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Top Financial Advisors in Raleigh, NC

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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 hours of research and ultimately laying out all you need to know about the top-ranking financial advisor firms in Raleigh.

Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 CAPTRUST Financial Advisors CAPTRUST Financial Advisors logo Find an Advisor

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$289,654,600,995 $50,000
  • Investment advisory services
  • Financial planning services
  • Estate planning services

Minimum Assets

$50,000

Financial Services

  • Investment advisory services
  • Financial planning services
  • Estate planning services
2 First Citizens Investor Services, Inc. First Citizens Investor Services, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$732,470,411 $25,000
  • Investment advisory services
  • Financial planning services
  • Wrap fee programs

Minimum Assets

$25,000

Financial Services

  • Investment advisory services
  • Financial planning services
  • Wrap fee programs
3 Financial Symmetry Inc. Financial Symmetry Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$358,795,020

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
4 Cook Wealth Management Group LLC Cook Wealth Management Group LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$325,275,482

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

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

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$317,381,399

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
6 Capital Investment Counsel, Inc. Capital Investment Counsel, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$312,062,555 $100,000
  • Individually tailored portfolios
  • Financial planning services

Minimum Assets

$100,000

Financial Services

  • Individually tailored portfolios
  • Financial planning services
7 Lewis Financial Management, LLC Lewis Financial Management, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$298,280,893

$1,000,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
8 Armor Investment Advisors, LLC Armor Investment Advisors, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$226,439,872 $1,200 minimum quarterly fee
  • Financial planning services
  • Investment management services
  • Investment consulting services

Minimum Assets

$1,200 minimum quarterly fee

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Investment management services
  • Investment consulting services
9 Physicians Financial Services, Inc. Physicians Financial Services, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$217,833,312

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)
10 Townsend Asset Management Corp. Townsend Asset Management Corp. logo Find an Advisor

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$210,500,000

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

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. That's because SEC-registered firms are fiduciaries, which means they are required to act in their clients' best interest. We eliminated any firm that had any record of regulatory and/or disciplinary issues, and likewise eliminated firms that don't have financial planners or don't manage individual (as opposed to institutional) accounts. For the final ranking, we sorted the remaining firms from most assets under management (AUM) to least.

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors is a firm with 196 advisors across the country. 33 of those advisors are based in Raleigh, where the firm is headquartered. Among those 33 are six certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA), four accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), and two certified public accountant (CPAs) and two chartered retirement plan specialists (CRPSs).

You’ll need at least $50,000 to be a client of this fee-based firm. CAPTRUST works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, banking institutions, pension plans, charities, government entities, insurance companies, corporations and other institutions. CAPTRUST has the most assets under management of any firm in U.S. that qualified for our rankings, managing more than $278 billion in assets.

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors Background

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors was first registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2003. It’s 100% owned by CapFinancial Group, LLC, which is in turn owned by CapFinancial Holdings, Inc. James Fielding Miller, the CEO of CAPTRUST, owns roughly 40% of CapFinancial Holdings, Inc.

CAPTRUST offers a wide range of services to institutional clients, primarily retirement plans. For individual clients, the firm provides investment advisory services, financial planning services and estate planning services.

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors Investment Philosophy

CAPTRUST begins formulating its investment strategies with the goals of its clients, making sure to factor in each client’s investment objectives and risk tolerance. Then, the firm develops an asset allocation of equities, fixed income, strategic opportunities, commodities and real estate with a risk profile that’s appropriate to the client. For security analysis, the firm uses both fundamental and technical analysis.

First Citizens Investor Services

First Citizens Investor Services, Inc.

First Citizens Investor Services is a fee-based advisory firm that exists as a part of First Citizens Bank & Trust Company, a bank headquartered in Raleigh but with more than 500 branches in 19 states. The firm has 86 advisors, although not all of these advisors are based in Raleigh. 

Depending on which specific program you choose, the firm’s minimum account sizes varies, ranging from as low as $25,000 to as high as $250,000. The firm works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations and corporations.

First Citizens Investor Services Background

First Citizens Investor Services has been a registered investment advisor since 2000. It’s wholly owned by First Citizens Bank & Trust Company.

The firm offers investment advisory services and financial planning services, and it also participates in wrap fee programs and occasionally refers clients to third party investment advisors. 

First Citizens Investor Services Investment Philosophy

First Citizens Investor Services relies on fundamental analysis, technical analysis and cyclical analysis when formulating investment advice. Cyclical analysis examines investment products that may be susceptible to the ups and downs of a traditional business cycle.

Depending on the specific client, the firm may adopt a tactical asset allocation or a strategic asset allocation. A tactical asset allocation establishes a range of percentages that each asset class can take up in a portfolio, and the investor can adjust within that range depending on market conditions. A strategic asset allocation sets a target asset allocation and periodically rebalances the portfolio as investments grow or shrink.

