Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Fort Worth, Texas
Financial advisors can play a key part in planning your retirement, helping you establish education funds for your children and helping manage your estate and investments. The problem is you have a lot of choices when it comes time to find a firm to work with. That’s why SmartAsset gathered all the financial advisors in the Fort Worth area and researched each one. Below, we present what makes each top firm unique. 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||Diesslin Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$585,367,000||$1,000,000|| || |
|2||Teak Tree Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$553,109,700||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|3||Whitley Penn Financial, LLP Find an Advisor||$531,278,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|4||Karsten Advisors Find an Advisor||$413,803,300||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||SMH Capital Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$408,243,300||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|6||Dean, Jacobson Financial Services Find an Advisor||$268,063,000||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|7||WWK Wealth Advisors Find an Advisor||$236,148,500||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||OverRidge Wealth Advisors Find an Advisor||$161,965,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Mercantile Investment Advisors Find an Advisor||$117,867,400||$500,000|| || |
|10||Aspen Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$112,590,600||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Fort Worth, Texas
The list only contains firms registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). SEC-registered financial advisors follow rules and regulations, including adhering to fiduciary duty standards. If a firm had a disclosure or disciplinary issue, it didn’t make the list. Neither did financial advisors that didn’t manage individual accounts. The firms left after our filtering process are arranged from most assets under management to least.
Diesslin Group, Inc.
Diesslin Group, Inc. has seven advisors and $585 million in assets under management. The firm offers financial planning, asset management, retirement planning, tax planning and more. Diesslin Group is fee-only, which means advisors cannot accept compensation for selling you certain securities or insurance products. Fee-only is a stricter standard to meet than the other common compensation model, fee-based.
To become a client, you'll need at least $1 million in investable assets. In turn, nearly two-thirds of Diesslin's client base is made up of high-net-worth individuals. The firm also has services for trusts, estates, charitable organizations, businesses, retirement plans and investment companies.
Diesslin Group, Inc. Background
David Diesslin, chairman, founded the firm in 1980, making it one of the oldest firms on our list. He’s had his certified financial planner (CFP) designation since 1983. Diesslin has an MBA from University of Dallas and has been named one of the “Best Financial Advisors” in Worth Magazine, Medical Economics and Money Magazine.
The seven-person team includes two additional CFPs, an enrolled agent (EA), a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and an accredited tax advisor (ATA).
Diesslin Group, Inc. Investment Philosophy
Diesslin has three foundations it rests on for investments: a conservative approach that’s fundamentals-based and purpose-oriented. Those three tenets help guide the firm’s investment strategy.
Advisors will build you a globally diversified portfolio that will be monitored a rebalanced as necessary. The firm generally creates portfolios that have no-load stock mutual funds and bond mutual funds. While the firm does have some accounts that have individual stocks and other securities, for the most part, if you invest with Diesslin, your money will go invested in mutual funds.
Teak Tree Capital Management, LLC
Teak Tree Capital Management, LLC, another fee-based company, has been in operation since 2009 and has four advisors. The firm is the first on the list that doesn’t have an asset minimum or minimum annual fee. However, about a quarter of the firm's client base is made up of high-net-worth individuals. Teak Tree is also known to work with individuals, families, estates, trusts, businesses and charitable organizations.
Teak Tree has $553 million in assets under management and offers financial planning, consulting and investment management services.
Teak Tree Capital Management, LLC Background
Partners Adam Deem and Stephen Kaye own the firm. Deem is a certified financial planner (CFP) and has an MBA from Texas Christian University. He got his start in financial services working for Merrill Lynch. Kaye earned his CFP in 2003. Before his financial advisor career, he was a newspaper reporter and editor.
Eight people total work for the firm, including another CFP, a certified public accountant (CPA) and a chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC).
Teak Tree Capital Management, LLC Investment Strategy
Teak Tree has three main investment strategies: income-based, income and growth-based and growth-based. The first strategy aims to give you a steady income with the least possible fluctuation. Income and growth-based portfolios have the goal to provide a rising income and portfolio growth. This strategy expects moderate fluctuation in value. The last strategy, growth-based, is a moderately aggressive portfolio that will have the highest fluctuation out of the three.
If you have less than $250,000, your portfolio will consist of mutual funds and possibly ETFs. Invest more than $250,000, and your portfolio will contain individual stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs. The reason behind the difference is cost effectiveness for the size of your account. You’ll find a similar structure at most financial advisor firms.
