Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Salt Lake City, Utah
When it’s time for you to find a financial advisor in your city, you won’t lack for options. Salt Lake City has a number of quality firms to choose from. That’s why SmartAsset spent hours researching this list of the top financial advisors in Salt Lake City. Below we give you the details on the top nine to help make your decision easier.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Albion Financial Group Find an Advisor||$969,300,400||$25,000|| || |
|2||The Insight Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$562,862,800||$1,000,000|| || |
|3||Crewe Advisors Find an Advisor||$381,649,700||$2,000,000|| || |
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|4||First Western Advisors Find an Advisor||$270,493,500||None|| || |
|5||Jacobsen Capital Management Find an Advisor||$210,660,200||$1,000,000|| || |
|6||Financial Insight Center Find an Advisor||$198,807,400||$100,000|| || |
|7||Smedley Financial Services Find an Advisor||$186,455,700|| |
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|8||Narus Financial Partners Find an Advisor||$184,963,100|| |
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|9||Iron Gate Global Advisors Find an Advisor||$111,309,200|| |
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How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Salt Lake City, Utah
The list contains firms that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC). These firms are the largest in the area. This means they fall under SEC jurisdiction and are required to follow regulations and reporting requirements. Firms with disclosures or disciplinary issues were cut from the list as well as any that didn’t manage individual accounts. The final list is ordered from most assets under management to the least.
Albion Financial Group
Topping the Salt Lake City list is Albion Financial Group, a fee-based firm founded in 1982 that has $969 million in assets under management. This firm is tied for the oldest on the list along First Western Advisors (No. 4) and Smedley Financial Services (No. 7). Seven advisors work at Albion Financial Group and services offered include investment management, wealth management and retirement plan services. Potential clients will need at least $25,000 to start an account.
Albion Financial Group Background
Albion Financial Group has three co-founders/owners: William “Toby” Levitt, John Bird and Doug Wells. Levitt serves as the CEO of the firm. Bird, the president, has a number of credentials including the certified financial planner (CFP) designation and the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation and also an MBA. The third owner, Wells, has an MBA from Stanford and co-hosts two radio shows “Mountain Money” and “The Bottom Line.”
Albion has 21 additional employees, including advisors and support staff. There are four additional CFPs, five employees with MBAs and one chartered life underwriter (CLU). This firm has one of the highest concentrations of advanced degrees we’ve seen in a firm of this size.
Albion Financial Group Unique Services
In addition to typical financial advisor services, such as investment management and wealth management, Albion offers two specialized products: Albion Wealth Builder and Women of Albion. The former is aimed at those who don’t have the $100,000-plus generally required for investment management services. Instead, as long as you have at least $25,000, you can receive the same investment research that clients with much larger accounts receive.
Women of Albion is an initiative where the women advisors and investment team members lend their expertise to women clients. This includes financial planning, divorce planning, portfolio management, family office services and more. The targeted clients for this include female professionals, mothers, grandmothers, divorcees and widows.
The Insight Group
Asking $1 million for new client accounts, The Insight Group has the second-highest asset minimum on the list after Crewe Advisors (the No. 3 firm). Insight Group, founded in 1993, has $562 million in assets under management and has six advisors. The firm has two bespoke services: investment management and financial planning. Positioning itself as an “independent, boutique wealth management firm,” Insight Group is fee-based, which means that the advisors can make money from selling you certain mutual funds, insurance or other products. That said, the firm is still a fiduciary, which means client interests are required to come before the firm’s interests.
The Insight Group Background
Mark Matley and Paul Salisbury founded the firm in 1993 and remain the sole owners. Matley is a former Wall Street analyst and has a degree in economics from Brigham Young University. He’s a chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and a chartered life underwriter (CLU). Paul Salisbury has more than 30 years of experience as an independent investment advisor. He is a certified financial planner (CFP), ChFC and CLU. He has a degree in finance from the University of Utah. Ten people work for Insight Group including one additional CFP and another advisor with ChFC and CLU credentials.
