Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Out of the numerous financial advisors near you, it can be tough to know which one will best fit your needs. To make the search a bit easier for investors in the Steel City, SmartAsset determined Pittsburgh’s top 10 financial advisor firms and ranked them according to assets under management. In tables and reviews, we lay out what you need to know to determine whether the firm will be right for you. If you want some more help finding a financial advisor, SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can match you up with financial advisors near you after you answer a brief series of questions.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||F.N.B. Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$2,710,517,000|| |
Varies by service
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Varies by service
|2||Fort Pitt Capital Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,060,169,000|| |
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|3||Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,274,005,000|| |
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|4||CooksonPeirce Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$1,119,086,500|| |
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|5||Fragasso Financial Advisors Find an Advisor||$864,274,000|| |
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|6||Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc. Find an Advisor||$634,254,200|| |
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|7||Hunter Associates Find an Advisor||$571,381,000|| |
No set account minimum
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No set account minimum
|8||D.B. Root & Company, LLC Find an Advisor||$325,435,700|| |
Varies by account type
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Varies by account type
|9||Commonwealth Advisory Group, Ltd. Find an Advisor||$325,238,100|| |
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|10||Legend Financial Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$285,154,400|| |
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How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
SmartAsset considered all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered firms in Pittsburgh for our list of the top 10 Pittsburgh financial advisor firms. Once we’d compiled a list of the city’s registered, fiduciary financial advisor firms, we went through those firms and eliminated any that did not have clean records, did not management individual accounts or did not have financial planners on staff. The remaining firms were then sorted according to assets under management (AUM). The first firm has the highest AUM while the last firm has the lowest AUM.
F.N.B. Wealth Management
F.N.B. Wealth Management is a firm affiliated with First National Bank, a regional bank headquartered in Pennsylvania, that offers fee-based and fee-only services. It ranks first on our list of the top 10 financial advisors near you in Pittsburgh because it has the most assets under management (AUM). The firm manages $2.7 billion in assets.
Alongside Fragasso Financial Advisors, it’s one of the biggest firms on this list. F.N.B. Wealth Management has 20 advisors on staff, and there are four certified financial planners (CFPs), six chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA), one certified trust and financial advisor (CTFA) and one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) on its team.
F.N.B. Wealth Management requires a $1 million account minimum for its investment management services and at least $500,000 in investable assets for its financial planning services. It offers its financial planning services to the emerging affluent and young professionals on a case-by-case basis. The firm says on its website that it offers to guidance to clients who have “a wide range of lifestyles,” including career-minded young adults, families planning for college tuition funding options, beneficiaries of sudden wealth or inheritance, professionals desiring retirement security and retirees looking to protect and grow their assets.
F.N.B. Wealth Management Background
F.N.B. Wealth Management refers to the combined services of First National Trust Company, F.N.B. Investment Services and F.N.B. Investment Advisors, Inc., the latter of which was founded in 1999. F.N.B. Investment Advisors is owned by First National Trust Company, which also owns the licensed insurance agencies, Yadkin Wealth Inc. and First National Investment Services Company LLC.
The firm offers financial planning on a fee-only basis and various investment advisory services on a fee-based basis. Its investment management and supervisory services also encompass retirement planning, investment advice for alternative investments, tax planning, estate planning, cash management, debt management and employee benefits.
F.N.B. Wealth Management Investment Models
F.N.B. Wealth Management focuses on the long term when it creates comprehensive strategies for its clients. The firm offers an array of investment models, which can be semi-customized to meet clients' unique objectives. The firm's investment models include:
- Strategic Portfolio Solutions™ Large Cap Core Strategy Portfolio: for investors who want long-term capital appreciation; uses equity positions in large companies
- Strategic Portfolio Solutions™ Large Cap Growth Strategy Portfolio: for investors seeking price appreciation who don't need current income; uses equity positions in large companies
- Strategic Portfolio Solutions™ Dividend Value Strategy Portfolio: for investors who want an above-average income, with price appreciation as a secondary objective; uses equity positions
- Strategic Portfolio Solutions™ Core Fixed Income: for investors who want to minimize risk; uses bonds and mutual funds
- Asset Manager Portfolios: for investors who are comfortable achieving diversity through mutual fund investing; uses non-proprietary and unaffiliated mutual funds
Fort Pitt Capital Group, LLC
Fort Pitt Capital Group, LLC requires a $500,000 account minimum, which is a mid-range minimum compared to the figures required by other firms on this list. Fort Pitt serves equal parts individuals and high-net-worth individuals.
