Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Mobile, Alabama
Finding the right financial advisor can be a challenge because there are a lot of firms to choose from. SmartAsset has put in the work for you to find the top financial advisor firms in Mobile. Our list of the top Mobile financial advisor firms comes from dozens of hours of research into the city’s numerous firms. Below we lay out our findings about each of these firms and what differentiates them from one another. If you would like more guidance in your search, SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you with an advisor near you.
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Mobile, Alabama
SmartAsset considered all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered firms in Mobile to create this list of top financial firms. We looked at SEC-registered firms because they have a fiduciary duty to put their clients’ best interests ahead of their own. From there, we eliminated any firms with disciplinary issues. Only firms with a clean record made it to our final list for consideration. We also eliminated firms that did not manage individual accounts or did not have any financial planners on staff. We sorted the remaining firms according to assets under management (AUM), from highest AUM to lowest.
Leavell Investment Management, Inc.
Leavell Investment Management is the oldest firm on this list, having been founded in 1979. It has the most assets in management at $1.51 billion. That is over 10 times more assets under management than the second firm on this list.
However, you don’t need to be a high-net-worth investor to work with Leavell Investment Management. In fact, the majority of clients are individuals, not high-net-worth individuals. The firm also serves estates, trusts, businesses, pension and profit-sharing plans, 401(k) plans, endowments and foundations. There is no required minimum to open an account with Leavell Investment Management, but there is a $5,000 annual fee per relationship.
Leavell Investment Management has the largest staff on this list with 17 advisors. Three of those advisors are chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one of them is a certified financial planner (CFP). Outside of account management fees, advisors do not make commissions from the sale of certain securities. The firm also does not sell insurance products.
Leavell Investment Management, Inc. Background
Thomas W. Leavell founded Leavell Investment Management (formerly T. Leavell & Associates, Inc.) in 1979. He was the principal owner of the firm until 2014. Now, the firm is owned by its employees. Most employees own up to a 25% share of the firm. Andrew Grinstead serves as the company’s CEO and president.
Leavell Investment Management’s primary service is the management of a client’s investment portfolio. The firm will also occasionally provide financial planning services to clients. That could encompass services such as cash-flow planning, net worth calculations, tax planning or education planning.
Leavell Investment Management, Inc. Investing Strategy
When building a portfolio for a client, Leavell advisors look to maximize diversity. That could include investing in individual securities, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) for both domestic and foreign companies. Fixed-income securities are a vital part of the firm’s portfolios because they can help to minimize a portfolio’s overall risk.
Leavell Investment Management prefers to take a long-term approach to investing and avoids short-term trading. The firm also avoids portfolio turnover in order to keep trading expenses to a minimum.
N.D. Pitman & Company, Inc.
N.D. Pitman & Company is a fee-only financial advisor with $142.77 million in assets under management (AUM). It has the smallest staff on this list with just two financial advisors. One of those advisors holds a certified financial planner (CFP) designation.
Most of the firm’s clients are individuals, with roughly equal amounts of high-net-worth individuals and non-high-net-worth individuals. N.D. Pitman & Company also serves pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, corporations and businesses. There is no account minimum for new clients.
N.D. Pitman & Company, Inc. Background
N.D. Pitman & Company began conducting business in 2005. Norman D. Pitman, III founded the firm and is the sole owner. He serves as president and chief compliance officer (CCO). Pitman is also a licensed attorney in the state of Mississippi.
The two main services offered by N.D. Pitman & Company are financial planning and portfolio management. Financial planning covers a comprehensive analysis of the client’s finances and generally includes considering the client’s cash flow, tax situation, investments, insurance policies, retirement goals and estate planning. Portfolio management entails managing investments for a client.
The firm may also provide consultation services for both investment-related and non-investment-related financial questions.
N.D. Pitman & Company, Inc. Investing Strategy
When selecting which securities to invest in, N.D. Pitman & Company uses the common strategy of fundamental analysis. This technique attempts to measure the intrinsic value of a security by analyzing its finances and how it fits into the overall economy.
Unlike some other advisory firms, N.D. Pitman & Company does not show a particular preference to long-term or short-term investing strategies. A long-term purchase is bought and held for more than a year, while a short-term purchase is generally bought and sold within a year. According to the firm, it will make long-term purchases when it feels that a security is currently undervalued or if the firm feels the client would benefit from the asset class exposure that a security provides. A short-term purchase may be used to take advantage of a specific market condition.
Sandifer & Associates
Coming third on our list is Sandifer & Associates, with $120.4 million in assets under management (AUM). This is another small firm with only three financial advisors on staff. One of those advisors is a certified financial planner (CFP).
The firm’s primary clients include individuals, high-net worth-individuals, medical professionals, retirees, trusts and estates. There is a $350,000 account minimum for those who want to open an account.
This is also a fee-only firm. The firm does help clients with insurance-related administrative work like filling out paperwork, but it does not receive any commissions from this work.
Sandifer & Associates Background
Sandifer & Associates was founded in 1997 by James E. Sandifer. He is the owner of the firm as well as its president and CCO. The firm was registered as an investment advisory firm in 2013.
Sandifer & Associates offers financial planning services and portfolio management services to its clients. Financial planning could address the client’s short-term or long-term goals. In some cases, portfolio management may include recommending the client to third-party account managers, who are advisors who do not work for Sandifer & Associates. Fees from these third-party managers are incurred in addition to Sandifer & Associates fees.
Sandifer & Associates Investing Strategy
Investment portfolios with Sandifer & Associates consist mostly of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds. However, the firm will also invest in individual stocks and fixed-income securities.
Fundamental analysis is the primary technique used to evaluate individual stocks. As mentioned earlier, fundamental analysis is a common technique that aims to get a full financial picture of the stock. Fixed-income securities, like bonds, are used as a strategic investment. They may be useful for giving a portfolio liquidity.