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Top Financial Advisors in Rochester, NY

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by Chris Thompson Updated

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 Rochester financial advisor firms will make your search simpler. Compiled through hours of research, these reviews lay out what you need to know about the firms, including what each firm charges to maintain an account, how it makes its investment choices and what its account minimum is. For a more tailored recommendation, try SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool which will match you with an advisor in your area.

Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1

Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc.

Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc. logo

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$855,149,000

Varies based on account type

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

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
2

Novem Group

Novem Group logo

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$518,749,000

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops
3

High Falls Advisors, Inc.

High Falls Advisors, Inc. logo

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$423,850,800

$100,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

$100,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops

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4

Seneca Financial Advisors, LLC

Seneca Financial Advisors, LLC logo

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$260,980,500

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)
5

Northlanding Financial Partners, LLC

Northlanding Financial Partners, LLC logo

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$204,554,300

No set account minimum

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops
6

Prentice Wealth Management, LLC

Prentice Wealth Management, LLC logo

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$62,155,500

$100,000

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

Minimum Assets

$100,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
7

W&S Management Services, Inc.

W&S Management Services, Inc. logo

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$60,000,000

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

Apex Advisors, LLC

Apex Advisors, LLC logo

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$52,524,800

$500,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
9

Schaffer & Company Asset Management, Inc.

Schaffer & Company Asset Management, Inc. logo

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$29,230,500

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

How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Rochester, New York

Any Rochester, New York-based financial advisor firms registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) were considered for this list. All firms that are registered with the SEC are bound by fiduciary duty, which means they must act in their clients’ best interests. If any of these firms didn’t offer financial planning, manage individual accounts or had disciplinary issues with the SEC, they were eliminated. The remaining financial advisor firms in Rochester appear on this list, ordered from most assets under management (AUM) to the least.

Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc.

Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc.

Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc. is a fee-based firm that holds the most advisor certifications at 25. These certifications include nine certified financial planners (CFPs), six accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), four financial paraplanner qualified professionals (FPQPs) and two chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs). Additionally the firm has one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one retirement income certified professional (RICP), one accredited asset management specialist (AAMS) and one accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA). The firm offers 19 advisory teams, giving you an option within the firm as to who best fits your needs.

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. Depending on the type of account you’re looking to open with this firm, you’ll need anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000 to do so.

Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc. Background

Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc. was founded in 1937, making it the oldest firm on this list by nearly 70 years. It is currently independently owned by president and chairman Wayne Holly. 

The firm offers quite a few advisory services, including the following:

  • Retirement income planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax mitigation
  • Investment management
  • Trust creation and management
  • Legacy/inheritance planning

There more services available within the offerings listed above. For example, retirement planning encompasses the management of your IRA, 401(k) or 403(b) account or 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 long-term investing is the firm’s ultimate strategy, 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.

Novem Group

Novem Group

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 firm has an advisory team of 42, but the staff has only four certifications in total. There are two certified financial planners (CFPs) and two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs).

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. And there are perhaps just as 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 leverages your time horizon and risk tolerance against short-term, long-term and margin trading investment strategies to determine what your portfolio will look like. 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 and annuities.

High Falls Advisors, Inc.

High Falls Advisors, Inc.

Non-high-net-worth individuals comprise more than three-quarters of High Fall Advisors, Inc.’s client base. The firm requires a minimum account balance of $100,000, which is well below the threshold of what the SEC considers a high net worth.

This fee-based firm says that though individual investors are its most common clients, it also works with charities, those with estates and/or trusts and business owners. There are four certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one certified business exit consultant (CBEC) and one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) on staff.

As a client of this firm, you may be offered insurance policies. You are under no obligation to accept. Moreover, the firm is a fiduciary, which requires it 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, though a portion of the group has been in the business for more than two decades.

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, with employee benefit, Social Security, insurance, tax preparation and health care advice.

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 the questions this system proposes, 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. Your account strategy is chosen based on your ultimate goals. Each strategy uses varying types of investments and asset allocations.

Some the investments the firm uses these 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

Seneca Financial Advisors, LLC has a small team of advisors, but it manages a relatively significant amount of assets -- nearly $261 million. The firm’s team has a total of six certifications, including three certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified public accountants (CPAs) and one 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 claims to provide customizations to 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.

