Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Rochester, New York
Rochester, New York has no shortage of financial advisor firms, which can make it challenging to find the right one for you. SmartAsset’s list of the top firms will make your search simpler. These reviews lay out what you need to know about the firms, including what each firm charges to maintain an account, its account minimums and how it makes its investment choices. You can also use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which can connect you with advisors who serve your area.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc. Find an Advisor||$2,114,854,426||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||Cobblestone Capital Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,682,096,901||$1,500,000|| || |
|3||Howe and Rusling, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,465,926,005||$500,000|| || |
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|4||Forte Capital, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,449,283,991||$500,000|| || |
|5||Novem Group Find an Advisor||$1,139,277,720||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||HNP Capital, LLC Find an Advisor||$830,706,786||$250,000|| || |
|7||Whitney & Company Find an Advisor||$878,141,206||$500,000|| || |
|8||Excel Securities & Associates, Inc. Find an Advisor||$391,000,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||High Falls Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$534,109,903||$100,000|| || |
|10||Seneca Financial Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$579,692,139||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Rochester, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the city. Next, we filtered out firms that don't offer financial planning services, those that don't serve primarily individual clients and those that have disclosures on their record. The qualifying firms were then ranked according to the following criteria:
- AUMFirms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
- Individual Client CountFirms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
- Clients Per AdvisorFirms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
- Age of FirmFirms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article. This list may include firms that have a business relationship with SmartAsset, in which SmartAsset is compensated for lead referrals. Such relationships have no impact on our rankings, and firms are included and ranked based strictly on the above criteria.
Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc.
Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc. is a fee-based firm with numerous advisors on staff. Certifications include certified financial planner (CFPs) and accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).
Although the firm serves high-net-worth clients, nearly three-quarters of its clients are non-high-net-worth individuals. In addition, the firm serves trusts and estates, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses. You’ll need anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 to open an account with the firm, depending on the type of account you’re looking to open.
Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc. Background
Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc. was founded in 1937, making it one of the oldest firms on this list. However, the firm can trace its history back to 1915 when its predecessor firm, Sage Wolcott & Steele, first opened. It is currently independently owned by president and chairman Wayne Holly. If you use the 1915 date, it would be the longest-standing firm on our list.
The firm offers quite a few advisory services, including:
- Retirement income planning
- Estate planning
- Tax mitigation
- Investment management
- Trust creation and management
- Legacy/inheritance planning
Many of the above offerings encompass a range of services. For example, retirement planning encompasses the management of your IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) account, as well as any pension or profit-sharing plans, and the process of turning your investments into retirement income.
Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc. Investing Strategy
A relationship with Sage, Rutty & Co. Inc. opens with an advisor-client meeting. At this time, you’ll discuss and come to an agreement on what your financial goals and retirement needs are, in addition to your risk tolerance and time horizon. The firm strives to make this an inclusive process for clients.
Although the firm tends to focus on long-term investing strategies, it does use some short-term tactics. These are used to try to take advantage of upticks in the market, as well as to satisfy any need for liquidity you might have.
Cobblestone Capital Advisors, LLC
Cobblestone Capital Advisors is a fee-only firm with a minimum account requirement of $1,500,000. There are several advisors on staff; certifications earned include chartered financial analysts (CFA), certified public accountant (CPA) and certified financial planner (CFP).
The firm works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, insurance companies, pooled investment vehicles, charitable organizations, insurance companies and corporations.
Cobblestone Capital Advisors Background
Cobblestone Capital Advisors was founded in 1998 by Thomas Bartlett and Peter Greaves-Tunnell. These two are also principal owners of the firm, along with John T. DiPasquale.
The firm offers a standard range of services to its clients, including portfolio management, private placement management, financial planning, family office and general consulting services.
Cobblestone Capital Advisors Investment Philosophy
Cobblestone Capital Advisors uses fundamental analysis most when analyzing securities. This involves attempting to discern the intrinsic value of a company rather than looking at historical pricing data.
The firm uses a mix of long-term purchase strategies, which involves purchasing securities with the idea of holding for at least a year, and short-term purchase strategies, which involves holding for less than a year.
Howe and Rusling, Inc.
Howe and Rusling is the next firm on our list, with one chartered financial analyst (CFA) on its staff. You’ll need at least $500,000 in investable assets to be a client at this firm.
Howe and Rusling is a fee-only firm, meaning it only earns income from charging its clients management fees; this means it's not incentivized by commissions to sell you insurance or other financial products. The firm works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, investment companies, pension plans, insurance companies, charitable organizations and corporations.
Howe and Rusling, Inc. Background
Howe and Rusling is officially the oldest firm on this list, having been around since 1930. Craig Cairns is the owner of the firm, in addition to being the firm’s president, chairman and chief compliance officer.
The firm specializes in investment management, with a focus on large cap equities and intermediate fixed income. It also provides financial planning and consulting services.
