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||IWP Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,424,725,200|| |
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|2||GHP Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,057,738,300|| |
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|3||CoBiz Wealth Find an Advisor||$848,737,700|| |
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|4||Cherry Creek Family Offices Find an Advisor||$828,504,000|| |
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|5||Paragon Capital Management Find an Advisor||$778,038,100|| |
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|6||Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$632,200,000|| |
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|7||Investment Security Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$607,261,900|| |
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|8||Cardan Capital Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$596,970,000|| |
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|9||Private Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$515,298,600|| |
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|10||SRS Capital Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$506,595,000|| |
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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 (SEC)-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.
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 firm’s client base is made up almost entirely of high-net-worth individuals, which account for 76% - 99% of its clientele.
IWP Wealth Management manages $1,424,725,217 in assets, the most of any firm on this list. It has four certified financial planners (CFPs) 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 four on this list that has a majority of individual clients. High-net-worth individuals account for just 11% - 25% of its client base.
Aside from IWP Wealth Management, it’s the only firm with more than $1 billion in assets under management. GHP Investment Advisors has two certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified public accountants (CPAs) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA) 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 what it’s dubbed “life wealth,” as opposed to just financial wealth. 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.
Founded in 1975, CoBiz Wealth is by far the oldest firm on this list. On top of those years of experience in the business, the firm’s advisors have an impressive array of expertise. The firm has one certified private wealth advisor® (CPWA®) and one retirement income certified professional® (RICP®) on staff. It also has three certified financial planners (CFPs) and six chartered financial analysts (CFAs).
CoBiz Wealth recommends an account minimum of $1 million. The firm primarily serves high-net-worth individuals; individuals make up just 10% of the firm’s clients.
CoBiz Wealth, LLC Background
Cobiz Wealth is principally owned by CoBiz IM, Inc., of parent company, CoBiz Financial Inc. CoBiz Wealth’s ties to CoBiz Financial give it access to a suite of financial services, including philanthropic planning, trust and estate guidance, transition management and banking. However, CoBiz Wealth may receive a referral fee if it passes a client along to its affiliates, CoBiz Bank and CoBiz Insurance, and vice versa.
CoBiz Wealth builds customized investment portfolios for each of its clients, so the firm says it places an emphasis on learning about its clients and their financial needs and goals. The in-house investment team at CoBiz is in charge of proprietary equity and fixed-income portfolios. The firm states that it turns to external managers with complementary investment methods to make sure investment opportunities are balanced.
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 firmss 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 executives’ career transitions, primarily serves high-net-worth individuals. Its clients must have a minimum of $700,000 in investable assets.
Paragon Capital Management is one of two firms on this list (aside from Cherry Creek Family Offices) that does not have any certified financial planners 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 also says it’s game for an “out-of the ordinary requests and analyses” from clients.
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.
Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC
Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC offers a large selection of experts and a 10% money back guarantee on its financial planning process. The firm has an impressive six certified financial planners, tying it with SRS Capital Advisors for the most CFPs of any firm on this list. In addition, the firm has two certified private wealth advisors® (CPWAs®), one certified investment management analyst, 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 $500,000. The fee-only firm’s client base is 11% - 25% individuals and 51% - 75% high-net-worth individuals.
Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC Background
Carnick & Kubik Group, LLC was founded in 2011. 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 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% Money Back 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 unique about these looks back and forward is that they’re done in video form.
Investment Security Group, Inc.
Like many of the firms on this list, Investment Security Group, LLC requires a minimum of $500,000 in investable assets. Investment Security Group (ISG) serves a higher percentage of individuals than high-net-worth individuals.
The firm has three certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one certified wealth strategist® (CWS®).
ISG is the only firm on this list that includes commissions in its investment advisory fee structure.
Investment Security Group, LLC Investing Strategy
Investment Security Group, LLC has been in business since 1992. The firm’s principal owners are its founder Michael Dibala, and principal David Giocomo.
The team at ISG includes experts in portfolio management, financial planning and tax and estate planning. The firm’s investing advice is focused on the long term, but it actively watches the markets and routinely checks in on its clients’ portfolios and will engage in shorter term trading activities.
ISG’s overall investment strategy is a three-level process. First, it looks at the economy and the markets to determine allocation between bonds, stocks and cash asset classes. Then, it looks for any pricing inefficiencies or early trends. After that, it will identify money managers who have excelled in these areas, or it will select individual securities.
