Finding the Top Financial Advisors in Rockville
If you’re searching for a financial advisor in Rockville, Maryland, you’re in luck. SmartAsset did extensive research to unearth the top financial advisors in Rockville. We dig into their fee structure, services, expertise and more.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Maryland Financial Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$975,955,345||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||SPC Financial Inc Find an Advisor||$1,000,154,777||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||Financial Services Advisory Find an Advisor||$707,792,446||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
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|4||CIC Wealth, LLC Find an Advisor||$550,947,483||$500,000|| || |
|5||Kendall Capital Management Find an Advisor||$419,058,076||$500,000|| || |
|6||Research Financial Strategies Find an Advisor||$258,771,596||$50,000|| || |
|7||Ferguson-Johnson Wealth Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$221,062,803||$500,000|| || |
|8||Eaglestone Wealth Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$197,519,767||$80,000|| || |
|9||WMS Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$167,605,516||$250,000|| || |
|10||Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions, LLC Find an Advisor||$182,504,029||$50,000|| || |
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Rockville, 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 obtained through public records and is updated annually after the firms’ form ADV filing. 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. SmartAsset is not a client of the aforementioned firms, and did not receive compensation for including any of the firms on the aforementioned list.
Maryland Financial Group
Maryland Financial Group (MFG) leads off our list of the top-rated financial advisors in Rockville, Maryland. MFG is a fee-based practice that works primarily with individual clients but also offers services to institutional investors.
Maryland Financial Group offers both discretionary portfolio management and financial planning services to its client base. Required account minimums vary by type of account.
As a fee-based firm, MFG advisors can earn commissions on certain transactions, like the purchase of securities or insurance. This can lead to a conflict of interest because an advisor has a financial incentive to recommend certain products and services over others.
Maryland Financial Group Background
MFG was acquired by The Monitor Group, a financial services firm also based in Rockville, in 2005. The Monitor Group remains the firm’s principal owner. Christopher and Amy Cox are the managing members of The Monitor Group.
MFG provides asset management services through a wrap fee program and model portfolios, as well as financial planning and third-party manager selection services. Securities at the firm are offered through LPL Financial.
Maryland Financial Group Investment Strategy
As the client's individual investment strategy will be geared towards their needs, MFG initially designs each portfolio to meet a particular investment goal, which the firm determines to be suitable to the client's circumstances. Once the appropriate portfolio has been determined, MFG will review the portfolio at least quarterly and if necessary, rebalance the portfolio based upon the client's individual needs, stated goals and objectives.
The Maryland Financial Group uses a combination of charting, fundamental and technical analysis in order to formulate investment advice when managing assets. Depending on the analysis the firm will implement a long or short-term trading strategy based on the particular objectives and risk tolerance of a particular client. The firm's advisors can provide advice on a range of securities, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, variable annuity subaccounts, real estate investment trusts, equities, and fixed-income securities.
SPC Financial Inc
SPC Financial, the second-ranked practice on our list, is an investment advisory firm that oversees the most assets under management (AUM) of the 10 firms. SPC provides services to over 1,000 individual clients, both with and without high net worths. The firm also extends its advice to corporations, charities, pensions and profit-sharing plans.
While the firm does not require a minimum account size for financial planning, clients with Raymond James Ambassador accounts must have asset levels of at least $25,000.
The firm collects fees based on a portion of your AUM or on a fixed or hourly basis for stand-alone financial planning services. Advisors of SPC Financial are also members of other financial services businesses. In their individual capacities, they may earn commissions from such firms for selling their products, making SPC Financial a fee-based firm.
When you work with SPC Financial, you'll have access to 11 certified financial planners (CFPs), a certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and five certified public accountants (CPAs), two of whom also hold the personal financial specialist (PFS) designation.
SPC Financial Background
SPC Financial was formed in 1970, making it the longest-tenured firm on our list. Edward G. Sella owns the business and continues to provide services on behalf of SPC Financial.
In addition to asset management, SPC Financial advisors can advise on different aspects of your financial life from budgeting and savings to retirement and estate planning.