Northlanding Financial Partners, LLC

Northlanding Financial Partners, LLC

Clients of Northlanding Financial Partners, LLC will have access to a team of advisors with numerous certifications. The firm’s team includes five financial planners (CFPs), one chartered life underwriter (CLU), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA), one chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS), one accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA) and one investment advisor certified compliance professional (IACCP).

The vast majority of the clients that this firm currently works with are non-high-net-worth individuals. The firm does not require a set account minimum, making it more accessible for clients with less to invest.

As a fee-based firm, Northlanding makes commissions when securities are traded within your account. The firm’s advisors may also make commissions from selling insurance products. The firm is a fiduciary, however, so it is required to act in your best interest no matter what.

Northlanding Financial Partners, LLC Background

Founded just five years ago in 2013, Northlanding Financial Partners, LLC has grown to become a firm with over $200 million in assets under management (AUM). Partners and advisors Scott Klatt, H. Robert Bradley, Mark Jones and Bryce Carey are the principal owners of the firm, though it was opened solely by Jones, Bradley and Carey. The firm’s advisors have been in the financial business for an average of 15 years.

The services this firm provides include estate planning, insurance analysis, retirement plan analysis, risk management, investment consulting and retirement income planning. In addition to the services it offers to individuals, Northlanding says it also serves charities and businesses.

Northlanding Financial Partners, LLC Investing Strategy

Depending on the style of investing you want, Northlanding Financial Partners, LLC can build anything from an aggressive portfolio focused on growth to a more conservative portfolio centered on preserving your funds. Your time horizon and risk tolerance will decide exactly how your assets are allocated across this firm’s usual investment types, which include ETFs, mutual funds, debt securities and equities.

The firm also works with pooled investments, which allows clients with less assets to gain access to high-end investment opportunities. The firm does this by gathering all its assets under management and merging them into one large investment vehicle.

Prentice Wealth Management, LLC

Prentice Wealth Management, LLC

Almost all of Prentice Wealth Management, LLC’s clients are non-high-net-worth individuals. Because of the firm’s relatively low $100,000 account minimum this isn’t really a surprise.

Prentice Wealth Management says its typical clients are young families, families in transition, students, military members, business owners, people in or approaching retirement and anyone making an estate transfer. Aside from individuals, the firm also serves businesses, charitable organizations, trust and estates and pension and profit-sharing plans. 

The firm employs four financial advisors. Its team includes one certified financial planner (CFP), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA), one accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one financial paraplanner qualified professional (FPQP).

Advisory clients may be offered insurance by this firm and sales may result in commissions. But the firm is a fiduciary, meaning it must act in your best interest at all times.

Prentice Wealth Management, LLC Background

Narrowly the second-oldest firm on this list (behind Northlanding Financial Partners, LLC), Prentice was founded in 2012. Managing partner William Prentice II established the firm and still owns it completely.

The firm’s services encompass the broad disciplines of financial planning and asset management. More specifically, this firm offers retirement planning, estate planning, legacy planning, insurance analysis, risk management, benefits evaluation, tax mitigation, college fund planning and more.

Prentice Wealth Management, LLC Investing Strategy

Prentice Wealth Management, LLC implements a five-step procedure for each of its client relationships: discovery, assessment, collaborative evaluation, implementation and monitor/refine.

In the discovery phase, you will meet with your advisor and decide on your objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance. Next, your advisor will explore different investment strategies that he or she believes will get you where you want to be. This process culminates in the collaborative evaluation step, during which you’ll have the chance to give your input on your portfolio’s composition.

As you might have guessed, implementation is the step in which your portfolio is created. But your account’s active management doesn’t stop there: Prentice will periodically rebalance your investments and possibly even change your original plan depending on how circumstances change over time.

W&S Management Services, Inc.

W&S Management Services, Inc.

Though every firm on this list provides some form of tax minimization or planning, no other firm has its own accounting firm in office like W&S Management Services, Inc. does. The firm is led by co-owner Brian Ward, who is a certified public accountant (CPA).

