Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in South Dakota
There are lots of investment advisor firms headquartered in South Dakota. To help you sort through the options, we’ve determined the top financial advisor firms in the entire state. We've detailed each firm’s fee schedule, investment strategy, typical clients and more below to serve as the differentiating factors that will help you decide which is the right option for you. To find a financial advisor who serves your area, try SmartAsset's free online matching tool.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Compass Financial Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$760,000,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|2||BMS Financial Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$410,120,153||$250,000|| || |
|3||Big Sioux Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$164,714,880||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
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|4||Elgethun Capital Management Find an Advisor||$532,447,906||$1,000,000|| || |
|5||Sage Capital Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$401,303,561||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Hi-Line Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$491,198,498||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||Kahler Financial Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$178,850,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||Professional Financial Services, Inc. Find an Advisor||$190,448,052||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Aspen Private Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$145,145,021||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in South Dakota, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the state. 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.
Compass Financial Group, Inc.
Taking the No. 1 spot on our list of South Dakota's top financial advisory firms is Compass Financial Group (CFG). This firm, which is based in Sioux Falls, is the largest on our list in terms of assets under management (AUM) and number of clients. CFG's client base is primarily composed of individuals without a high net worth. It also works with high-net-worth individuals and a handful of corporations and businesses.
While advisors at Compass, which doesn't have a set account minimum, won't earn commissions from selling securities to clients, some advisors are registered insurance agents and could earn commissions selling insurance. This potential conflict of interest makes the firm fee-based. However, it is still a registered fiduciary, making it legally obligated to act in the best interests of clients at all times.
Three advisors at CFG are all certified financial planners (CFPs) and chartered financial consultants (ChFCs). These advisors also hold a combination of various other certifications, including the chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA), chartered life underwriter (CLU) and retirement income certified professional (RICP) designations.
Compass Financial Group Background
Compass Financial Group was founded in 2011. It registered with the SEC as an investment advisor one year later, in 2012. In 2013, it terminated all of its individual state registrations.
John Haller, Jesse Haller and Jasen Haller are the firm's three and only principal owners. Jesse and Jasen each own 33% of the firm, while John owns 34%. John is the firm's president, whereas Jesse and Jasen are partners at the firm. Each is a certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC). The three advisors also hold a combination of various other certifications, including the chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA), chartered life underwriter (CLU) and retirement income certified professional (RICP) designations.
CFG's services encompass investment management, financial planning and pension consulting.
Compass Financial Group Investment Strategy
Compass Financial Group and its advisors develop individualized investment strategies that help clients achieve their financial and investment goals. Advisors conduct at least one meeting with each new client to determine relevant information, such as a client's tolerance for risk. They use this, along with other important financial information, to figure out how to best invest on their behalf.
The firm uses charting methods of analysis to evaluate potential investments. Once advisors settle on a proper investment plan, they typically invest using long-term purchases, short-term purchases, trading, margin transactions and option writing. Advisors use portfolio diversification to meet short- and long-term client needs, and the firm generally invests in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual stocks or bonds and other securities.
BMS Financial Advisors, LLC
BMS Financial Advisors is the next firm on our list of the top financial advisory shops in the state of South Dakota. This small, fee-based firm is located in Rapid City and has a client base built almost entirely of individuals. Of these individual clients, over three-quarters do not have a high-net-worth. When it comes to institutional clients, BMS only works with a few charitable organizations, corporations and businesses. BMS imposes a $250,000 minimum account size requirement.
As noted, BMS is a fee-based firm. BMS advisors may earn third-party commissions for selling insurance. This creates a potential conflict of interest, because advisors have a financial incentive to recommend certain services to advisory clients over others. However, the firm is a fiduciary, which means it must always act in your best interests.
BMS Financial Advisors Background
BMS Financial Advisors was founded in 2005. It first registered as an investment advisor with a handful of individual states, but terminated those registrations in 2014 in favor of an SEC registration. The founders, owners and operators of BMS are Hugh T. Boyle and Douglas A. Maher. Boyle is the firm's chief executive officer and managing member, while Maher serves as chief compliance officer, president and management member.
BMS works closely with clients to provide comprehensive wealth and investment management services, as well as financial planning. Assets are mainly managed on a discretionary basis, meaning advisors have autonomy over client accounts.
