Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Kansas
Kansas has plenty of financial advisor firms to choose from, but finding the one that meets your personal needs can be a challenging venture. To make your life easier, SmartAsset analyzed firms across the state to determine the top Kansas financial advisor firms. We’ve included each firm’s fee structure, investing strategies, advisor certifications and more to help you narrow down which might be best for you. The SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool can also help you find a nearby financial advisor after you answer just a few simple questions about your personal preferences.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Mariner Wealth Advisors Find an Advisor||$22,043,093,873||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||Meritage Portfolio Management Find an Advisor||$1,530,433,045||$2,000,000|| || |
|3||6 Meridian, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,474,792,553||Minimum monthly fee of $300 per household|| || |
Minimum AssetsMinimum monthly fee of $300 per household
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|4||Rocky Mountain Advisers, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,376,475,446||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||Financial Advisory Service, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,324,197,912||$500,000|| || |
|6||Two West Capital Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,170,843,451||$500,000|| || |
|7||Sunesis Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$873,886,132||$5,000,000|| || |
|8||V Wealth Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$836,359,425||$100,000|| || |
|9||The Retirement Planning Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$792,435,908||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|10||Prism Financial Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$666,504,910||$1,000,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Kansas
For this list, we only considered financial advisor firms located in Kansas that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). All SEC-registered firms are bound by fiduciary duty, which requires them to act in clients’ best interests at all times. However, if firms did not manage individual accounts, did not offer financial planning services or had disciplinary issues on record, our experts removed them from contention. The remaining firms are listed below, in order of the most assets under management (AUM) to the least.
Mariner Wealth Advisors
Mariner Wealth Advisors is an SEC-registered advisory firm with more than $22 billion in assets under management (AUM). That places it as the largest firm on our list, with 260 investment advisors currently on staff. And unlike some of the firms in our study, Mariner is registered to provide services to a scope of clients that extends far beyond Kansas. It can work with clients in Alaska and New Jersey, for example.
The firm provides investment advisory services generally based on fees as a percentage of your assets under management. It also offers access to third-party managers independent of Mariner. According to the firm, this arrangement provides “access to a wide range of asset classes including international equities, emerging market equities, global fixed income, high-yield fixed income, private equity, commodities, hedge funds and real assets.” This could be a beneficial perk for those who want to diversify their portfolios with alternative investments.
Mariner Wealth Advisors Background
Mariner Wealth Advisors has been registered with the SEC since 2006. It is entirely owned by the Bicknell Family Holding Company, LLC (BFHC). The financial advisor firm is based in Overland Park, Kansas. It also manages offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.
Throughout 2018, a series of affiliated advisor firms were consolidated into Mariner. These include 440 Investment Group, LLC.
Collectively, Mariner’s executive team holds titles like certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), and certified public accountant (CPA).
Mariner Wealth Advisors Investing Strategy
Mariner utilizes both passive and active investment strategies. With passive investing, the firm would generally allocate your assets into investments like exchange-traded funds (ETFs) which track a particular index. The firm would invest in securities within those indices to generally mimic its performance. In the active investing sphere, the firm may utilize research and other resources to invest in potentially undervalued securities in an attempt to outperform a general market benchmark. This option may be more viable for those with large appetites for risk.
Nonetheless, asset allocations would primarily rely on your individual risk tolerance and investment objectives. The firm typically focuses on long-term strategies but may deploy short-term ones under certain circumstances like changing financial situations or market conditions.
Mariner purchases securities directly or allocates to other managers by investing in a variety of funds. Depending on your situation, your portfolio may invest in the following:
- Mutual funds
- Exchange-traded notes
- Closed-end funds
- Alternative investments
Meritage Portfolio Management
Established in 1991, Meritage Portfolio Management is a fee-only advisory firm with more than $1.5 billion in assets under management (AUM). It mainly works with high-net worth individuals, but it also extends its services to clients outside this scope. To work with the firm, you’d need a minimum investment of $2 million.
Meritage generally offers financial planning and portfolio management services to its clients. As a fee-only firm, Meritage collects only fees for its own services. It doesn’t sell its own products or earns commissions by recommending one investment or provider instead of another. This can significantly reduce potential conflicts of interest since the advisor won’t be incentivized to make recommendations that could earn him or her more in compensation.
