Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas
Finding the right financial advisor for your needs is a big decision. Fortunately you can use SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in Little Rock to make your choice a bit easier. This list is the result of hours of in-depth research. Below, we lay out information on each firm’s services, fees and account minimums in tables and reviews. For further guidance, take advantage of the SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool to get paired with an advisor in your area.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Lathrop Investment Management Corp. Find an Advisor||$608,145,127||No set account minimum; $5,000 minimum fee|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum; $5,000 minimum fee
|2||Meridian Investment Advisors Find an Advisor||$533,815,683||$500,000|| || |
|3||The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$476,843,824|| |
No set account minimum
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No set account minimum
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|4||Smith Capital Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$448,756,858|| |
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|5||Ifrah Financial Services, Inc. Find an Advisor||$319,054,611|| |
No set account minimum
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No set account minimum
|6||Legacy Capital Wealth Partners Find an Advisor||$185,000,000||$500,000|| || |
|7||ClientFirst Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$163,030,596|| |
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|8||Barry M. Corkern & Co., Inc. Find an Advisor||$125,361,540|| |
No set account minimum
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No set account minimum
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Little Rock, Arkansas
Any financial advisor firm that primarily does business in Little Rock, Arkansas and is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was considered for this list. Fiduciary duty legally requires these SEC-registered firms to act in their clients’ best financial interests at all times. However, if any firms had disciplinary issues, did not offer financial planning or did not manage individual accounts, they were removed from consideration. The financial advisor firms below are ordered by assets under management (AUM), from the highest AUM to the lowest.
Lathrop Investment Management Corp.
With more than $608 million in assets under management, Lathrop Investment Management Corp. has a client based split between individuals and high-net-worth individuals. It also does some institutional advising and has pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations and other corporations as clients. The firm has a minimum annual fee of $5,000. This, plus a fee-structure based on a percentage of assets under management, means the firm makes sense for those with at least $500,000 in investable assets. Advisors do not make money from commissions for selling securities or insurance to clients.
The four-advisor team at Lathrop includes three chartered financial analysts (CFA) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
Lathrop Investment Management Corp. Background
Lathrop was founded in 1981 by Gregory C. Lathrop. He is the sole owner of the firm and acts as an advisor and as president of the firm.
The firm’s services include:
- Investment advice
- Portfolio management
- Separately managed accounts
- Retirement plan advising
Lathrop Investment Management Corp. Investment Strategy
Fundamental analysis drives the firm’s choices in securities, and it conducts its own research, supplemented by research by a variety of brokerage firms. Diversity is key and clients tend to be invested in between 25 and 35 companies. Mutual funds and exchange traded funds are used when clients lack the funds to invest in enough individual companies.
Meridian Investment Advisors
A fee-only firm, Meridian has more than $533 million in assets under management. The three advisor team includes two chartered financial analysts (CFA) and one certified financial planner (CFP). The firm advises both individuals and high-net-worth advisors and has a minimum account size of $500,000. It also has institutional clients including pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities and other corporations.
Meridians fees are all based on a percentage of assets under management, and the advisors do not earn commissions for selling securities or insurance products.
Meridian Investment Advisors Background
Founded in 1983, the principal owners of Meridian are Pat D. Moon and Lewis W. Van Ness, both of whom are advisors and managing principals at the firm.
Services offered at the firm include:
- Investment management services
- Automated investment program
- Retirement services for defined contribution plans
- Life strategy
- Retirement income planning
Meridian Investment Advisors Investment Strategy
The most important thing for Meridian’s advisors when forming a client’s strategy is risk tolerance. Common stocks and bonds -- including U.S. Treasuries and high quality U.S. corporate bonds -- are the most common investments. Mutual funds and exchange traded funds are also use.
The firm primarily uses fundamental analysis to make investment choices.
The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc.
The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc. is a fee-only financial advisor firm focused on helping its clients achieve long-term financial growth. The firm says it typically works with young professionals, divorcees, those approaching retirement and those who’ve retired. It lists physicians as its most common client occupation. There is no minimum amount of assets required to open an account.
The firm has by far the most varied set of advisor certifications. This includes four certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC), one personal financial specialist (PFS) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).
The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc. Background
President and CEO Frederick Adkins and vice presidents Kristina Bolhouse and Ralph Broadwater are the joint owners of The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc. The firm has been in business since 1985.
If you choose to enter into a relationship with this firm, you will have a whole set of advisory services available to you. Included on this extensive list is investment management, financial consultation, pre- and post-retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning and insurance analysis.
The Arkansas Financial Group, Inc. Investing Strategy
Because The Arkansas Financial Group believes that an individualized approach is necessary to successfully manage client portfolios, the firm pays particular attention to your needs from the outset. During introductory conversations, you and your advisor will discuss your risk tolerance, financial objectives, time horizon and any specific investment needs you might have.
