Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firms in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Choosing a financial advisor is a tough decision. We made it easier for you by compiling the top 10 in your area, selected after extensive research. SmartAsset combed through company records and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to find the best contenders in the financial advisor space in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If you’re still unsure of who to work with, give our advisor pairing tool a try.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Riverbridge Partners Find an Advisor||$4,686,654,900|| |
| || |
|2||CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,881,241,700|| |
No minimum assets; minimum fee $500 and up
| || |
No minimum assets; minimum fee $500 and up
|3||Focus Financial Find an Advisor||2,254,100,000|| |
| || |
|4||Capital Management Associates, Inc. Find an Advisor||$911,365,500||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||JNBA Financial Advisors Find an Advisor||$763,538,900|| |
| || |
|6||Palisade Asset Management Find an Advisor||$ 736,441,500|| |
| || |
|7||Financial Perspectives Find an Advisor||$632,123,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||The Johnston Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$425,800,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Tealwood Asset Management Find an Advisor||$425,131,300||$250,000|| || |
|10||Ulland Investment Advisors Find an Advisor||$321,397,400||$500,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Minneapolis, Minnesota
We narrowed the pool of potential financial advisors by eliminating any firm that isn’t registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the Minneapolis metro area. We did that because SEC-registered companies have a fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interest and must file paperwork each year with the commission to stay in good standing.
To further condense our list, we only considered firms with clean records and firms that managed individual accounts. The final list is ordered by assets under management, which indicates the amount of money the firm is managing for clients.
Riverbridge Partners, the first firm on our list, has $4.69 billion in assets under management (AUM), by far the highest AUM on this list. Founded in 1987, it has provided investment management services to high-net-worth individuals and institutions in Minnesota for more than 30 years. The company serves those with at least $2 million investable assets, making this the most exclusive firm on our list. In fact, 90% or more of clients fall in the high-net-worth category, which is a higher percentage than the nine other firms on our Minneapolis list.
The company has 3,200 accounts and 17 advisors total. Unlike the first three firms on our list, this company has just one office and is one standalone firm, rather than a network of advisors or a larger distributed company.
Riverbridge Partners Background
The average senior leader at Riverbridge Partners has worked for the company more than 20 years. The company was founded in 1987 by Mark Thompson, current principal and chief investment officer. In 2012, Northill US Holdings (owned by a Swiss couple) acquired 58% of Riverbridge. The remaining company shares are owned by Riverbridge employees, including Thompson, Rick Moulton, principal and investment team member, Andrew Turner, relationship manager and Colin Sharp, operations manager.
Six team members are chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and six are certified financial planners (CFPs), which is more certifications in one company than most firms on this list.
Riverbridge Partners Investment Strategy
The firm highlights its commitment to “building a historic record of performance for long-term investors.” Advisors are growth-oriented and have years of expertise. Riverbridge Partners looks for companies to invest in that have strong earnings power.
The investment team finds companies that meet earnings power requirements as well as have sound management, strategic market position, sound accounting practices and unit growth. You’ll find that your portfolio is generally invested in growth equity securities of companies of any size.
Your portfolio will be aligned to a model portfolio. That means that most accounts with the same model portfolio will be very similar. Riverbridge offers eight model portfolios to choose from: all cap growth, small cap growth, smid cap growth, mid cap growth, large cap growth, eco leaders, concentrated growth and growth and income. Each portfolio model consists of a specific number and type of stocks chosen for the ability to meet certain performance benchmarks.
CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors
CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) Wealth Advisors is part of a larger firm that offers outsourcing, audit, tax and consulting. The company has offices in across the U.S. and is registered 36 states.
CLA Wealth Advisors is fee-based and has no specified asset minimum, though you may be subject to a minimum fee starting at $500. The company mainly serves individual clients and only 11 to 25% of the company’s 3,500 accounts are considered high net worth ($1.5 million or more).
CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors Background
CLA originated as the accounting firms Clifton Gunderson, founded in 1960 and LarsonAllen, founded in 1953. Over the years, both companies grew and expanded across state lines and industries. The company is now considered a joint firm and combines the two entities into the large presence it has today.
Denny Schleper serves as CLA’s CEO. He’s worked for the firm for more than 30 years in various capacities, including chief business officer, chief practice officer and managing partner. Chuck Betz is CLA Minneapolis’ managing principal of wealth advisory and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. He is a certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial analyst (CFA).
CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors Strategy
CLA advisors use strategic asset allocation policies to formulate investment advice. The firm also has model portfolio solutions and uses tactical asset allocation policy to manage them. This policy is driven by a macroeconomic view on what’s influencing capital markets across the globe.
