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Top Financial Advisors in Raleigh, NC

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by Becca Stanek Updated

Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Raleigh, North Carolina

Finding the right financial advisor for your needs is no easy undertaking. In Raleigh, this means looking through dozens of firms with different credentials, fee structures, investment strategies and specialties. To come up with this list, SmartAsset did exactly that, devoting dozens of hours to researching all of the firms that North Carolina’s capital has to offer. Below, we’ve laid out what you need to know about the top-ranking financial firms in Raleigh.

Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Financial Symmetry Inc. Financial Symmetry Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$290,356,500

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services
2 Cook Wealth Management Group LLC Cook Wealth Management Group LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$289,593,500

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
3 Lewis Financial Management, LLC Lewis Financial Management, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$287,311,000

$1,000,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
4 Collegiate Capital Management, Inc. Collegiate Capital Management, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$270,222,300

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
5 Townsend Asset Management Corp. Townsend Asset Management Corp. logo Find an Advisor

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$184,000,000

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Educational seminars/workshops
6 Copperleaf Capital, LLC Copperleaf Capital, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$179,548,900

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services 
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services 
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
7 Physicians Financial Services, Inc. Physicians Financial Services, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$172,575,000

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
8 Wrenn Financial Strategies, Inc. Wrenn Financial Strategies, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$138,018,100

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Raleigh, North Carolina

To create this ranking of the top financial advisor firms in Raleigh, SmartAsset looked at all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered firms in the metro area, as these firms are all required to act in their clients' best interest. We eliminated any firm that did not have a clean record, lacked financial planners or did not manage individual or high-net-worth accounts. For the final ranking, we sorted the remaining firms from most assets under management to least.

Financial Symmetry Inc.

Financial Symmetry Inc.

Financial Symmetry Inc. is the top firm on this list in terms of assets under management and number of certified financial planners (CFPs). All eight of the firm’s advisors are CFPs. The firm, which has $290,356,500 in assets under management, also has one college funding and student loan advisor (CFSLA). 

Financial Symmetry has no strict minimum, but it does require a minimum annual fee of $2,400. It’s a fee-only firm, one of two on this list. 

Financial Symmetry Inc. Background

Financial Symmetry Inc. was founded in 2001 by Bill Ramsey, who remains a partner at the firm. It’s owned by Ramsey and six of the firm’s employees. 

Alongside financial planning and investment management, Financial Symmetry also offers retirement planning, tax planning, social security analysis, college planning, 401(k) allocation and estate planning. For small businesses, the firm offers 401(k) advice to help businesses evaluate their current 401(k) plans and design a plan that is low-cost and straightforward. 

Financial Symmetry Inc. Investment Strategy

Financial Symmetry Inc. has an investment committee that meets monthly to evaluate the firm’s long-term investment outlook. The investment committee aims in its research to find any broad mispricings that it may be able to use to its clients’ benefit. 

Financial Symmetry primarily invests its clients in mutual funds. The firm may also occasionally use index funds.

Financial Symmetry Inc. Resources

Financial Symmetry Inc. has a good offering of client resources. Its blog is updated weekly, with posts on company news and financial how-tos. In another section, Client Stories, the firm gives readers a look at how its services have helped clients deal with financial challenges from getting ready to retirement to starting a family.

A particularly unique resource offered by the firm is its podcast, The Financial Symmetry Podcast. There are 46 episodes so far, ranging from “How To Navigate Open Enrollment” to “Teaching Your Kids About Money.”

Cook Wealth Management Group LLC

Cook Wealth Management Group LLC

Cook Wealth Management Group LLC is the only firm on this list that collects commissions. The fee-based firm has affiliations with a broker-dealer and an insurance company, and select members of the firm who are registered representatives of these affiliates may receive commissions for the sale of products. 

The firm, which boasts over 145 years of combined experience, has three certified financial planners (CFPs) and two certified public accountants (CPAs). It does not have a set account minimum. 

Cook Wealth Management Group LLC Background

Founded in 1984, Cook Wealth Management is owned by Jon Cook, founding partner and wealth advisor, and Brian Cook, managing partner, wealth advisor and chief compliance officer. The firm’s four primary services are financial planning, asset management, tax planning and life planning. 

Cook Wealth Management says it takes a holistic approach to wealth management. The firm creates customized portfolios for clients, with asset allocation based on clients' needs, life goals, risk tolerance, tax situation and ideal timeframe. Progress is measured against achieving a long-term personal rate of return, rather than against stock market indexes. 

The firm’s portfolios are comprised of four components: core equity, fixed income and active and defensive (non-correlated) asset classes. Cook Wealth Management Group portfolios use diversified mutual funds and/or exchange-traded funds, as well as individual stocks and bonds.

Cook Wealth Management Group LLC Resources 

Cook Wealth Management Group has a selection of financial planning and tax planning articles available on its website. Clients of the firm have access to an online portal, where they can view their financial information and check in on their portfolio.

