Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in New Jersey
New Jersey residents will likely have a tough time making a final decision on a financial advisor firm because of the number of options throughout the state. To simplify this undertaking, SmartAsset determined the top financial advisor firms across the Garden State. Below you can compare and contrast the fee schedules, investing strategies and typical client bases of each of the 10 firms to find the one that suits your financial goals and needs. If you’d prefer to answer a few questions to get paired with financial advisors in your area, take a look at the SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Pathstone Family Office, LLC Find an Advisor||$8,548,673,603||$2 million|| || |
Minimum Assets$2 million
|2||RegentAtlantic Capital, LLC Find an Advisor||$4,589,281,928||None|| || |
|3||Massey Quick Simon & Co., LLC Find an Advisor||$2,975,554,906||Varies by account|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries by account
|4||Modera Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$ 2,386,219,300||No set account minimum; minimum fee based on services|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum; minimum fee based on services
|5||Beacon Trust Find an Advisor||$2,135,489,402||$500,000|| || |
|6||Advisors Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,132,074,570||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|7||Circle Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,743,298,203||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||Hallmark Capital Management Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,535,586,858||$500,000|| || |
|9||CFS Investment Advisory Services LLC Find an Advisor||$1,065,918,899||$500,000|| || |
|10||FCG Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,057,157,563||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in New Jersey
Our SmartAsset personal finance experts only considered New Jersey-based financial advisor firms registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for placement on this list. That’s because all SEC-registered firms are bound by fiduciary duty, which requires them to act in clients’ best interests. We removed firms from contention for one of three reasons: either they didn’t manage individual accounts, didn’t offer financial planning services or had disciplinary issues. The top firms that met these requirements are listed below, sorted from the most assets under management (AUM) to the least.
Pathstone Family Office, LLC
Pathstone Family Office, LLC is a fee-only firm topping this list with nearly $8.55 billion in assets under management (AUM). There are 57 advisors at the firm, the most on this list. The team includes 11 certified financial planners (CFPs), nine chartered financial analysts (CFAs), four certified investment management analysts (CIMAs) and one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA).
Individual clients are mostly high-net-worth individuals. There are also institutional clients, including pooled investment vehicles, charitable organizations and other corporations. The minimum portfolio size is $2 million. Fees for investment management are based on a percentage of assets under management, though some qualified clients may enter into an agreement for performance-based fees.
Pathstone Family Office, LLC Background
This firm was founded in 2016 through the merger of Pathstone Family Office (founded in 2010) and Federal Street Advisors (founded in 1991). It is principally owned by Pathstone Holdings, LLC and is family- and employee-owned.
The firm’s services include:
- Discretionary investment advising
- Financial planning services
- Tax compliance
- Tax return preparation
Pathstone Family Office, LLC Investment Strategy
Pathstone Family Office may use the following strategies in client portfolios: long term purchases, short term purchases, trading, short sales, margin transactions, option writing, structured products and and derivatives.
Modern portfolio theory may be part of the process in determining asset allocation and manager selection for advisors. Each client has a determined return objective and risk tolerance that drives investment decisions.
Fee-only financial advisor firm RegentAtlantic has nearly $3.77 billion in assets under management (AUM) and 32 financial advisors on staff. Its team includes 21 certified financial planners (CFPs), eight chartered financial analysts (CFAs), five financial paraplanner qualified professionals (FPQPs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one certified trust and financial advisor (CTFA), one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
This Morristown-based firm mostly works with high-net-worth individuals, though it does also have a history of working with foundations, endowments, pension and profit-sharing plans and businesses. RegentAtlantic says it specializes in serving business owners, corporate executives, those approaching retirement, senior citizens, Wall Street women and non-profit organizations. While there is no minimum account size set by this firm, it does require a $10,000 minimum annual fee.
RegentAtlantic has been in business since just 2001. Prior to its merger, the firm existed as two separate firms: Bugen, Korn & Cordaro and Individual Asset Planning. Chief investment officer Christopher Cordaro and chief operating officer Jennifer Papadopolo are the sole owners of the firm.
