Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Plano, Texas
You might end up sifting through dozens of financial advisor firms before finding the right advisor for you. To narrow the field for Plano investors, SmartAsset dedicated hours of research to determining the top 10 Plano financial advisor firms. Below, in a table and in reviews, we lay out what you need to know about the firms to determine which one suits your needs. If you want a different way to search, try SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool. Once you fill out a brief survey about your investing needs and preferences, SmartAsset will match you with advisors in your area.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Retirement Planners of America Find an Advisor||$4,150,595,268||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|2||Level Four Advisory Services Find an Advisor||$2,986,241,951||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||Cain, Watters & Associates, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,702,098,300||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|4||Insight Wealth Partners Find an Advisor||$436,800,000||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|5||WealthStar Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$355,758,800||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Garner Asset Management Corporation Find an Advisor||$308,546,500||$50,000|| || |
|7||The Watchman Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$230,988,300||$500,000|| || |
|8||Lifeway Financial Corporation Find an Advisor||$188,244,300||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Talis Advisory Services, LLC Find an Advisor||$184,057,100||$500,000|| || |
|10||Legacy Consulting Group Find an Advisor||$181,389,200||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Plano, Texas
SmartAsset only considered U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered firms in Plano, Texas for this list. We specifically looked at SEC-registered firms because they have a fiduciary duty to put their clients’ best interests before their own. From those firms, we eliminated any that did not offer individual accounts, did not have financial planning services or did not have a clean record. We then arranged the remaining firms according to assets under management, from the highest AUM to the lowest.
Retirement Planners of America
Retirement Planners of America, formerly known as Money Matters With Ken Moraif, has the most assets under management (AUM) and second-largest advisory team on this list. The firm manages $4.14 billion in assets, which is nearly 1.5 times the AUM of the second firm on our list, Level Four Advisory Services. It has 35 advisors on its team.
The firm’s sizable team boasts the most certified financial planners (CFPs) of any firm on this list, an important certification to consider when choosing a financial advisor. In addition to its 20 CFPs, there are two certified public accountants (CPAs), two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), five chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs), two retirement income certified professionals (RICPs) and six registered financial consultants (RFCs).
Retirement Planners of America has the simplest fee structure of any firm on this list, as it only charges a percentage of assets under management. Other firms charge hourly charges and/or fixed fees in addition to a percentage of assets under management. The firm does not require a set account minimum. Its clients include individuals, high-net-worth individuals, defined benefit plans, participant and non-participant directed defined contribution plans and institutions.
This is a fee-based firm. All of Retirement Planners of America's investment advisor representatives are also required to be licensed insurance agents and they will earn commissions from sales. While this may present a potential conflict of interest, the firm is a fiduciary, which means it must act in clients' best interests at all times.
Retirement Planners of America Background
Retirement Planners of America is not only the biggest firm on this list, it’s also the youngest. It was founded in 2011 as Money Matters with Ken Moraif. The firm rebranded to Retirement Planners of America in 2019. The employee-owned firm’s principal owners are senior advisors Kenneth A. Moraif, C. Chris Hatton, Charles D. Dyer, Jr., Elias R. Dragon and Douglas M. Bartol.
Retirement Planners of America says its goal is to guide its clients "along the path to financial peace of mind." The firm says it will help its clients navigate things like maintaining their lifestyle after retirement, assessing financial needs after losing a loved one or going through a divorce or helping with Medicare and long-term care planning. Its services include financial planning, investment management, family legacy planning and income tax planning assistance. The firm's discretionary portfolio management services are offered as part of a wrap program, which may be provided through TD Ameritrade or SEI Asset Allocation program.
Retirement Planners of America also offers educational events hosted by industry professionals, client appreciation events and a podcast. The firm's founder has hosted the radio show "Money Matters With Ken Moraif" since 1996.
Retirement Planners of America Investing Strategy
The firm's namesake and senior advisor Ken Moraif has published a book titled "Buy, Hold and Sell!" In this book, Moraif explains why the "buy and hold investment philosophy" is incomplete. Instead, Moraif advocates for investors having a "proactive plan that includes a sell strategy" so their retirement plans aren't devastated during a bear market. These beliefs largely inform the firm’s investing strategy.
However, the firm works with individual clients to determine an appropriate investment strategy and asset allocation model. The firm allocates clients' assets based on their investment strategy, goal or model, and they are free to adjust their asset allocations. Typically, Retirement Planners of America recommends mutual funds, variable annuities and fixed annuities.