Whitley Penn Financial, LLP
If you’re a native of the Fort Worth area, the name Whitley Penn Financial, LLP may be familiar to you because its parent company, Whitley Penn, a prominent public accounting firm, shares the same name. It is a fee-based firm and has $531 million in assets under management. The firm has six advisors and was formed in 2000. Services offered include asset management, financial planning, insurance services, estate planning and qualified retirement plans.
Whitley Penn Financial has locations in several cities throughout Texas, namely in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and Texas City.
Whitley Penn Financial, LLP Background
This firm is employee owned. More than 13 employees have shares in the company. Tom Rein is the managing director and partner-in-charge. He’s a certified public accountant (CPA) with the personal financial specialist (PFS) designation. He has worked for Whitley Penn since 1985.
Four certified financial planners (CFPs) work for the firm as well as an additional CPA. There are also three chartered retirement plan specialists (CRPSs), one certified plan fiduciary advisor (CPFA), one chartered life underwriter (CLU), one certified family business planning specialist (CFBPS) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF). In total, 11 employees work at Whitley Penn Financial.
Whitley Penn Financial, LLP Investment Strategies
This firm follows five main principles when managing your portfolio: leverage diversification to reduce risk, seek lower volatility to enhance returns, enhance returns and reduce risk through global allocation, employ asset class investing and design efficient portfolios.
Advisors provide advice on cash, stocks, mutual funds, bonds and ETFs. That said, your portfolio will mostly consist of mutual funds, according to the firm’s SEC-filed brochure. This is similar to the No.1 firm on the list, Diessen Financial Group, that invests primarily in mutual funds as well. The biggest difference between the two is that Diessen is fee-only while Whitley is fee-based, meaning that the latter can receive compensation for selling certain mutual funds or insurance.
Karsten Advisors, a fee-based firm, has 10 advisors and has been a registered investment advisor since 2011. The firm offers financial planning, portfolio management, tax planning and insurance planning.
New clients of Karsten do not need to worry about a minimum account size stipulation. Almost 90% of the firms 800-plus accounts are for clients below the high-net-worth threshold, which is generally set at $750,000 in investable assets or a net worth of $1.5 million according to SEC standards.
Karsten Advisors Background
Tom Kartsen is the president and chief investment officer of the firm. The predecessor to Karsten Advisors was Pearson Financial Services, which was founded in 1977 by Karsten’s family. He has an MBA from Texas Christian University and is a certified financial planner (CFP) and an enrolled agent (EA). Karsten has worked in the financial services industry since the 1990s.
The firm has 20 employees, giving it one of the largest staffs on this list. There are five certified public accountants (CPAs), two CFPs (including Karsten) and one certified fund specialist (CFS). As you can tell by the numbers, the firm specializes in tax planning and management.
Karsten Advisors Investment Strategies
Karsten offers some unique investment opportunities. Along with providing the typical investment advice on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, etc, advisors at the firm are familiar with diversified real estate, energy and natural resources hedge funds, leasing and loan portfolios, private note and bond offerings, venture capital and other unique investments. Unlike the first two firms that rely on mutual fund portfolios, Karsten Advisors invests in a variety of securities, using stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds.
SMH Capital Advisors, LLC
A full 96% of the client base at SMH Capital Advisors, LLC consists of individuals beneath the high net worth threshold. While this client type is undoubtedly the main focus of SMH, it also works with high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, foundations, endowments, corporate pension and profit-sharing plans, Taft-Hartley plans, charitable institutions, insurance companies and private investment funds. The minimum needed to become a client of this firm varies from $200,000 to $5 million.
The staff at SMH Capital does not hold any advisory certifications.
Note that as a fee-based firm, a few of SMH's advisors have the opportunity to earn additional income from the sale of certain securities or insurance products. As a firm, though, SMH Capital Advisors is a fiduciary, and is required by law to act in your best interest at all times.
SMH Capital Advisors, LLC Background
President and chief investment officer Dwayne Moyers founded SMH Capital Advisors back in 1996, making this firm one of the oldest on this list. Moyers is also the managing member and principal owner of SMH and has been employed in the financial industry for around 30 years.
SMH Capital is known for its general wealth management services, but this includes much more than a traditional management service would. More specifically, this is broken down into three offerings: the Advisor Platform Programs, the SMH Capital Investments Program and the Institutional Program. Financial planning is typically provided on a complimentary basis to clients.