Howe and Rusling, Inc. Investing Philosophy
When it comes to investment research, Howe & Rusling relies on what it calls “top-down” macroeconomic research and “bottom-up” fundamental analysis. Using its proprietary valuation model, the firm seeks out securities it deems to be undervalued. Then, the firm will make sure that the selected securities fit with a client’s risk profile and existing asset allocation.
When analyzing fixed income securities, the firm uses a proprietary econometric model, as well as yield curve analysis and monetary policy analysis.
Forte Capital, LLC
Forte Capital is a fee-only advisory firm that works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, and charitable organizations. You’ll need at least $500,000 in investable assets in order to enter into a relationship with this firm.
The firm's staff holds six certifications altogether, including two certified public accountants (CPAs) certifications, one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), one chartered mutual fund counselor (CMFC), and two certified financial planner (CFP).
Forte Capital, LLC Background
Founded in 1996, the firm’s owners are David W. Henion, Dennis E. Lohouse, Adil G. Masood, Richard B. Nathan, Edmond D. Sheidlower, and Ajit J. Desphande Revocable Living Trust.
The firm provides portfolio management services, financial planning services and general consulting services.
Forte Capital, LLC Investing Philosophy
Forte Capital tailors each client’s portfolio to match the client’s investment goals and risk tolerance. It prioritizes asset allocation overstock selection as the most important long-term factor in a portfolio. The firm uses both fundamental and technical analysis to analyze securities.
The firm typically invests in domestic and foreign equity securities, ETFs, preferred securities, master limited partnerships, corporate debt securities, certificates of deposit, municipal and U.S. government and agency securities, mutual funds and options.
Novem Group is a fee-based firm with no account minimum. The firm primarily serves non-high-net-worth individuals. Novem Group says it also offers accounts that support anyone with a pension or profit-sharing plan, as well as businesses and corporations.
The team at Novem has earned a number of ceritifications including certified financial planner (CFP), chartered life underwriter (CLU), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), chartered divorce financial analyst (CDFA), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Clients may be offered insurance policies if they open an account with this firm. If you accept, your advisor may make a commission. While this may pose a potential conflict of interest, the firm is a fiduciary, which means it’s required to act in your best financial interest at all times.
Novem Group Background
Novem Group was established in 2011 by Robert Bartolotta, who is currently the firm’s president and CEO. He has almost 30 years of experience in finance, while his staff averages more than 15 years in the field.
Individuals can take advantage of services such as investment management, estate planning, charitable gift planning, long-term care planning and insurance analysis. There are also many services available for businesses and business owners, including:
- Retirement and pension planning
- Business succession
- Payroll services
- Executive compensation plans
- College education 529 plans
- Insurance coverage evaluation
Novem Group Investing Strategy
The advisory team at Novem Group considers your time horizon and risk tolerance to determine which short-term, long-term and margin trading investment strategies make sense for your portfolio. The firm uses a short-term approach to satisfy more immediate liquidity needs.
The firm focuses on diversifying across multiple asset classes and selecting an appropriate asset allocation. Your assets will likely be invested in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds, equities, fixed income, debt securities, options, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and annuities.
HNP Capital, LLC
HNP Capital, LLC is an investment advisory firm serving individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans and corporations. The fee-based firm charges asset-based fees, hourly fees and fixed fees for its advisory services, but the firm also earns commissions from insurance and securities products. This can create a conflict of interest if advisors favor commissioned products over more suitable, non-commissioned products, but HNP says it honors a fiduciary relationship with each of its clients.
The firm’s staff offers a range of backgrounds, including the accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), certified financial planner (CFP) and certified wealth advisor (CWA) designations.
The firm requires a minimum account size of $250,000 and is the only firm on this list to move up in our rankings from last year.
HNP Capital, LLC Background
Founded in 2009, HNP is wholly owned by Financial Institutions, Inc. The firm’s previous owners were John Piccirilli, Robert Hobaica and Nicholas Norvell. However, Piccirilli, Hobaica and Norvell still serve as firm leadership.
HNP’s advisory services include portfolio management and financial planning and consulting.
HNP Capital, LLC Investment Strategy
When offering advice and making investment decisions, the firm utilizes fundamental analysis, technical analysis and charting analysis. HNP’s investment strategies include long-term purchases, short-term purchases, trading and cash balance investing.
Whitney & Company
Whitney & Company is the next firm on our list with millions in assets under management. The firm has multiple advisors on staff, and its president, William G. Shaheen, is a certified public accountant (CPA).
The firm works with just over 400 clients, including individuals, high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations and corporations. You’ll need at least $500,000 in investable assets to be a client of this fee-only firm.
Whitney & Company Background
Whitney & Company, also known as W.G. Shaheen & Associates, was founded in 1975. William G. Shaheen is the firm’s principal owner. The firm offers portfolio management services, which can be either discretionary or non-discretionary.