Formed in 2015, Fort Pitt Capital Group is tied with D.B. Root & Company for the title of youngest firm on this list. However, though Fort Pitt is a relatively new entity, its predecessor, Fort Pitt Capital Group, Inc., was formed in 1995. The firm was built upon its predecessor’s values and traditions.
Fort Pitt’s team boasts a decent array of certifications. There are four certified financial planners (CFPs), three accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
Fort Pitt is a fee-based firm. The firm's founding partners, Michael Blehar and Theodore Bovard, are also licensed insurance agents and they write fixed annuities. Though they may earn commissions for acting as insurance agents and selling related products, they are required by their fiduciary duty to put their clients' best interests first.
Fort Pitt Capital Group, LLC Background
Formed in 2015, Fort Pitt Capital Group is part of the Focus Financial Partners, LLC partnership. As such, Fort Pitt is a wholly owned subsidiary of Focus Operating, LLC.
The firm serves both individuals and institutions. For individuals, Fort Pitt Capital offers investment management services and advisory services, including on planning for retirement, investing your savings or selling your business. The firm will coordinate with your other financial professionals, including CPAs, attorneys and insurance brokers.
Fort Pitt Capital Group, LLC Investment Process
Fort Pitt Capital Group says that its top priority is ensuring that its clients' assets stay within their specified risk tolerance. The firm claims that it isn't influenced by the market's ups and downs, and sticks to its plan regardless of what's going on with the markets. Instead of trying to time the markets, Fort Pitt tries to build portfolios that are flexible to enough to weather changing market conditions.
The firm has three investment strategies:
- Stock strategy: These highly personalized accounts consist of individual stocks and aim to "provide a realistic but competitive investment return through a complete market cycle."
- Bond strategy: This strategy, which the firm highlights for near-retirees, is aimed less at growth and more at ensuring your money's longevity.
- Asset allocation strategy: Fort Pitt Capital says that this strategy is "geared towards maximizing returns on a long-term, strategic basis" through a diversified, yet aggressive portfolio. This strategy uses no-load mutual funds.
Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc.
Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc. primarily serves high-net-worth individuals. The firm is tied with CooksonPeirce Wealth Management for the list’s highest account minimum, at $1 million.
The fee-only firm has one chartered financial analyst (CFA) on staff. It’s one of two firms on the list that does not have any certified financial planners (CFPs).
Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc. Background
Founded in 1983, Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc. is the second-oldest firm on this list, after Fragasso Financial Advisors, which was founded in 1979. The firm's team boasts a collective 200 years of experience in the financial industry.
The firm was originally founded as Scheetz, Smith and Company, and it changed its name to Guyasuta in 1994 through a corporate restructuring. The independent, privately held firm is fully owned by its six full-time investment professionals.
Guyasuta provides investment management and financial planning services, and will work with your other financial advisors to ensure it crafts a lasting, comprehensive solution. The firm says that it’s structured to allow its team to work "as collaboratively as possible." At least one partner works closely with each client.
Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc. Investment Philosophies
Guyasuta Investment Advisors determines specific objectives and risk tolerance before it builds your portfolio and determine the appropriate asset allocation. It prioritizes minimizing taxes, controlling risk and reducing fees and other expenses.
The firm primarily uses individual equity and fixed-income securities. Guyasuta employs two investment philosophies: equity philosophy and fixed income philosophy. The equity philosophy is focused on risk management, diversification and direct ownership to drive long-term capital appreciation. The fixed income philosophy, on the other hand, is focused on the generation of steady income and the preservation of capital. While the equity strategy uses equity securities of high-quality companies across multiple sectors and industries, the fixed income strategy uses individual bonds, with a focus on issuers who have strong credit fundamentals.
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management
Like Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc., CooksonPeirce Wealth Management requires a $1 million account minimum, the highest account minimum on this list. Though CooksonPeirce serves a majority high-net-worth individuals, its client base also includes individuals, as well as trusts, endowments, pensions and foundations.
The fee-only firm has four certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) on staff. It’s the final firm on this list that has more than $1 billion in assets under management.
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management Background
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management was formed in 1984. In addition to being the third-oldest firm on this list, CooksonPeirce's staff boasts nearly 200 years of combined experience. The privately held firm has three principal owners and three minority owners, each of whom are involved in the firm's day-to-day operations.
CooksonPeirce provides asset management and advice as necessary on financial planning, tax planning and retirement planning. In addition, CooksonPeirce provides asset management services to professional advisors at financial institutions.
