Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Greensboro, North Carolina
Looking for a reliable advisor to manage your assets? SmartAsset’s list of the top six financial advisor firms in Greensboro can aid your search process. Below, we outline each firm’s costs, investment strategies, certifications and more. You can also use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Smith, Salley & Associates, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,691,469,449||$500,000|| || |
|2||Stearns Financial Group Find an Advisor||$1,439,316,947||$1,000,000|| || |
|3||Triad Financial Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$720,311,608||$550,000|| || |
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|4||Fund Direct Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$ 540,000,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||DMJ Wealth Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$484,452,091||$1,500,000|| || |
|6||Holderness Investments Co. Find an Advisor||$313,430,168||$1,000,000|| || |
|7||Zuraw Financial Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$238,266,817||$250,000|| || |
|8||Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$232,853,121||$250,000|| || |
|9||Cascades Capital Asset Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$147,325,500||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Greensboro, North Carolina
For this list, we considered all Greensboro firms registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We eliminated any firms that had disciplinary issues with the SEC, did not have financial planners or did not manage individual accounts. Then we ranked the remaining fiduciary firms from most assets under management (AUM) to least.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Smith, Salley & Associates, LLC
Smith, Salley & Associates, LLC (SSA) provides financial planning and ongoing portfolio management services for a diverse range of individuals. The firm has the largest amount in assets under management of any firm on this list.
According to SEC documents, the firm works with about as many high-net-worth individuals as those who fall below that threshold. For portfolio management services, you’d generally need a minimum initial investment of $500,000. However, this minimum may be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Investment management fees generally depend on an annual percentage of assets under management currently capped at 1.0%.
Smith, Salley & Associates Background
G. Mackay Salley and G. Gregory Smith, Jr. formed SSA in 2003. Both serve as the firm’s main principal owners.
The firm’s team currently consists of four certified financial planners (CFPs) and three chartered financial analysts (CFAs).
Smith, Salley & Associates Investment Strategy
SSA deploys financial advisory services based on your needs. If they’re not as complex, you can opt for stand-alone financial planning around the topics you’re interested in. For instance, you can seek assistance on budgeting, cash flow control, retirement savings, estate planning and more. The firm can also build an investment portfolio for you based on your risk tolerance and financial objectives. SSA would monitor this portfolio throughout to make sure it’s best aligned to your goals.
When it comes to investing, the firm focuses on diversification and fundamental analysis. This means it evaluates securities such as stocks based on the company's underlying financials instead of just the conditions of the economic sector it is in. This analysis can dive into topics like financial strength ratios, dividend yields and more.
Stearns Financial Group
Stearns Financial Group is a fee-only, independent financial advisory firm with the second-largest amount in assets under management on this list.
Stearns’ clients are primarily individuals, businesses and charitable organizations. The firm’s minimum account balance is $1 million.
There’s no shortage of in-house financial certifications at the Stearns Financial Group. In total, the firm has five certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three certified public accountants (CPAs), a chartered global management accountant (CGMA) and a chartered financial consultant (ChFC) on staff. Some advisors hold more than one of these titles. Founder Dennis Stearns, for example, is a CFP and a ChFC.
Stearns Financial Group Background
Established in 1991, Stearns Financial Group has been in business at longer than any other firm on this list. Its team, led by founder and president Dennis Stearns, was named one of Inc.’s 5000 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. in 2016.
Stearns offers overall wealth and investment management, long-term financial planning and financial strategies after a major life event, such as a death, divorce or inheritance. For business owners, Stearns offers tax minimization, financial independence and risk management services.
Stearns Financial Group Investment Strategy
Stearns Financial Group says that it emphasizes long-term investment principles. The firm uses strategic asset allocations, diversification and statistical research to try to ensure portfolios’ growth.
The firm says that it follows its original investment plan to a tee, trusting in its vision. However, that doesn’t preclude its advisors from regularly meeting with clients to continue to plan for the future.
Triad Financial Advisors, Inc.
A plethora of experienced advisors reside at the fee-only Triad Financial Advisors. The firm boasts 11 certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered life underwriters (CLUs) and two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs) on staff.
In fact, the firm requires all of its advisors to get CFP designations.
To open an account with Triad Financial Advisors, you will need a minimum of $550,000 in investable assets. That makes Triad fairly accessible to most prospective investors.
Patrick Rush, the firm’s CEO, was recognized by Barron’s in 2017 as the seventh-best financial advisor in North Carolina. As a firm, Triad Financial Advisors has been selected by Financial Times and AdvisoryHQ as one of the top financial advisors in the state.
Triad Financial Advisors Background
Triad Financial Advisors was formed in 2000. Rush, the principal owner of this independent firm, has more than 20 years of experience in the industry.