Then, your assets will be allocated, likely among exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and bonds. Your portfolio will be re-evaluated at the beginning of each quarter to ensure that everything is going according to plan. If it’s not, the firm will adjust its strategy.
Smith Capital Management, Inc.
Smith Capital Management, Inc. requires a minimum of $500,000 to begin a client relationship. The firm’s typical clients include both individuals and high-net-worth individuals, corporations and businesses, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates and charitable organizations.
Smith Capital Management’s staff of four financial advisors has a total of just one certified financial planner (CFP) designation. This is the only firm firm on this list that charges performance-based fees, which are based on how well your portfolio performs in comparison to the firm’s projections.
Smith Capital Management, Inc. Background
Behind just Barry M. Corkern & Co., Inc. (the No. 6 firm), Smith Capital Management, Inc. is the second-oldest firm on this list. It was created in 1984. Smith Capital Management is an independently owned firm led by Stephen Chaffin, president, Jay White, CIO, John Carroll, SVP, and Linda Mobley, CCO. The advisors at this firm have spent an average of 28 years in financial management.
This firm essentially has two categories of services: portfolio management and financial planning. While Smith Capital Management indicates that its portfolio management services are largely based on general wealth growth and maintenance, its financial planning services are much more targeted. You can choose to receive financial planning services like current and future cash flow review, asset valuation, retirement planning, Social Security strategy and insurance planning.
Smith Capital Management, Inc. Investing Strategy
Smith Capital Management relies almost exclusively on stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, annuities, corporate, government and municipal bonds to build your portfolio. The firm also fulfills clients’ liquidity needs through the use of short-term investments like publicly traded securities, although it remains largely focused on a long-term strategy.
Smith Capital Management uses many different methods of investment analysis to determine which of these asset classes represent the best opportunities for its clients. The firm utilizes proprietary, fundamental, technical and cyclical analysis, as well as corporate rating services, company press releases, third-party research materials and physical inspections of a company’s establishments.
Ifrah Financial Services, Inc.
Ifrah Financial Services, Inc. boasts an impressive number of certified financial planners (CFPs), with a total of eight on staff. All but one member of the firm’s financial planning staff is a CFP and three of the firm’s principals are CFPs.
Ifrah has no set minimum account size. Almost 90% of the fee-only firm’s individual clients are non-high-net-worth individuals. The firm also serves businesses, estates, trusts, charitable organizations and pension and profit-sharing plans.
Ifrah Financial Services, Inc. Background
Ifrah Financial Services, Inc. is the most recently founded firm on this list, as it was established in just 2006. Patrick Ifrah, president and CEO, Stephen DeSalvo, chairman of the board and financial planner, and Micah Brown, director and financial planner, are the firm’s three principal shareholders.
Ifrah Financial Services offers a plethora of personal financial planning services, such as budgeting, estate planning, personal liability analysis, family records review and the application of financial goals. The firm’s services also encompass tax and cash flow analysis, investment portfolio review, insurance review, retirement planning and death and disability review.
Ifrah Financial Services, Inc. Investing Process
When a client opens an account, Ifrah Financial Services immediately begins what it calls its “fact finding” step, delving into your current financial situation and goals. The firm then builds a plan outlining how you can achieve your financial goals, while adhering to your stated risk tolerance and time horizon.
Once you agree on the strategy that has been put forth by the firm, it will be implemented. The investment types this firm says it typically uses include exchange-traded funds (ETFs), exchange-listed securities, corporate debt securities, mutual fund shares, U.S. government securities, variable annuities and other similar investments.
The firm says it will then rigorously track your investments and rebalance your portfolio as needed to ensure everything is going according to plan. You will receive updates from your advisor about any changes that are made.
Legacy Capital Wealth Partners
Legacy Capital Wealth Partners is a fee-based financial advisor firm that requires a household minimum of at least $500,000 in assets under management (AUM). Most of the firm’s clients are high-net-worth individuals, though it does have some individual clients who don't have a high net worth. A few charitable organizations are also among the firm’s clients.
In addition to its office in Little Rock, the firm has offices in Springdale and Fort Smith, both cities in Arkansas. In total, it has $185 million in AUM. Three advisors work at the firm, two of whom are certified financial planners (CFP).
The majority of the fees the firm charges clients are based on a percentage of assets under management. The rate is based on factors including total assets, the complexity of the work and how many family members are served. Some advisors at the firm are also insurance agents and sell insurance products for a commission. Though this could represent a conflict of interest, the advisors at the firm are bound by fiduciary duty to act in clients’ best interests.
Legacy Capital Wealth Partners Background
A new firm, Legacy filed its first SEC brochure in March of 2018. It is wholly owned by parent company Legacy Capital Wealth Holdings, LLC. In turn, that company is owned by Matthew Jones and Jason Prather. Jones is the firm's president and Prather is a managing partner.