SMH Capital Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
Perhaps the most highly developed area of SMH Capital Advisors' services is its set of in-depth, proprietary investment portfolio models. These are essentially divided up based on the relation between your risk tolerance and desired return level. Take a look over these five examples below:
- High income strategy - This is the most liquid model that SMH offers, as it consists of 100% high-yield convertible and corporate bonds, with a bit of leftover cash.
- Diversified income strategy - Half of this model includes the aforementioned high-yield bonds, with the latter 50% being comprised of investment grade or AAA bonds.
- Core plus intermediate term strategy - This model takes things a step further by introducing 75% investment grade or AAA bonds and 25% high-yield bonds.
- Absolute income strategy - This model looks to achieve a high-level of income by investing in real estate investment trusts (REITs), high-yield corporate bonds, high-dividend equities and closed-end mutual funds.
- Municipal income strategy - This portfolio is fully packed with municipal closed-end mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in an effort to produce tax-advantaged income.
Dean, Jacobson Financial Services
Dean, Jacobson Financial Services has $268 million in assets under management and offers financial planning, asset management, risk management and retirement plan consulting. It is a fee-based firm. The four-person firm has been a registered financial advisor since 1997, but has been in operation since 1967.
The minimum investments at Dean, Jacobson vary depending on the type of portfolio you want to open. These requirements go as follows:
- Optimum Market Portfolios Program: $10,000
- Personal Wealth Portfolios Program: $250,000
- Model Wealth Portfolios Program: $25,000
- Manager Access Select/Manager Access Network: $100,000
Dean, Jacobson Financial Services Background
Dean, Jacobson is owned by Don Jacobson, Jeffrey Schmeltekopf and Timothy Lowry. Jacobson, a veteran of the firm since 1980, holds the chartered life underwriter (CLU) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC) credentials. He got his start in financial services in 1975.
Schmeltekopf has a handful of credentials, including CLU, ChFC, certified financial planner (CFP) and accredited investment fiduciary (AIF). He’s been at Dean, Jacobson since 1989 and currently serves as partner, advisor and chief compliance officer.
Lowry, the third owner, is the newest, having joined in 2002. Before Dean, Jacobson, he was an associate planner at an investment management firm in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a CFP and ChFC. The firm has six other employees, including one additional CFP.
Dean, Jacobson Financial Services Investment Strategy
Dean, Jacobson uses LPL Financial, a large corporation, for portfolio management. The firm uses seven model portfolios. The portfolio your advisor chooses for you will be based on your specific needs. This includes the basics, like your financial goals and objectives, plus factors such as risk tolerance, time horizon, cash flow needs and liabilities.
The optimum market portfolios program (OMP) has the lowest minimum, set at $10,000. The personal wealth portfolios program (PWP) requires $250,000. The model wealth portfolio (MWP) requires $25,000 and consists of mutual funds and ETFs.
WWK Wealth Advisors
You might recognize one of the people behind WWK Wealth Advisors, Roger Whitney, by his brand name, “The Retirement Answer Man.” Whitney is one of the founders and owners of the firm goes by that moniker for his podcast and personal financial education website.
This fee-based firm has no asset minimum and has operated as a registered investment advisor since 2003. WWK Wealth Advisors offers investment management, financial planning and consulting. The firm boasts $236 million in assets under management.
Certain advisors at WWK may earn commissions for the sale of specific securities and/or insurance products. The firm is a fiduciary though, legally binding it to act in clients' best interests.
WWK Wealth Advisors Background
Roger Whitney, one of the founders, is a certified financial planner (CFP), certified investment management analyst (CIMA), certified private wealth advisor (CPWA) and an accredited investment fiduciary (AIF). He got his start in financial services in 1990. Philip Wetzel, another co-founder, was a CEO of a corporation before founding the firm. He’s worked in financial services for almost 20 years. The third and final founding partner is Lorna Kuether-Alvey, the first female co-founder on this Fort Worth list. She serves as head of operations and has more than 30 years of experience. Of this trio, only Wetzel and Kuether-Alvey are principal owners.
The firm has five additional employees, including two with CFP designations and two employees with MBAs.
WWK Wealth Advisors Investment Strategies
This firm uses fundamental, technical and cyclical analysis to evaluate investments. Each method of analysis offers insight to whether the company is a good investment or not. At WWK, your assets will be invested in individual equity securities (stocks), mutual funds and ETFs. This is another firm that uses LPL Financial for broker-dealer/custodian for your investment management assets.
