Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Denver
Denver, Colorado, has a diverse offering of financial advisor firms. SmartAsset’s ranking of the top 10 firms in Colorado’s capital can make your decision a little bit easier. Through our dozens of hours of research, we’ve narrowed the field down to just 10 financial advisor firms. All you’ll need to do is examine the finer differences between these top-ranking firms, such as fee structure, account minimum and areas of expertise, to pinpoint which financial advisor best suits your needs.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$10,687,217,357||$350,000|| || |
|2||IWP Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,992,744,728||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|3||GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,277,257,308||$500,000|| || |
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|4||Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,204,341,145||$25,000|| || |
|5||Private Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,001,371,294||$500,000|| || |
|6||Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC Find an Advisor||$884,812,541||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||The Institute for Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$855,949,638||$100,000|| || |
|8||Cherry Creek Family Offices Find an Advisor||$827,089,054||$40,000,000|| || |
|9||Paragon Capital Management Find an Advisor||$816,663,415||$700,000|| || |
|10||Sharkey Howes & Javer, Inc. Find an Advisor||$710,487,380||$250,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Denver
To come up with this list of the top 10 financial advisor firms in Denver, SmartAsset considered all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission-registered firms located in the city, as these firms are all fiduciaries. From there, we cut any firms that had disclosures, did not have financial planners on staff or did not manage individual or high-net-worth individual accounts. The remaining firms were then sorted according to assets under management. This list of the top financial advisor firms in Denver is ranked from highest assets under management to lowest.
Mercer Global Advisors, Inc.
Fee-only Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. is SmartAsset's top financial advisor firm in Denver. Outside of its headquarters in the city, the firm boasts offices throughout Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Connecticut, Montana, New Jersey, Hawaii, California, Wisconsin, New York, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Washington, Virginia and Delaware. There are 223 financial advisors working here to manage the firm's nearly $10.7 billion in assets under management (AUM).
There are few competing firms that can rival the plethora of advisory certifications that Mercer has. In fact, there are more than 100 certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified public accountants (CPAs) on staff here.
Individuals and high-net-worth individuals are Mercer's most common client types. It also maintains advisory relationships with pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses. The firm generally requires accounts to have a minimum of $250,000 in investable assets.
Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. Background
Mercer Global Advisors was established in 1985 by founder Kendrick Mercer. It began as a law practice that focused on estate planning. After seeing an unmet need, though, he decided to launch an investment advisory firm with the mission of helping its clients achieve "economic freedom."
The firm provides services like comprehensive investment management, financial planning, family office services, tax planning, estate planning and retirement plan design and administration.
Mercer Global Advisors, Inc. Investment Strategy
Mercer Global Advisors' investment strategies include:
- Strategically weighted investments
- Broad asset class and multi-factor diversification
- Attention to cost
- Separate account managers and institutional funds
- Systematic rebalancing
- Tax and distribution management
Beyond those basic tenets, the firm offers an array of customized strategies designed to meet varying risk tolerance levels, time horizons and investment objectives. These include total return strategies, defensive strategies and income strategies.
IWP Wealth Management, LLC
IWP Wealth Management, LLC does not necessarily have a set account minimum, so long as clients pay their individually negotiated, fixed quarterly fee. The fee-only firm’s client base is made up almost entirely of high-net-worth individuals, which account for nearly 90% of its clientele.
IWP Wealth Management manages almost $2 billion in assets, the most of any firm on this list. It has five certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA) on staff.
IWP Wealth Management, LLC Background
IWP Wealth Management, LLC was founded in 2004. The firm’s primary shareholder is its founder, Charles A. Willhoit. All IWP Wealth Management partners own equity in the firm.
The firm was formed because its founders thought that while the financial industry had wealth management covered, it wasn’t offering much in the way of assistance with the day-to-day complexities of wealth. IWP Wealth Management, which identifies as a family office, limits the number of families it serves so it can ensure it’s always available to provide counsel and guidance.
That’s just one piece of the firm’s four-part equation, though. The firm also offers accounting and impact assessment, asset preservation growth and tax and estate planning and wealth transfer.