This fee-only firm doesn’t impose a minimum balance. The vast majority of its clients are non-high-net-worth individuals. W&S Management Services says that it prefers to work with clients who have a long-term investment outlook, as this is the firm’s primary investing strategy. The firm also serves individuals with trusts or estates and business owners. 

Notably, W&S Management Services is the only firm on this list that charges performance-based fees.

W&S Management Services, Inc. Background

Principal owners Brian Ward and Nathan Ward formed W&S Management Services, Inc. in 2000. This is the second-most senior firm on this list, behind Sage, Rutty & Co., Inc.

W&S Management Services, Inc. offers retirement planning, estate and trust creation, tax minimization and investment management services.

W&S Management Services, Inc. Investing Strategy

Investment analysis is a major part of this W&S Management Services’ investment strategy. This involves estimating a stock or bond’s value, projecting a business’ future performance, evaluating a business’ management style and team and calculating its associated risk. Assets under management with W&S Management Services, Inc. will most likely be invested in various bonds, stocks, mutual funds, ETFs and publicly traded equities.

Twice a year, this firm will relay to its clients how their account is performing. A rebalance and  strategy re-evaluation may occur during these times, as well. Should you want to see a review of your account outside of this prescribed schedule, you can simply contact your advisor to set up a face-to-face meeting.

Apex Advisors, LLC

Apex Advisors, LLC

Apex Advisors, LLC is a fee-only financial advisor firm that requires at least $500,000 in investable assets to open an account. The firm serves far more individuals than high-net-worth individuals. It’s dedicated exclusively to serving individuals, which means businesses and charitable foundations won’t find relevant services available at this firm. 

There is one certified financial planner (CFP) in Apex’s offices.

Apex Advisors, LLC Background

Elizabeth Barrett opened Apex Advisors, LLC in 2009, and she principally owns the business. Barrett has 15 years of experience in asset management, and is the only advisor at this firm.

The services available at this firm are somewhat limited. It offers retirement planning, tax management and estate planning.

Apex Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy

Apex Advisors, LLC creates an investment policy statement for each client to to clearly lay out his or her unique financial situation. This document will include your financial goals, objectives, liquidity needs, risk tolerance and time horizon.

To address liquidity needs, Apex will utilize both long-term and short-term investment opportunities. The firm believes this combination will enable your portfolio to maintain long-term growth while achieving quicker returns through short-term investments.

Apex Advisors utilizes several types of investments. Most of its client accounts hold some combination of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), fixed-income securities, mutual funds, equities, bonds, annuities, government securities and real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Schaffer & Company Asset Management, Inc.

Schaffer & Company Asset Management, Inc.

Schaffer & Company Asset Management, Inc. primarily serves individuals, with high-net-worth individuals making up just 10% of its client base. The firm also serves businesses, corporations and charitable organizations. It does not require a minimum account balance.

Aside from Novem Group, Schaffer & Company is the only firm on this list that offers pension consulting services. There is one certified financial planner (CFP) and one registered financial consultant (RFC) on staff.

Schaffer & Company is a fee-based firm. Clients of this firm may be offered insurance as part of their advisory account, and sales may result in commissions for the firm’s advisors. In fact, this firm’s owner also owns a related insurance company. But you are under no obligation to accept these offers, as the firm is a fiduciary.

Schaffer & Company Asset Management, Inc. Background

Gregory Schaffer, the firm’s CEO, CIO and president, is Schaffer & Company Asset Management’s only investment advisor. Schaffer founded in the firm in 2005. He has accrued more than 30 years of experience in the banking, tax, insurance and mortgage industries.

Schaffer believes his firm is a “financial doctor” that looks at your personal finance life as a whole. His firm offers estate planning, budgeting, tax and cash-flow management, pre- and post-retirement planning, investment management and legacy planning.

Schaffer & Company Asset Management, Inc. Investing Strategy

Schaffer & Company Asset Management, Inc. takes a top-down approach to finding investments for client portfolios. In other words, the firm tries to get a sense of the overall economy before identifying potential opportunities. In particular, Schaffer & Company searches for investments that have the potential to outperform the market. This is riskier than some other approaches, but it has the potential to produce high returns. 

The firm primarily invests its clients’ assets in exchange-traded funds (ETFs.) However, it also uses variable annuities, stocks, mutual funds, bonds, CDs, treasuries and warrants.

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