Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Minnetonka, Minnesota
Minnetonka, Minnesota has plenty of financial advisor firms, and choosing one can be a stressful decision. We’ve streamlined your hunt for the right firm by researching and compiling the top choices in your area. SmartAsset sorted through company records and filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to find the best contenders in Minnetonka. If you’re still unsure of who to work with, SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can connect you with an advisor in your area.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Meristem Family Wealth Find an Advisor||$3,237,445,009||No set account minimum; $30,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum; $30,000 minimum annual fee
|2||Marks Group Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$908,407,442||$250,000|| || |
|3||Strategic Wealth Group Registered Investment Advisor, LLC Find an Advisor||$502,857,712||None|| || |
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|4||Quantitative Advantage, LLC Find an Advisor||$408,908,546||$50,000|| || |
|5||Cherry Tree Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$343,345,619||$500,000|| || |
|6||The Advocate Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$340,376,849||$500,000|| || |
|7||Lifestage Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$133,049,852||$250,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Minnetonka, Minnesota
Our experts narrowed the pool of potential financial advisors for this list by eliminating any firm that isn’t registered with the SEC in the Minnetonka metro area. We only consider SEC-registered companies, as those firms are legally bound by fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interests and must file paperwork each year with the commission.
To further condense our list, we only considered firms that manage individual accounts, offer financial planning services and are free of disclosures. The final list is below in order of the most assets under management (AUM) to the least.
Meristem Family Wealth
Meristem Family Wealth has the most assets under management (AUM) of any firm on this list, with more than $3 billion. The firm, which has been in business since 2003, works mostly with high-net-worth individuals. Non-high-net-worth individuals, pooled investment vehicles, charitable organizations and businesses round out its client base.
Meristem’s core offering is investment management, but it also offers wide-ranging financial planning services. These can cover budgeting, cash flow management, tax planning, wealth transfer planning, risk management, death and disability planning and family business/succession planning. Meristem is a fee-based firm.
Meristem Family Wealth Background
Meristem Family Wealth was formed in 2003 when Advisor Financial Services acquired a 40-year-old family firm called the Sargent Management Company. Today, the firm has four partners: chairman and CEO Charles Maxwell, chief operating officer (COO) Jon Crow, chief compliance officer (CCO) James Robbins and chief investment officer (CIO) Patrick Regan.
Fees paid to Meristem will vary based on the complexity and nature of the services that the firm provides. These can be flat rate charges, fees based on a percentage of your AUM or a combination of the two. If a percentage, the fee will typically fall between 0.20% and 1.00%. The minimum annual fee is typically $30,000, although the firm may waive this minimum under special circumstances.
Meristem Family Wealth Investment Philosophy
When constructing client portfolios, Meristem Family Wealth pays special attention to a number of factors. These include diversified asset allocation, fee consideration, tax consequences, selecting the right fund managers and risk management. Before making recommendations, the firm ensures that each client’s investing goals, cash flow needs and risk tolerance are carefully considered.
Meristem has an in-house investment committee that meets regularly to discuss changes in market conditions and the firm’s overall investment strategies. The committee relies on a network of resources and analyses to reinforce its understanding of all the options.
Marks Group Wealth Management, Inc.
Marks Group Wealth Management, Inc. is an eight-person firm in eastern Minnetonka with $908 million in assets under management (AUM). The firm works with around 570 clients, more than 400 of whom are individuals. High-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations make up the rest. The firm imposes a minimum account size of $250,000.
Marks Group Wealth Management offers a range of services that encompass financial planning and consulting, investment management and a wrap fee program. The firm will also recruit the services of independent sub-advisors from time to time. Marks Group is a fee-based firm.
Marks Group Wealth Management Background
Marks Group Wealth Management was founded in 2008 by Bennett Marks, who continues to serve as the firm’s chief investment officer (CIO). Marks owns the firm along with its president, John C. Feste. Of the firm’s eight advisors, four are certified financial planners (CFPs).
The firm will typically charge a fixed fee for financial planning or consulting services, and these can range anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 depending on the nature and complexity of your financial situation. For investment management services, the firm charges a rate between 0.15% and 2.00% of your AUM. Unless you participate in the wrap fee program, this fee will be exclusive of any brokerage commissions, transaction fees or other expenses that you may encounter.