Lewis Financial Management, LLC

Lewis Financial Management, LLC

Unlike the other firms on this list, which do not require a set account minimum, Lewis Financial Management, LLC prefers its clients to have at least $1 million in investable assets. 

The family-run firm has two certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff. Founded in 1982 by its current financial planners and principal owners, Douglas Lewis and Deborah Lewis, Lewis Financial Management is the second-oldest firm on this list. 

Three representatives of the firm are also representatives of a registered broker-dealer. The representatives will receive commissions if you implement securities transactions. 

Lewis Financial Management, LLC Financial Planning

At Lewis Financial Management, investment management services are just one part of what the firm calls its comprehensive financial planning, which also includes income management, tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning. 

For clients who don’t need this extent of services, the firm also offers financial advisory consultations. During these consultations, available on an hourly basis, clients can request financial advice on issues like cash management, investment planning and advice, retirement planning, divorce and wills and trusts. 

Lewis Financial Management, LLC Resources

Residents of Raleigh may have heard of the Lewis family from their radio show that airs every Sunday on Radio 680 WPTF. “Money Matters With the Lewis Family” is a live, call-in radio show during which the Lewis family answers questions and dispenses financial advice. The family-run firm’s website also features a blog that discusses the particulars of possible financial situations and answers financial questions.

Investors worried about always being able to get in touch may take comfort in the firm’s standing policy to never let client calls go to voicemail. 

Collegiate Capital Management, Inc.

Collegiate Capital Management, Inc.

As its name might suggest, Collegiate Capital Management, Inc. (CCM) serves university professionals across the nation. The firm does not have a set account minimum, but it advises that its services likely won’t be beneficial for those with less than $100,000 in investable assets. The firm serves a majority high-net-worth individuals.

CCM has one certified financial planner (CFP). Several of the firm’s investment advisor representatives receive commissions for the sale of insurance products. 

Collegiate Capital Management, Inc. Background 

Collegiate Capital Management, Inc. was established in 1994. The firm is owned by its founder, corporate president, chief compliance officer and investment advisor representative, Tony Sigmon. 

The firm’s headquarters are in Raleigh, but it also has offices in Decatur, Georgia, Charlottesville, Virginia and Austin, Texas. CCM aims to help university professionals discover the little-known investment and tax opportunities offered by university retirement accounts. It also provides asset and tax management and financial and estate planning. 

Collegiate Capital Management, Inc. Approach

Much of Collegiate Capital Management’s approach hinges on ensuring that its clients are taking full advantage of their university-sponsored accounts. The firm offers tax efficiency advice on these accounts and advises clients on which accounts to contribute to and which to earmark. 

The firm encourages clients to turn a blind eye to market volatility and focus instead on the long term. 

CCM invests its clients’ assets in mutual funds, individual equities and fixed-income investments. Customized investment advice based on clients’ financial and personal information are offered, as are model portfolios. 

Collegiate Capital Management, Inc. Resources

Collegiate Capital Management offers an array of resources to keep its university clients up to speed. It hosts seminars at universities and it also holds campus conferences, both of which are opportunities for university professionals to learn and ask questions about financial matters. 

CCM also has an online offering of resources. Its article sections include portfolio management, retirement, taxes, social security, risk management and sustainable investment. The firm also has a book, “Steps Academics Can Take To Protect and Grow Their Portfolios.”

Townsend Asset Management Corp.

Townsend Asset Management Corp.

Founded in 1982, Townsend Asset Management Corp. is the oldest of any firm on this list. In addition to its decades of experience, Townsend has a comparatively notable array of expertise. The firm has four certified financial planners (CFPs), which is the second-most of any firm on this list, as well as two certified public accountants (CPAs), two personal financial specialists (PFS) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).

Like most firms on this list, Townsend Asset Management does not have a set account minimum. It primarily serves individuals. 

Townsend Asset Management Corp. is one of two fee-only firms on this list. 

Townsend Asset Management Corp. Background 

Townsend Asset Management Corp. is owned by Gerald Townsend, its president, and Katrina Townsend, its business manager and office administrator.

The firm’s wealth management services, which include financial planning, tax preparation and consulting services, are its most comprehensive offering. In both its wealth management and investment management services Townsend takes into account clients’ personal goals, needs and financial situations when determining the course of action.

At Townsend, investment management clients each receive an “investment policy statement” that summarizes their risk tolerance, growth objective and time horizon, among other preferences and goals. This, alongside the firm’s financial and investment philosophy, guides how the firm will manage a client’s investments. The firm will design portfolios for conservation of principal, income, moderate growth or more aggressive growth.

Townsend Asset Management invests its clients assets in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or other securities, including certificates of deposit, options or alternative investments. 

Townsend Asset Management Corp. Resources

Townsend Asset Management Corp. sends out a monthly email newsletter. The firm also has a curated section of potentially helpful resources. This includes links to useful websites, calculators for retirement savings, bonds and college loans and videos, including a recent seminar presented by Gerald Townsend.