As you might expect from a firm this large, it has many financial planning services available:
- Financial goal setting
- Retirement planning
- IRA/qualified plan management
- Business planning
- Tax minimization
- Estate planning
- Insurance analysis
- Charitable gift planning
- College fund planning
RegentAtlantic Investing Strategy
RegentAtlantic’s central focus is long-term sustainable growth, and it will always strive to achieve this in its client portfolios. Unlike some firms, though, it’s willing to use short-term investments to try to capitalize on some of the higher returns that can accompany these riskier investments.
The firm’s advisors rebalance portfolios on a regular basis to ensure that they realize the portfolio mix they’re aiming for in real time, not just when first implementing the plan. Changes in your financial goals or shifts in an asset class weight by more than 20% will also trigger rebalancing.
Massey Quick Simon & Co., LLC
Massey Quick Simon is a fee-only firm managing nearly $3.03 billion for clients. Most of the individual clients of the firm are high-net-worth, though not all. Institutional clients include pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities, other investment advisors, insurance companies and other corporations.
Massey Quick Simon has 16 advisors on staff, including nine certified financial planners (CFPs), five chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIAs), five chartered financial advisors (CFPs) and one certified divorce financial planner (CDFA).
Fees are generally based on a percentage of assets under management, though some clients at the firm may pay performance-based fees. The minimum account size required is $500,000.
Massey Quick Simon & Co., LLC Background
Massey Quick Simon & Co. was founded in 2004. It is principally owned by Stewart R. Massey, Leslie C. Quick III and QIII Family Enterprises LLC. Leslie Quick still works at the firm as a managing partner, while Stewart Massey is not listed on the firm’s website.
Services offered include:
- Wealth management
- Investing consulting services
- Tax planning and compliance
- Cash flow management
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
Massey Quick Simon & Co., LLC Investing Strategy
Fundamental analysis is the main method used by advisors ay Massey Quick Simon to analyze potential security purchases. This involves looking at historical and present financial data to forecast what will happen in the future.
The following strategies may be used by advisors at the firm:
- Long term purchases
- Short term purchases
- Short sales
Modera Wealth Management, LLC
Individuals comprise the largest percentage of Modera Wealth Management, LLC’s client base, although that’s not the only group the firm serves. The firm has built relationships with pension and profit-sharing plans, estates, trusts, businesses, investment limited partnerships and charitable organizations. Modera Wealth Management does not require new clients to have a minimum level of investable assets, but it does have a minimum quarterly fee of $5,000 for wealth management, $4,000 for portfolio management and $1,375 for retirement plan services.
Aside from its main office in Westwood, you can find this fee-only firm in Massachusetts, Florida, North Carolina and Georgia. The team in New Jersey includes 13 certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), three chartered life underwriters (CLUs), two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Modera Wealth Management, LLC Background
Though Modera Wealth Management’s roots can be traced back to 1983, it was technically formed in 2011 through a merger between Back Bay Financial Group, Inc. and Modera Capital, Inc. Despite the name change, Modera Capital, Inc., a financial holding company, still owns the firm.
This firm’s services can be split into a few overarching categories, like wealth management, portfolio management, investment consulting and monitoring, retirement planning and financial planning and consulting. Modera offers business planning, insurance review, estate planning, tax mitigation, cash-flow planning and education funding as well.
Modera Wealth Management, LLC Investing Strategy
Modern portfolio theory has become popular with financial advisor firms in recent years, but this firm chooses to focus on just three main tenets of it:
- The markets work. The market will usually set fair prices.
- Diversification is key. Use international securities in different markets to fill out portfolios.
- There’s a relationship between risk and return. If you want a boost in return, make sure the risk only increases proportionately.
To put these ideas into practice as fully as possible, Modera Wealth Management remains open to a plethora of investment opportunities, like exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stocks, bonds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), commodities and more.
One of two Morristown firms on this list, Beacon Trust works with far more high-net-worth individuals than non-high-net-worth individuals. While individual investors are the firm’s most common clients, it also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, businesses and charitable organizations. New clients of this fee-only firm are required to have at least $500,000 in investable assets.
The firm has a large variety of advisor certifications on this list. Its team includes 11 certified financial planners (CFPs), seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three certified public accountants (CPAs), one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA), and one chartered investment counselor (CIC).
