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Top Financial Advisors in Des Moines, IA

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by Chris Thompson Updated

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. For a more tailored approach, take advantage of SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which will automatically set you up with an advisor match in your area.

Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 $1,787,703,000

$300,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

$300,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
2 $402,777,000

$300,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Selection of other advisors through third party

Minimum Assets

$300,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Selection of other advisors through third party
3 $299,640,400

$75,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$75,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

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4 $131,190,100

$500,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
5 $119,100,000

$1,000,000

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

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops
6 $106,219,300

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

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.

Foster Group, Inc.

Foster Group, Inc.

With nearly $1.8 billion in assets under management (AUM), Foster Group, Inc. manages more than triple the funds that the next firm on this list, Sherpa Investment Management, does. Foster Group also has the largest financial advisor team, with 22 advisors. This group holds many certifications, including 18 certified financial planners (CFPs), eight financial paraplanner qualified professionals (FPQPs), five accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), three certified public accountants (CPAs), one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA), one chartered advisor in philanthropy (CAP), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one certified kingdom advisor (CKA). The CKA is a unique certification that enables designees to “effectively integrate biblical financial wisdom into client counsel.”

This fee-only firm’s client base is mostly made up of non-high-net-worth individuals. It requires a $300,000 account minimum.

Along with just River Glen Wealth Counselors, LLC, this firm offers pension consulting services. The availability of this service gives Foster more experience managing pensions than most other firms on this list.

Foster Group, Inc. Background

Foster Group, Inc. was established in 1991, making it the most senior firm of this list. It is independently owned by 17 different principals, 15 of whom are employees. The firm claims it has had “no turnover in front-line advisory staff in 25 years.”

Individual clients of this firm can choose from a long list of services, such as retirement analysis, estate planning, charitable gift planning, cash-flow analysis, education saving analysis, investment analysis, insurance review and personal financial statement creation. The firm also handles consultations for any holders of pension accounts or profit-sharing plans.

Foster Group, Inc. Investing Strategy

Foster Group, Inc. says that the core of its portfolios is based on market research and each client’s unique needs. The firm believes that the usage of diversification, strict portfolio structure and trading cost minimization are the three keys to successful investing. The firm merges these concepts with a client’s risk tolerance, liquidity needs and overall financial goals to create a portfolio that it believes will serve a client’s needs. 

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and investment company securities are the main investments that Foster will utilize. The firm believes that this investment mix will provide a solid balance between short-term and long-term returns in an attempt to achieve clients’ investment objectives.

Sherpa Investment Management

Sherpa Investment Management

Sherpa Investment Management says it works with a variety of clients. This fee-only firm lists the following as those that it typically serves:

  • Those in a life transition
  • Anyone with complex financial situations
  • Business owners
  • Corporate executives
  • Philanthropic individuals
  • Family/community minded people

However, more than three-quarters of the firm’s clients are high-net-worth investors. In order to open an advisory relationship with this firm, you will need a minimum of $300,000 in investable assets.

This firm’s advisory staff has a rather unique combination of certifications, featuring the three chartered advisors in philanthropy (CAPs), one chartered advisor for senior living (CASL) and one certified kingdom advisor (CKA). There are also nine certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two accredited estate planners (AEPs), one chartered life underwriter (CLU) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC).

Sherpa Investment Management Background

As Sherpa Investment Management is a division of Syverson Strege & Company (SS&C), it is not run as an independent firm. SS&C is owned by senior financial planners Johnne Syverson and David Strege, who have a combined 65 years of experience in personal finance.

This firm has various services in place to ensure that regardless of where you are in life, you can find financial help in some way. This is true whether you’re looking to save for retirement, create an estate, save on taxes or build a college fund for your children.

Sherpa Investment Management Client Experience

Your work with Sherpa Investment Management begins with a discovery report, which aids your advisor in defining the weak points of your current financial situation and determining how those can be improved. Although this firm does have a standardized process for building successful portfolios, it takes a personal approach too. To do this, your advisor will take your risk tolerance, income volatility, time horizon and tax situation into consideration.

Once everything above is in order, a specific portfolio plan is created, complete with financial planning recommendations and prospective asset allocations. Should you agree with what the firm wants to implement, the plan will be put into practice and rebalanced periodically so it stays in place.

Boyle Capital Management, LLC

Boyle Capital Management, LLC

Boyle Capital Management, LLC has the second-lowest account minimum on this list, standing at $75,000. The overwhelming majority of its clients are non-high-net-worth individuals. The firm also has experience managing assets for estate and trust holders, corporations, businesses, charities and pension and profit-sharing plans. There are two chartered financial analysts (CFAs) who work in the firm’s offices. 

Boyle Capital Management and River Glen Wealth Counselors, LLC are the only two firms on this list that charge performance-based fees. Insurance policies may be offered to you as a client of this firm, and sales may result in commissions for the firm’s advisors. This firm is a fiduciary, though, meaning its employees are required to act in your best financial interest always.

Boyle Capital Management, LLC Background

Boyle Capital Management’s president, Brian Boyle, created the firm in 2004 after just four years in the industry. The firm’s advisory team averages about 10 years of experience in the financial services field.