Triad offers investment analysis, investment management, estate planning, retirement planning, tax minimization and higher-education preparation. The firm also hosts educational workshops and other seminars to teach clients about various financial topics and to keep them up-to-date on what’s going on in the finance industry.
Triad Financial Advisors Investment Strategy
Triad Financial Advisors, Inc. asks investors “would you rather?” questions to determine where their priorities lie. A couple examples from the website include, “Would you rather have more vacations or send your kids to private school?” and “Is it more important to spend your money now and enjoy it or leave a legacy for the next generation?”
The plans that Triad Financial Advisors subsequently builds emphasize what it calls risk capacity. Risk capacity measures what you feel you can afford to lose in an investment scenario, as opposed to the more commonly used measurement of risk tolerance, which is more focused on the natural movement of the investment market.
Fund Direct Advisors, Inc.
Fund Direct Advisors, Inc. is a fee-only firm with several advisors managing more than 200 clients. The firm serves individuals, high-net-worth individuals and pension and profit sharing plans.
Collectively, the credentials among Fund Direct’s advisors include the certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified plan fiduciary advisor (CPFA), certified employee benefit specialist (CEBS), chartered retirement plan specialist (CRPS), chartered mutual fund counselor (CMFC), chartered life underwriter (CLU), enrolled retirement plan agent (ERPA) and more.
Fund Direct mainly charges asset-based fees and hourly fees for its advisory services, and the firm doesn’t have a set account minimum.
Fund Direct Advisors Background
Established in 2010 as a registered investment advisor (RIA) firm, Fund Direct specializes in portfolio management, financial planning, retirement plan consulting and a range of other wealth management advisory services.
The firm’s principal owners are Charles Christopher Stanley and William Elbert Stanley III.
Fund Direct Advisors Investment Strategy
Fund Direct says on its website that its investment approach is rooted in the philosophy of helping its clients determine how much risk they need to take rather than how much risk they can take.
When conducting investment research, the firm utilizes a number of sources, including mutual fund prospectuses, magazines, financial newspapers and other financial research materials.
DMJ Wealth Advisors, LLC
Fee-only investment advisor DMJ Wealth Advisors, LLC ranks fifth on our list of Greensboro’s top firms. This firm manages more than 200 individuals, high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations, pension and profit sharing plans and corporations.
DMJ Wealth’s staff of advisors offer an array of qualifications, including the certified financial planner (CFP), certified public accountant (CPA), qualified plan financial consultant (QPFC), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), chartered life underwriter (CLU) and chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) designations.
The firm’s compensation arrangements consist of asset-based fees, hourly fees and fixed fees. As for its minimum account size, DMJ Wealth requires $1,500,000.
DMJ Wealth Advisors Background
Founded in 1999, DMJ Wealth primarily focuses on investment management, pension consulting, financial planning and advisor selection services.
The firm’s partners are Charles E. Carrick, Sheryl Austin and Jeffrey Hwang.
DMJ Wealth Advisors Investment Strategy
DMJ Wealth’s primary investment method of analysis is modern portfolio theory (MPT). The firm uses this to either maximize portfolio-expected return for a given amount of risk, or to minimize risk for a given level of expected return, according to DMJ Wealth’s firm brochure.
This firm’s Form ADV indicates that it allocates most of its assets among securities issued by registered investment companies or business development companies.
Holderness Investments Co.
Holderness Investments Co. is a financial advisor firm independently run by Richard T. Holderness, the firm’s founder and president. He has nearly 40 years of investing experience, whereas the rest of the staff averages around 20 years’ experience. In total, the firm staffs two certified financial planners (CFPs) and two chartered financial analysts (CFAs).
Although Holderness Investments Co. recommends a minimum account balance of $1 million, that minimum is negotiable. The firm works with more individuals than high-net-worth individuals.
Holderness is a fee-based firm, and clients may be offered insurance by its advisors. However, the firm is a fiduciary, so it’s legally required to act in clients’ best interests.
Holderness Investments Co. Background
Holderness Investments Co. has been around since 1995, making it the second-oldest firm on this list, behind Stearns Financial Group.
Holderness Investments Co. works with about as many high-net-worth individuals as people who fall outside this scope. It also provides services to corporations, charitable organizations and profit-sharing retirement plans.
Holderness Investments Co. Investment Strategy
Holderness Investments Co. builds custom portfolios based on a client's risk tolerance and objectives. It primarily focuses on long-term investments, meaning it generally holds on to securities in a portfolio for at least two years.