Copperleaf Capital, LLC

Copperleaf Capital, LLC

As is the case with most firms on this list, Copperleaf Capital, LLC has no set account minimum. The fee-based firm has one certified financial planner (CFP) on staff. 

The firm’s advisors may act separately as insurance agents. They receive commissions for the sale of insurance products and thus might be inclined to recommend that you purchase those products (though they are required to still act in their clients' best interest). 

Copperleaf Capital, LLC Background 

Founded in 1986, Copperleaf Capital, LLC began as a family office. The firm is independently owned. It’s a two-man operation, with partner Ryan Peterson serving as president and partner John Ryan Heath as senior vice president. 

The firm guides its clients through a step-by-step process to help them identify their financial needs and goals. The first step in the process is dream, which the firm describes as helping clients to “clearly identify what it means to live your life, in absolute perfection.” The next step, discovery, is focused on analyzing the facts of a client’s financial situation. After that, the firm develops a plan that it then deploys and continues to support and track. 

Copperleaf Capital makes a wide range of investment recommendations, including a variety of securities, variable life insurance, variable annuities, mutual fund shares, private funds, hedge funds and interests in partnerships investing in real estate. 

Copperleaf Capital, LLC Resources 

Copperleaf Capital has a blog that’s updated periodically with robust, information-filled posts. Recent posts range from “Is It Time To Get Out of the Market?” to “Retirement: What’s a Safe Savings Rate?”

The firm also has online portals for financial planning and performance reporting, so clients can check in at any time.

Physicians Financial Services, Inc.

Physicians Financial Services, Inc.

Physicians Financial Services, Inc. was founded with busy physicians in mind. The firm serves physicians from New York to Florida. The company says it serves those who don’t have the time to keep up-to-date with the market to make timely investment decisions. Physician Financial Services does not have a set account minimum. 

The firm has two advisors, tying it with Wrenn Financial Strategies for the smallest firm on this list. It has one certified financial planner (CFP). 

Physicians Financial Services, Inc. Background

Physicians Financial Services, Inc. was founded in 1987 by Con T. McDonald, who remains the firm’s principal owner and manager. Before forming the firm, McDonald was partner and vice chairman of another financial firm and he was on the editorial board of the nationally distributed magazine Physicians’ Financial News.

McDonald is a registered representative of two broker dealers and he also holds an insurance license and is affiliated with numerous insurance companies. Because McDonald receives commissions and/or premiums for the sale of products, these affiliations may present conflicts of interest. Though as a fiduciary the company is obligate to act in the best interests of the clients.

Physicians Financial Services, Inc. Investment Strategy

Physicians Financial Services, Inc. says that it does not try to predict the market and instead looks for financially strong and undervalued securities, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The firm considers a company’s liquid assets, earning power, real estate holdings and management when researching and analyzing. Its portfolios are designed to be held for long-term periods, preserve capital and provide stable performance. 

The firm’s investment strategy is five-point: It buys bargain-priced stocks, consistently reinvests dividends, considers tax implications, has the flexibility to account for savings and premiums and it multiplies stocks. 

Wrenn Financial Strategies, Inc.

Wrenn Financial Strategies, Inc.

Wrenn Financial Strategies, Inc. is tied with Physicians Financial Services, Inc. for the title of smallest firm on this list. The family-owned firm has just two advisors, but they boast 85 years of combined experience

The firm has two certified financial planners (CFPs). Like many of these Raleigh firms, Wrenn Financial Strategies does not have an account minimum. It serves individuals and high-net-worth families.

The firm’s president is an insurance agent, which is important to notes as he receives commissions for the sale of insurance products. As a fiduciary, the company is obligated to act in the best interest of clients. 

Wrenn Financial Strategies, Inc. Background

Wrenn Financial Strategies, Inc. was established in 1988. The firm’s primary shareholders are its cofounders, president and treasurer Maxie Edward Wrenn Jr., and its vice president and secretary Janice Regi Wrenn. The firm offers investment management, comprehensive and sector planning and retirement readiness planning.

Wrenn Financial Strategies describes its investment approach as conservative yet opportunistic. The firm uses long-term planning models and creates portfolios that strictly adhere to proven fundamental principles. 

At Wrenn Financial Strategies, client portfolios are diversified by asset class, markets within each asset class, management style and geography. The firm may invest its clients’ assets in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and stocks in companies of a wide range of sizes. 

Wrenn Financial Strategies, Inc. Resources

For such a small firm, Wrenn Financial Strategies has a big offering of resources. The firm offers weekly market bulletins, market perspectives, a quarterly letter and a tax guide. Clients can view their documents online, as well as get investment alerts and account access. However, these resources are only available if you have a login.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

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

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

Methodology SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities. Using that calculation, we determined how many years $1 million would last in retirement in each major city.

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

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%, reflecting the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Finally, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would last in each of the cities in our study.

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