Your portfolio’s allocation is determined by what you establish as your risk tolerance, cash needs and time horizon. Initial discussions with your advisor will set up your financial goals and objectives. This means your portfolio will have a ration of equity securities, fixed income and case depending on what’s determined as your ideal outcome.
CLA uses an investment committee to review market sectors, interest rates, inflation, the economy, energy prices, fiscal policy and more. These reviews help position the firms’ strategies and overall investment outlook.
Focus Financial Network
Focus Financial is a network of over 140 affiliated advisors mostly in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Minneapolis is home of one of Focus Financial’s offices. The firm manages more than $2.2 billion and has no asset minimum. While the company does have rate caps for its advisors, there’s no set fee per service so you might find differences depending on which advisor you work with in the network.
The company has been ranked as one of the Twin Cities’ Top 50 Wealth Management Firms multiple times by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.
Focus Financial Background
The firm was founded in 1993 by two people who later grew Financial Focus into a network of more than 100 advisors across eight states. The company is owned by five men, each with 20% or less of the company. John Bina services as president and chief compliance officer and John Dritz is the senior officer of the company. Bina has worked in the financial services industry since 1989 and assumed his position at Focus Financial in 2007.
Focus Financial Services
You can get a tailored financial plan based on your goals and perspectives through the financial planning services offered by Focus Financial. While it’s always smart to start early with financial planning, the company recommends you seek an advisor if you’re planning for retirement, transitioning to a new job, going through a marriage or divorce or during another key financial moment.
In addition to financial planning, the company offers asset management. The benefit of having an expert manage your portfolio can “help you avoid making costly financial management mistake,” according to Focus Financial. This means your asset manager acts “as an intermediary to keep all parties on track toward achieving your financial planning goals.” Rather than researching all your investment choices yourself, your financial advisor does the legwork for you, helping you make good choices and saving you the time and effort.
Capital Management Associates, Inc.
Capital Management Associates, Inc., a firm with locations in both Minneapolis and Bloomington, also does business as First Advisors and Ronin Advisory. The fee-based firm has 16 advisors on staff, includings a certified financial planner (CFP) and a certified public accountant (CPA).
The firm's client base includes both individuals and high-net-worth individuals, though it works with nearly twice as many individuals. It also serves pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations. Capital Management Associates does not state a specific account minimum, but notes that a manager may require a minimum amount of assets for its managed account program.
The fee-based firm is engaged in a number of financial industry activities aside from providing investment advisory services. Its advisors may be separately licensed as representatives of affiliated broker-dealer Capital Management Securities, and they may receive compensation for securities transactions. Additionally, staff members at the firm are also partners of the accounting firm CMA Tax and they may receive separate compensation for providing accounting services. Advisors may also earn additional compensation as licensed insurance agents. However, the firm is a fiduciary, binding its employees to always act in clients' best interests.
Capital Management Associates, Inc. Background
Capital Management Associates, Inc. has been in business since 1982. The firm's principal shareholders are CEO, chairman and advisor representative Gregory Stroh, advisor representative Ralph Tuttle and CMA Financial, Inc.
The firm offers a managed account program, individual portfolio management and a range of financial planning services. Its financial planning services can address tax and cash flow, investments, insurance, retirement, death and disability and estate. Additionally, the firm provides accounting services and insurance through certain employees.
Capital Management Associates, Inc. Investing Strategy
Like most other firms, Capital Management Associates, Inc. adheres to a client's needs, investment objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon when creating and managing their portfolios. The firm establishes this information through discussions and a data-gathering process that may also touch on a client's previous investment history, family composition and background. Clients have the ability to impose reasonable restrictions on their portfolios.
The firm uses a wide range of investment types and strategies in its client portfolios. More specifically, it will utilize long-term purchases, short-term purchases and option writing.
JNBA Financial Advisors
JNBA Financial Advisors was founded in 1980 and is the oldest firm on this list and the first fee-only firm listed. The company manages over $750 million assets and has more than 800 accounts. The company primarily serves individuals and families with net worths below $1.5 million.
Nineteen advisors work at JNBA, which is one of the larger firms on this list, not including distributed offices, conglomerates and advisor networks. According to JNBA, over 96% of clients stay with the firm with a turnover rate at barely 4%. JNBA has offices in Minneapolis and Duluth.
JNBA Financial Advisors Background
Judith Brown founded the firm in 1980 and was one of the first financial advisors to offer fee-based financial advice. Richard Brown, Judith’s son, now serves as the company’s CEO and primary owner. Kim Brown serves as president of the company and has worked for JNBA for over 10 years. Mark Evans is the chief investment officer; he is a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified public accountant (CPA).
