Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Big cities like Pittsburgh have no shortage of financial advisors, so it can be tough to narrow them down and 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 the key facts on each firm to help you determine which one is the best fit for you. You can also use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool to get connected with advisors who serve your area.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Fort Pitt Capital Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$4,999,220,241||$250,000|| || |
|2||Fragasso Financial Advisors Find an Advisor||$1,949,636,264||$250,000|| || |
|3||CooksonPeirce Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$2,262,093,003||$1,000,000|| || |
|4||Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,985,812,000||$1,000,000|| || |
|5||Hunter Associates, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,004,867,214||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,055,257,923||$2,000,000|| || |
|7||XPYRIA Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$909,313,698||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||The Coury Firm Find an Advisor||$1,048,385,969||$30,000 minimum annual fee|| || |
Minimum Assets$30,000 minimum annual fee
|9||D.B. Root & Company, LLC Find an Advisor||$750,756,926||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|10||Milestone Asset Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$398,495,922||$25,000|| || |
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Pittsburgh, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the city. 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 accurate as of the writing of this article. 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.
Fort Pitt Capital Group
Fort Pitt Capital Group requires a $250,000 account minimum, though it may be willing to accept clients with less than that. The firm serves mostly individual clients. While some of these are high-net-worth individuals, the vast majority are not.
Fort Pitt Capital Group is a relatively new entity. However, 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 certified financial planners (CFPs), accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs) and chartered financial analysts (CFA) on staff, as well as other certifications.
Fort Pitt is a fee-only firm. This means the firm earns all of its compensation from client fees.
Fort Pitt Capital Group 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 Investment Strategy
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 main investment strategies:
- Stock strategy: These highly personalized accounts consist of individual stocks. They 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.
Fragasso Financial Advisors
Fragasso Financial Advisors has a large team of advisors on staff, boasting certified financial planner (CFP) certifications, as well as several accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) certifications.
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 non-high-net-worth individuals, though it also works with some high-net-worth individuals. Retirement plan clients need $500,000 to open an account.
Notably, this is a fee-based firm. Employees of the firm are representatives of a broker-dealer, 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 duty to act in clients' best interests.
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 principally owns the firm, and he's also its chairman and CEO. Fragasso is one of the firm's more than 20 advisors, who have more than 100 years of combined experience.
Fragasso Financial Advisors offers wealth management services. This may include holistic financial planning services, potentially encompassing services including estate planning, education funding, charitable and family gifting strategies, income tax reduction strategies, business succession planning, cash flow analysis, life insurance and long-term care cost analysis. The firm may also coordinate with its clients' attorneys and accountants. In addition to its work with individual clients, Fragasso works with 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 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.
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management requires a $1 million account minimum for new clients, though it may make exceptions to this rule. Despite this, CooksonPeirce primarily serves non-high-net-worth individuals, though its client base also includes high-net-worth individuals, trusts, endowments, pensions, foundations, businesses and investment companies.
The firm has several certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff, along with other financially certified individuals. As a fee-only operation, all of CooksonPeirce's compensation comes from client-paid fees.
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management Background
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management was formed in 1984. CooksonPeirce's staff boasts around 200 years of combined experience. The privately held firm has three principal owners and six minority owners, each of whom are involved in the firm on a daily basis.
CooksonPeirce provides asset management services, as well as advice 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, exchange-traded funds (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 or less are purchased so that a portion of the portfolio matures each year.
Guyasuta Investment Advisors
Guyasuta Investment Advisors primarily serves high-net-worth individuals, but it also works with non-high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations, government entities and corporations. The firm has an account minimum of $1 million, though it may be willing to waive this stipulation
This is a fee-only firm. That means it does not earn compensation from third-party financial product sales, but rather only client-paid fees.
Guyasuta Investment Advisors Background
Founded in 1983, Guyasuta Investment Advisors is tied for 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 seven employees.
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 collaboratively. At least one partner works closely with each client.
Guyasuta Investment Advisors Investment Philosophies
Guyasuta Investment Advisors determines specific objectives and risk tolerance before it builds your portfolio and determines 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.
Hunter Associates stands out on this list for not having a set account minimum. The firm serves both non-high-net-worth individuals and high-net-worth individuals, with the former making up a greater percentage of the firm’s client base. Hunter Associates employs certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs). There are other financially certified advisors at the firm as well.
Also of note is that Hunter Associates is a fee-based firm. Certain employees of the firm may receive commissions for the sale of related products, in addition to what 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 our 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. It has offerings for investors with complex financial situations who need tailored advice and planning, as well as more traditional services, 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: 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."
Henry H. Armstrong Associates
Henry H. Armstrong Associates is the next firm on our Pittsburgh list. Its small advisor team's certifications include certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial analyst (CFA). This is a fee-only firm, which means it does not receive outside compensation in the form of commissions for insurance sales or other transactions.
While Henry H. Armstrong Associates’ advisory team is small, its account minimum is not. The firm’s minimum account size is $2 million, one of the highest minimums on this list. As you might expect, the firm serves primarily high-net-worth individuals, but its client base also includes non-high-net-worth individuals. This might be due to the fact that the firm will waive its account minimum at its discretion.