Marks Group Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
Marks Group maintains six different portfolio models that it uses to create appropriate asset allocations for each client’s portfolio. These model portfolios vary in terms of cash flow, potential for growth and aggressiveness, and the firm will take into account the client’s goals and risk tolerance when considering which model would be most appropriate.
When analyzing potential securities, the firm will typically employ fundamental and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis involves looking at a company’s earnings, management capabilities, products, services and market position to gain an idea of its intrinsic value. Technical analysis involves analyzing historical market data to attempt to forecast future performance.
Strategic Wealth Group Registered Investment Advisor, LLC
Strategic Wealth Group is a collection of 18 advisors with just over $500 million in assets under management (AUM). The advisors here have a bit more independence than the typical firm to operate their practice as they wish, so there is a bit more variance from advisor to advisor than you may experience at other firms. Advisors may vary in preferred investments, minimum account requirements and methods of security analysis. The firm does not generally impose a minimum account size.
The bulk of this fee-based firm’s client base is comprised of individuals beneath the high net worth threshold. The firm also works with high-net-worth individuals and a handful of pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations. The firm offers both discretionary and non-discretionary asset management services, as well as financial planning and consulting.
Strategic Wealth Group Background
Strategic Wealth Group was formed in 2016. Today, its owners are president and CEO Nathaniel H. Running, vice president and chief operating officer Paul Burmeister, Tyler Hirth and John Reinstra. Running and Burmeister make up the firm’s management team, along with chief compliance officer (CCO) George Mulwee. Running is a certified financial planner (CFP), and investment strategist Christopher Gerber is a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Strategic Wealth Group is a fee-based firm, and its advisors are registered representatives of broker-dealer LPL Financial. Some of the securities transactions these advisors initiate may earn them commissions. Similarly, certain advisors are licensed to sell insurance products, which again could result in commissions. While that represents a potential conflict of interest, the firm is still a fiduciary, legally binding it to act in clients’ best interests.
Strategic Wealth Group Investment Philosophy
Strategic Wealth Group relies heavily on technical analysis when it comes to researching and analyzing securities like mutual funds or individual stocks. This involves combing through historical pricing and volume data and using past trends to help forecast future performance.
The firm will tailor its investment strategies to each client’s unique financial situation and investment objectives. It will determine these goals during an initial consultation with each client, then develop the proper investment approach and asset allocation accordingly.
Quantitative Advantage, LLC
Founded in 2000, Quantitative Advantage (QA) has grown to work with almost 1,000 clients and manage more than $400 million in assets. The overwhelming majority of this fee-based firm’s clients are individuals, but it also maintains accounts for high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations, pension plans and corporations. The firm has a minimum investable asset requirement of $50,000.
QA offers both discretionary asset management services and non-discretionary investment advice. Additionally, the firm provides financial planning services like preparation of a net worth statement, cash flow analysis, retirement planning, Social Security planning, personal risk management, employee benefits planning, income tax planning and estate planning.
Quantitative Advantage Background
Quantitative Advantage was founded in 2000 by John W. Wing and Thomas G. Fox. Wing still serves as the firm’s CEO, while Fox left in 2015 to found WaterStreet Asset Management and WaterStreet Research Partners, which focuses on working with other advisory firms.
QA has 13 advisors, including five certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs) and one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA).
For asset management fees, the firm will charge a percentage of assets under management (AUM) ranging from 0.50% to 1.50%, depending on the market value of your assets. Traditionally, this fee will also cover financial planning services. But if you’re on the prowl for stand-alone financial planning, the firm will typically charge a fixed fee specific to your personal situation.
Quantitative Advantage Investment Philosophy
Quantitative Advantage conducts proprietary investment research that it relies on to help formulate its investment decisions and recommendations. The firm typically uses exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and other pooled investment vehicles in its investment approach.
QA, through its research and analysis, has a wide range of model portfolios that it can use to create the appropriate combination of asset classes for each client’s unique situation. Depending on the client’s risk tolerance, overall goals, age and cash flow or liquidity needs, the firm will approach the investment process slightly differently.
Cherry Tree Wealth Management, LLC
Cherry Tree Wealth Management has been in business since 2009, and since then it has grown to provide financial services for more than 300 clients. The firm has approximately $343 million in assets under management (AUM). Individuals make up the largest share of the firm’s client base, followed by high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations, pension plans and government entities.
