Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in North Carolina
If you're looking for a financial advisor in North Carolina, there are a lot to choose from all over the state. To help you sort through the options, SmartAsset compiled this list of the top financial advisor firms in the state. If you'd prefer to have the work of finding a firm done for you, the financial advisor matching tool from SmartAsset can set up with as many as three advisors in your area who meet your needs.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||CAPTRUST Find an Advisor||$450,010,401,287||$50,000|| || |
|2||Carroll Financial Associates, Inc. Find an Advisor||$4,085,363,115||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||Parsec Financial Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$3,427,806,357||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
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|4||Alphastar Capital Management Find an Advisor||$804,553,597||$10,000|| || |
|5||Dixon Hughes Goodman Wealth Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,691,612,578||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Cornerstone Wealth Find an Advisor||$1,066,360,174||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||Delegate Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$882,973,690||$50,000,000|| || |
|8||Salem Investment Counselors Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,995,772,969||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Bragg Financial Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$2,272,123,381||Varies by account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries by account type
|10||Colony Family Offices, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,982,934,772||$10,000,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisors in North Carolina
To find the top financial advisors in North Carolina, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the state. 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:
CAPTRUST is a fee-based advisor with a minimum investment of just $50,000, making it fairly affordable for most potential investors. The firm’s leadership team alone includes three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three accredited retirement plan specialists (ARPSs) two certified public accountants (CPAs) one certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF). The firm is fee-based, so advisors may earn commissions for buying and selling products, but they are still a fiduciary and must act in the best interest of the client. Advising fees are based on a percentage of assets under management (AUM). The firm serves individuals (both high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth), banks, investment companies, pensions, profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities, insurance companies and corporations.
CAPTRUST was founded in 2003. It is nearly 100% owned by a limited liability corporation called The CapFinancial Group. That parent company is held at 45% by CapFinancial Holdings, which is in turn owned at about 40% by James Fielding Miller, the CEO of CAPTRUST. The rest of CapFinancial Holdings is also owned by Captrust Employees.
Services offered at the firm include investment advisory, asset allocation analysis, investment manager selection, mutual fund evaluation, quarterly performance measurement, financial planning and analysis, estate planning review, tax review, insurance review and charitable giving strategies.
CAPTRUST Investment Strategy
Advisors at CAPTRUST use both risk-based and outcome-based analysis when deciding on asset allocation for a client. Asset classes used in a portfolio could include US equities, international equities, fixed-income, strategic opportunities, commodities and real estate. The following portfolio models are available:
- Discretionary Consulting Portfolios
- Capital Preservation & Income
- Wealth Managed Accounts Portfolios
- All Fixed-Income
- Low Volatility Alternatives
- All Equity
- Wealth Managed Account Portfolios
Carroll Financial Associates
Carroll Financial Associates is a Charlotte-based firm that works with individuals (around 80% of whom do not have a high net worth), plus institutional clients including pensions and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations. The firm is fee-based. This means that in addition to charging an asset-based management fee, advisors can earn commissions for selling securities to customers. This is a conflict of interest, but advisors are still bound by fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the client when serving as an advisor.
The minimum investment at Carroll depends on the program you are participating in. The team includes 28 certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three chartered life underwriters (CLUs), two chartered financial consultants (ChFC), two one certified retirement counselor (CRC),
Carroll Financial Associates Background
Carroll Financial Associates was founded in 1980. It is principally owned by Kristopher W. Carroll, the firm's CEO.
Services offered at Carroll include financial planning, investment planning, portfolio management, an automated investment program, retirement plan consulting, insurance planning and tax preparation.
Carroll Financial Associates Investment Strategy
The following portfolio models are available at Carroll:
- Total return
- Income & growth
- Risk controlled
- Conservative income
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are frequently used as investment tools, along with mutual funds and individual stocks and bonds.
Parsec Financial Management
Parsec Financial Management is a fee-only firm which works with a nearly even split of high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals. The firm also works with some institutional clients including pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations. There is no minimum account size at the firm, where the team includes 23 certified financial planners (CFPs), five certified public accountants (CPAs), five chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs) two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs) and various other certifications.
Parsec Financial Management Background
Parsec Financial Management was founded in 1980 by William Barton Boyer, who remains a principal owner of the firm. All employees are given the chance to be owners of the firm through buying privately held stock.
