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.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Avalon Investment & Advisory Find an Advisor||$8,440,689,324||$5,000,000|| || |
|2||Linscomb & Williams Find an Advisor||$3,844,536,498||$1,000,000|| || |
|3||USCA RIA, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,764,481,331||$50,000|| || |
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|4||Paul Comstock Partners Find an Advisor||$2,469,604,628||$25,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$25,000 minimum annual fee
|5||Americana Partners Find an Advisor||$1,986,715,329||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Chilton Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,595,201,430||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||Corda Investment Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,159,000,000||$5,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$5,000 minimum annual fee
|8||Inscription Capital, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,080,534,119||$10,000,000|| || |
|9||Tanglewood Total Wealth Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,037,101,000||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|10||The Financial Advisory Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$957,057,157||$5,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$5,000 minimum annual fee
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Houston, Texas
To determine the top financial advisor firms in Houston, SmartAsset first compiled all firms registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission located in the city. SEC-registered investment advisors have a fiduciary duty to act in their clients' best interest. We then removed any firms that had disciplinary issues so our final list would only include firms with clean records. We also eliminated firms that do not have financial planning services or that do not manage individual or high-net-worth individual accounts. We sorted the qualifying firms according to assets under management, from most to least. All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Avalon Investment & Advisory
Avalon Investment & Advisory is the first firm in our roundup, as this fee-based firm has by far the most assets under management (AUM) on this list. The firm employs two certified financial planners (CFPs), eight chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
Avalon Investment & Advisory explains that its investment philosophy is defined by four key tenets: a global approach, an “investor’s perspective” as opposed to a trading mentality, a comprehensive approach and a collaborative culture.
Avalon Investment & Advisory Overview
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. Though it’s based in Texas, Avalon serves customers across the globe.
Outside of its Houston office, Avalon operates a secondary branch in San Antonio.
Avalon Investment & Advisory Investing Strategy Committee
A unique feature of Avalon Investment & Advisory is its investment strategy committee, which is comprised of 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. Avalon Investment & Advisory develops its customized approach through what it calls the wealth management process. This is a six-step process that starts with an introductory meeting and moves through the creation, implementation and continued monitoring of an investment plan.
The firm’s portfolios may include domestic and international equities, fixed-income and select alternative investments.
Avalon Investment & Advisory Resources
Avalon Advisors offers a variety of resources on its website. The firm periodically posts Avalon Perspectives, in which the firm offers its point of view on topics tied to the news, like inflation and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The firm also posts quarterly and monthly notes commenting on the state of the market.
Linscomb & Williams
Founded in 1971, Linscomb & Williams is one of the oldest firms on this list. The fee-only firm has expertise in retirement, estate and tax planning. It boasts one of the largest collections of certified financial planners (CFPs) on this list, with 16 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 planned (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.
Linscomb & Williams Background
Linscomb & Williams, a firm comprised mostly of attorneys and accountants, was founded about 50 years ago. Through a series of acquisitions, the financial advisor 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. Though the firm may refer clients to Cadence, it does not receive payments from Cadence if it does so.
To determine how it will allocate assets in client portfolios, the firm states advisors develops 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.
Linscomb & Williams Resources
Linscomb & Williams has an impressive assortment of resources. The firm posts monthly commentaries on the economy and quarterly commentaries on the market. There’s a selection of the firm’s white papers. After Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston in August 2017, the firm compiled an array of useful links, from tax-saving opportunities to how to assist those affected by the hurricane.
USCA RIA, LLC
USCA RIA, LLC requires clients have a minimum of $50,000 in investable assets. This is one of the lowest requirements of any firm on this list. The firm is part of a larger financial services boutique called U.S. Capital Advisors, LLC.
This fee-based firm boasts a large team of on-staff advisors. Of those advisors, there are four certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one certified portfolio manager (CPM).
USCA RIA, LLC Background
USCA RIA, LLC was founded in 2010. The firm 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, LLC Investment Strategy
USCA RIA, LLC offers eight different portfolio approaches, each of which have a different allocation of assets. The total return portfolio, for example, aims for capital appreciation and may be entirely comprised of equity vehicles. The tax efficient portfolio, on the other hand, primarily uses mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and closed-end funds. Clients have the option of opting for higher risk or aggressive investment strategies.