Depending on your needs, your portfolio may invest in the following:
- Mutual funds
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Commercial paper
- Certificates of deposit (CD)
However, the firm permits clients to direct investments in specific securities or sectors. Custom portfolio clients are normally scheduled for reviews of their investment performance and goals, but they can call the firm for updates any time. These custom portfolios are generally passively managed.
But the firm also offers actively managed portfolios through its Vision Tactical strategy. Through this program, clients can choose from five portfolios: Equity, Growth, Balanced, Conservative, and Fixed Income. Using mutual funds and ETFs, managers build these portfolios based on their market outlook in an attempt to take advantage of any potential opportunities within individual asset classes.
Zuraw Financial Advisors, LLC
Founded in 2013, Zuraw Financial Advisors, LLC (ZFA) is the youngest firm on our list. Nonetheless, it has accumulated millions in assets under management (AUM). According to official documents it recently filed with the SEC, the firm primarily works with individuals who lie outside the category of high-net-worth. In fact, you’d generally need an initial investment of $250,000 to open an account with ZFA. This arrangement makes ZFA one of the most accessible firms on our list.
And when you work with ZFA, you’d have access to a small staff of experienced advisors. ZFA founder and president Ann Zuraw holds the titles of certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
CFA charges asset-based fees. However, its advisors may also collect commissions based on the sale of specific insurance products. This structure may create a potential conflict of interest. Nonetheless, ZFA is a fiduciary advisor. This means it’s obligated by law to place the best interests of its clients ahead of its own at all times.
Zuraw Financial Advisors Background
ZFA was founded by Ann Zuraw. Coming from a family in the real estate industry, Zuraw decided to pursue a career in helping families manage their finances. According to the ZFA website, the firm “maintains its commitment to serving families, couples, and women.”
ZFA aims to build a holistic financial plan for its clients. This plan can touch upon various topics such as budgeting and cash flow, paying off debt, planning for retirement and managing a comprehensive investment portfolio.
Zuraw Financial Group Investment Strategy
ZFA specializes in portfolio management and financial planning services for individuals. The firm takes into account a client’s risk tolerance, current financial picture, tax situation and more to build an appropriate portfolio that may meet his or her investment objectives. These are primarily constructed with mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and individual equities and fixed income securities.
Clients also get access to a Morningstar portal where they can analyze their portfolio based on factors like fees, asset allocation and securities used to build it.
ZFA charges an asset-based fee for its investment advisory services. This annual fee is currently capped at 1.05% of your assets under management.
If you're still looking for financial advisors, you can use our advisor research tool. It connects you with advisors in your area and provides you with their profiles. You can compare qualifications and specialities before deciding to work with one.
Capital Management, LLC
The $250,000 minimum account balance required by Capital Management, LLC is among the lowest on this list. The overwhelming majority of Capital Management’s clients have high net worths.
Capital Management has two certified financial planners (CFPs) and a certified senior advisor (CSA) on staff. CSAs, a relatively rare certification, specialize in handling the financial needs of people who are retired or nearing retirement.
Capital Management is a fee-based firm. Advisors may earn commissions from selling insurance products to clients. The firm is a fiduciary, though, so it must act in clients’ best financial interest.
Capital Management Background
Prior to founding Capital Management in 1998, CEO and managing partner David P. Gray had built up more than 17 years of experience in financial advising.
Considering the fact that Capital Management has a CSA on staff, it’s no surprise that the firm claims to excel at managing geriatric financial situations. Capital Management is the only firm on this list that offers these services, as most of the other firms focus more on preparing you for retirement rather than on what comes once you reach retirement.
Capital Management Investment Strategy
Capital Management believes flexibility is the key to asset growth. The firm says that it implements this fluidity through asset allocation and diversification, which are based off of your personalized investment strategy. Each client will receive a plan customized to fit his or her needs and overall financial goals. No viable investing opportunities are ruled out.
Cascades Capital Asset Management, LLC
Cascades Capital Asset Management, LLC is a fee-only firm earning its compensation through a percentage of its assets under management (AUM). The firm doesn’t impose an account minimum for its client base of individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.
Cascades currently serves more than 500 clients.
Cascades Capital Asset Management Background
Founded in 2013, Cascades provides portfolio management, financial planning, pension consulting and advisor selection services. The firm’s financial planning services also address other areas such as retirement planning, cash flow planning and insurance analysis.
Barry Carpenter is the firm’s sole principal owner.
Cascades Capital Asset Management Investment Strategy
Cascades says its investment decisions are fundamental research of industries and companies, as well as the analysis of financial market conditions, according to its firm brochure. When conducting fundamental research, Cascades normally reviews factors such as price-to-earnings ratios, financial strength ratios, dividend yields and growth rate-to-price earnings ratios.
The firm mainly invests in equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, bonds and other asset classes.