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Top Financial Advisors in Des Moines, IA

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Des Moines, Iowa

SmartAsset created this list of the top financial advisory firms that serve Des Moines, Iowa 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 advisor in your area, use SmartAsset’s free matching tool.

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Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Legacy Financial Group Legacy Financial Group logo Find an Advisor

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$713,089,262 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Educational seminars/workshops
2 DMKC Advisory Services, LLC DMKC Advisory Services, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$540,134,397 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
3 West Financial Advisors, LLC West Financial Advisors, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$475,000,000 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops
4 Des Moines Investments, LLC Des Moines Investments, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$140,000,000 No required minimum
  • Investment management
  • Financial planning
  • Wrap fee programs

Minimum Assets

No required minimum

Financial Services

  • Investment management
  • Financial planning
  • Wrap fee programs

What We Use in Our Methodology

To find the top financial advisors in Des Moines, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the city. Next, we filtered out firms that don't offer financial planning services, those that don't serve primarily individual clients and those that have disclosures on their record. The qualifying firms were then ranked according to the following criteria:

  • AUM
    Firms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
  • Individual Client Count
    Firms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
  • Clients Per Advisor
    Firms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
  • Age of Firm
    Firms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
  • Fee Structure
    Firms with a fee-only (as opposed to fee-based) compensation structure are ranked higher.

All information is obtained through public records and is updated annually after the firms’ form ADV filing. This list may include firms that have a business relationship with SmartAsset, in which SmartAsset is compensated for lead referrals. Such relationships have no impact on our rankings, and firms are included and ranked based strictly on the above criteria. SmartAsset is not a client of the aforementioned firms, and did not receive compensation for including any of the firms on the aforementioned list.

Legacy Financial Group

The Legacy Financial Group, the first firm on our list of top practices in Des Moines, is an SEC-registered advisor that first opened its doors in 2010. 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.

This is a fee-based firm, meaning some of its advisors can sell insurance products and securities on a commission basis. Despite the potential conflict of interest, this creates, the firm is legally bound to act in clients' best interests due to its fiduciary duty.

Legacy Financial Group works primarily with individuals who do not have high net worth, although the firm does have high-net-worth clients. The firm's advisors have earned industry designations such as the certified financial planner (CFP) designation, and the accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) designation.

There is no account minimum.

Legacy Financial Group Background

Legacy Financial Group has been in business since 2010 and also conducts business as Longenecker Financial Services. The firm is wholly owned by Spectrum Wealth Advisors, which in turn is owned by William Elson and Brian Hood. 

Legacy Financial Group is also ranked among the top 10 firms in the state by SmartAsset. 

The firm offers a variety of services, including portfolio management, financial planning, consulting services and financial education services. Legacy Financial Group also has a wrap fee program, which bundles together several services for one consolidated fee. 

Legacy Financial Group Investment Strategy 

Legacy Financial Group focuses on actively managed investment portfolios. This strategy involves utilizing research, analysis theories and other resources to select investments that may have the potential for a 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 heavier on the fee side.

DMKC Advisory Services

DMKC Advisory Services is the next firm on our list of the top financial advisors in Des Moines. DMKC works mainly with individual clients, those both with and without a high net worth. Other clients include institutions, such as charities and businesses.

DMKC is a fee-based firm that employs advisors who may also receive commissions from selling insurance products or securities to clients. This potential conflict of interest is mitigated by the fact that the firm is a registered fiduciary advisor. This means it is legally obligated to act in the best interests of clients at all times.

Account minimums vary depending on the type of services a client seeks. The firm's Anchor Program requires a $50,000 account minimum, while the Atlas Program requires a $500,000 minimum. 

Like Legacy Financial Group, DMKC is also rated among the top 10 firms in Iowa. 

DMKC Advisory Services Background

Daniel M. Kelly founded DMKC Advisory Services in 2007, and the firm registered with the SEC as an investment advisor the same year. Kelly serves as the president of the firm. D.M. Kelly & Company, which Kelly founded in 1995, is the parent company of DMKC. The Daniel M. Kelly 2004 Trust is the majority owner of D.M. Kelly & Company.

DMKC provides its clients with both investment portfolio management services and financial planning and consulting services.

DMKC Advisory Services Investment Strategy

DMKC works with its clients to provide tailored investment strategies that help them meet their individual financial goals. Advisors meet with clients on a regular basis to determine an overall financial profile, including tolerance for risk, liquidity needs, financial history, desired investment strategy and more.

Advisors at DMKC primarily use fundamental analysis to inform their investment decisions and long-term purchases to help drive growth in client portfolios. They use a range of model strategies, ranging from conservative income to aggressive growth.

West Financial Advisors

A fee-only firm, West Financial Advisors comes last on our list. The team collectively features the designations of certified financial planners (CFPs), certified public accountants (CPAs),  chartered financial analysts (CFA), and retirement income certified professionals (RICP).  

Individuals and their spouses make up the majority of this firm’s client base. More specifically, the firm mainly serves high-net-worth individuals and their families. The firm does not have a set account minimum, but it 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.

As a fee-only outfit, advisors at West Financial do not recommend or sell third-party financial products or services for commissions. Instead, the firm's revenue comes solely from the direct fees that clients pay for advisory services. These fees are based on a percentage of a client's assets under management and/or charged as a fixed rate. 

West Financial Advisors Background

Husband and wife financial advisor duo, CIO Brian West and managing partner Laura West, independently own West Financial Advisors. The firm was founded in 2006, but its advisor team has an average of about 20 years in the financial industry.

This firm manages portfolios for many different types of clients and its offered services are equally as diverse. Clients have access to financial planning and portfolio management services, as well as periodicals the firm publishes and educational seminars/workshops that it offers.

Westt Financial Advisors is also recognized by SmartAsset as one of Iowa's top-rated firms. 

West Financial Advisors Investment Strategy

Before the portfolio construction process can begin, West Financial Advisors 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 engages 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.

Des Moines Investments

Des Moines Investments is a fee-only advisory services firm focused on investment management, financial planning and wrap fee programs. As a fee-only firm, there is no conflict of interest with recommended investments because the advisors do not receive commissions on the sale of securities.

There is no required account minimum to work with Des Moines Investments. The firm works with individuals, trusts and business owners. 

Des Moines Investments Background

The firm was founded in 2008 by David Harkin, who has served as a registered investment advisor since 2008. The firm has two advisors today and manages around $140 million across 400 clients. 

Des Moines Investments Investment Strategy

The firm offers a personalized investment advice approach to specialize the investments of each individual client around these factors: 

  • Goals and objectives
  • Time horizon
  • Risk tolerance
  • Current and future income needs
  • Portfolio diversification
  • Tax considerations
  • Outside investments and retirement plans
  • Liquidity requirements
  • Inflation protection

The firm aims to be forward-looking at the markets in relation to the economy, business cycle and changing events that could impact investments.


How Long $1mm 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.

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

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

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%. 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