Services offered at Parsec include investment management, financial planning, ERISA consulting and trust services.
Parsec Financial Management Investment Strategy
Parsec Financial Management uses fundamental analysis as its principal method of selecting securities for clients. Components of a portfolio may include international equities, large-, small- and mid-cap equities, fixed-income investments, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds.
Alphastar Capital Management
Alphastar Capital Management is a fee-based advisor operating out of Cornelius. Advisory fees are generally based on a percentage of assets under management, but advisors may also earn commissions for selling securities or insurance. This is a conflict of interest, but advisors are still bound by fiduciary duty when acting as an advisor.
The minimum investment at Alphastar is $10,000. The team includes two chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one certified financial planner (CFP). Most of the firm’s clients are non-high-net-worth individuals, though there are a small number of high-net-worth clients as well. Institutional clients include pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.
Alphastar Capital Management Background
Alphastar Capital Management was founded in 2011. The managing partner is Brian K. Williams, but no single individual or entity owns more than 25% of the firm.
Alphastar’s services include investment management, model portfolios, subadvisory services, financial planning, budgeting, cash flow analysis, tax analysis, retirement planning, insurance planning and estate planning.
Alphastar Capital Management Investment Strategy
Alphastar Capital Management uses two basic strategies when it comes to investment. The strategic approach sets asset allocations and periodically rebalances the portfolio to get back to those allocations. Both active and passive investments may be used. The tactical approach is mathematically based and looks to identify trends of markets and asset classes. A portfolio's composition may reflect both of these approaches.
Dixon Hughes Goodman Wealth Advisors
Dixon Hughes Goodman Wealth Advisors (DHGWA) is a fee-based firm operating in Asheville. Advising fees are based on a percentage of assets under management, and some advisors at the firm also earn commissions for selling insurance. This represents a conflict of interest, but advisors are still bound by fiduciary duty. Clients of DHGWA include individuals (both high-net-worth and otherwise), plus institutional clients including pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, educational trusts and corporations.
There is no minimum investment requirement provided by the firm, but the minimum annual fee is $5,000. The team of advisors includes eight certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered retirement plan counselors (CRPCs), three accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), three certified public accountant (CPA), two chartered retirement plan specialists (CRPSes) and one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
Dixon Hughes Goodman Wealth Advisors Background
Dixon Hughes Goodman was established as an independent advisory shop in 1997. Since 2004, it has been owned by Dixon Hughes Goodman Financial Services, which is itself owned by the partners of DHG, a public accounting firm.
Services offered by the firm include financial planning, investment management and retirement plan services.
Dixon Hughes Goodman Wealth Advisors Investment Strategy
Modern portfolio theory (MPT) is the basis for deciding which securities to buy and sell at DHGWA. This seeks to minimize risk and maximize returns while investing across asset classes. Low-cost mutual funds are among the most frequently used investments at the firm. Actively managed funds generally are not used due to their high prices and uneven returns.
Cornerstone Wealth, headquartered in Huntersville, is a fee-based advisory firm. In addition to advisory fees, advisors may earn commissions for selling securities and insurance products. This is a conflict of interest, but all employees are still bound by the fiduciary standard, which requires practioners to always put the client's interest ahead of their own. The team at Cornerstone includes six certified financial planners (CFPs), four accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Nearly all of the clients at the firm are non-high-net-worth individuals, with a small number of high-net-worth investors and a smaller number of corporations. There is no minimum account size.
Cornerstone Wealth Background
Founded in 2001, Cornerstone has no owner with a stake of higher than 25%. Outside of its headquarters, the firm also runs offices around North and South Carolina.
Services include portfolio management, managed 529s, retirement plan consulting, financial planning, investment planning, estate planning, education planning and real estate analysis.
Cornerstone Wealth Investment Strategy
Nearly two-thirds of client money at Cornerstone is invested in mutual funds. A further one quarter is put into individual stocks. Alternatives and cash holdings are also used, but the firm does not invest in bonds.
Delegate Advisors is a Chapel Hill advisory firm which operates on a fee-only basis. The firm does not provide a fee schedule as it expects all clients will be qualified purchasers. The firm does not have many clients, just a few dozen high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and a small number of pooled investment vehicles and corporations.
