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 match you with as many as three advisors who serve your area.
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|CAPTRUST Find an Advisor
|No set account minimum
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|Alphastar Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor
|Smith, Salley & Associates, LLC Find an Advisor
|Varies based on account type
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
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|Bragg Financial Advisors Inc. Find an Advisor
|Varies by account type
Minimum AssetsVaries by account type
|Delegate Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor
|Veratis Advisors, Inc Find an Advisor
|Biltmore Family Office, LLC Find an Advisor
|Salem Investment Counselors Inc. Find an Advisor
|No set account minimum
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|Granville Capital, Inc. Find an Advisor
|Varies based on account type
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|Colony Family Offices, LLC Find an Advisor
What We Use in Our Methodology
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:
- 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 obtained through public records and is updated annually after the firms’ form ADV filing. 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. SmartAsset is not a client of the aforementioned firms, and did not receive compensation for including any of the firms on the aforementioned list.
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 advisroy team holds multiple certifications, including designations as chartered financial analysts (CFAs), accredited retirement plan specialists (ARPSs) and certified public accountants (CPAs), among others.
As a fee-based firm, advisors may earn commissions for buying and selling financial products. But they are still a fiduciary and must therefore act in the best interest of the client.
Advising fees are based on a percentage of assets under management (AUM).
The firm serves both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as banking institutions, investment companies, retirement plans, charities, government entities, insurance companies and businesses.
CAPTRUST was founded in 2003. It is nearly 100% owned by a limited liability corporation called The CapFinancial Group. That parent company is owned by CapFinancial Holdings, Inc. and Halftime Holdings LLC. And, according to the firm's brochure, GTCR Fund XII B owns more than 25% of CAPTRUST indirectly through its ownership of Halftime Holdings, LLC.
Services offered at the firm include investment advisory services, financial planning services and estate planning services.
CAPTRUST Investment Strategy
Advisors at CAPTRUST use both risk-based and outcome-based analysis when deciding on asset allocation for a client.
Asset allocation for portfolios is based on equities, fixed income, strategic opportunities, commodities and real estate with a risk profile that’s appropriate to the client. For security analysis, the firm uses fundamental, technical, quantitative and qualitiative analysis.
Alphastar Capital Management
Alphastar Capital Management is a fee-based firm that works with both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as retirement plans and businesses.
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 can be conflict of interest, but advisors are still bound by fiduciary duty when acting as an advisor.
The minimum investment at Alphastar is $10,000.
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 takes a strategic approach, setting asset allocations and periodically rebalancing portfolios. Active and passive investments may be used.
The firm also takes a tactical approach that is mathematically-based and aims to identify both market and asset class trends.
A portfolio's composition could reflect both of these approaches.
Smith, Salley & Associates
Smith, Salley & Associates (SSA), which also does business as Smith Salley Wealth Management, offers financial planning and ongoing portfolio management services to both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as banking or thrift institutions, charities and businesses.
This fee-based firm generally a minimum initial investment of $500,000 to engage in investment advisory services and $1 million to manage individual bond portfolios. However, these minimums may be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
Investment management fees generally depend on an annual percentage of assets under management currently capped at 1%.
Smith, Salley & Associates Background
SSA was formed by G. Mackay Salley and G. Gregory Smith, Jr. in 2003. Both are also the firm’s main principal owners.
The firm’s advisory team holds multiple designations as certified financial planners (CFPs) and chartered financial analysts (CFAs).
Smith, Salley & Associates Investment Strategy
SSA crafts financial advisory services based on client needs. So the firm can build investment portfolios based on risk tolerance and financial objectives.
For those with simpler needs, they get stand-alone financial planning assistance with budgeting, cash flow control, retirement savings, estate planning and more.
When it comes to investing, the firm focuses on diversification and fundamental analysis, which means it evaluates securities such as stocks based on the company's underlying financials.
SSA says that it will mostly invest client assets in stocks and fixed-income securities, and in certain cases also invest in equity and fixed-income exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Bragg Financial Advisors
Bragg Financial Advisors is a fee-based firm located in Charlotte. Clients of the firm include bothe non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as investment companies, retirement plans, charities and businesses.
The firm’s team holds multiple certifications, including designations as certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified public accountants (CPAs), among others.
A minimum of $3 million of assets under management is required for the Managed Account Program and a minimum of $1 million of assets is required for the Small Cap Value Managed Account Program. These minimums may be negotiable.
Bragg Financial Advisors Background
Bragg Financial Advisors was created in 1997. It was founded and is owned by the Bragg family. It is now principally owned by Benton Bragg, Phillips Bragg, John Bragg III and Steve H. Scruggs.
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.
Delegate Advisors is a Chapel Hill advisory firm that operates on a fee-only basis.
The firm does not provide a fee schedule as it expects all clients will be qualified purchasers.
Delegate Advisors works with high-net-worth, pooled investment vehicles, charities, insurance companies and corporations.
