Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Houston, Texas
Finding the right financial advisor can be a time-consuming endeavor, and Houston residents have a long list of options to choose from. Through dozens of hours of research, SmartAsset narrowed it down, identifying the top 10 financial advisor firms in Houston. Below, we’ve laid out what sets these top 10 firms apart from the pack and from each other.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Avalon Investment & Advisory Find an Advisor||$8,381,714,741||$5,000,000|| || |
|2||Linscomb & Williams Find an Advisor||$4,218,658,522||$1,000,000|| || |
|3||USCA RIA, LLC Find an Advisor||$4,118,967,084||$50,000|| || |
|4||Paul Comstock Partners Find an Advisor||$2,789,443,496||$25,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$25,000 minimum annual fee
|5||Avidian Wealth Solutions LLC Find an Advisor||$2,603,870,679||$500,000|| || |
|6||Galapagos Partners, L.P. Find an Advisor||$732,803,935||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||Chilton Capital Management LLC Find an Advisor||$1,595,201,430||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||Mosaic Advisors Find an Advisor||$301,754,956||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||CORDA Investment Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,242,987,987||$5,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$5,000 minimum annual fee
|10||Tanglewood Total Wealth Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,224,748,000||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Houston, Texas
To find the top financial advisors in Houston, Texas, 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:
Avalon Investment & Advisory
Avalon Investment & Advisory is the top financial advisor in our roundup, as this fee-based firm has by far the most assets under management (AUM) on the list. The firm employs two certified financial planners (CFPs), seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
The firm requires a $5 million investment and primarily caters to high-net-worth individuals. However, Avalon's client base also includes individuals without high net worths, pensions, profit-sharing plans, insurance companies, charitable organizations and corporations.
Because a majority of Avalon's advisors are also representatives of a broker/dealer and can earn commissions on certain transactions, Avalon is considered a fee-based firm. Despite the potential conflict of interest this creates, Avalon has a fiduciary duty to act in its clients' best interests.
Avalon Investment & Advisory Background
Founded in 2001, Avalon Investment & Advisory is owned by individuals and outside entities, including The Cynosure Group, an investment service located in Salt Lake City, Utah. No one individual or outside investor owns more than 25% of Avalon Investment & Advisory. While it’s based in Texas, Avalon serves customers across the globe.
Outside of its Houston office, Avalon operates a secondary branch in San Antonio, which was opened in 2014. The firm offers a variety of services, including financial planning, portfolio management, selection of other advisors including private fund managers, and educational seminars.
Avalon Investment & Advisory Investment Strategy
A unique feature of Avalon Investment & Advisory is its investment strategy committee, which comprises domestic and international equity and fixed-income portfolio managers. This group monitors and analyzes the global financial markets to stay on top of trends and opportunities that may be relevant to clients portfolios. The committee develops asset allocation guidelines that are then tailored to each client’s unique situation.
The firm employs a fundamental, long-term investment approach. Portfolios may include domestic and international equities, fixed-income and select alternative investments.
Linscomb & Williams
Founded in 1971, Linscomb & Williams is the oldest firm on this list. The fee-only advisory service has expertise in retirement, estate and tax planning. It boasts the largest collection of certified financial planners (CFPs) on this list, with 19 CFPs on staff. The firm also has three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), eight certified public accountants (CPAs), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and one accredited estate planner (AEP).
To be a client of Linscomb & Williams, you’ll need at least $1 million in investable assets. Despite the comparatively high account minimum, the firm serves a majority of individual clients without a high net worth. Clients also include high-net-worth investors, pensions, profit-sharing plans and corporations.
Linscomb & Williams Background
Linscomb & Williams, a firm comprised mostly of attorneys and accountants, was founded five decades ago. Through a series of acquisitions, the financial advisory firm became a wholly owned subsidiary of Cadence Bank, N.A. Linscomb & Williams operates as a principal offering in Cadence Bank’s wealth management division. While the firm may refer clients to Cadence, it does not receive payments from Cadence if it does so.
In 2019, Linscomb & Williams acquired Wealth & Pension Services Group, an investment advisory firm located in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, Linscomb & Williams offers financial planning, pension consulting services and portfolio management on a descretionary basis, meaning advisors don't need to consult their clients when making individual portfolio decisions.
Linscomb & Williams Investment Strategy
To determine how it will allocate assets in client portfolios, the firm states that its advisors develop a recommended investment policy, which takes into account a client’s risk tolerance, return goals, liquidity needs and any other special circumstances. The firm mainly uses stocks, bonds and cash equivalents.