Financial Symmetry Inc.

Financial Symmetry Inc.

Financial Symmetry Inc. has the most certified financial planners (CFPs) in Raleigh: All eight of the firm’s advisors are CFPs. One of those CFPs is also a college funding and student loan advisor (CFSLA). The firm has $358 million in assets under management; it has no strict minimum account size, 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 services. 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, occasionally including 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 is a fee-based firm. It 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.

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. Indeed, the firm serves mainly high-net-worth individuals, defined by the SEC as having at least $750,000 in assets to invest.

CCM has one certified financial planner (CFP) among its four advisors. 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 Tony Sigmon, its founder, corporate president, chief compliance officer and investment advisor representative. 

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. Investment Philosophy

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.”

Capital Investment Counsel

Capital Investment Counsel, Inc.

Capital Investment Counsel is a fee-based firm with more than $300 million in assets under management. The firm has an account minimum of $100,000, but it retains the right to waive that minimum at its discretion.

The firm has six advisors, though none of them are certified financial planners (CFPs) or chartered financial analysts (CFAs). The firm shares common ownership with Capital Advisors, Inc., a separate investment advisory firm, but the two firms aren’t related beyond that common ownership.

Capital Investment Counsel Background

Capital Investment Counsel was founded in 1984 by Richard K. Bryant and E.O. Edgerton Jr. The firm is owned by R. Bryant Family Partners, Ltd., a partnership controlled by Bryant. The firm is a part of Capital Investment Companies, a group of companies founded by Richard Bryant that provide a wide range of financial services.

Capital Investment Counsel specializes in individually tailored portfolios of equities and fixed income securities, and it also provides financial planning services.

Capital Investment Counsel Investment Philosophy

Capital Investment Counsel relies on a five-part investment philosophy: emphasizing financially strong, cash-rich companies selling at discounts historically; reinvesting dividends and interest; emphasizing additional contribution to the portfolio; striving to minimize tax liability; and “multiplying” positions in companies that have grown significantly beyond their value.

The firm doesn’t focus on creating “model” portfolios. Rather, it builds individually-tailored portfolios made up of individual equities and fixed-income securities. The firm invests in stocks of all market capitalizations.

Lewis Financial Management, LLC

Lewis Financial Management, LLC

To be a client of Lewis Financial Management, LLC, you’ll need at least $1 million in investable assets. This family-run firm has two certified financial planners (CFPs) on its staff of three advisors.

The firm’s advisors are also representatives of a registered broker-dealer. The representatives will receive commissions on securities transactions. This makes Lewis Financial Management, LLC a fee-based (as opposed to fee-only) advisor firm. Still, the firm is a fiduciary, which means it's required to act in clients' best interests.

Lewis Financial Management, LLC Financial Planning

Founded in 1982 by its current financial planners and principal owners, Douglas and Deborah Lewis, Lewis Financial Management has been providing investment advice for more than 35 years.

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

For clients who don’t need such comprehensive 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 estate planning (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.

Armor Investment Advisors

Armor Investment Advisors, LLC

Armor Investment Advisors, LLC has five advisors, of whom four are certified financial planners (CFPs) and one is a chartered financial analyst (CFA). The firm is fee-based, since some advisors earn commissions by selling insurance products (in addition to collecting management fees).

Armor Investment Advisors works almost entirely with individuals and high-net-worth individuals, as well as a few pension plans and corporations. While the firm doesn’t have an explicit minimum account requirement, it charges a minimum quarterly fee of $1,200.

Armor Investment Advisors Background

Armor Investment Advisors was established in 2005, and its owners are Jeffrey R. Miller, Walter L. Sheffield III, John V. Purrington and Matthew C. Miller. Jeffrey Miller and Walter Sheffield are principal owners of the firm.

The firm’s services can be categorized into financial planning services, investment management services and investment consulting services.

Armor Investment Advisors Investment Philosophy

Armor Investment Advisors always begins the investment process by establishing the client’s investment goals and risk tolerance, then using those factors to design an appropriate strategy and asset allocation.The firm believes that asset allocation is the most important long-term determinant of a portfolio’s success.

When determining which equities to select for client portfolios the firm analyzes the company’s management, growth opportunities, market share and investment cash flow. The firm also highly prioritizes minimizing costs.

Physicians Financial Services, Inc.

Physicians Financial Services, Inc.

Physicians Financial Services, Inc. was founded with busy doctors 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, one of whom is a 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. As a fiduciary, however, the company is obligated 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 securities. 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 multiplies stocks.

Townsend Asset Management Corp.

Townsend Asset Management Corp.

Founded in 1982, Townsend Asset Management Corp. has four certified financial planners (CFPs), 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. The fee-only firm primarily serves individuals, as well as a few high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations. 

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.

Townsend Asset Management Corp. Investment Philosophy

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.

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 the cost of living in retirement for that location.

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

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. 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. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

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