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Top Financial Advisors in Des Moines, IA

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Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Des Moines, Iowa

SmartAsset created this list of the top financial advisor firms in Des Moines after in-depth research and analysis. In tables and in reviews below, we highlight what each firm charges in fees, what its minimum account balances are and how it invests client assets. To find an individual advisor, use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which will pair you up with financial advisors near you based on your needs. For information on every advisor in your area, explore SmartAdvisor Match.

Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Gilbert & Cook, Inc. Gilbert & Cook, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$405,558,633 $1,000,000
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Secletion of other advisors
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Secletion of other advisors
  • Pension consulting services
2 Legacy Financial Group Legacy Financial Group logo Find an Advisor

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$387,395,124 None
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of advisors
  • Educational seminars

Minimum Assets

None

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of advisors
  • Educational seminars
3 West Financial Services, LLC West Financial Services, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$159,400,000 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops

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How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Des Moines, Iowa

Any firm that is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and operates in Des Moines was considered for placement on this list. However, firms that had no financial planners, had disciplinary issues on record with the SEC or didn’t manage individual accounts were eliminated. The remaining firms are listed below, ordered from the most assets under management (AUM) to the least.

Gilbert & Cook

Gilbert & Cook, Inc.

Gilbert & Cook, Inc. is an independently-owned advisory firm based in Des Moines. It currently holds more than $400 million in assets under management with an investment-advisory team of just eight. The firm offers financial planning and consulting as well as individual investment advisory services. 

According to recent filings with the SEC, the firm primarily works with individuals, most of which are in the high-net-worth category. In fact, you need a minimum initial investment of $1 million to receive investment advisory services from Gilbert & Cook.

Some representatives of the firm, however, are registered to sell certain securities and may earn commissions from such recommendations. This may pose a conflict of interest. Nonetheless, the firm works under the fiduciary standard, so it’s required to place your best interests ahead of its own. 

Gilbert & Cook Background

Gilbert & Cook was founded in 1994. However, it has been an SEC-registered investment advisor since 2006. The firm is owned by Marlis A. Gilbert, Linda Lundstrom Cook, and Christopher C. Cook.

The firm charges asset-based fees that can range to up to 2.25%. Financial planning fees can range from $150 to $28,000 on a flat basis. Hourly rates, however, can’t extend beyond $350 per hour.  But unlike some of the firms on this list,Gilbert & Cook offers more specific services such as divorce planning. 

In addition, the advisory staff collectively holds six certified financial planner (CFP) designations. The team also features certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), certified public accountant (CPA), accredited domestic partnership advisor (CDPA),  and accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA) credentials. 

Gilbert & Cook Investment Strategy 

When it comes to its investment advisory program, Gilbert & Cook works with Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., an SEC-registered financial services firm. It finds independent money managers for you to work with through Schwab Advisor Services.  Gilbert & Cook also considers the right investment management style for you. It aims to find an appropriate match based on several factors including the following if its applies to your situation: 

  • Risk tolerance
  • Time horizon
  • Retirement plan
  • College savings plans
  • Other available sources of income or assets
  • Projected Social Security benefits
  • Liquidity needs 

Gilbert & Cook also monitors the performance of these managers on an ongoing basis. 

Under the Managed Account Select Program, clients have access to the Schwab Center for Financial Research and access to a range of prescreened money managers across various investment styles. Account minimums through this program are $100,000 for Stock/Equity Managers and $250,000 for Bond/Fixed Income Managers.

The truly hands-on investors may be interested in the Managed Account Access program. This allows clients to work with various money managers and conduct their own research through a bundled program. According to Gilbert & Cook, this option includes “single contract structure, low account minimums, bundled fees, manager and strategy flexibility and variety, performance reporting and managed account tools and resource.”

Legacy Financial Group

Legacy Financial Group

Legacy Financial Group , LLC

The Legacy Financial Group is an SEC-registered advisor that first opened its doors in 2010, making it one of the youngest firms on our list. But in its short spree, it has accumulated more than $300 million in assets under management (AUM). 

And unlike several advisors, Legacy Financial Group specializes in actively managed portfolios. In other words, the firm generally considers asset allocations that aim to outperform market benchmarks. 

Legacy Financial Group 

Legacy Financial has been in business since 2010. The firm is wholly owned by Spectrum Wealth Advisors. However, the firm serves in a fiduciary capacity. This means it is required by applicable law to place the best interests of the client ahead of its own. 

The firm’s staff includes one certified financial planner (CFP). This title is considered a major credential in the financial advisor space. To earn one, you must go through a series of rigorous examinations and training. 

Legacy Financial Group Investment Strategy 

Legacy Financial focuses on actively managed investment portfolios. This strategy involves utilizing research, analysis theories and other resources to select investments that may have potential for major return. 

According to recent documents the firm has filed with the SEC, “The Adviser believes that a portfolio should be diversified, and excess returns can be achieved by overweighting undervalued asset classes and investment styles.”

Unlike passive management strategies, active investing aims to outperform a market benchmark as opposed to mimicking it. However, such investments are generally more heavy on the fee side. 

At Lincoln Financial Group, you’d be charged an asset-based fee for investment services. The maximum is currently 1.25% of your assets under management. These fees are billed quarterly on a pro-rata basis. Fees for financial planning generally range from $150 to $250 an hour.

West Financial Advisors, LLC

West Financial Services, LLC

A fee-only firm, West Financial Advisors, LLC has six financial advisors on staff. The team collectiveley features three certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA), three certified public accountants (CPAs), and one retirement income certified professional (RICP). 

Individuals and their spouses make up the majority of this firm’s client base. More specifically, the firm serves new parents, active retirees, empty nesters, entrepreneurs, strong women and emerging executives. The firm does not have a set account minimum. However, the firm is focused on serving high-net-worth investors, defined as households with a least $1 million managed by the firm or individuals with a net worth exceeding $2 million.

West Financial Advisors, LLC Background

Husband and wife financial advisor duo, CIO Brian West and managing partner Laura West, independently own West Financial Advisors, LLC. The firm was founded in 2006, but its advisor team has an average of more than 18 years in the financial industry.

This firm manages portfolios for many different types of clients and its offered services are equally as diverse. The firm’s most used services are financial planning, retirement and estate planning, insurance evaluation and tax minimization. Depending on what’s easiest for you, the firm will hold meetings with clients either in-person or online.

West Financial Advisors, LLC Investment Strategy

Before the portfolio construction process can begin, West Financial Advisors, LLC likes to make sure that it knows exactly what your desired investment style is. To do this, the firm will schedule a face-to-face consultation to learn about your risk tolerance level and time horizon. These guidelines are then taken into consideration to figure out how your portfolio will be diversified across asset classes.

This firm enagages in active management and believes that rebalancing your account according to market changes as important as designing your original asset allocation. But because success can be defined in more than one manner, the firm uses previous performance benchmarks to determine how well your portfolio is performing.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research