SPC Financial Investment Strategy
SPC Financial develops investment portfolios based on your individual circumstances, including your risk tolerance, time horizon and tax status. It may invest your assets among different securities including the following:
- Equity securities
- Corporate debt securities (other than commercial paper)
- Certificates of deposits (CD)
- Municipal securities
- Mutual funds
- Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)
- U.S. government securities
- Options contracts on securities
- Other types of investments including collectibles, hard assets, life insurance, unit investment trusts, alternative investments
Financial Services Advisory
Financial Services Advisory, No. 3 on our list, currently holds the third most assets under management (AUM). The firm works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, estates, trusts and businesses. Account minimums vary based on account type. For example, clients enrolled in Schwab's Institutional Intelligent Portfolios program through the firm must have $5,000 invested.
Financial Advisory Services operates on a fee-only basis. This means that neither the firm nor its members are affiliated with other businesses or earn third-party commissions. They collect fees solely from their clients for the services they provide.
Financial Services Advisory Background
Financial Advisory Services first opened its doors in 1982. Today, president and treasurer James E. Joseph owns the largest interest in the business, while chief investment officer Ronald Rough and founding partner David Petersen own smaller stakes.
Financial Advisory Services can design a personalized financial plan to help you meet your goals. Depending on your needs, it may touch on tax planning, estate planning, retirement savings and education planning.
Financial Services Advisory Investment Strategy
Financial Services Advisory manages portfolios with asset allocations that reflect your personal situation such as your risk tolerance and long-term goals. Once it sets your asset allocation, the firm mainly invests in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The firm will also allocate a portion of your assets to a cash position or cash equivalents.
"Our asset management services are designed to increase your portfolio value during rising markets and use our exit strategy called FSA Safety Net to help reduce losses during sustained downward trends," the firm states in its brochure.
CIC Wealth, a financial services firm that specializes in asset management, is No. 4 on our list. The firm works with a variety of clients including individuals with and without high net worths, businesses, trusts, estates and retirement plans. The firm typically requires clients maintain a minimum asset level of $500,000.
As a fee-based firm, advisors may also be affiliated with other financial services firms. In their individual capacities, they may collect commissions from these third parties when they sell specific investment or insurance products. However, this potential conflict of interest is mitigated by the firm's fiduciary duty to act clients' best interests.
The CIC Wealth team holds a number of financial certifications, including the certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and certified private wealth advisor (CPWA) designations.
CIC Wealth Background
CIC Wealth came onto the financial services scene in 2017 and remains a wholly-owned subsidiary of CIC Wealth Holdings. The firm's CEO Ryan Wibberley and president Michael Fein are the majority owners of CIC Wealth Holdings, LLC.
CIC Wealth offers clients investment management, retirement plan advisory services and financial planning advice on saving for retirement, education planning and charitable giving.
CIC Wealth Investment Strategy
The firm’s advisors can manage an investment portfolio on your behalf and design a comprehensive financial plan based on your individual needs and goals.
CIC Wealth aims to customize your portfolio to reflect your individual circumstances such as your risk tolerance and your investment goals. The firm's investment approach is primarily focused on the long term. It does not limit itself to specific securities. Depending on your financial profile, it may invest your assets across some or all of the following:
- Mutual funds
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Options contracts
Kendall Capital Management
Fee-only firm Kendall Capital Management, the next practice on our list, has a client base mostly made up of individuals and high-net-worth individuals. The firm also works with a select number of retirement plans and charities. Kendall Capital Management, whose slogan is "Serving Middle-Class Millionaire," requires a minimum account size of $500,000.
The Kendall Capital Management team includes advisors with the certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), accredited estate planner (AEP), certified alternative investment analyst (CAIA) and financial risk manager (FRM) designations.
The firm charges asset-based fees, fixed fees and hourly fees for its advisory services. Unlike fee-based firms, Kendall Capital Management advisors do not earn commissions for selling third-party products or services.
Kendall Capital Management Background
Founded in 2005 by Clark A. Kendall, Kendall Capital Management functions as a registered investment advisor (RIA) firm. Kendall's family trust owns a majority stake in the firm, while he owns the remaining interest himself. He also serves as president and chief executive officer.