Meritage Portfolio Management Background
Meritage was formed in 1991 by Evans, Bash, Magrino and Klein, Inc. The firm is currently staffed by a team of nine advisors that includes seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified public accountants (CPAs) and two chartered investment counselors (CICs). Its two primary owners are Mark E. Evans and James M. Klein, who both serve as senior portfolio managers for the firm. Together, they trace back more than 70 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Meritage Portfolio Management Investing Strategy
Meritage offers discretionary investment advisory services based on three equity-driven strategies. These are value, growth and yield-focus. It also deploys taxable and tax-exempt fixed income strategies managed in a conservative fashion.
The three equity strategies are mainly supported with large cap investments. This means the firm will primarily invest in stocks of companies with large market capitalization. However, the firm does take a small-cap approach for clients who’d prefer it.
To build an asset allocation, Meritage focuses on several factors such as risk tolerance, cash flow needs, time horizon, adaptability to changing market conditions and financial situation and overall investment objectives.
6 Meridian, LLC
6 Meridian, LLC stands as a sizable firm with nearly $1.5 billion in assets under management (AUM). In fact, the firm placed as SmartAsset’s top financial advisor firm in Wichita. With more than 500 individual clients in total, the firm serves roughly equal numbers of high-net-worth individuals and non-high-net-worth individuals. 6 Meridian, LLC requires a $360,000 minimum account size. This figure may seem random, but it’s actually based on the firm’s minimum monthly fee of $300 per household.
This fee-based firm has a small advisory team, with just 11 advisors in total. This team includes three certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC).
If specific securities are traded within your account, your advisor may earn commission. Furthermore, certain advisors at this firm are insurance agents, resulting in yet another way advisors may earn additional compensation. However, the firm does hold itself to fiduciary duty.
6 Meridian, LLC Background
6 Meridian was formed in 2016, making it one of the youngest firms on this list. The firm is owned by senior managing director Thomas Kirk, III, CEO Margaret Dechant, CIO Andrew Mies, managing director Bryan Green, senior VP Pam Smith and first VP Sarah Hampton.
It may appear as though 6 Meridian lacks a long list of offered services, but don’t be fooled. The firm intends to build more specific plans once a client-advisor relationship has begun. The broader services the firm offers include trust planning, estate planning, retirement planning, education cost planning, business planning and cash flow forecasting.
6 Meridian, LLC Portfolio Investing Strategy
Clients of this firm can choose from 12 portfolio models that vary in expected return and corresponding risk. Which portfolio you choose will depend on three different personal factors: your risk tolerance, time horizon and overall financial goals.
The firm’s short duration portfolio has the lowest risk, but that does mean that your overall earnings potential will be lower. On the other hand, the firm’s emerging markets blend portfolio is very risky but bears the chance that your account could grow exponentially in a fairly short time period. All of the firm’s portfolios, regardless of tier, are globally diversified.
Rocky Mountain Advisers, LLC
Rocky Mountain Advisers, LLC (RMA) is a fee-based firm that conducts most of its business in its current headquarters in Salina, Kansas. Unlike most of the firms on our list, RMA doesn’t have a web presence. However, it holds an impressive assets under management (AUM) level of more than $1 billion.
The firm provides discretionary investment advisory and financial planning services to private clients. It also sub advises the Boulder Growth & Income Fund, a closed-end mutual fund registered with the SEC.
Rocky Mountain Advisers Background
RMA formed in 2008. However, it became actively involved in providing investment advisory services in 2010. Its principal equity holder is the Susan L. Ciciora Trust, an irrevocable grantor trust domiciled in Alaska.
In 2018, RMA closed its office in Boulder, Colorado. That same year, it also resigned as co-manager of the Boulder Growth & Income Fund with Stewart West Indies Trading Co,. Ltd. (SIA). It still, however, serves as sub-advisor to the fund.
According to recent filings with the SEC, most of RMA’s client base consists of individuals who fall outside the category of high-net-worth. This means the typical client of RMA holds a net-worth below $1 million. However, the firm doesn't require a minimum investment to open an account.
Annual fees for investment supervisory services typically range from 0.00% to 2.00%. The firm may charge flat or hourly fees for financial planning services that can extend from $100 to $250 based on the complexity of services rendered.
Rocky Mountain Advisers Investing Strategy
The firm develops asset allocations based on a client’s objectives including maximum capital appreciation, tax situation, income and projected growth of income. On a discretionary basis, the firm may invest your assets in the following.
- Mutual funds
- Certificates of deposit (CD)
- Fixed-income securities
Based on your financial situation and objectives, the firm may engage in long-or-short-term purchases. Long-term strategies typically involve seeking potentially undervalued securities and holding on to these in the account for at least a year. The latter involves purchasing securities with the intent to sell them within a year or less.
Financial Advisory Service, Inc.