IWP Wealth Management, LLC Investing Philosophy
IWP Wealth Management’s philosophy is generally risk-averse and more focused on wealth preservation than on aggressive returns. It tends to opt for low-cost indexed mutual funds for its portfolios, and will tailor clients’ portfolios to align with their interests.
The firm’s approach is based on fundamental analysis, but it also may consider investor psychology and other factors that may affect appreciation or depreciation.
IWP Wealth Management, LLC Resources
IWP Wealth Management has a wealth platform, where its clients can sign in to monitor their investments' growth over time and other financial information.
GHP Investment Advisors, Inc.
To be a client of GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. (GHPIA), you’ll need at least $500,000 in investable assets. The fee-only firm is one of a few on this list that has a majority of individual clients. High-net-worth individuals account for just one-fifth of its client base.
GHP Investment Advisors has three certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified public accountants (CPAs), two personal financial specialists (PFSs) and one certified internal auditor (CIA) on staff.
GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. Background
GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. was founded in 1995. The firm is a member of GHP Financial Group, the operator of GHP Horwath, P.C., which is one of Colorado’s biggest accounting firms. Its connections give this fee-only, independent firm access to a variety of accounting, tax, financial and business advisory experts.
GHPIA claims to be all about integration. When working with clients, the firm focuses on widespread wealth management for your entire life. It wants to get everyone from your accountant to your insurance broker to your attorney on the same page and working toward the same goals.
The firm customizes portfolios to fit clients’ needs, goals and risk level. It makes its selections using a unique tool called the GHPIA Benchmark Valuation Indicator, which measures risk through various statistical tools to weed out anything high risk.
GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. Resources
“Investment Insights,” GHP Invesment Advisors’ newsletter, is published every quarter. It offers news, market data and analyses.
Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC
Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC offers a large selection of experts and a 100% satisfaction guarantee on its comprehensive financial planning services. The firm has an impressive five certified financial planners (CFPs). In addition, the firm has two certified private wealth advisors (CPWAs), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
The minimum investable assets needed to be a client of Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC is $25,000. The fee-only firm’s client base is mostly comprised of individuals and high-net-worth individuals, but also includes trusts, estates, charitable organizations, businesses, trusts and estates.
Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC Background
Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC was founded in 1991. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of Focus Operating, LLC, which is owned by Focus Financial Partners, LLC. In September 2017, Carnick & Kubik acquired First Houston Capital, a fee-only registered investment advisor based in Houston, Texas.
Carnick & Kubik’s portfolios strategies include portfolios of individual securities issues, portfolios of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and no-load mutual funds, or some combination of those, based on the clients’ risk tolerance. The firm’s investment strategies focus on the long term, but it believes that strategies should be adjusted according to shorter term shifts in market conditions and economic cycles.
Carnick & Kubik Group’s 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
If, for whatever reason, its clients aren’t completely satisfied with the financial planning process, Carnick & Kubik offers a 100% money back guarantee.
The firm’s plans address what it’s identified as five critical areas: the understanding of a client’s financial situation and goals, the establishment of short-term and long-term goals, the identification of any potential obstacles, the creation of a plan and the ongoing monitoring of that plan.
Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC Resources
Carnick & Kubik provides clients an account dashboard, Junxture ClientView, where they can check in on their financial information. In addition to that handy resource, the firm also has a retirement calculator, an education savings calculator and a major purchase calculator to help people to understand their financial situations and set goals.
Carnick & Kubik publishes Markets Outlook, which provides assessments of the market and economic conditions, on a quarterly basis. What’s particularly distinctive about these looks back and forward is that they’re done in video form.
Private Capital Management, LLC
To be a client of Private Capital Management, LLC, you’ll need at least $500,000 in investable assets. The firm’s client base is almost entirely comprised of individuals both with and without a high net worth.
The fee-only firm has six certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) on staff. It also has its own unique system for rating investments, its proprietary investment ranking system.