Whitney & Company Investment Philosophy
Whitney & Company centers its primary investment strategy around a simple concept: investing in quality securities that are selling below their economic value.
The firm primarily invests in equity securities, exchanged-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, corporate debt securities, municipal and U.S. government securities and money market instruments.
Excel Securities & Associates, Inc.
Excel Securities & Associates is another good option for investors with relatively low amounts of investable assets, as the firm doesn’t have a set account minimum. The firm is fee-based, meaning it may earn income through other means beyond client fees.
The firm has a decent number advisors on staff, and one of those advisors is a certified financial planner (CFP). The firm’s clients are exclusively individuals, but it also offers its services to trusts.
Excel Securities & Associates, Inc. Background
Excel Securities & Associates was first established in 1978, but it has only been a registered investment advisor since 2000. Joseph Lanzisera is the firm’s principal owner as well as its president and CEO.
The firm offers several different types of portfolio management services, including wrap fee programs, discretionary investment management services and programs that employ the services of a third-party advisor.
Excel Securities & Associates Investment Philosophy
Excel Securities & Associates’ investment philosophy is dictated by each individual client’s investment objectives and risk tolerance, as well as which specific portfolio management program the client is taking part in.
Typically, the firm prefers to invest in a diverse range of mutual funds that result in a balanced range of asset classes and sectors.
High Falls Advisors, Inc.
High Fall Advisors, Inc.’s serves primarily non-high-net-worth individuals, who comprise more than three-quarters of its client base. The firm requires a minimum account balance of $100,000, which is well below the threshold of what the SEC considers high net worth.
While individual investors are its most common clients, the firm also works with charities, business owners and those with estates and trusts. Among its advisors are two certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one certified business exit consultant (CBEC) and one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC).
High Fall Advisors, Inc. is a fee-based firm, and clients may be offered insurance policies which would earn advisors a commission. You are under no obligation to accept, and because the firm is a fiduciary, it is required to act in your best interest.
High Falls Advisors, Inc. Background
James Englert, High Falls Advisors’ president and CEO, independently owns this firm that was created in 2008. The majority of the firm’s advisory staff has worked in finance for at least 15 years, with some boasting more than two decades of experience.
Clients who open individual accounts with this firm can get aid with retirement planning, estate planning, college planning, tax minimization and investment management. Business owners can also have plans built for the succession of their ownership. If advice is all you’re seeking, High Falls can oblige, and it offers advice on employee benefits, Social Security, insurance, tax preparation and health care.
High Falls Advisors, Inc. Investing Strategy
FinaMetrica® is a risk-profiling program that High Falls Advisors, Inc. uses to determine exactly what kind of investor you are. Through your answers to the system's questions, your advisor will come to understand your time horizon, risk tolerance and exact personal financial objectives.
The firm offers seven portfolio strategies: 401(k) management service, market trends account (MTA), sector rotation MTA, core market index portfolio, enhanced allocation strategy, select sector portfolio and personal securities portfolio. Each strategy uses varying types of investments and asset allocations.
Some of the investments the firm uses include ETFs, stocks, equities and other index funds. Regardless of the investment type, the firm uses a long-term buy-and-hold strategy.
Seneca Financial Advisors, LLC
Seneca Financial Advisors, LLC manages millions in client assets. The firm’s team has certifications including certified financial planner (CFP), certified public accountant (CPA) and personal financial specialist (PFS). This is a fee-only firm.
Seneca Financial Advisors has a multi-family office, which gives investors the chance to take a holistic and strategic look at their family assets. But this is just one of the many client types the firm serves: Its clients also include individuals, businesses, charitable organizations, trust and estate holders and those with pension and profit-sharing plans.
There is no minimum asset level required to open an account. This firm serves more individuals than high-net-worth individuals.
Seneca Financial Advisors, LLC Background
Seneca Financial Advisors, LLC was founded in 2010 by Stephen Green, chief investment officer, and Scott Lefebre, senior wealth advisor. CEO Joseph Votava Jr. holds majority ownership of the firm.
This firm says that it customizes its traditional financial planning services based on your needs, goals and account size. This comprehensive offering includes all of the following services:
- Tax minimization and planning
- Healthcare and insurance cost planning
- Retirement planning
- Investment management
- Estate/gift planning
- Higher education planning
- Employee benefits planning
- Banking choices
- Legal matters
Seneca Financial Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
Seneca Financial Advisors, LLC believes that advisor availability is the most important thing it can offer clients. This includes answering financial questions whenever they come up and holding regular meetings to discuss your portfolio or any changes to your financial life.
Seneca Financial Advisors’ portfolios are built on an “open architecture platform,” which better enables firms to create portfolios fully in the clients’ best interests. The firm typically invests its clients’ assets in ETFs and mutual funds, and it also uses multiple account managers. This deeper application of diversification, which is used on top of the diversification of your investments, makes it so no one manager controls too much of your money at once.