The Insight Group Investment Strategy
Insight states that it developed its investment approach from “disciplined behavioral and analytical research, focusing on the psychology of an individual investor, as well as the trends that impact worldwide financial markets and investment managers.” The firm uses five main principles when managing your portfolio: asset allocation, portfolio structure, tax management multiple specialist managers and continuous portfolio management. Portfolio expenses are usually around 0.3%, which Insight states is much lower than the industry standard.
Third on the list is another fee-based firm, Crewe Advisors. The firm has the highest asset minimum, asking new clients for at least $2 million in investable assets to open a new account. Formed in 2014, Crewe Advisors is the newest on the list along with Narus Financial Partners (No. 8). Crewe Advisors has $381 million in assets under management and has seven advisors.
The firm offers portfolio management, estate planning, retirement services, tax planning and more. You can find Crewe Advisors just south of Capitol Hill on South Temple.
Crewe Advisors Background
The three primary owners, Ryan Halliday, Dan Sudit and Dustin Thackeray, formed the firm in 2014. Halliday is the managing partner. He has more than 17 years of experience in financial services, including investments, insurance, taxes and estate planning. He has master’s of finance degree from Walsh College. Sudit also has over 17 years of experience, however, his area of expertise is taxes. He has a LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown University Law. Thackeray serves as the chief investment officer of Crew Advisors. He is a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
The firm has 10 additional staff members, including one certified financial planner (CFP) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
Crewe Advisors Investment Strategy
Advisors at Crewe use fundamental analysis, technical analysis and quantitative analysis to evaluate investment securities. The firm uses a variety of investment strategies typical at most financial advisor firms, including long-term trading, short-term trading, short sales, margin transactions, pooled investment vehicles and options trading.
Each portfolio is individualized, a service that’s usually only found at firms with high asset minimums (like Crewe’s $2 million requirement). This means your advisor will get to know your “financial needs, tax circumstances, family dynamic, lifestyle objectives and risk tolerance” before developing your personalized investment plan.
First Western Advisors
With 18 advisors, First Western Advisors has the biggest staff out of the nine Salt Lake City firms we profiled. It’s the only firm to accept clients without enforcing a minimum asset fee or annual fee minimum requirement. More than three-quarters of clients are individuals with investable assets below $750,000, making this firm more accessible to the average client.
First Western Advisors has $270 million in assets under management and is fee-based, like the first three firms on our list. The firm has been in business since 1982 and offers financial planning, Social Security review, mutual funds, retirement planning and more.
First Western Advisors Background
Gary Teran is the founder and sole owner of First Western Advisors. Teran has a finance degree from the University of Utah and a MBA in accounting and finance from the same institution. Prior to founding the firm, he worked at Sorenson Research/Abbott Laboratories. Teran is a former certified public accountant (CPA).
The team includes three certified financial planners (CFPs).
First Western Advisors Investment Strategy
First Western Advisors uses modern portfolio theory, the common theory among most financial advisors. The theory advocates asset allocation and diversification as the two ways to make portfolios successful over time. When evaluating securities, First Western uses fundamental, technical and cyclical analysis. Each type of analysis covers a different aspect of the company’s performance and financials.
Depending on your financial goals and objectives, your assets may be invested in one of First Western Advisor’s portfolio strategies or invested in an individualized portfolio or with a third party money manager. The firm uses actively managed funds, ETFs, individual stocks and closed-end funds for your portfolio. Additionally, your portfolio is globally diversified across various investment sectors and categories.
Jacobsen Capital Management
This fee-based firm of two advisors has the fewest advisors out of any of the firms on our list, with just two on the four-person staff. Jacobsen Capital Management, established in 2001, has $210 million in assets under management and has a $1 million minimum asset requirement for new clients to join the firm.