"For most clients, the end result of our portfolio management process is to recommend and implement an investment policy that emphasizes long-term purchases as opposed to short-term trading," the firm states in its Form ADV brochure.
USCA RIA, LLC
USCA RIA, the third highest-rated firm in Houston, is part of a larger financial services boutique called U.S. Capital Advisors, LLC. The firm requires clients have a minimum of $50,000 in investable assets -- one of the lowest requirements of any firm on this list. USCA RIA typically works with individual investors, both with and without high net worths. The firm also counts pensions, profit-sharing plans, charities and corporations among its clients.
This fee-based firm boasts a large team of on-staff advisors. Of those advisors, there are five certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one chartered portfolio manager (CPM).
With advisors who are also licensed insurance agents and representatives of a broker/dealer, USCA RIA is considered a fee-based advisory firm because its advisors can earn commissions on certain transactions. It's important to note that USCA RIA is a fiduciary and must act in its clients' best interests despite these potential conflicts of interest.
USCA RIA Background
Founded in 2010, USCA RIA is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Capital Advisors LLC, an integrated financial services boutique that also owns USCA Securities, LLC, USCA Asset Management and USCA Management, LLC. Some of the advisors at USCA RIA are also registered with USCA Securities LLC, a registered broker-dealer.
USCA RIA offers financial planning, portfolio management and a wrap fee program, which charges clients a single fee for a suite of services. The firm manages assets on both a discretionary and non-discretionary basis.
USCA RIA Investment Strategy
Generally speaking, USCA RIA's investment strategies are based on client needs, goals and objectives. In developing investment advice, the firm uses fundamental, technical, quantitative methods of analysis, as well as statistical tools and valuation methodologies.
Clients may agree to a wide range of investment advice, including higher risk strategies. However, your individual investment objectives and risk tollerance guide USCA RIA's advisors and the investment choices that are ultimately made.
Paul Comstock Partners
Paul Comstock Partners, a fee-only firm, is the fourth highest-rated financial advisory firm in Houston. The firm serves high-net-worth individuals and families, as well as charities. Rather than require a dollar-based minimum, this firm requires all clients adhere to a $25,000 minimum annual fee.
While this firm's advisory staff is on the smaller side, it does have a few advisory certifications to its name. These include two certified financial planners (CFPs) and two chartered financial analysts (CFAs). As a fee-only firm, Paul Comstock Partners only charges its clients asset-based fees and/or fixed fees, not commissions.
Paul Comstock Partners Background
Paul Comstock Partners was founded in 1983 by Paul Comstock, who remains the firm’s minority owner and director. Today, the firm is under the principal ownership of CEO Alison Comstock Moss.
Paul Comstock Partners offers what it calls chief investment officer (CIO)-structured investment advisory services, which the firm explains emphasize a strong working relationship with clearly defined goals, cash flow requirements and risk levels. The firm says it strives to prioritize its fiduciary duty to clients, as well as a sensitivity to costs.
Paul Comstock Partners Investment Strategy
Paul Comstock Partners uses a long-term investment strategy that recommends a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds. Depending on a client’s needs and preferences, the firm may also recommend alternative investments. Paul Comstock Partners contends that a diversified portfolio of stocks will provide appropriate exposure to the overall economy and can act as a long-term hedge against inflation.
"Within diversified portfolios, Comstock recommends investment managers who purchase a range of securities with differing risk characteristics," the firm states in its Form ADV brochure. "Comstock’s role is to analyze both the quality of the management and understand the risk characteristics of the underlying investments."
Avidian Wealth Solutions
Avidian Wealth Solutions, a fee-based advisory firm, is No. 5 on the list. Avidian primarily works with individual investors, both with and without high net worths, as well as pensions, profit-sharing plans, charities and corporations. You'll need at least $500,000 in investable assets to become an Avidian client.
The firm's advisory team includes 12 certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified public accountants (CPAs) and other accredited professionals. Since certain advisors can earn commissions as licensed insurance agents and/or representatives of a broker/dealer, Avidian is considered a fee-based firm. Despite this potential conflict of interest, Avidian advisors must adhere to the fiduciary duty and act in their clients' best interests.