BMS Financial Advisors Investment Strategy
BMS Financial Advisors specializes in providing customized investment management solutions and strategies for its clients. The firm acknowledges that each client has a different financial situation, so it doesn't make sense to manage them all in the same fashion. By getting to know clients and their financial situations and investment goals, advisors at the firm are able to craft individualized investment mangement strategies.
Portfolios are typically constructed using mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stocks, bonds and options. However, other investments will be used if they make sense for any given client. The advisors at BMS primarily use fundamental analysis to evaluate investments. Fundamental analysis uses economic and business indicators as criteria for investment selection. Assets are deemed to be suitable investments if they meet certain criteria, incidcating that they have a value that's discounted by the market.
Big Sioux Wealth Management
Next on our list of the top finacial advisory firms in South Dakota is Big Sioux Wealth Management, a small, Watertown-based practice. Despite managing less money than other firms on our list, Big Sioux has a large client base, consisting mostly of non-high-net-worth individuals. The firm also works with a small number of high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations, corporations and businesses.
Big Sioux has two certified financial planners (CFPs) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) on staff. Certain members of the advisory team at Big Sioux are registered as broker-dealers and insurance agents, making the business a fee-based firm. These advisors can sell securities and insurance products to clients for commissions, which is a potential conflict of interest. However, the firm is a registered fiduciary, meaning that it and its advisors are legally obligated to act with the best interests of clients in mind at all times.
The firm itself collects asset-based and hourly fees from clients. Big Sioux does not impose a minimum account size.
Big Sioux Wealth Management Background
Founded in 1998, Big Sioux Wealth Management is one of the oldest firms on our South Dakota list. The firm was originally registered just with the states of South Dakota and Minnesota, but became registered with the SEC as an investment advisor in 2020. Known as Big Sioux Wealth Management or simply Big Sioux, the firm also does business as Big Sioux Investments & Insurance. The firm's majority owners, David Johnson, Janet Johnson, Ethan Johnson and Reid Johnson are unregistered. They do not provide advisory services. Dustin Padgett serves as president and chief compliance officer and is an advisor at the firm.
Big Sioux offers an array of services to clients, including securities and insurance through other arms of its business. In terms of financial advisce, the firm provides clients with asset management services, financial planning services and even offers educational seminares and workshops.
Big Sioux Wealth Management Investment Strategy
Big Sioux Wealth Management, like most other firms, tailors its investment strategies and advisory services based on the needs and objectives of its clients. By learning about a client's tolerance for risk, liquidity needs, time horizon and other important financial information, advisors learn how to effectively plan for each client's financial future and invest on their behalf.
Advisors use both fundamental and technical methods of analysis to evaluate potential investments for client portfolios. They will consider and use any types of securities that they believe will help the client achieve their financial and investment goals.
Elgethun Capital Management
Elgethun Capital Management (ECM) is a fee-only firm based in Sioux Falls. The firm works with both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as banks and thrift institutions, pension and profit sharing plans, investment companies, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations, endowments and pooled investment vehicles. The firm’s minimum account size requirement is $1 million.
As a fee-only practice, ECM advisors don't earn commissions from the sale of financial products from third-party firms. ECM and its advisors are compensated solely by the advisory fees its clients pay.
The firm has three chartered financial analysts (CFAs) on staff.
Elgethun Capital Management Background
ECM has been in business since its founding in 2003. It first registered as an investment advisor with the state of South Dakota, but then registered with the SEC in 2006. John Barker currently serves as Elgethun's president and owner.
ECM primarily provides clients with asset management and portfolio management services. It also offers financial consulting and planning services at an hourly rate. Financial planning may touch on a client's estate plan, as well as tax strategy and charitable giving.
Elgethun Capital Management Investment Strategy
ECM and its advisors seek to tailor their investment management and portfolio management services to the specific needs and objectives of its clients. This process is ongoing, so it involves learning about and staying up to date on each client's financial situation and goals, such as a client's risk tolerance or liqudity needs. By compiling this information, advisors can provide custom investment solutions and strategies.
Advisors at ECM primarily use fundamental methods of analysis to evaluate investments. They then use long-term trades, short-term trades, margin transactions, options writing and tactical and strategic asset allocation to drive growth in client portfolios.