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management Investing Strategy
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management's investment philosophy is to "listen to the numbers," which, it points out, "simply don't lie." The firm relies on a quantitative selection methodology to eliminate the possibility of emotions or subjectivity entering into its investment selection process.
The firm primarily uses equities and fixed-income securities, including stocks, ETFs and bonds. Equity investments are managed through one of four strategies: aggressive, growth, moderate and conservative. The firm says that it primarily manages assets in the moderate and growth styles. Portfolio management of fixed income investments, on the other hand, is done through a ladder structure, in which the bonds set to mature in 12 years are less are purchased so that a portion of the portfolio matures each year.
Fragasso Financial Advisors
Founded in 1979, Fragasso Financial Advisors bears the distinction of being the oldest firm on this list. It’s also the firm with the most advisors on staff and the most certified financial planners (CFPs). The firm, which has 20 advisors on staff, boasts eight CFPs, as well as 15 accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPC), one accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA) and one certified fund specialist (CFS).
To be a client of Fragasso, you'll need at least $250,000 in investable assets, which is on the lower end compared to many of the other firms on this list. Unlike many firms on this list, Fragasso primarily serves individuals, rather than high-net-worth individuals.
Notably, this is a fee-based firm. Employees of the firm are representatives of the broker-dealer LPL Financial, and others are licensed insurance agents appointed through various insurance companies. Although the firm's employees may earn commissions for the sale of securities or insurance products, they're first and foremost bound by their fiduciary duties to act in clients' best interests.
In 2017, Fragasso was rated by Forbes, Financial Advisor Magazine and Barron's as a top wealth advisor.
Fragasso Financial Advisors Background
Fragasso Financial Advisors' founder, Robert Fragasso, started out in 1972 as a sole practitioner. In 1979, he founded the Fragasso Group, now known as Fragasso Financial Advisors. Robert Fragasso owns the firm, and he's also the firm's chairman and chief executive officer. Fragasso is one of the firm's 40 employees, who have more than 100 years of combined experience.
Fragasso Financial Advisors offers wealth management, including holistic financial planning that may encompass estate planning, stock option management, education funding, retirement capital sufficiency, charitable and family gifting strategies, income tax reduction strategies, business succession planning, cash flow analysis, life insurance, long-term care cost analysis and coordination with its clients' attorneys and accountants. The firm also advises both retirement plan participants and sponsors.
Each client has his or her own dedicated team, which consists of a financial advisor, portfolio manager and administrative specialist. The firm's eight-person, in-house portfolio management department is in charge of determining appropriate asset allocations, making asset class recommendations and offering market analysis, commentary and special reports for clients.
Fragasso Financial Advisors Investing Process
The first step in a client's relationship with Fragasso Financial Advisors, Inc. is creating an Investment Policy Statement and Guidelines, which outlines a client's financial objectives and lays out the portfolio management strategy. Once this is completed, the firm's portfolio management department, mentioned above, selects investments that align with a client's risk and return profile. The firm uses a variety of investment types, including institutional no-load and load-waived mutual funds, ETFs, variable annuity subaccounts, alternative investments individual stocks and options. The firm provides quarterly rebalancing to your agreed upon asset allocation.
In addition, Fragasso offers three advisory programs - Optimum Market Portfolios, Model Wealth Portfolios and Guided Wealth Portfolios - in conjunction with the LPL Financial, a broker-dealer.
Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc.
Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc. has the smallest advisory team of any firm on this list, with just four advisors on staff. Despite its small size, the fee-only firm still has one certified financial planner (CFP) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA) on its team.
While Henry H. Armstrong Associates’ advisory team is small, its account minimum is not. The firm’s minimum account size is $2 million, the highest minimum on this list. The firm serves a majority high-net-worth individuals, but its client base also includes individuals, which might be due to the fact that the firm says it will waive its account minimum at its discretion.
Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc. Background
Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc. was founded in 1983, which ties it with Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc. for the title of second-oldest firm on this list. The firm's principal owner is James McKay Armstrong, who also serves as the firm's president.
In addition to its offices in Pittsburgh, Henry H. Armstrong Associates also has offices in New York. It has clients, which include individuals, families, trusts, estates, pension and profit-sharing plans, corporate assets, charitable organizations and pooled investment vehicles, are spread 23 states and two other countries. Armstrong offers continuous investment advisory services as well as wealth advisory services.
Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc. Investing Philosophy
Henry H. Armstrong's eponymous founder's investment philosophy mirrors the approaches of Benjamin Graham, widely known as the father of value investing, and Warren Buffett. Graham advises investors to avoid emotionalism and getting overly worried about market declines, and to be wary of stocks that become too expensive, even if the companies have strong fundamentals. Of Buffett's principles, Armstrong embraces his advice to embrace market volatility and a period of inactivity after stock purchases. While most firms on this list embrace the conventional strategy of diversification, Armstrong is guided by Buffet's counterintuitive strategy of concentrating portfolios.
The firm has two sets of principles: equity principles and fixed-income principles. Its equity principles emphasize investing its clients in high-quality growth companies and it focuses on the long term, avoiding excessive trading or turnover. Its fixed-income principles prioritize safety and stability, which it achieves through investing in treasury securities, with maturities structured in a ladder. Overall, risk is concentrated in equity, while fixed income takes on as little risk as possible.
Hunter Associates stands out on this list for the fact that it does not have a set account minimum. The firm serves both individuals and high-net-worth individuals, with individuals making up a slightly greater percentage of the firm’s client base.
Hunter Associates has three certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), eight accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), one accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA) and one certified public accountant (CPA) on staff.
Notably, Hunter Associates is a fee-based firm. Certain employees of the firm are also representatives of a broker-dealer, an investment advisor and/or insurance companies, and they may receive commissions for the sale of related products, in addition to how much they make as advisors. However, as the firm is a fiduciary, its advisors are legally bound to put their clients' best interests ahead of their own.
Hunter Associates Background
Hunter Associates has been in business since 1992. The independent wealth management firm is principally owned by Hunter Associates Holdings LLC. Hunter Associates says its founder, David Hunter, created the firm "with a strong emphasis on identifying and achieving [its] clients' financial goals through a combination of brokerage and investment services."
That emphasis is the firm's mission today as it guides its clients through establishing an investment plan and creating an investment philosophy.
The firm's services include individual portfolio management and financial planning. Uniquely, the firm offers two types of financial planning: Strategic Plans and Focused Advice. Its Focused Advice is best for investors with complex financial situations who need tailored advice and planning, while its Strategic Plans are designed for investors who are working towards a certain objective, like estate planning, charitable giving, legacy planning, college funding, retirement strategies or tax planning.
Hunter Associates Investment Process
Hunter Associates' investment approach is a two-step process. First, the firm works with a client to create his or her individualized investment policy, which is focused on determining a portfolios balance between risk and reward and which serves as the general framework for a client's portfolio. After that, Hunter Associates selects securities using research tools and outside sources.
The firm believes in long-term investing, and it says that it typically seeks out "small, sound companies that offer substantial appreciation opportunities." Hunter Associates divides clients' assets into four risk-based categories of investments, each which serves a different function: conservative fixed-income, conservative, high-grade growth and aggressive growth for appreciation. The firm believes that owning a "carefully selected mixture" of conservative, high-grade growth and aggressive growth for appreciation is "the most appropriate asset allocation to assume risk for incremental reward."
D.B. Root & Company, LLC
D.B. Root & Company, LLC offers distinct categories of services, geared toward different types of clients. DBR Wealth Partners serves high-net-worth investors who have at least $1 million in assets, while DBR Next Emerging Wealth serves young professionals who have less than $500,000 in assets. DBR Advisory Services is for investors who are "well into the process of building wealth" and have more than $500,000 in assets. The firm also serves corporate employees and executives through DBR Fiduciary Plan Solutions and Corporate Advisory Services. The firm's services for high-net-worth investors are fee-only, while its Next Emerging Wealth services are fee-based.
D.B. Root & Company boasts perhaps the most diverse range of certifications of any firm on this list. The firm has seven certified financial planners (CFPs), the second-most after Fragasso Financial Advisors, as well as two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one certified plan fiduciary advisor (CPFA), two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one accredited investment fiduciary analyst (AIFA), one chartered life underwriter (CLU), one certified 401(k) professional (C(k)P), one accredited asset management specialist (AAMS) and one registered paraplanner (RP). The C(k)P designation, a relatively new certification that takes one to two years to earn, is particularly helpful to investors who want advice on their company 401(k)s or other contribution plans.
Certain representatives of the firm are licensed insurance agents or representatives of a broker-dealer, and they sell products on a commission basis. However, because the firm is a fiduciary, its legally required to put its clients bests interests first.
In 2017, Advisory HQ named the firm one of Pittsburgh's top 10 financial advisors.
D.B. Root & Company, LLC Background
Founded in 2015, D.B. Root & Company, LLC is tied with No. 2 firm Fort Pitt Capital Group, LLC for the title of newest firm on this list.
