Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Fort Wayne, Indiana
Finding the right financial advisor is tough when you have plenty of options to choose from. Luckily, SmartAsset narrowed your choices to the top five in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Keep reading to learn what we discovered about each firm.
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Fort Wayne, Indiana
To start, SmartAsset only considered firms registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC). This is because registered financial advisors that are fiduciaries and are required to follow government rules and reporting requirements. Any firm with disclosures or disciplinary issues or that didn’t manage individual accounts was crossed off from the list. The five firms that remained are ordered from most assets under management (AUM) to least.
First on SmartAsset’s Fort Wayne list is Phillips Financial, with $908 million in assets under management. Founded in 2004, it’s the newest financial advisor out of our top five. The firm of 12 advisors is fee-based and offers financial planning, asset management, insurance management, retirement plans and more.
Phillips Financial is located on the west side of Fort Wayne on Inverness Way.
Phillips Financial Background
Robert Phillips is the majority owner, founder and CEO of Phillips Financial. He’s worked in financial services since 1979 and is a certified financial planner (CFP).
Shannon Hardiek owns the second-largest amount of company shares and is the firm’s COO. Hardiek also works as a financial advisor.
Three additional CFPs work here, along with one certified public accountant (CPA) and two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs).
Phillips Financial Investment Process
When you become a client, one of the first things you’ll do is answer a risk tolerance questionnaire. You’ll also discuss your current financial situation as well as your financial goals and objectives. You and your advisor will select a model portfolio that makes the most sense for your needs and your money will be invested.
Your advisor can make adjustments to the model portfolio to more closely align to your objectives, if necessary. In general, Phillips Financial uses mutual funds and ETFs for portfolios. In some cases, individual stocks and bonds may be bought or sold, but for the majority of clients, the firm “follows an investment philosophy of passive investing,” according to paperwork filed with the SEC.
Galecki Financial Management
Galecki Financial Management is a fee-only firm. That means advisors cannot receive compensation from selling you insurance products or mutual funds or other products. The only compensation advisors receive is from set management percentage fees or fixed fees for standalone services.
Galecki, a firm of five advisors, has $362 million in assets under management and has had its doors open since 1990. There’s a minimum annual fee of $5,000 for new accounts and services offered include: asset management, financial planning, tax planning and estate planning. Galecki also specializes in medical investment advisory services. This planning and wealth management service is geared toward physicians and medical groups.
Galecki Financial Management Background
This firm has four owners/principals: Greg Galecki, Albert Kohout, Brady McArdle and Melanie Colwell. All four are certified financial planners (CFPs), Colwell is a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and Kohot has an MBA.
Nine additional employees work for Galecki, including three additional CFPs and one certified public accountant (CFP).
Galecki Financial Management Investment Strategy
This firm primarily uses technical analysis to evaluate investment vehicles. While the firm provides advice on a large number of investments, in general, your portfolio will consist of ETFs and mutual funds. To build your portfolio, advisors will determine your financial objectives, risk tolerance, cash flow needs and time horizon. Your initial questionnaires and meetings will go over these topics so that your advisor can build a portfolio that matches your needs.
Monarch Capital Management
This fee-based firm, in operation since 1994, has $336 in assets under management. Monarch Capital Management offers primarily investment management. Four advisors work for the firm, which is the fewest number of advisors out of the rest of the list. Wealth Advisors Group (the No. 4 firm) has the same number of advisors.
Monarch Capital Management Background
Monarch has three owners: David Meyer, John Meyer and Teresa Tracey. David Meyer has 40 years of investment management experience, and has a master’s degree from Ball State University. John Meyer has 15 years of experience and previously worked at Salomon Smith Barney and Frye-Louis Capital Management before joining the firm. Tracey serves as the firm’s compliance officer and treasurer.
The firm’s three additional employees’ have credentials ranging from a PhD from MIT to a law degree and an MBA. This is one of two firms that doesn’t include certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) or certified public accountants (CPAs) on its staff. The other firm is Compass Financial Advisors, No. 5.
Monarch Capital Management Investment Strategy
Monarch builds portfolios primarily based on individual stocks and bonds. This differs from a large number of financial advisors that use mutual funds and ETFs almost exclusively (investment advice you can get by using a robo-advisor, for example, for a much lower cost). The firm aims to own these stocks and bonds for many years, with minimum turnover. The firm has four key methods to minimize risk of loss: “investing only in securities of profitable and established companies,” avoiding overpaying for stocks, diversifying and avoiding margin or leverage, according to paperwork filed with the SEC.
Wealth Advisors Group
To become a client of the Wealth Advisors Group, you’ll need at least $100,000. This fee-based firm has four advisors, sharing the fewest number of advisors with the No. 3 firm, Monarch Capital Management. The firm has $315 million in assets under management and has been in business since 1991. Clients are offered the following services: financial planning, investment management, estate planning, tax planning and risk management.
Wealth Advisors Group Background
Mark Vanderhagen, Joshen Dewald, Patrick O’Connell and Alex Budzon own the firm, with Vanderhagen serving as president, chief compliance officer and majority shareholder. He is a certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and has worked in the financial industry for 30 years. Vanderhagen’s three additional co-owners are all CFPs, as well.
The firm’s team has nine employees, including an investment strategist and a certified divorce financial advisor (CDFA).
Wealth Advisors Group “Wealth TREK”
Wealth TREK is Wealth Advisors’ financial planning process. The firm states the “Wealth TREK method allows you to organize, coordinate and stay on top of your financial goals while planning for the future.” The process starts with goal orientation. This is where you tell your advisors your financial objectives. Step two is the “unique roadmap.” Your advisor will chart the best course of action to reach your goals. Your risk profile is the third step. You’ll be provided a personal financial risk tolerance assessment to help you find the ideal level of risk for your investments. Step four is accumulation. You’ll find out if you have enough money to do what you want, and how to reach the level you’d prefer. The second-to-last step is retirement spending strategies. You’ll learn how to make a spending plan, control risk and how to make tax-efficient withdrawals in this phase. The final step is recalibration. This is an ongoing process of keeping your financial objectives aligned with your plan.
Compass Financial Advisors
The final firm on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisors in Fort Wayne is Compass Financial Advisors. The firm manages $195 million in assets and has no asset minimum for clients, but may enforce a base fee on a case-by-case basis. The fee-based firm has operated since 1998 and has 12 advisors. Services offered include investment management, estate planning, tax planning, risk management and retirement plans, including 401(k)s, 457 and 403(b)s and individual IRAs.
Compass has two offices in Fort Wayne and one office in Valparaiso, Indiana.
Compass Financial Advisors Background
The firm has half a dozen owners. Only one shareholder, Bruce Patterson, chartered life underwriter (CLU) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC), works at the firm. Jerry Lencke is Compass Financial Advisors’ senior vice president. He has a background in business and management. He started working in the financial industry in 1998 with Smith Barney. He is Series 7, 65 and 63 licensed. The firm has seven total employees who work out of the Fort Wayne office. There are no certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) or certified public accountants (CPAs) at the firm.
Compass Financial Advisors Investment Strategy
Compass uses fundamental analysis, technical analysis, charting and cyclical analysis to evaluate securities for investment. Your portfolio’s asset allocation is guided by your financial information. Your net worth, financial goals, liquidity needs and risk tolerance are used to develop your investment policy statement, the document your advisor uses to choose assets for your portfolio. Compass Financial uses stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, private placements and convertible securities when building your account.