 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 and other corporations.
Fees for financial planning and consulting at Beirne 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 fee-based firm is still bound by fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the client.
Beirne Wealth Consulting Services Background
Beirne Wealth Consulting Services was founded in 2012. It is owned by family trusts, which are owned by the Beirne family.
The services offered by the firm include:
- Investment management
- Financial planning
- Pension fund consulting
Beirne Wealth Consulting Services Investment Strategy
Beirne Wealth Consulting Services 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 (ETFs), bonds, stocks and options. Fundamental, technical and cyclical analysis methods are all employed to make investment decisions.
Connecticut Wealth Management
Connecticut Wealth Management (CTWM) comes next on our list of Connecticut's top financial advisors. The firm works mainly with individuals, those both with and without a high net worth, along with pensions, profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses. It also works with a single government entity. The firm has a $1 million minimum investment requirement.
The team of advisors at CTWM includes a ton of certified financial planners (CFPs). There are also a handful of certified public accountants/personal finance specialists (CPA/PFS), among other certifications.
CTWM is a fee-based firm. Some of its advisors earn third-party commissions from the sale of securities or insurance products. While this is a potential conflict of interest, the firm is a fiduciary and is therefore legally bound to act in clients' best interests.
Connecticut Wealth Management Background
Connecticut Wealth Management was founded in 2010 and the principal owners of the firm are Kevin C. Leahy, Denis M. Horrigan and Michael A. Tedone. Leahy is CEO and Tedone is COO.
CTWM provides financial planning services, financial consulting services, retirement plan advising and investment management services. Some more specific services include:
- Tax planning
- Risk management
- Investment planning
- Advanced estate planning
- Business succession planning
- Asset allocation planning and review
Connecticut Wealth Management Investing Strategy
Connecticut Wealth Management works with each client to determine their financial needs and objectives. Advisors then use this information to create customized portfolio and investment strategies for each client. Advisors determine each client's risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity preferences, along with other relevant information.
Advisors at CTWM use a range of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to build out client portfolios. They place emphasis on long-term investing and provide ongoing portfolio monitoring. CTWM primarily uses fundamental analysis when evaluating potential investments for clients' portfolios.
Greenwich Wealth Management
Greenwich Wealth Management, LLC is based, appropriately, in Greenwich. The firm’s client base is mostly high-net-worth individuals, with a few other non-high-net-worth 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 charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans and other corporations.
Fees to Greenwich Wealth are paid based on a percentage of assets of management. It is also a fee-only advisor, meaning all of its compensation comes from client-paid fees.
Greenwich Wealth Management 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 and custom-tailored portfolio building.
Greenwich Wealth Management Investment Strategy
Advisors at Greenwich Wealth Management 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, LLC is a West Hartford-based financial advisor firm. The firm has several advisory certifications on staff, including certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), certified public accountant (CPA), chartered mutual fund counselor (CMFC) and 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.
The firm mainly advises non-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 agents or broker-dealers, meaning they may recommend that you buy insurance products or securities. 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. Kille remains with the firm as an owner and has decades of investment management experience under his belt.
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.