Henry H. Armstrong Associates Background
Henry H. Armstrong Associates was founded in 1983. The firm's principal owner is James McKay Armstrong, who also serves as its president.
The firm's clients include individuals, families, trusts, estates, pension and profit-sharing plans, corporate assets, charitable organizations and pooled investment vehicles. These clients are spread across 25 states and two countries outside of the U.S. It also offers continuous investment advisory services as well as wealth advisory services.
Henry H. Armstrong Associates 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 getting emotional 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; 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.
XPYRIA Investment Advisors
XPYRIA Investment Advisors has a team of very well qualified advisors. Among them are certified financial planners (CFP), chartered financial consultant (ChFCs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and more. The firm counts individuals with and without a high net worth, pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations as clients.
XPYRIA maintains no set account minimum for new clients. XPYRIA is also a fee-only firm, meaning it earns income only from charging clients management fees.
XPYRIA Investment Advisors Background
XPYRIA Investment Advisors was founded in 1990. Lead financial strategist John H. Cummings, Jr., CEO Joseph G. Salpietro and director of research Bret J. Stutzman each own 28% of the firm, and chief compliance officer (CCO) Michael B. Giammatteo owns the remaining 16%.
The firm provides investment management services and financial planning services, which may include creating a wealth plan, analyzing cash flow and providing retirement planning analysis.
XPYRIA Investment Advisors Investment Philosophy
XPYRIA acts as a managers of managers, selecting third-party managers of separate accounts or mutual funds to manage client assets. The firm decides what assets to send where according to asset allocation strategies it develops for each client individually.
Third-party managers are evaluated both quantitatively and qualitatively, and the firm attends conferences, consults industry resources and conducts face-to-face interviews with managers to determine the best destinations for client assets.
The Coury Firm
The Coury Firm, an advisory firm run by the Coury family, is next on our list. While the firm doesn’t have an explicit account minimum, it does charge a minimum annual fee of $30,000, which may make its services cost-prohibitive to clients with smaller portfolios. The Coury Firm works with individuals with and without a high net worth, pooled investment vehicles, pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations.
As a fee-based firm, certain advisors at Coury can sell insurance products for a commissions. While this creates a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty requires it to act in clients' best interests no matter what.
The Coury Firm Background
Although The Coury Firm in its current form has been around since only 2018, its principals has been providing advisory services since 1984. The firm is owned by a mix of individuals and trusts; Gregg S. Coury, Jeffrey C. Coury and Robertino S. Coury all own part of the firm, either directly or indirectly. The firm operates a secondary office in Los Angeles.
The Coury Firm offers investment advisory services and wealth planning services to individuals, families, trusts and foundations. The firm also provides investment management services to affiliated investment funds.
The Coury Firm Investment Philosophy
The Coury Firm typically provides investment management services in one of two ways: allocating a client’s assets entirely with third-party managers/funds, or divvying the assets between firm-affiliated funds and third-party managers/funds. The firm will factor in each client’s preferences, financial situation and liquidity needs when choosing between the two approaches.
When constructing a client’s portfolio, the firm first focuses on asset allocation, seeking to strike a balance between diversifying risk and earning steady returns. Using proprietary tools and published information, the firm calculates an allocation that maximizes expected return for a given level of risk, matching that risk level to the client’s risk tolerance.
D.B. Root & Company
D.B. Root & Company offers a wide range of services to several different types of individual and institutional investors. Certain advisors at this fee-based firm are licensed insurance agents or representatives of a broker-dealer, and they can sell products on a commission basis. However, because the firm is a fiduciary, its legally required to put its clients' bests interests first.
The firm boasts perhaps the most diverse range of certifications of any firm on this list. The firm has several certified financial planners (CFPs), accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), chartered financial consultants (ChFCs) and more.
There is no set account balance minimum.
D.B. Root & Company Background
D.B. Root & Company was founded in 2015. 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 Strategic AIM™ Asset Management
D.B. Root & Company'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 strategy is a robust asset allocation process.
D.B. Root & Company's portfolios are made up of a mix of low-cost securities, cash, bonds and stocks.
Milestone Asset Management
Milestone Asset Management is a mid-sized financial advisor firm that primarily works with individual clients. Most of these individuals do not have a high net worth. Other clients of the firm include retirement plans, charities and businesses. The firm technically has a $25,000 minimum account size, though it may be willing to waive this.
As a fee-based firm, some of Milestone’s advisors can sell insurance products to clients on a commission basis. While this represents a potential conflict of interest, the firm’s fiduciary duty requires it to act in your best interest at all times.
Milestone Asset Management Background
Milestone Asset Management is the youngest firm on our list, as it was founded in just 2021. The firm has four principal owners, all of whom founded it. They are Richard Baker, Michael Ausherman, Jr., Walter West and Thomas Hayes.
Investment management at Milestone is customized to clients’ needs. Financial planning can cover topics like insurance, retirement, estate planning, debt consolidation and more.
Milestone Asset Management Investing Strategy
Milestone Asset Management works with new clients to build out a personalized investment policy statement, or IPS. This will detail all the specifics of their situation and needs, such as their risk tolerance, income and liquidity needs, time horizon and overarching goals.
Following the creation of your IPS, your advisor will put together a specific investment plan for you. These typically include some combination of stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), structured notes and options.