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Top Financial Advisor Firms in Ohio

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Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Ohio

Ohio is home to some of the largest and most popular financial advisor firms in the nation. While this might sound like a blessing, it could make the decision process that much more difficult and confusing for prospective clients. To ease this overwhelming situation, SmartAsset created this list of the top 10 financial advisor firms in Ohio. And to help you differentiate between the firms, we’ve outlined each firm’s fees, account minimums, specialties and more. The SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool can even further simplify the decision process by pairing you with advisors near you.

Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc logo Find an Advisor

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$62,466,368,235 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisers
  • Sub-advisory

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisers
  • Sub-advisory
2 Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel logo Find an Advisor

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$15,521,518,193 $750,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters

Minimum Assets

$750,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
3 Johnson Investment Counsel, Inc. Johnson Investment Counsel, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$13,117,965,833 $1,000,000
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
4 MAI Capital Management, LLC MAI Capital Management, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$7,166,355,403 $500,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Due diligence/research

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Due diligence/research
5 Bartlett Wealth Management Bartlett Wealth Management logo Find an Advisor

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$6,505,304,635 $500,000
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
6 Clearstead Advisors, LLC Clearstead Advisors, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$5,777,114,355 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of newsletter/periodicals
  • Investment consulting services to 401(k), endowment, founation and healthcare clients

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of newsletter/periodicals
  • Investment consulting services to 401(k), endowment, founation and healthcare clients
7 Truepoint, Inc. Truepoint, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$3,377,150,297 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services
8 CM Wealth Advisors LLC CM Wealth Advisors LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$2,937,697,827 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio managment
  • Selection of other advisers
  • Consulting

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio managment
  • Selection of other advisers
  • Consulting
9 Hamilton Capital Hamilton Capital logo Find an Advisor

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$2,813,696,204 $500,000
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
10 Meeder Asset Management, Inc. Meeder Asset Management, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$ 2,813,484,981 Varies based on account type
  • Portfolio management
  • Financial planning

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Portfolio management
  • Financial planning

How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Ohio

SmartAsset only considered Ohio-based financial advisor firms that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for this list. That’s because they have a fiduciary duty to act in clients’ best interests. If a firm had disciplinary issues on its record, it was taken out of consideration. Same goes for firms that don't offer financial planning or whose clients aren't at least half individuals. We then took the top 10 firms based on assets under management. They're listed here, starting with the largest. All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc

Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc

Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc is a fee-based investment advisor based in Cincinnati. With more than $62.4 billion in assets under management, it is by far the largest advisor on this list. (It's also on our list for the top 10 firms in the U.S.) The firm has 91 advisors managing money for clients, with all individual clients being high-net-worth. Fort Washington also manages money for institutional clients including investment companies, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities, insurance companies and other corporations. The minimum account size depends on the investment strategy, ranging from $500,000 to $50 million.

The private client team includes four certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and two chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIAs).

Fees for investment management are based on a percentage of assets under management. Some employees of Fort Washington are also brokers or insurance agents who collect transaction-based fees. This is a potential conflict of interest, but advisors are bound by their fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the client.

Fort Washington Investment Advisors Background

Fort Washington was founded in 1990. The principal shareholders in the firm are: Western & Southern Mutual Holding Company, Western & Southern Financial Group, The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company and Western & Southern Investment Holdings, LLC.

Services offered at the firm include:

Fort Washington Investment Advisors Investing Strategy

A number of investment strategies and securities may be used by advisors at Fort Washington. These include: 

  • Long-term purchases
  • Short-term purchases
  • Short sales
  • Options
  • Domestic and international equities
  • Derivatives
  • Private equity investments

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel is a fee-only firm based in Cincinnati. It manages more than $15.5 billion. All of the firm's individual clients are high-net-worth. The firm also advises institutional clients including investment companies, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities and other corporations. Bahl & Gaynor requires a minimum account size of at least $750,000, and it charges a minimum annual fee of $7,000. Fees are based on a percentage of assets under management and advisors do not make commissions for selling securities or financial products to clients. 

There are 22 advisors on staff at Bahl & Gaynor. That includes 10 chartered financial analysts (CFAs), nine chartered investment counselors (CICs), three certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered wealth manager (CWM) and one certified public accountant (CPA).

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Background

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel was founded in 1990. The principal shareholders of the firm are all senior officers at the firm, including co-founders William F. Bahl, chairman, and Vere W. Gaynor, president.