The firm’s team includes one certified financial planner (CFP) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA). The minimum account size is generally $50 million, but for athletes the minimum is lowered to $25 million.
Delegate Advisors Background
Delegate Advisors was founded in 2011. No single investor owns more than 25% of the firm, and the firm operates on an independent basis. Delegate is run by CEO Andy Hart, director of portfolio management Dunkin Allison and director of investment research Jim Powers.
Services offered include investment services, tax strategy, estate planning, pension advisors, insurance planning and asset protection planning.
Delegate Advisors Investment Strategy
Advisors at Delegate use a number of analytical tools to make investment choices for clients, including fundamental, technical and cyclical analyses. Diversification is key, including diversification across class, style, sector and industry. Mutual funds are the most used investment, along with stocks, bonds, hedge funds and cash holdings.
Salem Investment Counselors
Salem Investment Counselors, Inc. is a Winston-Salem based advisory shop offering services on a fee-only basis. Clients at Salem include a nearly even divide between high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth clients. The only institutional clients at Salem are charitable organizations.
Fees at this firm are based on a percentage of your overall assets under management. The advisory team includes six chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and four certified public accountants (CPAs).
Salem Investment Counselors Background
Salem Investment Counselors was founded in 1979. It is wholly owned by its partners, with the following people owning equal shares: Dale M. Brown, David B. Rea, Jeffrey C. Howard, Kenneth S. Jones, Mark Thompson and Joseph McCaffrey.
The main services offered at Salem are financial planning and asset management.
Salem Investment Counselors Investment Strategy
When choosing investments, advisors at Salem Investment Counselors look for companies with at least one of the following characteristics:
- Established companies with above average prospects for growth.
- Small and medium-sized companies currently selling at prices that don’t reflect their long-term potential
- Companies in industries currently undergoing consolidation
Around 80% of all investments at the firm are in stocks. Bonds, mutual funds and cash holdings are also used to invest client money.
Bragg Financial Advisors
Bragg Financial Advisors is a fee-based firm located in Charlotte, In addition to advisory fees, some advisors at the firm are able to sell insurance and earn commissions. This is a conflict of interest, but all advisors must still act as fiduciaries when working as an advisor.
Clients of the firm include a mix of high-net-worth individuals and other individual investors, plus institutional clients including investment companies, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations The firm’s team includes nine certified financial planners (CFPs), five chartered financial advisors, two certified public accountants (CPAs), one chartered retirement plan counselor (CRPC) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).
Bragg Financial Advisors Background
Bragg Financial Advisors was created in 2000. It was founded and is owned by the Bragg family, the patriarch of which, J. Frank Bragg, Jr., has been working in the financial services industry since 1964.
Services offered at the firm include individual portfolio management, portfolio construction, financial planning, retirement planning, education planning, investments, insurance and estate planning.
Bragg Financial Advisors Investment Strategy
The following model portfolios are available as options at Bragg Financial Advisors:
- Aggressive Allocation with Emphasis on Capital Appreciation
- Moderately Aggressive Allocation with Primary Emphasis on Capital Appreciation and Secondary Emphasis on Income.
- Moderate Allocation with Emphasis on Capital Appreciation and Income.
- Moderately Conservative Allocation with Emphasis on Capital Appreciation, Capital Preservation and Income
- Moderately Conservative Allocation with Emphasis on Capital Preservation, Income and Moderate Capital Appreciation.
- Conservative Allocation with Emphasis on Capital Preservation and Income; Capital Appreciation is Secondary.
Colony Family Offices
Colony Family Offices, located in Charlotte, provides financial advisory services on a fee-only basis, with fees based on a percentage of assets under management. The team at Colony includes three certified financial planners (CFP), two certified public accountants (CPAs) and one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA).
The minimum investment is $10 million. All individual clients at the firm are high-net-worth, and the only institutional clients are charitable organizations.
Colony Family Offices Background
Colony Family Offices was founded in 2013 and is principally owned by managing director Eric D. Ridenour.
Services at the firm include wealth management, financial planning, estate planning, trist planning, life insurance planning, tax planning and debt review.
Colony Family Offices Investment Strategy
Around 40% of all investments at Colony Family Offices are in mutual funds. Other investments used include individual stocks and bonds, hedge funds and cash equivalents. Both long- and short-term purchases are used, along with margin transactions and option writing.