Financial Advisory Service, Inc. is one of only a few firms on this list that has more than $1 billion dollars in assets under management (AUM). The Leawood-based firm has a team that includes eight certified financial planners (CFPs). The Financial Times has named Financial Advisory Service as one of the top 300 financial advisor firms in the U.S. for both 2016 and 2017.
The firm calls for $500,000 in investable assets to open a new account. The fee-based firm primarily works with individuals (both high-net-worth and not), businesses, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans and certain deferred compensation plans at businesses. When it comes to its individual client base, the firm works with twice as many individuals as high-net-worth individuals.
Some advisors at this firm sell insurance policies, and they may earn commissions from sales. However, the firm does abide by fiduciary duty, meaning it must act in your best interest.
Financial Advisory Service, Inc. Background
Created in 1979, Financial Advisory Service, Inc. is one of the oldest firms on this list. The firm’s founding director Max Greer, Jr. currently serves as CEO.
If you have a specific financial goal you want to reach, this firm can build a matching investment management plan that is meant to get you there within your time horizon. If you prefer general financial planning, the firm offers budget planning, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance review and death and disability financial management.
Financial Advisory Service, Inc. Investing Strategy
The first step in the firm’s investment strategy-building process is helping you define your financial goals. You’ll go over things like your current account balances, insurance needs, income taxes, retirement goals and any existing investments. Using this information, your advisor will build a plan. Typically, the firm invests its clients’ assets in investments like mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), securities, annuities and more.
The advisor-client relationship doesn’t end there. Once your advisor puts your strategy into place, he or she will constantly update you on any changes in your account. This open line of communication maximizes transparency, giving you more control over your money.
Two West Capital Advisors, LLC
Two West Capital Advisors, LLC has more than $1 billion in client assets under management (AUM) and 17 financial advisors on staff. Throughout its team, the firm has four certified financial planners (CFPs), three accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one certified public accountant (CPA), one chartered life underwriter (CLU), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC), one certified plan fiduciary advisor (CPFA) and one qualified pension administrator (QPA).
Non-high-net-worth individuals and pension plans are the most common client of Two West. However, the firm does maintain accounts for some high-net-worth individuals as well. You'll need no less than $500,000 in investable assets to become a client here.
As a fee-based firm, some members of Two West's advisory team have the opportunity to sell insurance products for a commission. Regardless, the firm is a fiduciary and must act in clients' best interests no matter what.
Two West Capital Advisors, LLC Background
Current firm president Ryan Rink and CEO Marko Ungashick founded Two West Capital Advisors in 2010. Chief investment officer (CIO) Vernon Cushenbery is the third and final principal of the firm.
Two West Capital Advisors offers a wide range of services, such as:
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Insurance needs review
- Discretionary and non-discretionary investment management
- Cash flow management
- Asset allocation planning
- Education funding strategies
Two West Capital Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
Modern portfolio theory, or MPT, is a Nobel prize-winning investment philosophy that illustrates an inherent connection between risk and returns. In other words, the riskier your investments, the higher the potential returns should be, while lower risk portfolios should garner lower returns. Two West Capital Advisors bases their asset allocations on this strategy.
Once you and your advisor nail down your risk tolerance, the firm will move on to your time horizon. To ensure that all clients are taken care of, the firm is prepared to build portfolios for both short- and long-term investors. Two West has also been known to occasionally recommend robo-advisor services.
Sunesis Advisors, LLC, a fee-only advisor firm, manages more than $870 million in client assets. The Overland Park-based financial advisor firm has a small team of just three advisors. Sunesis’ team does not have any advisor certifications.
What makes this firm especially unique is its individual client base. The firm has just 11 high-net-worth clients, and it does not serve any non-high-net-worth clients. Not surprisingly, the firm calls for a minimum of $5 million in investable assets to open an account. Aside from its small group of individual clients, the firm also can work with trusts, estates, charities and businesses.
Sunesis Advisors, LLC Background
Founder Chad Battison established Sunesis Advisors, LLC in 2011. Battison’s financial industry experience extends far beyond that though. He has been in the field since 1994, giving him a total of 25 years of experience.
Holisticity is the hallmark of how this firm attempts to attend to its clients’ personal, familial and business needs. The firm focuses on the following areas:
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Tax planning and mitigation
- Asset protection
- Business succession planning
- Insurance coverage review
Sunesis Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
There are two basic routes that this firm will take to build a client’s portfolio. Either Sunesis will use third-party investment managers to flesh out and diversify a client’s account, or it will utilize mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and co-mingled funds to accomplish the same task.