As for securities, the firm advising clients on no-load mutual fund shares, exchange-listed securities, fixed income securities, closed-end funds and ETFs, over-the-counter securities, warrants, foreign issues and American depository units. The firm may also invest in corporate debt securities, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, municipal and U.S. government securities, options contracts, interests in partnerships, hotel interests and hedge funds.
Sage Capital Advisors, LLC
Based in Sioux Falls, Sage Capital Advisors ranks as No. 5 advisory firm in South Dakota. The practice works with both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, non-profit corporations and other financial service firms. Since advisors at Sage Capital sell insurance products to clients for commissions, it's considered fee-based. This is a potential conflict of interest, but the firm is still a fiduciary. This means that it has a legal obligation to act in the best interests of clients at all times.
There is no set account minimum at Sage Capital. Some advisors hold the chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation.
Sage Capital Advisors Background
Sage Capital was founded in 2005, officially registering with the SEC as an investment advisor in the same year. Sage is principally owned by Matthew Johnson and Diana Blair, with each owning 50% of the company. Each owns the company indirectly, Johnson through a company called Sage One Ltd. and Blair through Dblair Corporation. Blair is the firm's president and Johnson is chief investment officer.
Sage Capital Advisors works to provide clients with fully comprehensive investment management services. This includes asset management, financial planning and more.
Sage Capital Advisors Investment Strategy
Sage Capital tailors its investment management services and investment strategies to the financial situation and investment objectives of each of its clients. The firm does not stick to rigid models or benchmarks when crafting investment plans. Instead, it meets with clients to determine what they want to get out of their investment management engagement, and then develops an investment plan from there using the gathered information.
The firm typically allocates client assets to equities, fixed income instruments, mutual funds, money market funds and real estate limited partnerships. When making investment decisions, advisors apply fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Macroeconomic factors also influence the firm’s investment advice. The firm uses in-house valuation and third-party reporting when conducting research.
Hi-Line Capital Management, LLC
Watertown-based Hi-Line Capital Management is the next firm on our list of the top financial advisors in the state of South Dakota. While the majority of Hi-Line's clients are individuals, both with and without a high net worth, the vast majority of assets under management belong to charitable organizations. A small number of the firm's clients are corporations and businesses.
Hi-Line is a fee-only firm. None of its advisors earn commissions from the sale of financial products to clients, so you won't have to worry about a conflict of interest stemming from such a dynamic. One advisory on the Hi-Line team holds the certified financial planner (CFP) designation.
There is no minimum account balance requirement to work with the firm.
Hi-Line Capital Management Background
Hi-Line was founded in 2009. Prior to 2015, it was registered as an investment advisor only in the state of South Dakota. In 2015, it became reigstered with the SEC instead.
Michael E. Anderson and Kasey J. Chapin are the firm's owners and operators. Anderson serves as president and chief investment officer and Chapin is vice president, chief compliance officer, and financial advisor.
Hi-Line's services include investment advisory services, mainly portfolio management. It also provides financial planning and consulting, sub-advisory services to other investment managers and outsourced chief investment officer services.
Hi-Line Capital Management Investment Strategy
In a move that goes against a heavy industry trend among smaller financial advisory firms, Hi-Line does not tailor its investment approach to the needs to clients. Instead, the firm manages all of its accounts in a similar manner. Advisors operate on long-term time horizons and take value-based approaches to investments. Simply put, Hi-Line looks to invest in undervalued securities, usually stocks.
Hi-Line's goal is to exceed the Russell 1000 Index over a period of five to seven years. It primarily utilizes fundamental analysis to evaluate investment prospects.
Kahler Financial Group, Inc.
Based in Rapid City, Kahler Financial Group primarily serves individual clients, both above and below the high-net-worth threshold. The firm also has some businesses and at least one charitable organization as clients.
Kahler doesn't have any advisors on staff who might face a conflict of interest from selling financial products to clients in exchange for commissions. This makes the firm fee-only. Kahler also doesn't have a set account minimum for advisory services.
The Kahler team features three advisors with the certified financial planner (CFP) designation, one of whom is also a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Kahler Financial Group Background
Founded in 1983, Kahler Financial Group is the oldest firm on our list by a comfortable margin. Originally registered as an investment advisor with the state of South Dakota, it's been registered solely with SEC since 2005. The voting shares of Kahler are owned by Richard Kahler through a private trust called First American Trust. The non-voting shares of the company are owned by Richard Kahler legacy trusts, for which he serves as investment trustee.