The firm offers a number of services to clients, including asset management, risk management, estate planning and life insurance.
Legacy Capital Wealth Partners Investing Strategy
Legacy Capital Wealth Partners uses third-party managers to execute the following six strategies that it offers clients:
- Risk management: This strategy invests in domestic equity markets but limits volatility. Money market and cash positions are used to minimize risk.
- Dynamic growth: In this strategy, 100% of assets are invested in domestic equities across classes and styles. Aggressive investing seeks to maximize growth.
- Equity plus: A complex strategy using long, short and hedged investments in both domestic and international equities markets. Bond funds and cash positions are also used.
- Hedge fund/alternative: A risk-managed “fund of funds” approach. Managed futures, fixed-income arbitrage and distressed markets could all be used.
- Long equity: This strategy uses a proprietary platform to offer access to top asset managers. It builds a portfolio focusing on a specific style or asset class.
- Income: Real estate-backed assets and bonds are used to create consistent income.
ClientFirst Wealth Management, LLC
ClientFirst Wealth Management, LLC is a one-man advisor firm, anchored by Edward Mahaffy, the firm’s president and senior portfolio manager. Mahaffy is both a chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and a certified financial planner (CFP).
This fee-only financial advisor firm charges only one type of advisory fee: a percentage of your assets under management. No other firm on this list has this exact fee structure, as the rest also charge hourly fees and all but two firms charge fixed-rate fees, as well.
ClientFirst says it only serves the financial needs of individuals. It works with both individuals and high-net-worth individuals.
ClientFirst Wealth Management, LLC Background
ClientFirst Wealth Management, LLC was formed in 2002, with founder Edward Mahaffy retaining ownership of the firm since that time. Mahaffy built a long resume in personal finance prior to opening this firm, spending more than 23 years in the field including a stint at Merrill Lynch.
Because the firm is so heavily focused on working with individuals, its list of offered services are centered on that, as well. The firm’s services include cash and risk management, insurance analysis, education funding, retirement planning, charitable giving, estate creation, tax mitigation and capital needs planning.
ClientFirst Wealth Management, LLC Investing Strategy
ClientFirst Wealth Management, LLC takes what it learns about its clients through their completion of a questionnaire to carefully piece together an investment strategy. Like most firms, ClientFirst Wealth Management takes a long-term approach, but the firm says that short-term purchases are also made to fulfill any needs for liquidity and quick cash that clients may have.
The investing strategies applied to your portfolio are not just left to hopefully go according to plan. Instead, this firm takes a very proactive approach, relying on portfolio review and rebalancing to keep your portfolio in line with the original plan.
Barry M. Corkern & Co., Inc.
Barry M. Corkern & Co. Inc. is another firm with just a single advisor on staff. President Barry Corkern has two certifications, including as a certified financial planner (CFP) and an accredited investment fiduciary auditor (AIFA). He also has knowledge on the financial situations of widows and widowers, as he co-authored a book in 1999 titled, “Widowed: Beginning Again Personally and Financially.” Corkern is also the founding president of the Arkansas Chapter of the Financial Planning Association.
Although the firm requires no minimum account size, its client base is split between individuals and high-net-worth individuals. The firm says it also has experience working with trusts, corporations, foundations, retirement plans and endowments.
Barry M. Corkern & Co., Inc. Background
Although Barry M. Corkern & Co., Inc. manages the least amount of assets on this list, it is actually the most senior of all six of the firms. Barry Corkern opened the firm in 1982, and he still principally owns the independent firm. Corkern has accrued over 35 years of experience in the financial industry.
This firm says that it wants to provide all of its clients with a holistic approach to their financial life, even going as far as taking into account multi-generational wealth legacy. When it comes to specific services, the firm offers the following:
- Asset management
- Disability and risk management
- Debt management
- Tax planning
- Estate planning
- Charitable giving planning
- Financial goal evaluation
Barry M. Corkern & Co., Inc. Client Experience
Like many of its competitors, Barry M. Corkern & Co. has prospective clients answer a series of questions, which allows the firm to gain a deep understanding of the kind of investor a client is. This is not only meant to establish your risk tolerance for the firm. It’s also used by your advisor as a tool to teach you about how risk could affect your portfolio’s performance.
Based on your responses to the aforementioned questions, your advisor will build a diversified asset allocation, illustrated in the form of a pie chart to make everything as simplified as possible. If you like the plan that’s presented to you, you can approve it and your assets will then be allocated.
Then the monitoring stage begins, during which your portfolio and the firm’s overall investing strategies will be consistently reviewed. Should the firm believe a change is necessary, you will be notified and your portfolio will be rebalanced.