Avidian Wealth Solutions Background
In business since 2003, Avidian was formerly known as Streettalk Advisors, LLC and STA Wealth Management, LLC. Today, the firm is principally owned by James "Luke" Patterson, Michael Anthony Smith, Preston Snow, James Atkinson and Bradley Covey. The firm offers financial planning, portfolio management, educational seminars, and also hosts a radio talk show called "The Money Hour."
Avidian Wealth Solutions Investment Strategy
How a client's assets are invested is determined after the client completes a financial planning worksheet and meets with an advisor to discuss their investment objectives. The firm may rely on charting, fundamental anaylsis and technical analysis when evaluating investments for its clients, and engage in both long- and short-term purchasing, as well as trading (selling securities within 30 days).
The majority of Avidian clients are invested in one or more of the firm's managed models, although some clients may be allowed to customize their own portfolios. The firm manages a vast majority of client assets on a discretionary basis, meaning advisors have the authority to manage portfolios without consulting their clients.
Galapagos Partners has the smallest advisory team on this list, but features the second best client-to-advisor ratio of all 10 firms. Galapagos caters to high-net-worth invidivuals, but also manages its own funds.
The firm's advisory team includes two certified public accountants (CPAs). As a fee-only firm, Galapagos makes money solely from its client fees, not commissions. The firm does not have a set minimum account size for new or existing clients, however it typically requires clients to be qualified purchasers with at least $5 million in investments.
Galapagos Partners Background
Founded in 2007 by Stephen Lack, Galapagos offers clients financial planning services, portfolio management and help selecting other advisors, including private fund managers. Lack, who remains the firm's principal owner, has over three decades of experience in the financial services industry.
Galapagos manages client portfolios on both a discretionary and non-descrentionary basis, and serves as the general partner and manager of six pooled investment vehicles.
Galapagos Partners Investment Strategy
Galapagos advisors may recommend a variety of investment types and strategies, depending on an individual client's needs and risk tolerance. When appropriate, the firm may offer advice on alternative investments, including hedge funds, real estate, operating companies and private equity.
Galapagos may also employ a combination of analysis methods, including charting, fundamental analysis, technical analysis and cyclical analysis. Individual investment strategies range from long-term purchases held for at least a year to short sales and margins transactions.
Chilton Capital Management
Chilton Capital Management, a fee-only firm, is up next on our list. The on-staff team of advisors at Chilton Capital includes six chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three certified financial planners (CFPs) and one certified public accountant (CPA). The firm does not have a minimum investment requirement for new clients.
Over 85% of Chilton Capital’s clients are high-net-worth individuals and non-high-net-worth individuals, but the firm also works with charitable organizations, businesses, government entities, pensions and profit-sharing plans, along two investment companies and one bank.
Chilton Capital Management Background
Chilton Capital Management has been in business since 1996. The firm has combined with many different firms over the years. Most recently, Chilton acquired Texan Capital Management, Inc., a Houston-based investment advisory operation. Knapp Brothers, LLC, a holding company, is the majority shareholder of Chilton. The leftover shares are employee-owned.
Nearly all of Chilton’s services revolve around investment management, which it provides as either a discretionary or non-discretionary service. However, if you need financial planning as well, the firm’s proprietary Wealth ePath software can help plan for a goal based on your current assets and liabilities.
Chilton Capital Management Investment Strategy
The first thing every new client does when joining Chilton Capital Management is meet with a financial advisor to determine what type of investor he or she is. This entails doing a detailed analysis of your tolerance for risk, time horizon, liquidity needs and any definitive investment goals you may have. Once a clear profile is evident, you are then matched with one of several investment strategies that Chilton has built.
In order to maintain the relevance of each strategy, the firm has appointed a dedicated investment team for each one. This group of financial advisors and market analysts will look over the strategy’s performance and make a three-year projection to determine if the current setup is still desirable. If not, the team alters the strategy.
Mosaic Partners, the No. 8 firm in Houston, features the best client-to-advisor ratio of all firms on the list. Mosaic Partners has a small pool of clients, most of whom are high-net-worth individuals. The firm also works with a handful of individual investors who don't have high net worths. New clients are not required to maintain a certain account minimum.
The firm has two certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff, as well as an advisor with the accredited estate planner (AEP), certified private wealth advisor (CPWA), certified investment management analyst (CIMA) designations, among others. But as a fee-based firm, some Mosaic Partners advisors are also licensed insurance agents who can earn commissions on certain transactions. Depsite this potential conflict of interest, Mosaic Partners is a fiduciary and must act in its clients' best interests.