Cherry Tree specializes in individual portfolio management and financial planning services, as well as consulting for qualified retirement plans. The firm typically calls for at least $500,000 in investable assets for new client accounts. Cherry Tree is a fee-based firm.
Cherry Tree Wealth Management Background
Cherry Tree Wealth Management was formed in Minnetonka in 2009. There are two owners with a stake in the company: chairman Anton Christianson and holding company Adam Smith Companies, LLC.
Cherry Tree has eight advisors on staff. Among them are two certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
Fees for portfolio management services are calculated as a percentage of your AUM, ranging from 0.50% to 1.85%. For financial planning services, the firm will typically charge an hourly fee of between $275 and $450. What exactly you’ll pay will depend on the nature and complexity of your financial needs.
Cherry Tree Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
Cherry Tree Wealth Management believes that a strategic asset allocation has a much more significant impact on long-term investing upside than individual stock selection. Therefore, the firm will pay careful attention to ensure that the mix of asset classes in your portfolio fall in line with your investing goals, cash flow needs and risk tolerance.
The firm frequently engages in long-term investment strategies, which involves purchasing securities with the intent to hold onto them for at least a year. Occasionally the firm will use short-term purchase strategies (less than a year), but this is far less common.
The Advocate Group, LLC
The Advocate Group has been working with individuals and organizations in Minnetonka for around 20 years. The firm has a little over 300 clients, the vast majority of which are individuals. The firm also works with high-net-worth individuals and charitable organizations. Generally speaking, the firm requires each client household to have an aggregate portfolio size of at least $500,000.
The firm offers both investment management and financial planning services. Financial planning services include tax planning, retirement planning, cash flow modeling, risk management, estate planning and charitable gift planning. The Advocate Group is a fee-based firm.
The Advocate Group Background
The Advocate Group was originally established in 2001, but it has existed in its current form since 2011. The firm has five controlling owners, four of which are also employees. They are managing partner Ricky L. Lueck, chief compliance officer (CCO) Michael L. Corrigan, wealth advisor Sean P. O’Hagan, director of business operations Rebecca A. Wachter and David B. Van Benschoten.
For financial planning services, the firm will charge an initial, negotiable fee of between $5,000 and $25,000. If you choose to engage in ongoing financial planning services after the first year, the firm will charge an annual retainer fee of between $2,000 and $15,000.
The Advocate Group Investment Philosophy
The Advocate Group believes that a comprehensive financial plan is what should determine a client’s proper asset allocation, as opposed to their personal risk tolerance. In other words, while the client’s individual risk level should definitely be a factor, it shouldn’t be the only one.
Furthermore, the firm thinks that maintaining reserves of liquid assets is crucial to helping clients hold a steady financial situation throughout periods of market volatility. If you have any specific liquidity or cash flow needs, the firm can work this out with you as well.
Lifestage Wealth Management, LLC
Lifestage Wealth Management employs two advisors that manage $133 million in client assets. The firm’s clients are mostly individuals, with some high-net-worth individuals as well. It doesn’t have an explicit account minimum, but it prefers clients have at least $250,000 in investable assets and pay a minimum annual fee of $2,000.
This fee-based firm primarily offers investment management services, but it can also provide comprehensive advisory or financial planning, which it refers to as “Project Advisory Services.” These involve investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, income tax planning and more.
Lifestage Wealth Management Background
Lifestage Wealth Management was established in 2001 by Bruce Kuehl, who continues to be the firm’s sole owner. The firm has two advisors, Kuehl and Nathanael Hahm. They are both certified financial planners (CFPs).
For investment management services, the firm will typically charge a percentage of your assets under management (AUM) between 1.00% and 1.50%. This will largely depend on the market value of your assets.
Fees for comprehensive advisory services are negotiable and can range from $100 to $200 an hour. Financial planning fees are also negotiable and can vary from $200 to $400 per hour.
Lifestage Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
Lifestage begins each investment process by sitting down with the client and establishing key information like investing goals, risk tolerance and time until retirement. From there, the firm will work to come up with an asset allocation that makes the most sense for the client.
Strategic asset allocation is a key aspect of the firm’s investment philosophy, as it helps to diversify portfolios and reduce risk in the long-term. The firm may also engage in long-term purchase strategies (buying a security and holding it for more than a year), short-term purchase strategies (buying and selling within a year) or a mix of the two, depending on what makes the most sense for the client.