Once a client's portfolio has been created, the firm will monitor the portfolio and rebalance it at least quarterly.
Level Four Advisory Services
Fee-only Level Four Advisory Services has by far the largest team of advisors on this list, as it currently employs 135. Throughout this team, clients will have access to 24 certified financial planners (CFPs), 13 chartered life underwriters (CLUs), nine chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), eight chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs), five certified public accountants (CPAs), four accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs). As you might expect, this is also the most advisory certifications on this list.
With nearly $3 billion in assets under management, Level Four Advisory Services has 8,900 individual clients. Other typical clients of the firm include high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, pension and profit-sharing plans and businesses.
Although based in Plano, Level Four has additional advisors outside of the Lone Star State. In fact, you can find them in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and Wyoming.
Level Four Advisory Services Background
Level Four Advisory Services has been in business since 2005. Technically speaking, the firm is owned by Level Four Group, a financial services holding company. However, Level Four Group is owned by Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, an Alabama-based CPA firm, making it the principal owner of Level Four Advisory Services.
There are five tiers to the services available at this firm: financial planning, asset management, business services, risk management and corporate retirement plan management. In other words, Level Four Advisory Services divides its customizable offerings up by client type.
Level Four Advisory Services Client Experience
Your initial meeting as an incoming client of Level Four Advisory Services will mostly consist of an in-depth conversation and overview of what type of investor you are. Most important among these characteristics is your investment goals for the future, time horizon and risk tolerance. Based on this information, Level Four will marry you with a specific portfolio model that it believes will help you reach your goals in the most efficient manner possible.
Each of Level Four Advisory Services' model portfolios are proprietary, meaning the firm utilizes its own market research and investment knowledge to craft them. This, however, means that the asset allocations within these models are not managed at an individual level, but rather on a large scale.
Cain, Watters & Associates, LLC
Every partner or financial planner at Cain, Watters & Associates, LLC (CWA) is a certified public accountant (CPA). This is due to the fact that the firm is also a certified public accountancy firm that also offers accounting and tax services to its clients. In addition to the firm's 28 CPAs, there are two certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified valuation analyst (CVA) and one personal financial specialist (PFS) on staff.
CWA specializes in serving dentists and practices. It offers a range of services tailored to dentists’ needs, from the CWA New Doctor Program for dentists who are just starting out to assistance with practice transitions. However, barely more than half of CWA’s client base is comprised of individuals and high-net-worth individuals. Beyond this, the rest of CWA's clients are trustees of pension and profit-sharing plans. The firm generally does not require a set account minimum for its advisory services. Certain programs do require a minimum though, such as its Separately Managed Account Programs, which calls for a minimum of $100,000.
CWA is a fee-based firm. It estimates that it generates 10% of its total revenue from accounting services, 19% from tax services and 5% from other non-advisory services. It has several affiliations within the financial industry, including with a bank and an insurance agency.
Cain, Watters & Associates, LLC Background
Founded in 1984, Cain, Watters & Associates is the oldest firm on this list. The firm's founding partner, Darrell Cain, has worked closely with dentist and dental practice owners since the start of his career. He created the firm with the sole intent of providing financial advice to dentists, high-net-worth individuals and families.
CWA continues to specialize in working within the dental industry. The firm says it provides services like practice transitions, preparation and planning for new associate additions and dental practice efficiency and productivity analysis.
As a CPA firm, Cain, Watters & Associates also provides accounting services and tax services, including tax preparation and filing and audit services and representation. In addition, the firm offers the more typical advisory services, such a customized financial plans, retirement planning, insurance analysis and college planning.
Cain, Watters & Associates, LLC Investment Advisory Services
Cain, Watters & Associates offers non-discretionary investment advisory services, which means it can't decide which securities to buy and sell on its clients' behalfs. The firm offers its investment advisory services through several asset management programs:
- Pooled Investment Program: a pooled investment program through an affiliated national bank that offers clients the option to invest personal trust assets and qualified plan trust assets
- Unified Managed Account (UMA) Platform: single accounts in which a client will have multiple managers and asset classes; trades executed by TD Ameritrade Institutional
- Multiple Manager Account (MMA) Program: single accounts in which a client will have multiple managers and asset classes; trades executed by Fidelity Brokerage Services
- Separately Managed Account (SMA) Program: portfolios managed by individual stock and bond investment managers; require at least $100,000 per manager
- Participant Directed Pension and Retirement Investment Program: consulting services for the plan trustee or sponsor
The firm offers goal-based investing, taking into account clients' goals, time horizon, risk tolerance and income sources when creating portfolios. It receives financial management research services, like asset allocation and research on specific investments, through its affiliate Tectonic Advisors, LLC.