Generally speaking, USCA RIA states that it typically opts for asset allocation and diversification, as well as a mix of growth and value strategies. The firm’s approach is guided by clients’ investment objectives and risk tolerance.
Paul Comstock Partners
Paul Comstock Partners, a fee-only firm, calls itself its clients’ “outsourced chief investment officer.” 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 to 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 one certified financial planner (CFP) and two chartered financial analysts (CFAs).
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 uses active investment analytics to build an investment plan that considers a client’s existing assets and business acumen. It recommends a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds and, depending on a client’s needs and preferences, may also recommend alternative investments.
Paul Comstock Partners Resources and Extras
Paul Comstock Partners offers quarterly market commentaries, articles and white papers on its website. In addition to those helpful resources, the firm offers something unique: smart investing webinars. Every quarter, Paul Comstock hosts webinar calls with an accompanying slideshow breakdown of the current investing environment. Past calls are also available to watch on the firm’s website.
Another potentially useful extra at the firm is its beneficiary bootcamp. As its name suggests, beneficiary bootcamp is a program for beneficiaries that teaches how to responsibly manage wealth via hands-on coaching.
Americana Partners provides a number of advisory services to its client base. Among these offerings are many different types of financial planning, including retirement planning, risk management, insurance planning, investment consulting, cash flow forecasting, tax planning, charitable gift planning and more. The firm also has customized investment management services, as well as wealth management services that combine both investment and financial planning needs.
If you’re interested in becoming a client of Americana Partners, you won’t need to worry about a minimum initial investment. In addition, the firm serves a combination of individuals above and below the high-net-worth threshold, retirement plans, businesses and charities.
As a fee-based firm, certain advisors at Americana Partners have the ability to sell insurance products and securities on a separate commission basis. This creates a potential conflict of interest, but the firm still abides by fiduciary duty, legally binding it to act in your best interest.
Americana Partners Background
Americana Partners is a young firm, as it was founded in just 2019. The firm is under the principal ownership of president Jason Fertitta. Altogether, the firm’s advisory staff boasts more than 100 years of experience in the wealth management industry. Americana Partners has secondary office locations in Austin and Dallas.
The team of advisors at Americana Partners includes two certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Americana Partners Investment Strategy
When formulating plans for a client’s investment portfolio, Americana Partners will principally take into account their individual needs. Outside of the client’s ultimate financial goals, these factors involve their risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs and investment preferences. Because these characteristics can change at any time, the firm will conduct regular assessments with clients to ensure their portfolio’s strategy stays in line with their changing needs.
Americana Partners tends to invest in individual debt and equity securities, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options and structured products. On occasion, the firm will incorporate the services of independent managers as well. When evaluating potential investments, Americana Partners uses technical, fundamental and charting methods of analysis.
Chilton Capital Management, LLC
Chilton Capital Management, LLC is up next on our list. The on-staff team of advisors at the firm includes seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three certified financial planners (CFPs) and one certified public accountant (CPA). The firm does not institute a minimum investment requirement for new clients.
Some 85% of Chilton Capital’s client base consists of high-net-worth individuals and individuals. The fee-only firm also works with charitable organizations, businesses, government entities, pension and profit-sharing plans, along with a single bank and investment company.
Chilton Capital Management, LLC 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 for a goal plan based on your current assets and liabilities.
Chilton Capital Management, LLC Client Experience
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 strategy is altered by the team.
Corda Investment Management, LLC
Corda Investment Management, LLC is a fee-only firm that uses value investing. The firm opened with the mission of becoming the “go-to investment firm for families.”
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 Investment Management after being connected with the firm through SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool will have a reduced minimum asset requirement of $250,000.
Corda offers a combination of portfolio management and financial planning services. The former involves the creation of a personalized investment portfolio for clients, whereas the latter can be either broad-based, single-subject or consultative. Financial planning services are available to investment clients at no extra cost. The firm also provides pension consulting services, as well as educational seminars.
Corda Investment Management, LLC Background
Corda Investment Management, LLC was founded in 1999. Bonner C. Barnes, the firm’s president and chief investment officer (CIO), is the majority owner. He has worked in the financial management industry for over 35 years.
Corda Investment Management has two certified financial planners (CFPs) and three accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs) on staff.