Kendall Capital Management's advisory services include financial planning, portfolio management and pension consulting.
Kendall Capital Management Investment Strategy
Kendall Capital applies a range of investment methods when offering advice. These include fundamental analysis, asset allocation, quantitative analysis, charting analysis, cyclical analysis, qualitative analysis and technical analysis. The firm has two distinct sets of investment strategies: one focused on growth and another on preservation.
This firm mainly invests in exchange-listed securities, securities traded over-the-counter, foreign issuers, warrants, corporate debt securities, commercial paper, certificates of deposit (CDs), municipal securities, variable life insurance, variable annuities, mutual fund shares and U.S. governmental securities and more.
Research Financial Strategies
Research Financial Strategies is a fee-based firm serving individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations or business entities.
The firm mainly charges asset-based fees, fixed fees and hourly fees. However, some advisors earn commissions from insuranc sales, creating a conflict of interest if they favor products with higher fees over more suitable, non-commissioned products for clients. Research Financial says it mitigates this by acting as a fiduciary for all of its clients.
Members of the Research Financial team are equipped with several certifications, including the certified financial planner (CFP) and certified public accountant (CPA) designations. The firm has a minimum account size requirement of $50,000.
Research Financial Strategies Background
Legally named Reutemann Financial Solutions, Inc., Research Financial Strategies began conducting business in 1992. The firm was founded by John F. Reutemann Jr., who has worked in financial services since 1972.
The firm provides an array of advisory services, including portfolio management, financial planning, advisor selection, publication of periodicals and educational seminars and workshops.
Research Financial Strategies Investment Strategy
This firm says it formulates investment advice using charting analysis, cyclical analysis, fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Research Financial’s investment strategies include long-term purchases, short-term purchases, trading and margin transactions.
The firm provides investment advice to clients on a variety of securities, including:
Ferguson-Johnson Wealth Management, Inc.
The seventh-ranked firm on our list, Ferguson-Johnson Wealth Management, is a fee-only practice serving high-net-worth individuals, individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.
Its staff includes one certified financial planner (CFP) and one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC).
For its advisory services, the firm charges asset-based fees and hourly fees. Ferguson-Johnson mandates that all new clients meet a minimum account size requirement of $500,000.
Ferguson-Johnson Wealth Management Background
Established in 1978, Ferguson-Johnson specializes in portfolio management and financial planning services. The firm’s financial planning services also target areas such as insurance planning, cash-flow needs, retirement planning, estate planning and more.
Derek Johnson, who holds the CRPC designation, is the firm’s majority shareholder. He has worked at Ferguson-Johnson for over 20 years.
Ferguson-Johnson Wealth Management Investment Strategy
Ferguson-Johnson says on its firm brochure that it applies a disciplined, consistent and non-speculative investment process based on a passive investment approach. The firm also believes in maintaining a long-term investment approach and diversifying across numerous asset classes. "After years of investing and exposure to virtually every investment style, we believe that a passive index investing approach is prudent as a core holding for most investors," the firm's brochure states.
The firm may also invest client assets in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which provide more flexibility to be traded throughout the day, unlike index funds or actively managed mutual funds.
Eaglestone Wealth Advisors
Eaglestone Wealth Advisors is a fee-based firm tax and wealth management practice that serves individuals, high-net-worth individuals, nonprofits, foundations, corporations, partnerships, estates, trusts and pension and profit-sharing plans.
The Eaglestone Wealth Advisors team in Rockville comprises certified public accountants (CPA), certified financial planners (CFPs), a certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and an accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).
The firm has a minimum account size requirement of $80,000. Also, keep in mind that some advisors on staff may earn commissions on the sale of certain securities or insurance products, creating a conflict of interest. However, the firm's fiduciary duty requires it to act in clients' best interests.
Eaglestone Wealth Advisors Background
Eaglestone Wealth Advisers was founded in 2007 by CEO James Warring. The company is owned by Eaglestone Tax & Wealth Advisors Inc.
