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||Creative Planning, Inc. Find an Advisor||$25,165,642,400||$500,000|| || |
|2||6 Meridian, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,894,900,000|| |
Minimum monthly fee of $300 per household
| || |
Minimum monthly fee of $300 per household
|3||Financial Advisory Service, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,116,617,300||$50,000|| || |
|4||Sunesis Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$754,294,100||$5,000,000|| || |
|5||V Wealth Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$626,281,839||None|| || |
|6||The Retirement Planning Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$618,711,400||None|| || |
|7||Stepp & Rothwell, Inc. Find an Advisor||$575,019,100||None|| || |
|8||Sunrise Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$509,574,800||None|| || |
|9||Wealth Management Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$458,510,900||None|| || |
|10||Triune Financial Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$457,931,300||None|| || |
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.
Creative Planning, Inc.
Creative Planning, Inc. is a Leawood-based financial advisor firm that manages more than $25 billion in client assets. This places it among the top 30 largest financial advisor firms in the U.S. The firm has been named one of the top registered investment advisors (RIAs) in America by Barron’s, Forbes, the Financial Times and CNBC multiple times since 2009.
With nearly 300 advisors on staff, this firm’s team has an impressive number advisor certifications. Its upper management team includes two certified financial planners (CFPs). The firm serves 20,370 clients, including nearly 7,000 high-net-worth individuals. Investors must have at least $500,000 in investable assets to open an account.
Creative Planning is fee-based firm with a unique arrangement. While some employees at this firm are insurance agents who earn commissions from policy sales, the firm doesn’t hold onto its cut. Instead, 100% of insurance sales profits are donated to local charities.
Creative Planning, Inc. Background
Creative Planning, Inc. was founded in 1983. That makes it the second-oldest firm on this list, behind just Financial Advisory Service, Inc. Despite its massive size, the firm remains independently owned by president Peter Mallouk, VP Molly Rothove, CIO James Williams and CCO Ken Pyle.
This firm can handle a wide range of client needs. Its extensive services include:
- Risk management
- Retirement planning
- Higher education planning
- Tax minimization
- Estate planning
- Charitable giving
- Asset protection
Creative Planning, Inc. Investing Strategy
Like most financial advisor firms, Creative Planning, Inc. wants its clients to focus on the long term instead of searching for quick financial gratification. However, the firm does engage in short-term, market-beating investment purchases as a way to supplement long-term goals. These investments typically won’t be held any longer than a year in your account.
The firm uses a pretty extensive range of investments in its clients’ portfolios. It may invest your assets in exchange-listed securities, stocks, corporate debt securities, warrants, certificates of deposit (CDs), municipal securities, mutual funds, options, annuities, alternative investments and more.
6 Meridian, LLC
Although dwarfed by Creative Planning, Inc., 6 Meridian, LLC is still a sizable firm with nearly $2 billion in assets under management (AUM). In fact, the firm placed as SmartAsset’s top financial advisor firm in Wichita. With more than 500 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 annual fee of $300 a month.
This fee-based firm has a smaller advisory team, with just 11 advisors in total. This team includes two certified financial planners (CFPs), two 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
All but two of the firms on this list were founded in 2011 or earlier: 6 Meridian, LLC and V Wealth Advisors, LLC. 6 Meridian was founded in 2016, making it the youngest firm on this list. The firm is owned by senior managing director Thomas Kirk, III, CEO Margaret Dechant, CIO Andrew Mies, Managing Director Bryan Green, Managing Director Steve Bahm, 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.
Financial Advisory Service, Inc.
Financial Advisory Service, Inc., located in Leawood, Kansas, is the final firm on this list that has more than $1 billion dollars in assets under management (AUM). The firm’s team includes seven certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified fund specialist (CFS), one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one investment advisor certified compliance professional (IACCP). The Financial Times has named Financial Advisory Service as one of the top 300 financial advisor firms in the U.S. in both 2016 and 2017.