Corda Investment Management, LLC Investment Strategy
Corda Investment Management believes in value investing, a strategy introduced decades ago by Benjamin Graham and espoused by Warren Buffett. The firm looks for businesses that they believe are temporarily priced at a discount and that will appreciate over time, while also providing 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. Though 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.
Inscription Capital, LLC
In the firm’s own words, Inscription Capital, LLC works with “highly selective individuals and families eager to inscribe their story onto the legacy of their community.” More specifically, most of the firm’s client base is comprised of high-net-worth individuals, with non-high-net-worth individuals and businesses rounding it out.
In general, this firm has a $10 million minimum investment requirement for its clients. The firm reserves the right to waive this minimum, though.
Financial planning and investment management services are available through this firm. In addition, the firm offers families a set of family office services, which include ongoing investment management and evaluation, business consulting, tax planning, corporate and family governance support and more.
Certain on-staff financial advisors at this fee-based firm can earn commissions when they sell specific insurance products or securities. This creates a potential conflict of interest, which is mitigated by the fact that advisors must act in clients’ best interests due to their fiduciary duty.
Inscription Capital, LLC Background
Founded in 2018, Inscription Capital is a fairly young financial advisor firm. While the firm is technically owned by holding company Inscription Capital Holdings, LLC, employees of the firm own Inscription Capital Holdings. These owners include the firm’s founders: Brian Bova, Marc Oster and Leeds Eustis. This trio boasts around 65 years’ experience in the financial services industry.
Inscription Capital, LLC Investment Strategy
Before any investment strategy decisions are made, Inscription Capital will develop a client profile for you and your family. This involves doing a deep dive into any factors that could affect the construction of your portfolio, including risk tolerance, liquidity needs, taxes, investment goals and time horizon. During this process, the firm will also integrate any financial planning needs you might have, as it looks to comprehensively manage both investment and financial needs.
In most cases, Inscription Capital will invest your money using a long-term time horizon. On occasion, though, the firm may decide to utilize some short-term trading strategies if your profile and market conditions make that decision worthwhile. Some investments that the firm uses include domestic and foreign stocks, taxable and non-taxable bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, alternative investments and structured products.
Tanglewood Total Wealth Management, Inc.
Tanglewood Total Wealth Management, Inc. describes its client base as the “quietly wealthy.” It serves senior executives, managing partners and principals, business owners, those ready for retirement, women in transition and family wealth. 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.
Tanglewood Total Wealth Management, Inc. Background
Tanglewood Total Wealth Management, Inc. was founded in 1979. 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 (CIO). Partners Brian Merrill and Keith Fenstad are minority owners.
Tanglewood’s Total Wealth Management claims 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, Inc. Investing Strategy
Tanglewood’s investing 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’s set, the firm evaluates, selects and allocates 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.
The Financial Advisory Group, Inc.
The Financial Advisory Group, Inc. requires a minimum annual fee of $5,000 for its investment management services. This means clients with less than $200,000 in investable assets will pay more than 2.5%, the top end of the firm’s fee rates. The firm’s typical client has $1 million to invest.
The fee-only firm hasfour certified financial planners (CFPs), three certified public accountants (CPAs), one accredited estate planner (AEP) and two chartered financial analysts (CFAs) on staff.
The Financial Advisory Group, Inc. Background
Founded in 1997, The Financial Advisory Group is owned by its CEO Richard Alphonso. Alphonso has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry
The Financial Advisory Group offers tax planning, financial planning, wealth management and investment management. Compared to some of the higher firms on this list, it's on the smaller side, which it says gives it a greater ability to customize clients’ wealth maximization strategies.
Alongside the financial planning offered by many firms, The Financial Advisory Group also offers tax compliance, consulting services and personal and business tax planning. The firm has a tax preparation team and, when requested, it will collaborate with other licensed tax and legal advisors for planning purposes.
The Financial Advisory Group, Inc. Investment Strategy
The Financial Advisory Group primarily invests its clients in individual stocks, publicly available alternative investment funds (including no-load mutual funds and exchange-traded funds) and fixed income securities (including individual corporate and municipal bonds and bond funds).
The firm assigns each client to a specific investment risk category. The categories range from 1, the lowest level of risk, to 5, the highest. The firm’s investment management committee invests differently for each risk category.