Beacon Trust Background
Beacon Trust was formed in 2015. Provident Financial Services, Inc., a publicly traded financial company, owns the firm. The advisors at Beacon Trust have, on average, 20 years of experience in financial advising and management.
Services at this firm are tailored to certain types of clients, like business executives and retirees. You’ll find investment management, estate planning, retirement planning, executive compensation planning, tax planning and preparation, trust creation and estate planning services available at Beacon.
Beacon Trust Investing Strategy
Beacon Trust uses multiple investment strategies across diversified asset classes to build its client portfolios. Overall, the firm looks to do the following for each account it builds: maximize liquidity, adhere to tax efficiency, preserve wealth, deliver attractive returns and maintain transparency.
Inherently diversified investments are popular with this firm and make up most of its portfolios. For example, you’ll likely see a mix of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, individual debt and equity securities, options and investment limited partnerships in your account.
Advisors Capital Management, LLC
Advisors Capital Management, LLC works with more than 14 times as many non-high-net-worth individuals as high-net-worth individuals. Additionally, Advisors Capital Management works with state and municipal government entities, pension and profit-sharing plans, businesses and charitable organizations.
The account minimum at this Ridgewood-based firm varies depending on the type of account you want to open. The minimums go as follows:
- ACM private account: $300,000
- ACM model separate accounts: $150,000
- ACM model mutual fund/ETF strategies: $50,000
The team at Advisors Capital Management includes three chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one master of business administration (MBA). Certain advisors at the firm also sell insurance, and they may earn commissions from sales. The firm does abide by fiduciary duty, which binds it to act in your best interest.
Advisors Capital Management, LLC Background
Founding partner Kevin Kern established the firm's predecessor, Advisors Financial Center, in 1998. In 2003, Kern merged that firm with Chief Investment Officer Dr. Charles Lieberman. The merged firm became Advisors Capital Management, and it remains majority owned by Lieberman. The firm’s senior economic advisor is Dr. Alan Greenspan, who served as the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve from 1987 to 2006.
Advisors Capital Management provides most of the services that typical financial advisor firms do. Its services include budget and cash flow planning, investment management, retirement planning, estate planning and insurance analysis.
Advisors Capital Management, LLC Investing Strategy
Advisors Capital Management, LLC takes into account a number of factors when deciding which industries are worth investing in. These factors include interest rate outlooks, demographics, business cycles and more. Once it’s considered these elements, the firm selects specific companies within the viable industries that present strong return possibilities or are currently undervalued.
The final choices your advisor makes throughout this process are not only based on the aforementioned research, but also on how well the investments align with your personal risk tolerance and time horizon. However, this firm heavily emphasizes long-term investments.
Circle Wealth Management, LLC
Circle Wealth Management, LLC has $1.65 billion in assets under management (AUM). Even at this size, the firm has only 60 individual clients to its name, all of whom are ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Charitable organizations are the only other type of client that this fee-only firm will accept. It has no set account minimum.
This Summit-based firm’s team includes two certified financial planners (CFPs) and two certified public accountants (CPAs). Circle Wealth was named one of Financial Times’ top 300 registered investment advisors (RIAs) in 2015.
Circle Wealth Management, LLC Background
Managing partner Maria Chrin is the majority owner of Circle Wealth Management, LLC. The Financial Times honored Chrin as one of the top female financial advisors in 2014. Circle Wealth Management was founded in 2006, though its advisors average almost 20 years in the financial sphere.
The firm initially offers clients general services, such as financial planning, wealth advising and investment management. These will then be customized to your personal needs based on conversations with your advisor.
Circle Wealth Management, LLC Client Experience
Circle Wealth Management, LLC places an emphasis on collaboration between advisors and clients as it builds relationships. Conversations with your advisor will determine your personal risk tolerance, time horizon and financial goals, all of which will eventually shape your financial plan.
Circle Wealth Management wants you to feel extremely secure in the plan that it puts forth for you. To do this, its advisors recommend that you get into contact with your own accountant and attorney to ensure that any strategy used in your account is in line with your future plans and goals.