While the second approach is fairly typical, the prospect of using outside managers is not quite as common. The firm claims that working in this way will maximize your net worth and current cash flow while keeping your investments diversified, instead of trying to fit your needs into the firm’s preferred investment methods.
V Wealth Advisors, LLC
V Wealth Advisors, LLC is a fee-based financial advisor firm located in Overland Park. Its team of 36 advisors primarily manages the assets of individuals. The firm also works with high-net-worth individuals, businesses, charitable organizations and various retirement plans. The firm’s team includes one certified financial planner (CFP).
Some advisors at this firm sell insurance policies, and they may earn additional compensation from sales. The firm is bound by fiduciary duty, though, requiring it to act in your best interest at all times.
V Wealth Advisors, LLC Background
V Wealth Advisors, LLC was established in 2009 as V Wealth Management, LLC. It is owned by Thomas Blumer, Brett Lange, Daniel Cherra, David Brozenic, Tye Martin, Richard Meyer and Scott Connors.
The financial management offerings of this firm are extensive and relevant to the needs of many types of clients. You’ll find these services at V Wealth:
- Investment management
- Retirement planning
- College savings planning
- Estate planning
- Profit-sharing plan reviews
- Long term care/insurance analysis
- Employee benefits planning
V Wealth Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
V Wealth runs investment strategies based on a client's objectives. These may invovle long-and-short term purchases, alternative investments, margin trading and covered options.
The firm takes into consideration several factors including your tax situation and current financials.
The Retirement Planning Group, Inc.
The Retirement Planning Group, Inc. is based in Leawood. The firm principally serves non-high-net-worth individuals, though it also works with a small number of high-net-worth individuals.
The fee-based firm doesn’t call for a set amount of minimum assets to open an account with one of its advisors. You will find four certified financial planners (CFPs) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA) working at this firm.
If an advisor at this firm offers you an insurance policy and you purchase it, know that he or she may earn a commission. But because of the firm’s registration with the SEC, it’s bound by fiduciary duty.
The Retirement Planning Group, Inc. Background
The Retirement Planning Group has five principal owners: Chris K. Costello, Kevin M. Conard, Ryan P. Costello, Robert R. O’Blennis and Dwight Twillman.
This firm prides itself on being able to manage the financial needs of its clients no matter the situation. As a result, its offered services cover many different life events:
- Debt management
- Retirement income planning
- Charitable giving
- Estate planning
- Social Security/Medicare planning
- Tax minimization
- Insurance planning
- Divorce financial planning
The Retirement Planning Group, Investing Strategy
The Retirement Planning Group guides its clients through a four-step process: “Getting to Know You,” “Creating the Blueprint,” “The Reality Check” and “Organization.” The first two steps will undoubtedly blend together, as your risk tolerance and financial goals will shape your investment plan.
Once your investment plan has been been fully implemented, the firm will keep a constant eye on how it’s performing. Lastly, as your account grows, the firm will find ways to help you organize your assets so that you stay in control. The firm often reiterates this theme of control, which may appeal to some investors.
Prism Financial Group, LLC
Prism Financial Group, LLC provides financial planning and investment portfolio management services to a range of both high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses. The fee-based firm currently holds more than $660 million in assets under management (AUM).
The firm’s investment advisory staff collectively has more than 30 years of experience providing wealth management services to its clients. In total, the team holds three certified financial planner (CFP) and one certified mutual fund specialist (CFS) designations.
Prism Financial Group, LLC Background
Prism has been providing investment advisory services since 1999, making it one of the longest-running firms on our list. Prism works in a fiduciary capacity. So it’s legally obligated to put your best interests ahead of its own.
According to its website, the firm mostly works with high-net-worth individuals and businesses. To open an account with Prism, you’d generally need a minimum initial investment of $1 million.
Prism Financial Group Investing Strategy
Prism offers investment advisory services for an annual fee based on your assets under management. It also offers comprehensive financial planning services with an aim to improve every aspect of your financial life including budgeting, debt management and retirement planning. These services are broken down into two categories. One involves a detailed action plan based on an in-depth review of your financial situation and goals. The other takes an on-demand approach and is charged for an hourly fee.
According to the firm’s website, Prism’s financial planning strategy involves the following steps:
- Establishing relationship
- Gathering data and goals
- Evaluating financial status
- Develop and present recommendations
- Implementing your plan to action
- Monitor your progress
If you're still considering financial advisors in Kansas, you can use our advisor matching tool. It pairs you with up to three advisors in your area. From there, you can review their qualifications and set up interviews before deciding to work with one.