Insight Wealth Partners
Insight Wealth Partners primarily serves individuals. Just under a quarter of its client base is comprised of high-net-worth individuals. In addition, the firm says that it works with trusts, estates, charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans and corporations. Insight Wealth Partners does not require a minimum account balance for its asset management services, but it does require a minimum annual fee of $1,000. For its financial planning services, the firm usually charges a minimum first-year fee of $2,500.
Insight Wealth Partners is far smaller than the previous three firms, as it has just seven advisors on staff. The team includes five certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC). Notably, in 2018, David Dryden, one of the firm’s managing partners, was named a Forbes best in-state wealth advisor.
This is a fee-based firm, so a few of its advisors can earn commissions from the sale of insurance products. While this could develop into a conflict of interest, the firm is a fiduciary, and must act in your best interest at all times.
Insight Wealth Partners Background
Insight Wealth Partners is an employee-owned firm founded in 2010. The firm's five owners are its managing partners, David Dryden, Travis Carter, Wayne Smith III, M. Chad Lowe and Ryan Ferguson. Each owns a 20% share of the firm.
Insight Wealth Partners takes a team approach to financial management and says it collaborates closely with its clients and their other advisors. The firm's services include asset management and comprehensive financial advice. The latter may encompass retirement income planning, education planning, estate planning, tax planning, protection planning and asset protection strategies. For certain clients, the firm may review their 401(k), 403(b) or 457 plans.
Insight Wealth Partners Portfolio Management
Insight Wealth Partners offers two different types of portfolio management: traditional portfolio management and synthetic portfolio management. Its investment strategy for its traditional portfolios is based on modern portfolio theory, with an emphasis on strategic and tactical asset allocation. The firm says that its synthetic equity strategy attempts to "mirror the upside momentum of the major market indices while preserving the downside risk exposure by using a heavily weighted fixed-income portfolio combined with advanced options strategies such as puts, calls and leaps."
Both portfolio types will be tailored according to clients' investing goals. Insight Wealth Partners relies on its exploratory financial planning process to uncover its clients' goals and needs. The firm regularly reviews its clients' portfolios once they’ve been implemented and rebalances as necessary.
WealthStar Advisors, LLC
Like many of the firms on this list, WealthStar Advisors, LLC does not require a set account minimum. However, the firm’s current client base contains nearly twice as many high-net-worth individuals as individuals. WealthStar also notes that it specializes in serving small business owners.
The firm has seven advisors on staff. Its team includes four certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs), one chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), one chartered life underwriter (CLU) and one accredited portfolio management advisor (APMA).
WealthStar Advisors is a fee-based firm. Certain employees are licensed insurance agents, and they may earn commissions from recommending insurance products as part of the firm's financial planning services. However, the firm is bound by fiduciary duty to put its clients' best interests before its own.
WealthStar Advisors, LLC Background
WealthStar Advisors, LLC has been in business since 2010, making it just a year older than the youngest firm on this list, Money Matters with Ken Moraif. WealthStar’s principal owners are its co-founders, Jeffrey Wolf, Scott Stockton and Erik Wyse. In addition to its Plano office, WealthStar has an affiliated office in Olathe, Kansas.
WealthStar offers portfolio management, financial planning and 401(k) plan participant advisory services. Notably, the firm only offers portfolio management on a wrap fee basis. Its financial planning and 401(k) plan participant services are offered on a standalone basis or as part of a wrap program.
WealthStar Advisors, LLC Investing Approach
WealthStar Advisors' portfolio management services, offered through a wrap program that it sponsors, are based on each client's goals, objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance. The firm's investment strategies are tailored to these factors and it may include equity substitution strategy, margin transactions, short-term trading, short sales and options writing.
Clients have the option of imposing any reasonable restrictions on their portfolios. The firm sends reports to clients on a quarterly basis and contacts clients at least once a year to determine if there have been any changes in their financial circumstances, objectives or risk tolerance.
Garner Asset Management Corporation
Garner Asset Management Corporation is a small financial advisor firm with just one advisor on staff and $308 million in AUM. Its team does not appear to have any certifications, such as a certified financial planner (CFP) designation. Prior to founding Garner Asset Management Corporation though, Robert Garner, the firm’s current president, was an audit senior at the accounting firm Arthur Andersen, giving him tax experience.