JNBA Financial Advisors Investment Philosophy
Personal wealth management is evaluated and implemented holistically at JNBA. The company believes in “smart, steady and meaningful accumulation of wealth.” To get you there, the company will provide advice and action in six areas of your financial life. This includes financial position, retirement planning, tax planning, investment management, risk management and estate planning. Your relationship with JNBA is a team effort; the company doesn’t believe in a single advisor relationship. Instead, you’ll work with a team of experts to evaluate each financial realm.
Your investments are managed by the investment committee. This committee helps with portfolio optimization, active oversight and management. Your portfolio is reviewed on a 10-day cycle and the company uses iRebal trading and rebalancing software to keep your assets tracking in the right direction.
Palisade Asset Management
Palisade Asset Management caters to the high-net-worth client, requiring a minimum of $1 million of assets under management for advisory services. On this list, only Riverbridge Partners has a higher account minimum, requiring $2 million.
The fee-based firm has roughly 400 accounts and employs seven advisors, making it the second-smallest firm on the list. It has just one office in the Minneapolis metro area. Palisade Asset Management offers investment management services and wealth advisory services, including individual and family planning, trust and trustee advisory and retirement and pension plan services.
Palisade Asset Management Background
The company is owned by Peter Rocca, Steven Landberg and Paul Kronlokken. Rocca serves as the director of business development and has is a certified investment manager analyst (CIMA).
Landberg is serves as managing partner and portfolio manager and is a chartered financial analyst (CFA). He has over 30 years of wealth management experience. Kronlokken holds a chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) designation and serves as a portfolio manager.
Palisade Asset Management Investment Philosophy
The firm states that “Palisade portfolios are built on our philosophy of carefully selecting high quality individual securities.” The company has an in-depth analysis process for each security prior to purchase. Palisade Asset Management advisors prefer growth stocks for equity portfolios and high-rated bonds for fixed income and balanced portfolios.
Advisors generally hold on to assets long term to maximize tax efficiency and to better build wealth. The low turnover is an ideal method for portfolios to build over time. The company uses three general strategies, equity, balanced and fixed income, depending on what your financial goals dictate. Your portfolio may be invested in exchange-listed securities, corporate debt securities, certificates of deposit, municipal securities and mutual funds or ETFs.
Financial Perspectives is one of a handful of firms on this list that does not have a specified asset minimum. The firm works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, ultra-high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, businesses, profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and foundations. However, non-high-net-worth individuals comprise the largest percentage of its current client base.
The firm's nine-person advisory team includes one certified financial planner (CFP). Certain advisors at the fee-based firm are also representatives of the broker-dealer Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, and they earn commissions if clients purchase a securities product. However, the firm is bound by fiduciary duty to always act in clients' best interests.
Financial Perspectives Background
Financial Perspectives was founded in 1985 by Michael T. Dugan. After Dugan became terminally ill, his younger brother, Dan Dugan, took control of the firm in 2004. Dan is currently the principal owner and president of Financial Perspectives.
Financial Perspectives is a full-service wealth management firm, and its team describes themselves as financial planners. The firm's financial planning process, which strives to address the accumulation, preservation and passing on of wealth, strives to “simplify the complexity.” The firm offers services related to investments, insurance, taxes, retirement, estate planning and philanthropy.
Financial Perspectives Investing Strategy
Financial Perspectives considers investment advising part of its comprehensive financial planning process. Rather than take a one-size-fits-all approach, the firm tailors clients' portfolios to all aspects of their financial lives, including their unique goals and objectives, risk tolerance, income needs and generational and philanthropic desires. The firm says that a number of its strategies also take into account clients' estate planning and tax needs.
Financial Perspectives says that it will use a variety of investment strategies across domestic and international markets. It primarily recommends mutual funds, but it may also utilize ETFs, stocks, bonds, real estate investment trusts, managed investment programs, variable annuities, retirement plans, separately managed accounts and alternative investments. Financial Perspectives uses Fidelity as its custodian.
The Johnston Group, LLC
The Johnston Group, LLC has the smallest advisory team of any firm on this list, with just four advisors on staff. However, its team as a whole has a notable diversity of certifications, including one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA), one certified financial planner (CFP), one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).
The Johnston Group is another firm that does not have a required minimum investment. It currently has a relatively small client base, comprised of just under 200 individuals and high-net-worth individuals. The firm can also provide services to corporations, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.
This is a fee-based firm, as the firm's investment advisors may also be licensed as independent insurance agents. Though they may be incentivized to sell products to clients because they earn additional compensation from sales, the advisors are still bound by fiduciary duty to act in their clients' best interests.
