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.
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.
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 five 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.
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.
Simmons First Investment Group, Inc.
With a 15-member advisory staff, Simmons First Investment Group, Inc. is the largest financial advisor firm on this list. The firm has experience working with an extremely wide range of clients, including individuals and high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations, estates, trusts, charitable organizations, government entities, educational entities and banks.
The firm’s account minimum varies depending on the type of account you want:
- $10,000 minimum for Fundsource Foundation accounts
- $25,000 minimum for Asset Advisor, CustomChoice and Allocation Advisor accounts
- $50,000 minimum for Private Investment Management and Wells Fargo Compass accounts
- $100,000 minimum for DMA, Masters and Private Advisor Network accounts
- $250,000 minimum for Customized Portfolio accounts
Being that this firm is fee-based, it offers insurance policies and tradable securities that may result in commissions for your advisor. The firm is a registered fiduciary though, requiring it to act in your best interest at all times.
Simmons First Investment Group, Inc. Background
Simmons First Investment Group, Inc. is a subsidiary of Simmons Bank, making it part of a massive financial institution. Although Simmons Bank has been open since 1903, the bank’s investment management branch was formed in 1999.
The firm’s services are all based on variations of financial planning. Simmons First Investment Group offers retirement planning, investment planning, legacy planning and risk management.
Simmons First Investment Group, Inc. Investing Strategy
With regard to its investing strategies, Simmons First Investment Group values offering an opportunity for liquidity above nearly everything else. That’s why the firm chooses to forgo all illiquid investments, in particular non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and limited partnerships.
Alternatively, it chooses to place your money into purposefully chosen and diversified stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), CDs, open-ended mutual funds, money market accounts, government securities, closed-end funds, unit investment trusts and municipal bonds.