Services offered at the firm include:

  • Portfolio management
  • Financial planning services
  • Cash flow planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax strategies
  • Retirement planning
  • Education funding

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Investment Strategies

The following investment management model portfolios are available for Bahl & Gaynor clients:

  • Quality Growth
  • Income Growth
  • Mid Cap Growth
  • Small Growth
  • Smig (Small/Mid Cap Income Growth) 
  • Total Return Bond Strategy

Johnson Investment Counsel, Inc.

Johnson Investment Counsel, Inc.

With more than $13.1 billion in assets under management, Johnson Investment Counsel, Inc. is next on the list. The fee-only firm is based in Cincinnati and is also third on SmartAsset’s top Cincinnati financial advisors list.

There are 68 members on the advisory staff at Johnson Investment Counsel. Across this group, you’ll find 27 chartered financial analysts (CFAs), 20 certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified trust and financial advisors (CTFAs), two chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIAs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), one chartered life underwriter (CLU), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC)and one certified investment management analyst (CIMA).

More than 2,000 of the firm’s roughly 3,500 individual clients do not have high net worths. Aside from individuals, the firm also works with trusts, estates, investment companies, businesses, government entities, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. The firm calls for a minimum account size of $1,000,000. 

Johnson Investment Counsel Background

Johnson Investment Counsel was founded in 1965. Its ownership is split among 33 employees.

To manage client assets as comprehensively as possible, this firm employs six different pillars of financial management. These pillars include goal-based financial planning, investment management, retirement planning, insurance analysis, income tax planning and estate planning.

Johnson Investment Counsel Investing Strategy

Rather than have one advisor form each client’s portfolio and investment plan, Johnson Investment Counsel prefers to work as a group. The firm believes this plays to its collective experience and allows clients to benefit from the entire team’s knowledge.

Portfolios are primarily made up of exchange-traded funds, stocks, bonds and mutual funds. However, the exact mix depends on each client's risk tolerance, time horizon and other factors.

MAI Capital Management, LLC

MAI Capital Management, LLC

As a top financial advisor firm in Cleveland, MAI Capital Management, LLC has more than $7.1 billion in assets under management. The firm’s client base is primarily comprised of high-net-worth individuals, but it also includes less affluent individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, foundations, endowments and corporations. The firm says it specializes in working with senior business executives and sports professionals.

The fee-only firm recommends that new clients open accounts with at least $500,000, though some investment strategies require only a $250,000 minimum. The team includes 22 certified financial planners (CFPs), 11 certified public accountants (CPAs), six chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs), two chartered life underwriters (CLUs), one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and one chartered market technician (CMT).

MAI Capital Management may charge performance-based fees if your portfolio outperforms its original projections. Performance-based fees are considered a conflict of interest (advisors have an incentive to take more risks), but as a fiduciary, the firm is required to act in clients' best interests.

MAI Capital Management Background

MAI Capital Management was originally established as Investment Advisors International, Inc. in 1973. After a number of acquisitions and mergers, the firm was renamed as MAI Capital Management in 2014. The firm's primary owner is Richard Buoncore, a managing partner at the firm.

MAI offers general investment management for investors who don’t have a specific objective in mind. For those that do, the following goals-based services are available:

  • Estate planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Insurance review and analysis
  • Tax planning and minimization
  • Financial accounting
  • Philanthropic gift planning

MAI Capital Management Investing Strategy

At MAI Capital Management, your risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity needs will collectively determine your portfolio’s composition. Also, the tax implications of an investment will strongly influence the firm’s decisions.

Additionally, market timing comes into consideration, though the firm primarily takes a long-term approach. MAI isn’t totally against using short-term strategies because these can potentially garner quick returns, albeit with a higher level of risk.

Bartlett Wealth Management

Bartlett Wealth Management

Bartlett Wealth Management generally requires a minimum investment of $500,000 to begin a client relationship. It’s a fee-only firm that manages assets for more than 1,800 individuals who are almost evenly split between those who do and don't have high net worths. The firm also works with foundations, endowments, corporate and non-profit retirement plans, public funds and Taft-Hartley plans.

Cincinnati is home for this firm that is in the fourth spot on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in the city. Bartlett’s 30-person advisory team holds many advisor certifications, including 14 chartered financial analysts (CFAs), nine certified financial planners (CFPs), two registered life planners (RLPs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), one certified exit planning advisor (CEPA) and one accredited domestic partnership advisor (ADPA). (Advisors may have more than one credential.)

Bartlett Wealth Management Background

Bartlett Wealth Management has been in business since 1898, making it one of the oldest financial advisor firms in the U.S. Focus Operating, LLC mostly owns the firms, while some employees have small stakes.