Hallmark Capital Management Inc.
Hallmark Capital Management, Inc. is a fee-only firm with $1.54 billion in assets under management (AUM). The minimum account size for investment management is $500,000. Fees are based entirely on a percentage of assets under management and advisors do not earn commissions for selling securities or insurance products to clients.
There are 13 advisors at the firm. The team in New Jersey includes two chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and two certified financial planners (CFPs). There is also an office in Florida. Clients are a mix of individuals and high-net-worth individuals, though more are high-net-worth. Institutional clients include pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, insurance companies and other corporations.
Hallmark Capital Management Inc. Background
Hallmark Capital Management was founded in 1986 and started offering financial planning in 1999. It became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Valley National Bancorp in 2000, and in 2016 it merged with New Century Asset Management, another wholly-owned subsidiary of the parent company.
Services offered by the firm include:
- Investment management
- Financial planning
- Income taxes
- Retirement planning
- Asset allocation
- Estate tax planning
- Education pre-funding
Hallmark Capital Management Inc. Investment Strategy
The asset allocation strategy at Hallmark may follow one of three main strategies:
- Equity account: mostly invested in common stocks, with some cash reserves
- Fixed income account: mostly invested in bonds, with some cash reserves
- Balanced account: invested in a mix of stocks and bonds, with some cash reserves
Mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) may also be used, though individual stocks and bonds are the heart of Hallmark’s investment strategy.
CFS Investment Advisory Services, LLC
CFS Investment Advisory Services, LLC is a fee-based firm managing nearly $1.07 billion in assets. The firm has seven advisors on staff, including four certified financial planners (CFPs), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), one accredited investment fiduciary analyst (AIFA) and one accredited asset management specialist (AAMS).
The firm’s clients are mostly individuals, with some high-net-worth accounts. It also advises pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. The minimum portfolio value required is $500,000. Fees for investment management are based on a percentage of assets under management. Financial planning and consulting services carry fixed fees. Some of the firm’s advisors are insurance brokers and may earn commissions selling products to clients. This is a conflict of interest, but advisors must act in the best interest of the client as they are bound by fiduciary duty.
CFS Investment Advisory Services LLC Background
CFS Investment Advisory Services was founded in 1998 and is the successor to another investment advisor firm that was founded in 1993. The firm's owners are Gregory M. Makowski and Harris S. Nydick, who are also the managing members.
Services offered at CFS include:
- Financial planning
- Tax planning
- Estate planning
- Insurance planning
- Investment management
CFS Investment Advisory Services LLC Investment Strategy
Advisors at the firm use fundamental, technical and cyclical analysis to make decisions on which securities to invest customer money in. This means that historical data, price information and current and past market trends are all used to make decisions about which securities will be the best purchases for clients.
Securities may be held for more than a year (long term purchases), they may be sold within a year (short term purchases) or even bought and sold within 30 days (trading).
FCG Advisors, LLC
FCG Wealth Management, LLC is a fee-based firm with more than $1.05 billion in assets under management (AUM) and 13 advisors on staff. That team includes four certified financial planners (CFPs) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
All individual clients at FCG Wealth Management are non-high-net-worth individuals. All institutional clients are corporations. There is no set account minimum required to open or maintain an account. Fees are based on a percentage of assets under management. Additionally, advisors may earn commissions for selling products to customers. Though this is a conflict of interest, advisors are bound by fiduciary duty to act in the client’s best interest.
FCG Wealth Management, LLC Background
The firm was founded in 1994 as FCG Advisors, LLC by John Combias. It became a stand-alone firm known as FCG Wealth in 2013, but there was no practical changes to the way the firm operates. Combias remains the principal owner.
The firm’s services include:
- Investment advisory
- Wrap fee programs
- Portfolio management
FCG Wealth Management, LLC Investment Strategy
The advisors at FCG Wealth Management use a number of analytical tools to find investments for clients, including:
- Strategic and tactical management
- Micro and macro economic analysis
- Fundamental and technical analysis
The firm often invests in companies with small to medium market capitalizations, which the advisors believe are the most likely to produce significant return for clients, though these investments also come with a higher level of risk than high market cap firms.