Clients can enter into either a discretionary or non-discretionary portfolio management agreement with this firm, meaning the firm may or may not have full control of your account. More specific financial planning services are available as well, offering clients the chance to build a portfolio aimed at reaching their goals.

Boyle Capital Management, LLC Investing Strategy

Your portfolio is built according to your risk tolerance and time horizon. The firm says that this is done to avoid blindly following any cookie-cutter models that could inhibit sustained growth. To further combat this possibility, Boyle’s advisors will also focus on rebalancing your account when it strays too far from its original asset allocations or if your objectives are amended.

There is a certain set of investment types that this firm uses for client portfolios. These include exchange-traded funds (ETFs), various securities, bonds, mutual funds and some equities. But if you feel that any of the above investments are something you’d rather avoid, let your advisor know in writing and the firm will oblige.

River Glen Wealth Counselors, LLC

River Glen Wealth Counselors, LLC

River Glen Wealth Counselors, LLC is a fee-based financial advisor firm that specializes in wealth management for individuals (both those that have high net worths and otherwise), businesses and foundations. It imposes a minimum account size of $500,000. A sizeable portion of its client base have high net worths.

For a small advisory group of just three, River Glen Wealth Counselors has garnered a surprising number of certifications. You’ll find two certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one retirement income certified professional (RICP).

This firm includes performance-based fees in its cost structure.  Aside from Boyle Capital Management, LLC, no other firms on this list charge this fee. River Glen Wealth Consultants is also one of two firms, alongside Foster Group, Inc., that has experience with pension consulting.

In the event you decide to open an account with this firm, know that you might be offered insurance. River Glen Wealth Counselors, LLC is a fiduciary though, requiring it to act in your best interest.

River Glen Wealth Counselors, LLC Background

Managing director Matthew Busick is the 100% principal owner of River Glen Wealth Counselors, which was formed in 2008. His firm employs an advisory team that boasts an average of 20 years in asset management, which means the team offers experience well beyond the firm’s lifespan.

Investing for a purpose is an experiential strength of this firm. Depending on what’s most relevant to you and your situation, the services listed below are available with River Glen:

  • Budget analysis
  • Retirement planning and analysis
  • Net worth analysis
  • Education planning and analysis
  • Insurance analysis
  • Risk profile analysis
  • Basic estate planning
  • Non-retirement “accumulation” goal planning

River Glen Wealth Counselors, LLC Investment Analysis

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other index funds are the backbone of the portfolios that River Glen Wealth Counselors, LLC constructs. The firm isn’t totally limited to these investment types, however, as it also uses bonds, mutual funds and equities.

The quality of an investment is just as important as its classification. To analyze an investment, the firm uses fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis is extremely hands-on, resulting in the firm taking a deep dive into a company’s statements, product line, level of expertise and overall stock value and movement.

On the other hand, technical analysis involves taking processed data from an investment and placing it into equations that produce pricing trends. These patterns can then be taken into account when determining an investment’s volatility, and ultimately, whether it makes sense for your portfolio.

West Financial Advisors, LLC

West Financial Advisors, LLC

A fee-only firm, West Financial Advisors, LLC has three financial advisors on staff. This compact team splits four certifications between them though, including two certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one retirement income certified professional (RICP).

Individuals and/or 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 has two different account minimums. It serves either households with at least $1 million in assets, or those with a net worth exceeding $2 million. Even with these high minimums, the firm still serves fewer high-net-worth than non-high-net-worth clients.

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 Client Experience

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 placed into algorithms to figure out how your portfolio will be diversified across asset classes.

This firm believes that rebalancing your account according to market changes is just as important as rebalancing to your original portfolio plan. 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.

Value Wealth Management, LLC

Value Wealth Management, LLC

An extraordinarily wide range of clients have worked with this fee-only firm. Value Wealth Management, LLC’s clients range from young professionals interested in retirement, to those currently building their retirement accounts to retired individuals who are looking to manage their wealth. 

The firm has no set account minimum. However, more than half of the firm’s clients are high-net-worth individuals. There are two chartered financial advisors (CFAs) and two certified financial planners (CFPs) in this firm’s offices.

Value Wealth Management, LLC Background

Value Wealth Management, LLC has worked with clients for more than 25 years. The firm, which was formerly known as Svanoe & Thompson, LLC, is currently owned by principal James Thompson.

Depending on where you are in your retirement saving “schedule,” the services that this firm provides to you may differ. For example, young professionals are often offered assistance in choosing a retirement account, whereas those who have reached retirement age may be offered cash-flow budgeting and income tax planning.

Value Wealth Management, LLC Strategy

Value Wealth Management, LLC uses multiple asset classes when fleshing out its client portfolios. This includes stocks, bank loans, U.S. and non-U.S. bonds, real estate investment trusts, commodities and foreign currency.

Asset allocation and strong diversification is the firm’s next step, and it uses both strategic and tactical asset allocations. This is done both to satisfy a client’s risk aversion and eventual time horizon, as well as to take into account independent research assessments that shed a light on the possible risk and return of a particular investment.

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 cost of living in retirement there.

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

Methodology SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities. Using that calculation, we determined how many years $1 million would last in retirement in each major city.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors throughout the country. 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.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%, reflecting the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Finally, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would last in each of the cities in our study.

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