Private Capital Management, LLC Background
Founded in 2000, Private Capital Management, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guaranty Bank and Trust Company, which is owned by the bank holding company Guaranty Bancorp. The firm boasts more than 70 years of combined investment experience.
PCM portfolios are primarily comprised of no-load mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and index funds. The firm uses in-depth fundamental research and its own proprietary quantitative investment ranking system to find investments that balance risk and return.
The firm offers a complimentary investment portfolio review. Its financial planning services are also complimentary, and the firm offers them on occasion and on a discussion basis with new and existing clients.
Private Capital Management also puts out a market commentary on a quarterly basis. Past commentaries dating back to the first quarter of 2016 are available on the firm’s website.
Private Capital Management’s Proprietary Investment Ranking System
Private Capital Management has come up with its own system to evaluate investments called their proprietary investment ranking system. Every month, the firm screens a large selection of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to figure out which may be good investments for its clients. Once screened, the investments are ranked according to this system, which considers indicators like volatility, risk, bear market performance, measures of risk adjusted returns and cumulative returns over varying time periods.
The firm uses this method, as well as qualitative research, to identify investments for its clients.
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC
Coming in sixth place is fee-only firm Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC. There are eight financial advisors currently on staff at Syntrinsic's offices in northern Denver. Across that team, you'll find two chartered financial analysts (CFAs) one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) and one advisor with a certificate in investment performance measurement (CIPM). There is no minimum required to become a client.
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel has a majority of individuals clients. The firm also actively maintains relationships with estates, trusts, charitable organizations, family partnerships, retirement plans and profit-sharing plans.
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC Background
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel is under the leadership and principal ownership of CEO Ben Valore-Caplan. In 2008, Valore-Caplan founded Syntrinsic.
Outside of the firm's trio of investment management services, clients can take advantage of investment policy statement review and development, customized performance reporting, tax planning, philanthropic gift planning, intergenerational wealth planning, cash liquidity management and more.
Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC Client Experience
Before Syntrinsic Investment Counsel feels comfortable designing your investment portfolio, it will delve into what type of investor you are. For example, those that are more risk averse will typically avoid equities and leech onto safer investment types, like ETFs, mutual funds and bonds. Aside from risk tolerance, your time horizon, liquidity needs and investment goals will be of the utmost importance.
The exact asset allocation that your portfolio follows will be based on Syntrinsic's proprietary market and investment analysis. It completes this research on two time scales: long-term (10 years) and short-term (less than three years). The allocation that maximizes your return potential according to your risk tolerance will then be implemented, monitored and rebalanced as needed.
The Institute is a fee-only financial advisor firm with just three advisors on staff. There are no advisory certifications present at this firm. You will need at least $100,000 in investable assets to become a client of The Institute. Because of this, the vast majority of the firm's client base is made up of individuals. Aside from this, The Institute works with trusts, estates, high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans, corporations, charitable organizations and state and municipal government entities.
The Institute Background
CEO Matthew Medeiros founded The Institute in 2003 and has spent more than 16 years in financial services. Medeiros remains the principal owner of the firm, though this is done indirectly through a holding company, The Institute for Wealth Management Holdings, Inc.
Comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services are the main offerings at The Institute. More specifically, investment management clients will be privy to the firm's proprietary investment models. If you're looking for financial planning services, you can select from the following:
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Tax planning
- Charitable gift planning
- Stock option planning
- Education planning
- Insurance review and planning
The Institute Investment Strategy
The Institute has created at least 11 portfolio strategies that clients are matched to based on their personal risk tolerance, financial objectives, time horizon and more. These include different asset allocations and investment types, such as bonds, fixed-income securities, equities, ETFs, mutual funds, real estate, commodities and alternative investments. According to its Form ADV, The Institute has utilized research from "leading institutional managers" to inform their final investment decisions.
Cherry Creek Family Offices
Cherry Creek Family Offices, LLC is a firm targeted at a niche group of very wealthy families. It has a much higher account minimum than the other firms on this list. The company's website says that its method of investing is “best suited” for those with at least $40 million in investable assets. The firm handpicks its clients, placing an emphasis on only working with “respectful people.”