The firm’s services are divided into two major areas: investment management and financial planning. Its investment management services encompass different styles of investing, such as equity management, fixed income, alternative investments and environmental and social investing. Its financial planning services each focus on more specific needs and include:

  • Retirement planning
  • Financial impact of divorce
  • Managing an inheritance
  • Stock option exercise
  • Birth of a child/grandchild
  • Coping with an elderly parent
  • Coping with the death of a spouse
  • Charitable gift planning
  • Early retirement package planning
  • Large stock position management

Bartlett Wealth Management Investing Strategy

Diversification is important to most firms in today’s financial advising world, and Bartlett Wealth Management is no exception. The firm invests in noncorrelating asset classes across stocks, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds and some international investments.

The firm is also an active investment manager, which sets it apart from many similar firms. Through this ideology, Bartlett strives to maximize the possibility of high returns while minimizing risk by consistently moving assets to try to take advantage of changing opportunities in the market.

Clearstead Advisors, LLC

Clearstead Advisors, LLC

This fee-only Cleveland firm works with roughly three times as many high-net-worth individuals as non-high-net-worth individuals. Rounding out its typical clientele are retirement funds, endowments, foundations and operating funds for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, insurance companies and healthcare institutions. The firm does not list a set account minimum.

Clearstead Advisors, LLC non-institutional team includes seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIAs), two certified financial planners (CFPs) and one certified public accountant (CPA). Clearstead is also engaged in an accounting firm business.

Clearstead Advisors Background

Until 2018, Clearstead Advisors was known as Hartland & Co. The firm is owned by three different companies: Hartland Holdings, Inc., Hartland Management Investors, LLC and Rosemont Partners III, LP. The two Hartland groups are made up of employees of the firm, which was originally formed in 1989.

This firm builds unique investment and financial plans for each of its clients as opposed to pairing clients with previously created solutions. The firm’s stated areas of expertise are retirement and healthcare management for institutions and family financial management for private clients.

Clearstead Advisors Investing Strategy

Clearstead Advisors believes it can build successful portfolios by working to control risk. While this isn’t necessarily a novel idea, this emphasis helps to reduce a portfolio's market volatility, making it more stable over the long term. 

The firm combines both active and passive investment strategies. This marriage of two approaches allows the firm to take advantage of broad opportunities in the market.

Truepoint, Inc.

Truepoint, Inc.

Though Truepoint, Inc. has just 26 advisors on staff, its team holds a total of nearly 50 certifications. The firm has 31 certified financial planners (CFPs), 14 certified public accountants (CPAs), seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three certified trust and financial advisors (CTFAs), one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) and one certified estate planner (CEP) on staff. The Cincinnati-based operation is on SmartAsset’s list of the top financial advisor firms in Cincinnati.

Truepoint does not require a minimum balance to open an account. However, the fee-only firm’s client base is made up of mass affluent and high-net-worth individuals. It also works with families, trusts, businesses, qualified plans and foundations.

Truepoint Background

Truepoint, Inc. was founded in 1990 by CEO Michael Chasnoff. The firm is currently employee-owned. Its team of financial planners, investment managers and wealth advisors has a wide range of experience levels, from newbies to industry veterans.

The practice offers investment management, financial planning, wealth management(which is the first two combined) and family office services. Based on your financial situation, goals and other factors, your advisor will determine which services are appropriate. People with less than $3 million in investable assets may be pointed toward RhineVest Advisors, a subsidiary of Truepoint and hybrid robo-advisor (a digital platform with ongoing personal guidance).

As far as financial planning topics go, the firm can help you with:

  • Investment planning
  • Tax planning and preparation
  • Trust services
  • Estate planning
  • Risk and insurance planning
  • Budget creation
  • Cash flow planning
  • Coordinated personal action plans

Truepoint Investing Strategy

Rather than attempt to beat the market, Truepoint engages in passive investing, which statistically outperforms active investing, which comes with high costs and requires a lot of luck. Like many, the firm believes in long-term investments that are goal-focused and low cost. The firm also relies on a “buy-hold-rebalance” strategy, as it believes that rebalancing is an important tool for achieving long-term financial success.

CM Wealth Advisors LLC

CM Wealth Advisors LLC

Fee-only financial advisor firm CM Wealth Advisors LLC has more than $2.9 billion in assets under management. Nearly all of its individual clients have high net worths. The firm also advises institutions, including pooled investment vehicles and charitable organizations. There are seven advisors on staff with a range of credentials, including the certified public accountant (CPA), accredited estate planner (AEP), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified financial planner (CFP) designations.

Generally, the practice requires that investment advisory clients have at least $5 million in assets under management. Participants in the wealth management advisory services program need at least $10 million. 

Fees are based on a percentage of assets under management. Advisors do not earn commissions for selling insurance or financial products to clients.  