Mosaic Partners Background
Mosaic Partners has been in business since 2012 and remains under the principal ownership of its three co-founders: Jay Goldberg, Brandon Henry and Carey Kesner. The firm specializes in financial planning and due diligence services, family office services and investment advisory.
A majority of clients opt for discretionary asset management, but Mosaic Partners provides a small percentage of its client base with non-discretionary advisory services.
Mosaic Partners Investment Strategy
Mosaic Partners spreads its clients' assets among stocks, bonds, mutual funds and cash. However, the firm measures a client's risk tolerance, time horizon and investment goals when designing a portfolio.
Advisors may use a combination of fundamental, cyclical, charting and technical methods of analysis in evaluating investments. Advisors may also use strategies that rely on long-term purchases, short-term purchases and/or options writing.
Corda Investment Management
Corda Investment Management is a fee-only firm that uses value investing, mainly catering to high-net-worth investors. Howver, the firm also works with individuals, pensions, profit-sharing plans and charities.
For advisory accounts, the firm generally has a minimum annual fee of $5,000, which it may waive or lower at its discretion. In addition, clients who open an account with Corda after being connected with the firm through SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool will have a reduced minimum asset requirement of $250,000.
The firm's advisory team includes two certified financial planners (CFPs) and three accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs). Corda's revenue comes from client fees, not commissions, making it a fee-only firm.
Corda Investment Management Background
Founded in 1999, Corda offers a combination of portfolio management and financial planning services. Bonner C. Barnes, the firm’s president, chief investment officer (CIO) and founder, remains its majority owner. He has worked in the financial management industry for over 35 years.
In addition to asset management and financial planning, the firm also provides pension consulting services, as well as educational seminars.
Corda Investment Management Investment Strategy
Corda believes in value investing, a strategy introduced decades ago by Benjamin Graham and espoused by Warren Buffett. The firm looks for businesses that its analysts believe are temporarily priced at a discount, will appreciate over time and provide steady dividends and cash flow. Portfolios at Corda, which rely primarily on individual stocks, are customized according to client needs and created based on in-house research.
The firm does not prioritize tax efficiency in its asset management strategy unless it explicitly agrees with a client to do so. While Corda primarily opts for long-term investments, it notes that its strategies and investments could have “unique and significant tax implications,” and it recommends consulting with a tax professional.
Tanglewood Total Wealth Management, Inc.
Tanglewood Total Wealth Management rounds out the list of top financial advisors in Houston. The firm works with individual investors -- with and without high net worths -- as well as corporations, charities, pensions and profit-sharing plans. Tanglewood has six certified financial planners (CFPs) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA) on staff.
The minimum investment requirements at this firm vary from service to service. Individual wealth management clients will need at least $2 million in investable assets to join, whereas Tanglewood investment management clients must have $500,000. Institutional clients are bound to a much higher minimum of $3 million.
As a fee-only firm, Tanglewood is solely compensated through asset-based management fees, not commissions or other hidden charges.
Tanglewood Total Wealth Management Background
Tanglewood Total Wealth Management was founded in 1979, making it the second oldest first on this list. In February 2017, the firm slightly tweaked its name from Tanglewood Wealth Management to Tanglewood Total Wealth Management. The stated purpose was to better reflect the firm’s goal of looking after the totality of a client’s financial well-being. The company is primarily owned by John Merrill, its current president and chief investment officer. Partners Brian Merrill and Keith Fenstad are minority owners.
Tanglewood asserts that its process is hand-crafted for its clients and designed to meet his or her individual needs and priorities. The firm accomplishes this through what it calls its signature service, which the firm defines as its dedication to giving clients the same care and attention it would a close friend. The firm strives to inspire “uncommon confidence” in its clients.
Tanglewood Total Wealth Management Investment Strategy
Tanglewood’s investment strategies are illuminated in the five books that its investment officers John Merrill and Brian Merrill have written. One of Tanglewood’s underlying principles of asset allocation is that financial history is both rational and repetitive in the long term.
Tanglewood’s investment management services begins with a two-part process. First, the firm establishes a pre-determined mix of stocks and fixed income. Once that ratio is set, the firm evaluates, selects and allocates client assets to each individual class. Tanglewood portfolios primarily use domestic stocks, international stocks, real assets, bonds and cash. Each client has an investment policy statement that specifies risk aversion and their rate-of-return for their portfolio.