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 up to three advisors in your area.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Meristem Family Wealth Find an Advisor||$4,296,301,879||$30,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$30,000 minimum annual fee
|2||Marks Group Wealth Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,354,683,748||$500,000|| || |
|3||Quantitative Advantage, LLC Find an Advisor||$599,780,339||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
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|4||The Advocate Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$484,470,710||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||LifeStage Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$163,460,903||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Minnetonka, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the city. Next, we filtered out firms that don't offer financial planning services, those that don't serve primarily individual clients and those that have disclosures on their record. The qualifying firms were then ranked according to the following criteria:
- AUMFirms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
- Individual Client CountFirms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
- Clients Per AdvisorFirms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
- Age of FirmFirms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article. This list may include firms that have a business relationship with SmartAsset, in which SmartAsset is compensated for lead referrals. Such relationships have no impact on our rankings, and firms are included and ranked based strictly on the above criteria.
Meristem Family Wealth
Meristem Family Wealth has by far the most assets under management (AUM) of any firm on this list. The firm, which has been in business since 2003, works mostly with high-net-worth individuals and families. Non-high-net-worth individuals, pooled investment vehicles, charitable organizations and businesses round out its client base.
This is a fee-based firm. In turn, some advisors can receive commissions from insurance products sold to clients. While this induces a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty requires it to act in clients' best interests at all times.
The team of advisors here holds a wide range of certifications. Some you'll come across include certified financial planner (CFP), certified investment management analyst (CIMA), certified public accountant (CPA), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and more.
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 multiple owners: chairman and CEO Charles Maxwell, Jr., chief operating officer (COO) Jon Crow, investment committee chair James Robbins, chief investment officer (CIO) Patrick Regan and six other employees.
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 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
Marks Group Wealth Management is a firm in eastern Minnetonka that works with more than 600 clients, more than half of whom are individuals with less than a high net worth. High-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations make up the rest of its client base. The firm imposes a minimum account size of $500,000, though it may be willing to accept less than that.
Marks Group is a fee-based firm, which means some of its advisors may have the ability to sell insurance products or securities on a commission basis. This constitutes a potential conflict of interest, though it's mitigated by the firm's fiduciary duty to act in clients' best interests.
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 advisors, four are certified financial planners (CFPs) and one is a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
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 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.
Founded in 2000, Quantitative Advantage has grown to work with more than 1,000 clients. The overwhelming majority of this fee-only firm’s clients are non-high-net-worth individuals, but it also maintains accounts for high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations, pension plans and corporations. The firm mostly has a minimum investable asset requirement of $50,000, though one of its investment strategies calls for a $200,000 minimum investment.
This firm has a sizable team of on-staff advisors. In fact, they include five certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs and one chartered market technician (CMT).
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, both of which focus on working with other advisory firms rather than individuals.
The firm 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 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.
Advisors here, through their own research and analysis, have a wide range of model portfolios that they 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.
The Advocate Group
The Advocate Group has been working with individuals and organizations in Minnetonka for around two decades. The firm has nearly 350 clients, the vast majority of whom are individuals with less than a high net worth. The firm also works with high-net-worth individuals and charitable organizations. The firm technically doesn't have a minimum investment requirement, though it usually works with clients who have at least $500,000 in investable assets.
Many of the advisors at The Advocate Group hold an advisory certification. These include certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Some of the on-staff advisors here may be able to receive commissions for the sale of insurance products to clients. Despite the potential conflict of interest this creates, the firm abides by fiduciary duty, legally requiring it to act in clients' best interests at all times.
The Advocate Group Background
The Advocate Group was originally established in 2002, but it has existed in its current form since 2011. The firm has five controlling owners, all of whom are also employees. They are CEO Ricky L. Lueck, chief compliance officer (CCO) Michael L. Corrigan, wealth advisor Sean P. O’Hagan, director of business operations Rebecca A. Wachter and chief investment officer (CIO) Seth Heimermann.
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 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
LifeStage Wealth Management employs a small staff of advisors that manage millions in client assets. The firm’s clients are mostly individuals who have less than a high net worth, with some high-net-worth individuals as well. It doesn’t have an explicit account minimum, but it prefers clients to have at least $250,000 in investable assets or pay a minimum annual fee of $2,000.
If clients buy insurance products from on-staff advisors at LifeStage, they may receive commissions for doing so. Although this constitutes a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty means it must act in clients' best interests no matter what.
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), while Hahm also holds two other designations: master planner advanced studies (MPAS) and national social security advisor (NSSA).
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 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.