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 in the area.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Fort Pitt Capital Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,531,349,789||$500,000|| || |
|2||Fragasso Financial Advisors Find an Advisor||$1,505,340,398||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,404,866,000||$1,000,000|| || |
|4||Cookson Peirce Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$1,255,332,677||$1,000,000|| || |
|5||The Coury Firm Find an Advisor||$851,075,295||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc. Find an Advisor||$797,933,192||$2,000,000|| || |
|7||XPYRIA Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$757,584,028||$1,000,000|| || |
|8||Hunter Associates Find an Advisor||$739,246,026||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||D.B. Root & Company, LLC Find an Advisor||$679,053,671||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|10||Commonwealth Advisory Group, Ltd. Find an Advisor||$435,644,719||$50,000|| || |
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. Once we’d compiled a list of the city’s registered, fiduciary financial advisor firms, we went through and eliminated any firms with a history of disciplinary issues; any that did not manage individual accounts; and any that did not have financial planners on staff. The remaining firms were then sorted according to assets under management (AUM). All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Fort Pitt Capital Group, LLC
Fort Pitt Capital Group, LLC requires a $500,000 account minimum. The firm serves mostly individual clients; while some of these are high-net-worth individuals, the vast majority are not.
Formed in 2015, 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-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 to clients, 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. 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 individuals, rather than high-net-worth individuals. Retirement plan client need $500,000 to open an account.
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 duty 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 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.
In addition, Fragasso offers three advisory programs - Optimum Market Portfolios, Model Wealth Portfolios and Guided Wealth Portfolios - in conjunction with LPL Financial, a broker-dealer.
Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc.
Guyasuta Investment Advisors, Inc. 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.
This is a fee-only firm.
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 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.
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management requires a $1 million account minimum. Though CooksonPeirce serves primarily high-net-worth individuals, its client base also includes non-high-net-worth individuals, as well as trusts, endowments, pensions and foundations. The fee-only firm has several certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff, along with other financially certified individuals.
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management Background
CooksonPeirce Wealth Management was formed in 1984. 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 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.
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 not worth it to clients with smaller portfolios. The Coury Firm works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pooled investment vehicles, pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations.
The Coury Firm Background
Although The Coury Firm in its current organization 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 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.
Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc.
Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc. is the next firm on our Pittsburgh list. Its small advisor 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, the highest minimum 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, Inc. Background
Henry H. Armstrong Associates, Inc. was founded in 1983. 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. Its clients include individuals, families, trusts, estates, pension and profit-sharing plans, corporate assets, charitable organizations and pooled investment vehicles. These clients 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 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) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA). The firm counts individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations as clients.
XPYRIA maintains an account minimum of $1 million, although exceptions can be made in the firm’s discretion. 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. John H. Cummings, Jr., Joseph G. Salpietro and Bret J. Stutzman each own 28% of the firm, and 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.
Hunter Associates stands out on this list for not having 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 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 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: 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 a wide range of services to several different types of individual and institutional investors.
D.B. Root & Company 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) and chartered financial consultants (ChFCs). It also has a chartered financial analyst (CFA), a certified plan fiduciary advisor (CPFA), a certified public accountant (CPA) and a certified 401(k) professional (C(k)P). 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 advisors at this fee-based 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.
D.B. Root & Company, LLC Background
D.B. Root & Company, LLC 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, LLC 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.
Commonwealth Advisory Group, Ltd.
Commonwealth Advisory Group, Ltd. has a low account minimum: 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, along with other institutional investors. More specifically, the firm serves entrepreneurs, executives and pro athletes.
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 chief compliance officer (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, business consulting and financial planning services; the latter includes tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning. Notably, Commonwealth claims that "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.
Clients seeking tax efficiency in their portfolios are advised by the firms to consult with a tax professional regarding their investments, as it says its strategies and investments may have "unique and significant tax implications."