Financial services offered here include portfolio management, estate planning, business succession planning and tax consulting and preparation. Half of this firm’s staff are certified public accountants (CPAs), indicating an expertise in tax matters.
Jacobsen Capital Management Background
Eric and Amy Jacobsen own the firm. Eric is the principal, founder and chief compliance officer. He owns Jacobsen Capital and Goalen Financial Advisors. Before founding Jacobsen, he was a registered representative for Equity Services, Inc and The MONY Group.
Three additional employees work for the firm including a two certified public accountants (CPAs), one with personal financial specialist (PFS) credentials and one certified financial planner (CFP). The only major designation missing is chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Jacobsen Capital Management Investment Strategy
If you engage this firm for investment management, your portfolio will primarily consist of mutual funds, ETFs or separate accounts. This firm relies heavily on mutual fund/ETF portfolios, unlike the first four financial advisors on this list. However, the firm does use stocks and bonds in some accounts.
When creating your investment policy statement (IPS), the document that guides your portfolio, Jacobsen considers your financial goals and objectives, risk tolerance, tax situation, time horizon and cash flow requirements. That means each portfolio is individually tailored to best suit each client’s situation.
Financial Insight Center
This fee-based firm shares two owners with The Insight Group (the No. 2 firm). Financial Insight Center allows you to become a client with $100,000 in investable assets, rather than The Insight Group’s $1 million requirement. Financial Insight Center has 11 advisors and has been in business since 2010. The firm has $198 million in assets under management and offers financial planning, wealth and investment management services.
Financial Insight Center Background
This firm is majority owned by Mark Matley and Paul Salisbury, the same owners of The Insight Group. Matley is a chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and a chartered life underwriter (CLU). Salisbury is a certified financial planner (CFP), ChFC and CLU. The pair founded The Insight Group in 1993 and Financial Insight Center in 2010.
Financial Insight Center’s minority owner is Charles “Chuck” Cutler. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. He’s also a ChFC and CLU. Before Financial Insight, he was a senior executive at Beneficial Financial Group and a managing director at The MONY Group.
The firm’s team of 12 includes four CFPs.
Financial Insight Center’s Insight Retirement Clarifier™
Financial Insight uses a proprietary process for financial planning called The Insight Retirement Clarifier. This service starts with a four-part process. The first step is the “discovery process and personal assessment.” The firm uses a digital tool called the discovery board where you’ll capture your goals, desires, financial choices and risks.
Step two is called cooperative evaluation. Advisors will show you how you can use your money and resources to achieve your objectives now as well as in the future.
The third step is plan implementation. This means your plan is put into place. The fourth and final step is monitoring and adjustment. The firm recognize that situations and goals change. That means you’ll have ongoing consultation and online tools to help you see where you’re making progress and that allow you to make changes when needed.
Smedley Financial Services
Smedley Financial Services is another firm that’s been around since the early 1980s. With $186 million in assets under management, the firm is No. 7 on our list. Smedley Financial Services has five advisors and allows clients to open an account if they meet the $25,000 minimum. Services offered include financial planning, retirement planning, 401(k) rollovers, Social Security planning and women-oriented wealth management.
Smedley Financial Services Background
Roger Smedley is the founder, majority owner and CEO of the firm. He’s a certified financial planner (CFP) and has an MBA from University of Utah.
Sharla Jessop, president, is a Smedley Financial Services shareholder. She’s also a CFP and has more than 27 years of experience in financial services.
In addition to Smedley and Jessop, the firm has five employees, including an additional CFP and a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Smedley Financial Services Investment Management
One aspect to consider about this firm is that it uses model portfolios. This means set, templated portfolios that your assets are invested in depending on your financial objectives. The firm has more than 15 model portfolios, more than almost every firm we’ve researched that provides models. Each portfolio corresponds with a certain goal, such as growth, conservative risk or cash flow. The main three types are proactive portfolios, designed for risk-averse, market-driven investments, phase portfolios, created for income distribution planning and tax-efficient portfolios, with a goal to maximize after-tax returns. All portfolios except tax-efficient income, tax-efficient growth and tax-efficient growth and income require $25,000 to open. The remaining three portfolios require at least $50,000.