Even with these accolades, the firm calls for just $50,000 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 the oldest firm 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. Client Experience
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.
Sunesis Advisors, LLC
With its main offices in Overland Park, Sunesis Advisors, LLC manages more than $750 million in client assets. The fee-only 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 10 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 handle the financial needs of trusts, estates, charities and businesses.
Sunesis Advisors, LLC Background
Founder Chad Battison formed 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 24 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 38 advisors primarily manages the assets of high-net-worth individuals. The firm also works with businesses and various retirement plans. Like the remaining firms on this list, V Wealth does not have a set account minimum.
The firm’s team includes three certified financial planners (CFPs), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and one chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS).
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 2015. It is independently owned by CCO Leigha Shepard and partners Cole Reichle, Steven Reichle and Richard Ryan. The advisors at this firm have spent an average of 15 years in the financial services industry.
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
Modern portfolio theory is the basis of V Wealth Advisors’ investing philosophy. This theory notes that investors can optimize their returns based on a certain level of risk and that taking on added risk can net greater rewards. The firm says that this mentality will help keep investors grounded so that you avoid illogical and emotional investment decisions.
Virtually every investment this firm makes is either an ETF or a mutual fund. These investments are easy to diversify in a safe manner, as most of them are already inherently diverse.
The Retirement Planning Group, Inc.
The Retirement Planning Group, Inc. is based in Overland Park. The firm principally serves non-high-net-worth individuals, though it also works with a small number of high-net-worth individuals. Executives, business owners and private industry employees make up the rest of this firm’s client base.
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 three 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, Inc. is owned by five employees: CEO Kevin Conard, CCO Robert O’Blennis, President Ryan Costello, Senior VP Dwight Twillman and Partner Chris Costello. Costello and Conard co-founded the firm in 2004.
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, Inc. Client Experience
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.
Stepp & Rothwell, Inc.
A fee-only firm located in Overland Park, Stepp & Rothwell, Inc. has a team of seven advisors. This group’s certifications include six certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one certified public accountant (CPA) designations.
The firm serves three times as many high-net-worth individuals as non-high-net-worth individuals. It also works with businesses, charitable organizations, estates and trusts. There is no account minimum required for new clients.
Stepp & Rothwell, Inc. Background
Principals Kathy Stepp and Howard Rothwell opened the doors of Stepp & Rothwell, Inc. in 1992. The duo has a combined 61 years of experience in personal finance, having founded this firm quite early in their respective careers.
At this firm, you can take advantage of tax management, retirement planning, estate planning, insurance review, education funding and cash flow analysis. Of course, the services you’ll actually use will depend on where you are in your financial life.
Stepp & Rothwell, Inc. Investing Strategy
Stepp & Rothwell, Inc. avoids model portfolios, as it thinks that these can be problematic for many investors. Because of the rigidity of model portfolios, there often isn’t much room for personalization, which can make it difficult to remain true to a client’s risk tolerance and time horizon.
Stepp & Rothwell claims that it will always look for a way to accomplish your goals at the lowest level of risk possible. The firm places an emphasis on keeping the money you’ve earned in your pocket.
Sunrise Advisors, Inc.
Sunrise Advisors, Inc. is a Leawood-based financial advisor firm that doesn’t require a minimum account size. This has likely contributed to the firm’s large base of non-high-net-worth clients. In addition, the firm serves families, estates, trusts, businesses, organizations, retirement plans and charitable organizations.
With four advisors on staff, this fee-only firm is tied with Wealth Management Advisors, Inc. for the second smallest team on this list. The team has a total of four certifications, including two certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS) and one accredited asset management specialist (AAMS).
Sunrise Advisors, Inc. Background
One of the more senior firms on this list, Sunrise Advisors, Inc. has been in business since 1993. Chairman and CIO David Scott founded the firm, after having spent almost 20 years in financial services. Scott has now been in the business for 43 years.