The firm offers a range of comprehensive services, including tax planning and accounting, investment management and asset allocation, as well as financial planning, family office and wealth planning services.
Eaglestone Wealth Advisors Investment Strategy
Eaglesstone Wealth Advisors uses the "modern portfolio theory" as recognized by the 1990 Nobel Prize. This theory is classified as a disciplined and proven approach to investing that quantifies risk and mathematically explains why and how portfolio diversification works to reduce volatility and/or increase investment returns.
Eaglestone Wealth Advisors uses a litany of asset classes to diversify client portfolios, including large-, mid- and small-cap growth stocks, as well as large-, mid- and small-cap value stocks. The firm also may rely upon foreign equities from both developed and emerging markets, as well as corporate bonds, U.S. government bonds, real estate, alternative assets and others.
WMS Advisors is another fee-based firm that provides advice on company-sponsored retirement plans, tax-favored investment strategies, retirement projections and goal planning. The practice works primarily with individual clients with and without high net worth. However, the firm also has several retirement plans and charitable organizations as clients, as well.
The WMS Advisors team in Rockville includes two certified financial planners (CFPs) and one certified public accountant (CPA). As a fee-based firm, advisors may earn commissions for selling securities or insurance products. This presents a conflict of interest because an advisor has a financial incentive to recommend certain products and services over alternatives that may be better options for an individual client. The firm, however, is a fiduciary and is legally obligated to act in your best interests.
WMS' minimum investment is $250,000 for all clients except those who have a 529 plan, which requires just $15,000.
WMS Advisors Background
WMS Advisors was founded in December 2006. The principal owners are TWG-Advisor Grp, Inc., which is owned by David R. Williams, and TGM Capital, LLC, which is owned by Thomas MacLennan.
The firm concentrates its services on portfolio management and monitoring, as well as financial planning. Specifically, the firm can help clients pick investments, manage their cash flow and debt, save for college, plan for retirement, manage risk and set financial goals.
WMS Advisors Investment Strategy
WMS Advisors looks to manage individually tailored investment portfolios on a non-discretionary basis. This means the firm doesn't have full control to make individual transactions and decisions. The firm looks to provide continuous advice to a client regarding the investment of client funds based on the individual needs of the client.
The advice and account management a client receives largely depend on their stated objectives, like maximum capital appreciation, growth, income or tax considerations. The firm’s core portfolio strategy includes investing in the entire stock market primarily through asset class funds, ETFs, individual stocks and bonds, as well as index mutual funds. Portfolios are supplemented with other investments when appropriate, including private real estate investment trusts (REITs), non-index mutual funds, commodities funds, futures contracts, variable annuities, fixed annuities, cash/cash equivalents, CDs, and oil and gas programs.
Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions
Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions rounds out our list of the top financial advisors in Rockville, Maryland. This fee-based firm, which has a $50,000 account minimum, primarily works with individual clients above and below the high-net-worth threshold. The firm also serves a small number of charitable organizations.
Advisors at Obsidian can earn commissions on the sale of securities and/or insurance products, making the firm a fee-based practice. These third-party commissions are in addition to the fees that advisory clients pay, creating a potential conflict of interest. However, the firm and its advisors must act in your best interests.
The Obsidian team includes three certified financial planners (CFPs), two of whom also hold the certified exit planner (CExP) designation.
Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions Background
Founded in 2013, Obsidian is one of the youngest firms on our list. Founder Patrick Carroll, a CFP and CExP), owns the firm with Julie Carroll through their control of Obsidian Planning Holdings, LLC. Patrick Carroll has more than 35 years of experience in the financial planning sector.
The firm's services are focused on:
- Financial planning/consulting services
- Retirement plan consulting
- Portfolio management
- Selection of other advisers
- Wrap fee program
Obsidian Personal Planning Solutions Investment Strategy
Obsidian uses industry-standard methods of analysis to evaluate and select securities. These approaches include technical, fundamental and cyclical forms of analysis. While the firm primarily relies on model portfolios, Obsidian may engage in long-term purchases, short-term purchases, margin transactions and option writing, or even outsource your portfolio's management to a third-party money manager.