Narus Financial Partners
Founded in 2014, Narus Financial Partners is the youngest firm on this list along with Crewe Advisors (No. 3). The firm has four advisors and $184 million in assets under management. Fee-based firm Narus Financial Partners offers services such as asset management, financial planning, retirement planning, education planning and investment consulting. To become a client, you’ll need at least $250,000 in investable assets.
Narus Financial Partners Background
Benjamin Merryman is the co-founder and primary owner of the firm. He comes from a wealthy family, where he got his start managing wealth and business matters. Jared Stubbs, co-founder and minority owner, is the firm’s CEO. He has more than 20 years of financial industry experience and previously worked at Fidelity Investments, Goldman Sachs and Guardian Wealth Management. He has a certified wealth strategist (CWA) and has an MBA from University of Utah.
Trent Bowers is the chief investment officer and a co-founder. He is a certified financial planner (CFP) and previously worked at Charles Schwab. Curtis Lamb is another co-founder and minority owner of the firm. He’s a personal wealth advisor at Narus Financial Partners and has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Before Narus, he was an investment consultant at Fidelity Investments and a branch manager at Charles Schwab. He has an MBA in finance from Westminster College.
The firm has two additional employees: a chief compliance officer and a director of operations and technology.
Narus Financial Partners Investment Management
Narus uses fundamental, qualitative and technical analysis to formulate investment advice. The firm provides advice on a wide range of investments, including: mutual funds, ETFs, exchange-listed securities, securities traded over-the-counter, municipal securities, U.S. government securities, options contracts on securities, options contracts on commodities and American depository receipts (ADRs).
According to Narus’ SEC brochure, the firm’s “ advisory services are always provided based on your individual needs. This means, for example, that when we provide asset management services, you are given the ability to impose restrictions on the accounts we manage for you, including specific investment selections and sectors.” That means your portfolio is tailored to your individual financial needs and objectives. The firm does not have set model portfolios, such as Smedley Financial Services (No. 7).
Iron Gate Global Advisors
Iron Gate Global Advisors is the first - and only - fee-only firm on this list of the top Salt Lake City financial advisors. Fee-only means that the firm does not receive compensation from selling you products such as insurance or mutual funds. It’s the hardest compensation model to meet as the firm can only make money from hourly charges or asset management percentages.
Iron Gate has $111 million in assets under management and three advisors. Established in 1999, the firm offers portfolio management and financial planning, but specializes primarily in portfolio management.
Iron Gate Global Advisors Background
Franz Amussen and Brian Hunsaker are the founders and owners of Iron Gate Global (which is the business name of Amussen, Hunsaker & Associates, LLC). Amussen is listed as the CEO of the firm on its Form ADV filed with the SEC. He’s a certified public accountant (CPA) and was appointed to the Utah Committee of Consumer Services by the Utah governor. Hunsaker has over 25 years of experience managing client portfolios. Before he started the firm, he worked for First Security Investor Services, US Bancorp Piper Jaffray and Boettcher & Company.
The firm has two additional employees: a portfolio manager and an account manager. It is the only firm on the list without any certified financial planners (CFPs).
Iron Gate Global Advisors Investment Management
Iron Gate Global Advisors use three primary investing strategies: global investing, value investing and alpha and income. Your portfolio may consist of stocks, bonds, money market funds, certificates of deposit, corporate bonds, government bonds, preferred stock, commodities, real estate investment trusts and oil and gas pipeline partnerships.
The firm says it looks for companies that are in sectors or industries that the advisors understand, have an competitive advantage, have quality management teams, have advantageous pricing and increase value continually. The firm uses fundamental, technical and probability analysis methods to evaluate these companies. Each of these methods help advisors understand the company prior to investment.