OverRidge Wealth Advisors
OverRidge Wealth Advisors, formerly known as Lee Johnson Capital Management, LLC, is a fee-based financial advisor with $161 million in assets under management. The firm can trace its roots all the way back to 1970 when it was titled Lee Johnson & Associates. It specializes in investment and portfolio management, insurance planning and retirement planning. Financial planning, while offered, is not emphasized at this firm. There are no specified asset minimums and there are four advisors at OverRidge.
As a fee-based firm, some of OverRidge's advisors sell insurance policies on a commission basis. However, irregardless of the possible conflict of interest that could arise from this, the firm is a fiduciary and therefore must act in clients' best interests no matter what.
OverRidge Wealth Advisors Background
Andrew Heinz is the owner, president and CEO of OverRidge Wealth Advisors. He’s worked at the firm since 1995, when he started as an intern. Heinz has a degree in finance from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Nine additional professionals work at OverRidge. This is the first firm on the list without any certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) or certified public accountants (CPAs). OverRidge focuses most of its business on investment management, retirement and insurance.
OverRidge Wealth Advisors Investment Strategy
Advisors at OverRidge use proprietary software called BigFoot investments to help guide portfolio management. Two main questions are constantly asked at the firm, “What should we be investing in?” and “When should we be invested?” Those two questions guide the big picture for the team.
As for analysis, the firm uses three primary methods: charting, fundamental and technical. Each type of analysis gives advisors insight to a particular aspect of a security which helps guide investment decisions.
Mercantile Investment Advisors
A fee-only firm in northern Fort Worth, Mercantile Investment Advisors has almost $118 million in assets under management. The firm employs just two financial advisors to manage those client funds. That team includes two certified financial planners (CFPs) and one certified personal retirement specialist (CPRS).
As things currently stand, Mercantile's client base consists solely of individuals. Only about one-third of those individuals have a high-net-worth. Beyond this, the firm offers services for families, retirement accounts, estates, family limited partnerships, trusts, charitable organizations and institutions. New clients are required to have $500,000 in investable assets.
Mercantile Investment Advisors Background
Mercantile Investment Advisors has been in business since 2003 and is owned by John Ford, president and chief investment officer. Ford boasts 30 years of experience between the investment and banking industries. While the firm's principal office is in Fort Worth, it acquired investment firm Herbert R. Smith & Company in 2005, giving it a second location in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Financial planning and investment management are the core services at Mercantile. Some of its areas of experience include estate planning, education fund planning, retirement planning, debt management, investment planning and portfolio monitoring.
Mercantile Investment Advisors Investment Strategy
Although a client's risk tolerance, time horizon and financial goals are of the utmost importance, the attributes of securities are of equal significance. This involves evaluating price charts, general market trends and even investment manager experience for applicable funds. Here are a few of the baseline characteristics Mercantile takes a look at:
- Global, national, industry and market exposure
- Expected return for the anticipated portfolio holding period
- Current value in comparison to the overall market and similar securities
- Expected and current dividend yield
Mercantile Investment Advisors appears to be open to using any investment type to help a client fulfill their objectives. However, there are a few investments that it prefers, like equities, fixed-income securities, ETFs and mutual funds.
Aspen Wealth Management
Despite around 40% of Aspen Wealth Management's client base being high-net-worth individuals, the fee-only firm does not have a minimum investable asset requirement for new accounts. Aspen also works with individuals, families, businesses and retirement plans.
The four-person advisory team at Aspen Wealth Management handles $112.6 million in client assets under management. Even though the firm is considerably smaller than its competition towards the top of this list, there are three certified financial planners (CFPs) and an enrolled agent (EA) working at Aspen.
Aspen Wealth Management Background
Aspen Wealth Management is an independent female-owned firm, as it is led and under the sole ownership of founder and president Helen Stephens. Stephens has held her CFP designation since 1993 and has been active in the investment management and financial planning businesses for 30 years.
Financial planning is the premier offering for clients of Aspen Wealth. Variations of this service include planning for retirement, education, taxes, business, budgets, cash flow, investment, real estate and insurance. The firm unqiuely provides financial planning for women as well. Asset and wealth management are also available through Aspen.
Aspen Wealth Management Investment Research
Many of the investment decisions that Aspen Wealth Management makes are based in its proprietary market and economic analyses. Contrary to this, some firms outsource this work or use the prebuilt research tools of a larger firm like Charles Schwab. The factors taken into account during this process are the sales, assets, management, financial structure, earnings and products as they relate to a certain security. To complete this and other technical analysis, Aspen utilizes computer software.