Alongside its investment and wealth management services, D.B. Root & Company offers a range of consulting and financial planning services, including:
- Business planning
- Cash-flow forecasting
- Trust and estate planning
- Financial reporting
- Investment consulting
- Insurance planning
- Retirement planning
- Risk management
- Charitable giving
- Distribution planning
- Tax planning
- Manager due diligence
These services are all available on a standalone basis or in conjunction with investment management for more comprehensive wealth management.
D.B. Root & Company, LLC Strategic AIM™ Asset Management
D.B. Root & Company's asset management process is called Strategic AIM™. The firm's investment committee carries out the process through the creation, management and review of client portfolios, which take into consideration their goals, risk tolerance and life stage. A key part of the investment committee asset allocation process is the Four Seasons Macroeconomic Analysis, which looks at the current macroeconomic climate in comparison to economic growth, inflation and monetary policy.
D.B. Root & Company's portfolios are made up of a mix of low-cost securities, cash, bonds and stocks.
Commonwealth Advisory Group, Ltd.
Commonwealth Advisory Group, Ltd. has the lowest account minimum on this list. You’ll need just $50,000 in assets to become a client of this fee-only firm. Commonwealth’s clients include both individuals and high-net-worth individuals. More specifically, the firm serves entrepreneurs, executives and pro athletes.
The firm’s staff of just six advisors includes one certified financial planner (CFP) and one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC). It’s one of just two firms on this list, alongside F.N.B. Wealth Management, that has a staff member with a retirement planning-related certification.
Commonwealth Advisory Group, Ltd. Background
Commonwealth Advisory Group, Ltd. has been providing investment advisory services since 1993. The firm is principally owned by Robert Lohman, who serves as the firm's president, CEO and CCO.
Commonwealth says that its services are designed to address clients' unique situations and goals. It lays out its clients' paths toward their goals in what it calls Longevity Blueprints. The firm offers portfolio management services, business consulting and financial planning services, including tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning. Notably, Commonwealth claims it "nearly all" of its clients use its financial planning services.
Commonwealth Advisory Group, Ltd. Investing
Commonwealth Advisory Group, Ltd. creates its portfolios based on clients' objectives, time horizons, risk tolerances and any reasonable restrictions they wish to impose on their accounts. The firm primarily uses no-load mutual funds, U.S. government securities and tax-exempt bonds, though it may also use individual common or preferred stocks. Commonwealth’s investment strategies focus on the long-term and rely on a buy and hold philosophy.
Notably, the firm does not prioritize tax efficiency in its portfolios. It advises its clients to consult with a tax professional regarding their investments, as it says its strategies and investments may have "unique and significant tax implications."
Legend Financial Advisors, Inc.
Legend Financial Advisors, Inc. is the only firm on this list with a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), a helpful certification for investors navigating the financial challenges of divorce. The small firm of just six advisors also has three certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff.
Like Fragasso Financial Advisors, Legend Financial Advisors requires a $250,000 account minimum, the second-lowest set account minimum on the list. The fee-only firm's clients include affluent and wealth individuals, businesses, medical practices, non-profit organizations and retirement plans.
Legend Financial Advisors, Inc. Background
Formed in 1993, Legend Financial Advisors, Inc. opened its doors to clients in 1994. The firm is principally owned by Louis Stanasolovich, the firm's founder and president. Three other employees collectively own the remaining portion of the firm that's not owned by Stanasolovich.
Legend says that it "works as team for its clients," rather than each advisor having his or her own set of clients. The firm creates personalized solutions for its clients through its wealth management services, which include financial planning and investment management strategies. More specifically, those services encompass financial problem identification, cash flow consulting, income tax planning, insurance coverages review, education planning, retirement planning and estate planning.
Legend Financial Advisors, Inc. Investment Process
Legend Financial Advisors, Inc. strives to create portfolios that produce high returns, but carry lower-than-normal risk. The firm relies on extensive academic research to structure its investment portfolios.
Legend offers 11 portfolios, each with varying levels of risk and reward due to each varying percentages of equity and fixed income investments. The firm's lowest reward, lowest risk potential portfolio contains 20% equity and 80% fixed income, while its highest risk, highest reward potential portfolios contain 100% equity.
The firm selects a portfolio for a client based on his or her responses to the Risk Comfort Zone questionnaire, as well as any objectives he or she may have. Most of Legend's portfolios, aside from its most aggressive portfolios, primarily contain open-end managed mutual funds and exchange-traded funds and notes. Aggressive portfolios typically contain individual stocks, exchange-traded products, open-end mutual funds and closed-end mutual funds.