Investment Security Group, LLC Resources
Investment Security Group, LLC makes an effort to keep its clients in the know. The firm updates its clients on their progress quarterly, with a phone call or sometimes a letter. Its newsletter, which offers the firm’s perspective on the markets, also goes out quarterly. Its website offers additional articles and relevant links.
Furthermore, Investment Security Group advisors or outside experts hold informative seminars throughout the year, with topics ranging from recent tax law changes to estate planning. The firm’s annual investment update meeting, alongside other client events, gives clients an opportunity to hear from the firm’s advisors.
Cardan Capital Partners, LLC
Cardan Capital Partners, LLC was founded in 2015, making it the newest firm on this list. The firm has no account minimum. Its account fees generally range from $1,000 to $20,000, though it has no minimum fee either. The firm’s Form ADV indicates its client base is almost entirely high-net-worth individuals.
Cardan Capital Partners has one certified financial planner (CFP) and two chartered financial analysts (CFAs). Notably, some of the firm’s staff are registered representatives of a broker/dealer and some are licensed insurance agents. The firm may receive commissions from these activities.
Cardan Capital Partners, LLC Background
Though Cardan Capital Partners was founded just a few years ago, in 2015, its founding partners average more than 20 years of experience. The firm is wholly owned by its four founding partners, Ross Fox, Matt Papazian, Martha Awad and Sarah Keys.
The firm’s name reflects how it approaches wealth management. A Cardan suspension, the firm’s website explains, “has multiple applications but is primarily known as a navigational tool used in sailing to ensure a steadfast heading in both calm and rough waters.” The tool, which is found in compasses and spacecraft, is representative of the firm’s goal of providing its clients “stability and balance in any economic environment,” the firm explains.
Cardan Capital Partners, LLC Investment Strategy
Cardan Capital Partners, LLC places an emphasis on low-cost and tax-efficient investment. The firm’s approach to asset allocation and investment selection is three-pronged: it looks at fundamental, technical and economic research to come up with individualized strategies for its clients. Cardan Capital Partners mostly relies on its own independent research and quantitative models to make investment decisions regarding its client portfolios, but it also considers the research of other top investment firms and third-party independent research providers.
All of Cardan Capital Partners’ model portfolios include exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Client assets are also allocated among individual debt and equity securities as well as mutual funds.
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 (76% - 99%), while high-net-worth individuals make up just 11-25% of the firm’s clientele.
The fee-only firm has four certified financial planners (CFPs) and four chartered financial analysts (CFAs) 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 and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 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 are offered 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 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.
SRS Capital Advisors, Inc.
SRS Capital Advisors, the final firm on our list of the top 10 Denver financial advisors, has one of the lowest account minimums of any firm on this list. Clients must have at least $100,000 in investable assets. Its client base is split between high-net-worth individuals and individuals.
SRS Capital Advisors has six certified financial planners (CFPs), tying it with Carnick & Kubik for the most CFPs of any firm on this list. It also has the most financial advisors of any firm on this list, with 14 advisors on staff.
Note that the firm’s founder spends roughly 15% of his time managing SimonDavis Brokerage Services, and certain advisors at the firm may sell insurance products, for which the firm and the advisor may receive a commission.
SRS Capital Advisors, Inc. Background
The firm was founded in 2004 as SimonDavis Asset Management. The firm’s founder, David Simon, sought to make a firm that was independent and free from conflicts of interests, which he thought would in turn provide clients with a higher level of service. The firm was rebranded as SRS Capital advisors and expanded in 2012.
SRS Capital Advisors emphasizes the importance of integration and comprehensiveness in wealth management. Though its investment philosophy centers on the long term, it argues that a “buy and hold” strategy alone is not enough in the face of globalization and technological advances. It thus strives to balance a long-term outlook with short-term flexibility.
SRS Capital Advisors has a range of investment strategies, which vary by risk level. However, all strategies and accounts, use a mix of ETFs, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and alternative investments, as well as investment managers whose style and expertise correspond to client needs.
SRS Capital Advisors, Inc Resources
The firm has a relatively robust offering of resources. You can sign up for SRS Capital Advisors News: Highlights & Insights updates, which delivers market and economy news, monthly updates and your financial performance reports straight to your inbox. The current and past issues of the firm’s quarterly newsletter, Highlights and Insights, can be downloaded through the firm’s website.
In addition, the firm occasionally conducts seminars on topics like investment programs, estate and wealth transfer planning, business planning and insurance products.