CM Wealth Advisors Background

CM Wealth Advisors was founded as a single family office in 1983. In 2000, it branched out and took on other family clients, and after a couple of name changes, it settled on its current name, CM Wealth Advisors LLC, in 2019. The firm is owned by a holding company, CMWA, LLC. The holding company is owned and managed by its members, all of whom are employees and officers of CMWA. James W. Wert, the CEO of the company, is the only person to own 25% or more of the holding company.

Services offered by CM Wealth Advisors include:

  • Wealth management
  • Investment advising
  • Financial planning
  • Estate planning
  • Portfolio management services

CM Wealth Advisors Investment Philosophy

CM Wealth Advisors believes that every client is different and needs their own plan to make the best of their own financial situation. There are a few rules, though, that the firm and its advisors tend to abide by:

  • Diversification is good.
  • Top active managers can outperform passive investments.
  • Take advantage of less-efficient markets.
  • Pooling assets is powerful.
  • Look farther ahead than just the next quarter.

Hamilton Capital

Hamilton Capital

With more than $2.8 billiion in assets under management, Hamilton Capital joins the list this year. It's also on our list of top advisor firms in Columbus. The firm is fee-only, which means that advisors collect compensation only from clients. They do not receive transaction-based fees from third parties, which can pose conflicts of interest.

The team in Columbus and branch office Palm Beach, Florida number 43. They include 29 certified financial planners (CFPs) and many other certifications, including for chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified public accountant (CPA), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).

The majority of clients do not have high net worths, though a high number of clients do (1229 to 839). The firm also works with foundations, endowments, and qualified and non-qualified retirement plans. The firm has a minimum account size requirement of $500,000, and it charges a $1,250 minimum quarterly annual fee to wealth management clients. Investment management services may also have an annual minimum fee.

Hamilton Capital Background

R. Matthew Hamilton founded his namesake firm in 1997. Over the years, he's won a number of awards, including being named to Barron's "America’s Top 1,200 Financial Advisors" and Mutual Funds magazine's "100 Great Financial Planners." Today, he is the firm's majority owner and serves as chairman and CEO.

The practice considers investment management as its core service. It also offers wealth management, which combines investment management with financial planning. Additionally, the firm acts as co-advisor to other advisors and offers non-investment consulting on such topics as estate planning, insurance and tax planning.

Hamilton Capital Investing Strategy

Hamilton Capital takes a top-down, macro-economic approach to investing, starting with its analysis of global macro-economic and political conditions. It then estimates the valuation and expected return and risk for a range of asset classes - and runs a range of scenarios. With its analysis of base case ranking of returns and the outcomes of other scenarios, the advisory will design a portfolio customized to the client's goals and chosen investing strategies. Generally, the firm will use mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, third-party investment managers, alternative investments or similar vehicles.

Meeder Asset Management, Inc.

Meeder Asset Management, Inc.

Last but not least, Meeder Asset Management, Inc. also joins the list this year. Its team of 43 advisors work with more than 1,000 individuals, all of whom currently do not count as high-net-worth. The firm also serves businesses, institutions, retirement plan sponsors and participants and the Ohio local government investment pool. Account minimums depend on the account type. 

Some advisors may be brokers and/or insurance agents. In these non-advisor roles, they collect transaction-based fees, which may pose potential conflicts of interest. That said, as an SEC-registered firm, Meeder Asset Management must always put clients' interests ahead of its own. Advisor certifications include for chartered financial analyst (CFA), chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA), certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered market technician (CMT).

Meeder Asset Management Background

Robert Meeder, Sr. founded his namesake firm in 1974. According to the advisory, it pioneered what it calls Defensive Equity strategy but is more commonly known as tactical investing. Today, his son, Bob Meeder, serves as president and CEO, which he has done since 1995. Meeder controls the firm through a family trust, while seven other officers have small stakes.

Meeder Asset Management primarily offers investment management through wrap fee programs and its portfolio program, which provides direct access to the company's investment funds. The firm also provides financial planning and consulting, works with retirement plan sponsors and advises STAR Ohio, a local government investment pool.

Meeder Asset Management Investing Strategy

 

As noted earlier, Meeder Asset Management is a long-time practitioner of defensive or tactical investing, which is the foundation of its investing approach. The firm says that it specializes in quantitative investment analysis, which is a method of evaluating securities that uses large amounts of data and quantitative models.

Once the firm understands your financial situation and goals, it will recommend investment solutions from its array of offerings, including Meeder Funds, model portfolios, separately managed accounts and individually managed accounts. Investments may also include unaffiliated mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds, fixed income securities, individual equities and alternative investments. 

How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research