The Johnston Group, LLC Background
Brad Johnston, the firm's current president and chief compliance officer, founded The Johnston Group in 1994. The firm originally offered its services through another investment advisor, but in 2016 it became independently registered with the SEC. Johnston wholly owns the firm.
The Johnston Group provides its comprehensive financial planning services through its Wealthcare360™ platform, which it says "creates a framework for financial decision-making.” The firm offers a traditional Wealthcare360™ service level, as well as programs specifically designed for both young professionals and new investors and business organizations and their employees.
The program for young professionals and new investors provides access to low-cost, tax-efficient investing vehicles and advice on topics like first-time home purchasing. The traditional program, geared toward busy professionals and high-net-worth individuals, offers everything from investment management to retirement planning.
The Johnston Group, LLC Investing Strategy
The Johnston Group takes an evidenced-based approach to investing, and it does not necessarily stick to one particular investment strategy. Instead, the firm designs portfolios based on clients' risk tolerance levels and objectives. Strategies the firm may use include asset allocation, dollar-cost averaging, technical analysis, long-term purchases and short-term purchases.
The firm strives to build low-cost, tax-efficient portfolios. However, The Johnston Group explicitly advises clients to consult a tax professional throughout the investment process.
Tealwood Asset Management
Tealwood Asset Management primarily works with high-net-worth individuals. Its current client base also includes small numbers of pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations. The firm requires a minimum account size of $250,000 for all of its portfolios.
The fee-only firm solely charges clients based on a percentage of their assets under management. Its 10-person advisory team includes one certified financial planner (CFP), one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and one investment advisor certified compliance professional (IACCP).
Tealwood Asset Management Background
Tealwood Asset Management has been in business since 1986. It's principally owned by five of its current employees, including Charlie Mahar, its principal, CEO and CIO.
The firm offers financial life planning and management services, as well as consultant for accounts not under the firm's management. The firm offers its clients the choice of three main types of portfolios - equity, fixed income and blended - which are divided into subtypes.
Tealwood Asset Management Investing Strategy
As mentioned previously, Tealwood Asset Management offers its clients the choice of several types of portfolios. An investment strategy is selected for clients based on their individual objectives. The firm’s options include:
Fixed Income Portfolios:
- Defensive Fixed Income
- Quality Fixed Income
- Quality Focus
- Value Growth
Blend of Equity and Fixed Income Portfolios:
- Strategic Income
- Equity Income
Tealwood’s fixed income portfolios are more conservative and generally focused on the preservation of assets. The blended portfolios take a balanced approach to preserving income and achieving appreciation. The firm's equity portfolios are its least conservative option and are generally focused on capital appreciation.
Generally, Tealwood strives to invest in companies that overachieve in several key areas, including profitability, growth and returns. It focuses on investing in areas where research and discipline can make a meaningful impact, the market is less efficient and there's an increased chance of performance success.
Ulland Investment Advisors
Ulland Investment Advisors, the final firm on our list of the top Minneapolis financial advisor firms, has $321.4 million in assets under management (AUM), the lowest AUM on this list. The fee-only firm also has one of the smaller advisory teams on this list, with just five advisors on staff. This group includes just one chartered financial analyst (CFA).
The firm requires a $500,000 account minimum. It works with both individuals and high-net-worth individuals, though it currently has more than twice as many individual investors as clients. The firm specifically notes that it works with attorneys, doctors, business owners, other professionals and those who have inherited assets. It can also provide services to banks, investment companies, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and corporations.
Ulland Investment Advisors Background
Ulland Investment Advisors has been in business since 1997. It was founded by James Ulland, who is the firm's current president and its 100% owner.
The self-described boutique investment advisory firm primarily focuses on providing investment advice to its clients. The firm does not offer separate financial planning services, though it will provide this service as requested to its investment advisory clients at no additional fee.
Ulland Investment Advisors Investing Strategy
Ulland Investment Advisors says that it generally targets investors who can tolerate volatility from quarter to quarter and who have a time horizon ranging between three and five years.
The firm offers its clients the choice of three investment strategies:
- Intelligent Fixed Income: 100% fixed income; focused on achieving long-term returns while generating current income
- Defensive Growth: includes both stocks and fixed income; seeks to provide current income and long-term capital appreciation
- Intelligent Blend: predominantly invests in stocks; centered on providing long-term capital appreciation
The firm's fees vary by portfolio type. The Intelligent Blend has the highest fee rate, at 1.25% annually and 1% for accounts of more than $2 million. Intelligent Fixed Income and Defensive Growth strategies bear a 1% fee annually, though that rate declines to 0.75% for accounts greater than $1 million and less than $5 million and to 0.50% for accounts of more than $5 million.