Because individuals and families make up such a large portion of this firm’s client base, it has divided its services based on these groups. As a result, it has worked to develop similar, but separate versions of the following services:
- General financial planning
- Investment management
- Estate/legacy planning
- Tax planning
- Business succession advising
- Company retirement plan review
Sunrise Advisors, Inc. Investing Strategy
The core-and-satellite approach governs every investment decision that this firm makes. This ideology is designed to keep your taxes, risk and overall investment volatility low while at the same time attempting to beat the stock market.
Sunrise builds its clients’ portfolios with an emphasis on the long term. However, it uses short-term purchases to satisfy any time horizon needs a client may have.
Wealth Management Advisors, Inc.
Wealth Management Advisors, Inc. is a fee-only firm based in Leawood. It does not require its clients to have a minimum level of investable assets to open an account. When it comes to individual clientele, the firm serves equal parts high-net-worth individuals and non-high-net-worth individuals. Additionally, the firm works with trusts, estates, corporate pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.
Although there are just four advisors on the team at Wealth Management Advisors, the team has a total of seven advisor certifications. At this firm, you’ll find two certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one personal financial specialist (PFS) and one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). No other firm on this list has an advisor that specializes in financial management during and following a divorce.
Wealth Management Advisors, Inc. Background
Wealth Management Advisors, Inc. was formed in 1993. It is currently independently owned by president Kevin McGrew. The financial advisory team has spent an average of 22 years in financial management.
The advisors at this firm are mainly focused on the marriage of wealth management and financial planning to ensure that clients are supported as completely as possible. While wealth management is a very general service, the firm’s financial planning services are a bit more targeted. For example, the firm can handle planning for taxes, retirement, estates, charitable giving and Social Security income.
Wealth Management Advisors, Inc. Investing Strategy
There are two principles that Wealth Management Advisors relies on to try to ensure long-term success for its clients’ investments: personalized investment management and strategic financial planning. In both instances, the firm takes your risk tolerance and applies it to modern portfolio theory, creating the customization necessary to meet your goals.
While many investors are just out to make money, this firm believes that investing should be based on financial objectives. This will help you determine exactly what your time horizon is and also provide meaning to every investment decision you or your advisor makes.
Triune Financial Partners, LLC
Overland Park, Kansas, is home to Triune Financial Partners, LLC. No other firm on this list has more advisor certifications than Triune. The firm has five certified kingdom advisors (CKAs), four certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered life underwriters (CLUs), two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA) on staff. The CKA certification is fairly rare, and it refers to an advisor who utilizes religion to handle clients’ assets.
Triune Financial Partners is heavily focused on working with non-high-net-worth individuals, though it also serves businesses, charitable organizations and pension and profit-sharing plans. The firm offers prospective clients a free 10-minute phone call to discuss your financial plans and how it can help you achieve them.
Some members of this fee-based firm’s advisory staff sell insurance policies, and they may earn commissions from sales. The firm is bound by fiduciary duty though, requiring it to act in your best interest.
Triune Financial Partners, LLC Background
Triune Financial Partners is still owned by its co-founders, Managing Partner Jim Mullinix and Partner Jeff Jaworski. The duo opened the firm in 2010, and now staff a team of eight advisors. On average, the advisors at this firm have spent more than 22 years in financial management.
Retirement planning and everything related to it is the cornerstone of what this firm has to offer clients. The firm can also handle estate planning, tax and cash flow relationship analysis, insurance review, general investment management and death and disability planning.
Triune Financial Partners, LLC Investing Strategy
Triune Financial Partners gathers its investment information from financial publications, corporate rating services, annual reports and proprietary research to make informed decisions about where to invest your money. Once it has identified investment opportunities, the firm then works to apply your personal financial goals and risk tolerance to modern portfolio theory.
The marriage of these two processes will result in having some or all of these investment types become a part of your portfolio:
- U.S. stocks
- Foreign stocks
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Money market funds
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- U.S. government securities
- Fixed income securities