The firm serves equal parts individuals and high-net-worth individuals. In addition, it works with charitable organizations, participants of pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts and estates. Garner’s preferred minimum account size is $50,000. The fee-only firm requires a minimum annual fee of $550 for its investment management services.
Potential clients should note that this firm does not have a website.
Garner Asset Management Corporation Background
Garner Asset Management Corporation has been in business since 1998. Robert Garner, the firm's founder and president, is also its sole owner.
Garner Asset Management Corporation offers tailored investment management services, which include the establishment of financial goals, the development of a target asset allocation, specific investment recommendations and the placement of trades in clients' accounts. In addition, the firm offers ongoing support, providing regular portfolio monitoring and quarterly reports.
Garner Asset Management Corporation Investing Approach
Garner Asset Management Corporation says its investment management services are tailored to meet clients' unique goals and objectives. Each client must complete a financial profile, which addresses their financial needs and risk tolerance. Once a client has completed that profile, the firm will determine which of its aforementioned advisory services are most appropriate.
Garner Asset Management Corporation relies on fundamental analysis to make its investment decisions. Fundamental analysis considers a company's financial attributes, such as its revenue. The firm gathers this information from annual reports, prospectuses, SEC filings, research materials, company press releases and financial newspapers. Its investment strategies include long-term and short-term purchases, as well as short sales.
The Watchman Group, Inc.
The Watchman Group, Inc. is a fee-only firm that serves individuals and high-net-worth individuals, as well as charitable organizations and corporations. Unlike many of the firms on this list, The Watchman Group does require an account minimum. To be a client of this firm, you'll need a minimum of $500,000 in investable assets. Only Talis Advisory Services, LLC, which also has a $500,000 account minimum, has a minimum this high.
The Watchman Group is on the smaller side compared to many of the other firms, as it only has three advisors on staff. It has one certified financial planner (CFP) and one certified public accountant (CPA) on its team.
The Watchman Group, Inc. Background
The Watchman Group, Inc. has been in business since 2004. The firm is principally owned by Mark Robinson, president and chief investment officer, and Janell Robinson, director.
The Watchman Group's financial planning services include retirement planning, income planning and tax planning. In addition, it may collaborate with its network of partners to provide services such as estate planning, tax preparation and life and disability insurance. The firm manages portfolios on a discretionary basis, and its portfolios are customized to meet each client's needs, objectives and risk tolerance.
The Watchman Group, Inc. Investing Approach
In its customized portfolios, The Watchman Group says it strives to tie a client's goals and risk/reward framework to his or her financial plan and investments. The firm says it wants investment returns to be aligned with clients' time horizons and it also wants to ensure clients' investments are tax efficient. Typically, The Watchman Group says it uses low-cost investment strategies and primarily invests clients' assets in stocks, fixed income and mutual funds.
The Watchman Group conducts its own fundamental research to determine which companies to invest in. While many firms use third-party money managers, The Watchman Group emphasizes that it builds, implements and manages client portfolios itself, which it argues results in a "more personalized and cost-efficient" portfolio. Another unique aspect of The Watchman Group's investment management services is its emphases on client education and clients' active participation.
Lifeway Financial Corporation
Lifeway Financial Corporation has $188 million in assets under management and just two advisors on staff. Its team includes three certified financial planners (CFPs) and two chartered financial analysts (CFAs). It’s one of the only firms on this list that has a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), a useful certification for those looking for help navigating the financial complexities of divorce.
The fee-only firm’s clients include high-net-worth individuals, individuals and families. It does not have a specific account minimum.
Lifeway Financial Corporation Background
Founded in 1999, Lifeway Financial Corporation is one of three firms on this list founded before the start of the new millennium. David Brunson, Lifeway's founder and president, is the firm's principal owner.
The firm says that it provides financial planning to most of its clients. Elements of its financial plans may include financial goals and objectives, financial statement analysis, cash flow and tax reports, education and retirement planning, estate and survivor planning, investment strategy and portfolio management. In addition to financial planning, the firm offers investment management and consultations.
Lifeway Financial Corporation Investment Approach
Lifeway Financial Corporation believes that the investment management process should be guided by clients' objectives, preferences and constraints. It believes this information is best obtained through a recurring, comprehensive financial planning process, one of the firm's fundamental services.