Kahler Financial Group provides its clients with discretionary asset management services as well as holistic financial planning and portfolio management services.
Kahler Financial Group Investment Strategy
Kahler Financial Group refers to itself as client centered, and as you might guess, advisors look to tailor investment management strategies to the individual needs of their clients. Advisors first meet with clients to discuss their financial situation and investment objectives. They then can discuss what investment management options are available and make sense to the client given their situation. The firm's adheres to a four-step process of discovery, design, implementation and maintenance.
The firm generally takes a long-term approach to investing, acknowledging that big financial changes take time. Advisors recommend and use a wide variety of securities, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), government bonds, stocks and more.
Professional Financial Services, Inc.
Professional Financial Services is a fee-based practice that's ranked eighth overall on our list of top financial advisors in South Dakota. Located in Sioux Falls, Professional has a small team of advisors who oversees a client base composed entirely of individuals. Most of these individual clients do not have a high net worth, but the majority of the firm's assets under management come from its high-net-worth clients. The firm does not impose a minimum account size requirement.
The firm's small team of advisors features two certified financial planners (CFPs). They're also both insurance agents, which means they earn sales commissions. This conflict of interest is mitigated only by the firm's status as a fiduciary, which makes it and its advisors legally obligated to act in the best interests of clients.
Professional Financial Services Background
Professional Financial Services is one of the oldest firms on our South Dakota list. It was founded in 1992, but it's only been officially in business as an SEC-registered financial advisor since 2005. Kameron J. Carlson and Nancy A. Carlson are the owners of the firm.
Professional Financial Services provides its client base with asset management services, comprehensive portfolio management services, financial planning and financial consulting services. Financial planning services may touch on estate planning, insurance needs, education planning, real estate and personal financial planning.
Professional Financial Services Investment Strategy
Professional Financial Services operates in a similar manner to other financial advisory firms in that it tailors its advisory services to the financial needs and investment goals of its clients. By conducting client meetings, the firm and its advisors can figure out how each client wants their money to be managed and how they can help them meet their investment goals.
While no investments are off limits, the firm tends to create client portfolios using stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), options and mutual funds, plus other public and private securities. Advisors use a multitude of analysis methods, investing on a long-term basis, short-term basis, and even trading within 30 days of buying new investments.
Aspen Private Advisors, LLC
Aspen Private Advisors, also located in Sioux Falls, is the ninth and final firm on our list. This fee-based practice works almost entirely with individual clients. The individual client base is made up of individuals both with and without a high net worth. When it comes to institutional clients, Aspen works with a small number of retirement plans and charities. The firm doesn't currently have a set account minimum balance requirement.
Aspen Private Advisors is a fee-based firm because some advisors are also insurance agents who can earn commissions from selling insurance products to clients. This is a potential conflict of interest. However, the firm is still bound by fiduciary duty and legally obligated to act in the best interests of clients at all times. The firm has two certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff.
Aspen Private Advisors Background
Aspen Private Advisors was founded in 2015, making it one of the younger firms on our South Dakota list. In fact, it only officially registered with the SEC as an investment advisor in 2018. Todd Dathe and Jeremy Sorenson are the firm's indirect owners by way of Aspen Holdings, LLC.
The firm's primary services include portfolio management, financial planning, consulting and pension consulting. The firm provides investment management through a wrap fee program, which combines advisory and brokerage fees. Aspen will only manage assets in retirement accounts outside of its wrap fee program. Financial planning services encompass retirement planning, real estate analysis, estate planning, charitable planning, insurance analysis and education planning.
Aspen Private Advisors Investment Strategy
Aspen Private Advisors tailors its investment management services and investment strategies to the needs of its clients on an individual basis. This requires developing personal relationships with all clients so that advisors can determine their investment objectives and overall financial situations. The firm contracts with FeeX Inc. to help create portfolios, so client have access to any securities made available by the firm's arrangement with FeeX.
Aspen uses asset allocation to enhance investment return rates. The firm generally invests in stocks, bonds, cash equivalents, commodities, real estate, derivatives, insurance products, foreign currency, venture capital and private equity.