Cherry Creek Family Offices has no certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff, but does have two certified public accountants (CPAs).
Cherry Creek Family Offices, LLC Background
Cherry Creek Family Offices, LLC was formed in 2011. It’s owned by the firm’s managing partner, Timothy Ulfig, and the firm’s chief financial officer, Ben Novak.
As the firm’s name implies, it is focused on families - to be specific, very wealthy families. The firm works with its client groups to come up with what it calls a “Family Mission Statement,” which is essentially an agreement that informs all of the group’s financial decisions.
Cherry Creek Family Offices’ Emphasis on Individualization
Cherry Creek tailors its services according to what its clients want, and it lets its clients impose restrictions on particular investing selections and sectors.
The firm states that it believes in educating its clients, and allowing them to make the ultimate decisions about their investments rather than pushing particular solutions or products. The firm provides consultations, reviews and updates to clients at no additional charge.
Cherry Creek has an in-house private equity team that works on private investments. Its investment strategy uses long-term purchases, like securities held for at least a year.
Paragon Capital Management
Paragon Capital Management, a firm that handles a variety of issues from wealth management to financial planning, primarily serves high-net-worth individuals and families. Its clients must have a minimum of $700,000 in investable assets.
Paragon Capital Management is one of a few firms on this list that do not have any certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff. Paragon does, however, have three chartered financial analysts (CFAs).
Paragon Capital Management Background
Paragon Capital Management was founded in 1990 by the firm’s current owners and managing directors, Alexander Feick and Henry Lester.
The firm customizes its investment strategies to suit its clients’ objectives and situations, whether that’s a socially responsible portfolio or the unique exposures presented by large corporate stock holdings. Paragon invests in individual stocks and bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, and it also may invest in hedge funds and investment partnerships.
In addition to wealth management, estate planning, charitable gifting, educational funding and risk management strategies, Paragon also helps executives with career transitions. The firm helps clients assess alternative career opportunities and also helps to negotiate employment contracts.
Paragon Capital Management Resources
Though Paragon Capital Management’s website is a bit outdated, it’s packed with helpful information. The firm provides detailed descriptions of its mission, approach and services. Its Literature section offers PDF versions of its reviews and commentaries dating back to April 2007.
Sharkey Howes & Javer, Inc.
Sharkey Howes & Javer, Inc. (SHJ) has more than 1,000 individual clients. The firm is also known to have advisory relationships with high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and trustees. New clients need at least $100,000 in investable assets.
The staff at SHJ has a number of advisory certifications to its name. The firm has eight certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered life underwriter (CLU) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).
Sharkey Howes & Javer is a fee-only firm, meaning all of the compensation it receives is only from client-based fees. This is as opposed to a fee-based firm, which charges client-based fees, as well as commissions for the sale of insurance policies, securities or other financial products.
Sharkey Howes & Javer, Inc. Background
This firm can trace its roots back to 1990 when it was originally titled Sharkey, Howes, Wagner & Javer. Today, SHJ is owned by principals Eileen Sharkey, Lawrence Howes, Joel Javer, Mimi Hackley, Harold Kirschner and Karlton Childress. This group has spent, on average, almost 30 years in the financial services industry.
Although investment managment is the main offering of SHJ, it also offers clients multiple variations of financial planning. Its services entail investment portfolio design, diversification, ongoing investment advising, retirement planning, cash flow analysis, business planning, life insurance planning, education cost planning and more.
Sharkey Howes & Javer, Inc. Investment Strategy
Stocks, bonds and cash are the primary investment types used by Sharkey Howes & Javer. Following your initial meeting with an SHJ advisor, the firm will pair you with a specific asset allocation strategy. Some examples of these options are asset preservation, ongoing income, purchase power protection, long-term growth and aggressive growth. Your personal risk tolerance, time horizon, financial goals and any liquidity needs will ultimately determine which of the above philosophies best fits you.