Like many financial advisor firms, Lifeway Financial Corporation espouses a long-term investment approach and asset diversification within interdependent asset classes. The firm strives to achieve a balance between risk and return while staying true to clients' objectives. Clients’ objectives dictate the balance between income and growth assets in their portfolios.
Talis Advisory Services, LLC
Talis Advisory Services, LLC, which also goes by Talis Advisors, is a fee-based firm that primarily serves individuals. A lesser percentage of its clients are high-net-worth individuals and it also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, charitable organizations and businesses. Like The Watchman Group, LLC, Talis requires a $500,000 account minimum, the highest minimum on this list.
This firm has five certified financial planners (CFPs) and one certified public accountant on staff. In 2018, Talis Advisory Services was rated a top wealth manager by D Magazine. In addition, Texas Monthly rated Brent Everett, the firm’s founder and chief investment officer, and Bob Lamse, the firm’s president, as Five Star Wealth Managers in 2017 and 2018.
Talis Advisory Services, LLC Background
Talis Advisory Services was founded in 2005. The firm is owned by four individuals, including Bob Lamse, the firm's president and a partner at the firm. Talis claims its team has more than 100 years of combined experience in financial services.
Talis believes in "strength in numbers" and thus its team works as a unit to address clients' financial situations. The firm offers financial planning, which it does through an interactive process so it understands clients' goals and values and so clients fully understand their financial situation and how to achieve their goals. Talis says its comprehensive plans consider insurance, tax and estate solutions and it may also refer clients to accountants, attorneys or specialists for some areas.
The firm's investment advisory services are tailored to clients' stated objectives. For clients who do not meet its account minimum, Talis also digitally offers advice through a service called Portfolio Expert. This platform provides low-cost, fee-only investment management online and utilizes many of the same methodologies the firm uses in its larger accounts.
Talis Advisory Services, LLC Investing Approach
Talis Advisory Services, LLC says that it typically develops a strategic asset allocation for each of its clients, designed to meet their investment objectives, time horizon, financial needs and risk tolerance. Though the firm generally invests for the long term, it may buy, sell or reallocate positions in a shorter time frame depending on a client's objectives or market conditions.
The firm says that modern portfolio theory and the multifactor model generally guide its approach to risk and return. It also says that it firmly believes the markets are inherently efficient and that asset allocation decisions principally determine gross returns. Talis says that it typically recommends a core portfolio comprised of low-cost, institutional class mutual funds.
Legacy Consulting Group
Legacy Consulting Group is a fee-based firm with four certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one registered life planner (RLP), one certified financial transitionist (CeFT) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA) on staff. It serves a majority of individuals, though it also works with high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations. The firm's account minimum varies by account type. Legacy does not institute a minimum account size.
Certain advisory agents at this firm are also licensed as insurance agents or are registered representatives of a broker-dealer. Though they may earn commissions from selling securities or insurance products, they're required by fiduciary duty to put clients' best interests before their own.
Legacy Consulting Group won several awards in 2017 and 2018. It was named a top wealth manager by Wealth Manager Magazine and a top RIA by Financial Advisors. Steven Wachs, chief investment officer, chief compliance officer and president, was named one of the best financial planners by D Magazine. Both Wachs and Roger Shake, vice president, secretary and treasurer, were named Five Star Wealth Managers by Five Star Professional.
Legacy Consulting Group Background
Legacy Consulting Group was founded in 2000. The firm is equally owned by Steven Wachs, president, CCO and CIO, and Roger Shake, vice president, secretary and treasurer.
Legacy Consulting Group offers discretionary and non-discretionary portfolio management services, financial life planning services, third-party manager selection and special project and review and consulting services. Its financial planning services can encompass the identification of goals and objectives, an assessment of assets, liabilities and net worth and analyses of retirement income needs, income tax situations and education funding needs.
Legacy Consulting Group 3 Dimensional Asset Allocation Approach
Legacy Consulting Group says that it often relies on a 3 Dimensional Asset Allocation approach to build client portfolios. This approach incorporates diversification at three different levels. The first level involves diversification across different types of asset classes, such as large and small company equities or growth and value equities. The second level incorporates the use of mutual funds, separate account managers, ETFs and multiple fixed income investments to reduce risk. The third level of diversification may include alternative investments, which are used to provide non-correlation.
Typically, the firm says that its client portfolios include no-load mutual funds and individual stocks, bonds and ETFs. Legacy Consulting Group considers client's investment objectives, risk tolerance, net worth, net income, age, investment time horizon, tax situation and other factors when it designs customized portfolios.