The minimum net worth of clients generally ranges from $25 to $50 million.
Delegate Advisors Background
Delegate Advisors was founded in 2012. No single investor owns more than 25% of the firm. The CEO is Andy Hart.
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.
Veratis Advisors is a fee-only firm that works almost exclusively with high-net-worth individuals. The firm also manages assets for non-high-net-worth clients, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, and state or municipal government entities.
You will need a minimum of $1 million in investable assets to open an account with this firm.
The advisory team holds multiple certifications, including two certified financial planners (CFPs), among others.
Veratis Advisors Background
Veratis Advisors was founded in 2001 and it provides services to corporate retirement plans and personal clients.
Services for personal clients included portfolio management, financial planning and rollover recommendations.
Veratis Advisors Investment Strategy
Veratis Advisors uses fundamental analysis to select securities for clients.
Portfolios may include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and cash equivalent instruments.
Biltmore Family Office
Biltmore Family Office is a fee-only firm based in Charlotte that works with both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as charities.
The firm’s team holds multiple certifications, including certified financial planners (CFPs) and chartered financial analysts (CFAs), among other designations.
Bilmore generally serves families with investible assets of at least $10 million, or a net worth more than $25 million.
Biltmore Family Office Background
Biltmore Family Office was founded in 2008. The firm is primarily owned by founder Chris Cecil and operating partners Rael Gorelick, Nicole Gokey and Michael Farrell.
According to the firm's brochure, Chris Cecil’s ownership is held through CHAC, Inc., Rael Gorelick’s ownership is held through RG Biltmore Holdings, Inc., Nicole Gokey’s ownership is held through Gokey Consulting, Inc., and Mike Farrell’s ownership is held through Farrell 4 Consulting, LLC.
Services offered at the firm focus on multi-generational wealth management, including family balance sheet management, investment planning and selection, tax management and wealth planning.
Biltmore Family Office Investment Strategy
Assets at the Biltmore Family Office are typically managed on a discretionary basis, although the firm does offer non-discretionary management as well. Since the firm focuses on wealth management for high-net-worth individuals, its investment recommendations are highly customized for each client's objectives and needs.
Advisors at the firm base target allocations on a client's financial priorities, such as lifestyle, generational and legacy objectives. The following strategies are used to tailor client portfolios:
- Active security selection
- Passive ETF allocation
- Implementing bond and debt related strategies
- Distressed bond and debt related strategies
- Trading strategies
- Macro-economic strategies
- Commercial Real Estate
- Private Equity
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 both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as charitable organizations.
Fees at this firm are based on a percentage of your overall assets under management.
The core members of its advisory team hold multiple certifications, including chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified public accountants (CPAs).
Salem Investment Counselors Background
Founded in 1979, Salem Investment Counselors is wholly owned by its partners in equal shares. These include Dale M. Brown, David B. Rea, Kenneth S. Jones, Mark Thompson and Joseph McCaffrey.
Clients at Salem can engage in financial planning and asset management services.
Salem Investment Counselors Investment Strategy
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
Granville Capital is a fee-only offers investment advisory services for high-net-worth individuals, and also works with pooled investment vehicles, charities and businesses.
According to the firm's brochure, investment vehicles are available to accredited investors, and initial investment minimums can vary from $300,000 to $1 million.
Granville Capital Background
Founded in 2003, Granville Capital is owned by Pearce A. Landry, Stephen C. Hassenfelt, Eugene G. Purcell IV and Michael W. Dinkins.
The advisory staff holds multiple certifications, including designations as chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified public accountant (CPA).
Granville Capital Investment Strategy
Granville Capital says that advisory services are based on client investment objectives.
According to the firm's brochure, Granville considers both quantitative and qualitative factors when selecting an investment manager. The firm also says that it conducts its own proprietary research on all the managers that it invests with.
Colony Family Offices
Colony Family Offices is a fee-only firm that works with high-net-worth individuals and charities.
To work with the firm, clients generally need a minimum account balance of $10 million.
Colony Family Offices, LLC Background
Colony Family Offices was founded and registered with the SEC in 2013.
The firm is wholly owned by Eric D. Ridenour, who currently serves as managing director.
The home office team holds multiple certifications, including designations as certified financial planners (CFPs), certified public accountants (CPAs) and other.
Colony Family Offices, LLC Investing Strategy
Colony Family Offices aims to build investment portfolios driven by passive and active passive strategies for long-term growth. But the firm also says that it "will likely recommend and implement tactical allocations in order to seek to capitalize on short-term investment opportunities or defend against market risks or dislocations."
The firm may invest client assets in equity, fixed-income, mutual funds or private investments like hedge funds.
The firm can also provide additional services separately upon request. These include:
- Investment policy statement creation and maintenance
- Asset allocation strategies
- Ad hoc investment research
- Consolidated performance reporting