Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is a large city, so it’s no surprise that it has a multitude of financial advisor firms to choose from within its borders. Although the supply is there, having a sea of advisors to choose from can be daunting. That’s why SmartAsset has put together this list of the top 10 financial advisor firms in the city, listing their individual account minimums, services, fees and more. The SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool is a fantastic alternative to this though, and features a survey that will pair you with as many as three advisors in your area.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Buckingham Strategic Wealth Find an Advisor||$13,252,366,215||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||Acropolis Investment Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,284,920,575||$1,000,000|| || |
|3||RubinBrown Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,112,597,994||None|| || |
|4||Fiduciary Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$996,101,408||None|| || |
|5||Krilogy Financial, LLC Find an Advisor||$918,608,080||$250,000|| || |
|6||Lowenhaupt Global Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$914,667,610||$50,000,000|| |
|7||Argos Investment Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$728,271,848||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||Clayton Financial Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$715,889,277||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Mosaic Family Wealth, LLC Find an Advisor||$712,872,055||$1,000,000|| || |
|10||Visionary Wealth Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$564,000,000||$20,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in St. Louis, Missouri
For this list, we only considered firms that are located in St. Louis and are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). SEC firms are bound by fiduciary duty, so they are legally required to act in your best interests. Firms without individual accounts, financial planning services or those with legal issues on record were removed from contention. The survivors of these cuts are listed below, ordered from the most assets under management (AUM) to the least.
Buckingham Strategic Wealth
With a massive advisory team of more than 100 people, Buckingham Strategic Wealth has more than $13 billion in assets under management. The firm has more than 6,000 individual clients, most of which do not have high net worths. Beyond individuals, this firm also commonly serves charitable organizations, businesses, foundations and qualified retirement plans. Buckingham does not institute a specific minimum account size, but rather has a variable requirement based on client type.
This fee-only firm boasts the largest variety of advisor certifications. This includes 19 certified financial planners (CFPs), six certified public accountants (CPAs), five chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three chartered retirement plans specialists (CRPSs), one chartered life underwriter (CLU), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), one accredited estate planner (AEP), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), one certified plan fiduciary advisor (CPFA) and one financial paraplanner qualified professional.
Buckingham Strategic Wealth Background
Buckingham Strategic Wealth was founded in 1994. It is wholly-owned subsidiary of Focus Financial Partners, LLC, a financial services holding company that has a nationwide presence in the market at various levels.
There are a wide variety of different services you’ll find here, such as:
- Education/529 plan planning
- Cash flow planning
- Estate planning
- Tax planning/minimization
- Divorce financial planning
- Investment management
- Disability income analysis
- Retirement planning
Buckingham Strategic Wealth Investing Strategy
Buckingham does not believe in stock-picking and attempting to beat the market. Because of this, it prefers choosing reliable investments that have low fees and are generally tax-efficient. For the most part, these are mutual funds and investment grade bond portfolios.
To avoid a static portfolio, the firm makes sure to diversify your investments not only domestically, but internationally as well. In addition to using diversification to reduce volatility, Buckingham uses fixed income investments to keep as constant an influx of return as possible into your account.
Acropolis Investment Management, LLC
Acropolis Investment Management, LLC is a fee-only financial advisory firm that provides clients with individual investment programs. Acropolis charges annual fees for these services based on a percentage of your assets under management. As a fee-only firm, it doesn’t collect commissions or other forms of revenue from third parties for recommending certain products or investments over others.
This framework may reduce conflicts of interest as the advisor is not incentivized to make recommendations that may not be suitable for you in an attempt to earn more in compensation.
The firm oversees more than $1 billion in assets under management. To open an account with the Acropolis, you’d generally need a minimum investment of $1 million. The minimum drops to $500,000 for those introduced through the Schwab Advisor Network. However, SEC records show that the firm’s individual client base consists of mostly non-high-networth individuals.
Acropolis Investment Management, LLC Background
Acropolis Investment Management has been in business since 2002. It currently serves individuals, company-sponsored retirement plans and institutional clients like large corporations, banks and university endowments.
The investment management team at Acropolis boasts eight certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs), and one certified exit planning advisor. Chris Lissner, who founded the firm, serves as president, partner and portfolio manager.
Acropolis Investment Management, LLC Investing Strategy
Acropolis begins its investment advisory process by holding meetings with individual clients. The firm utilizes this time together as much relevant financial information as it can to develop a comprehensive investment strategy. This would be detailed in your personalized investment policy statement. It will detail your asset allocation based on your risk appetite, financial objectives and more.
Based on your financial profile, the firm may invest your assets in individual stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and separately-managed accounts.
RubinBrown Advisors, LLC
RubinBrown Advisors, LLC provides a range of investment advisory services to a diverse group of clients including individuals, corporate profit-sharing plans, charities and endowments. If it deems appropriate, the firm may also recommend the use of one or more third-party investment advisors.
RubinBrown currently oversees more than $1 billion in assets under management. The firm claims its strategic partnerships with institutional programs may secure for you lower investment minimums or fees than those available to individual investors.
RubinBrown Advisors, LLC Background
RubinBrown Advisors is an SEC-registered investment advisor and wholly-owned subsidiary of RubinBrown, LLP. The firm has been providing investment advisory services since 2002. Today, it manages offices in St. Louis, Denver, and Kansas City, Missouri.
The firm’s network of advisors includes certified financial planners (CFPs), certified public accountants (CPAs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and personal finance specialists (PFS).
RubinBrown Advisors is affiliated with RubinBrown Financial Services, an insurance agency. Its representatives may recommend insurance products and earn commissions. While RubinBrown Advisors doesn't receive compensation from such movies, the arrangement alone may create a conflict of interest. However, RubinBrown Advisors is obligated to always work in your best interests under its fiduciary standard.
RubinBrown Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
The firm can assist you in constructing an investment portfolio with an appropriate asset allocation based on your risk profile and financial goals. Its advisors can also create one for you utilizing mutual funds and exchange-traded funds based on your financial situation and outlook. The firm manages these portfolios on a non-discretionary basis, meaning it will request your permission before making trades in your accounts.
Depending on your situation, RubinBrown Advisors may allocate assets to the following:
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Mutual fund shares
- Investments held by the client at the start of the advisory relationship
- Separately Managed Accounts
- Certificates of deposit (CDs)
- Investment elections within variable life insurance
- Investment elections within variable annuities
If it deems the move appropriate, RubinBrown will suggest the assistance of third-party advisors. In these cases, you’d enter into a separate agreement with the third-party advisor, but RubinBrown would periodically monitor the performance of these managers.
RubinBrown also offers a program in which it would manages your portfolio with the advisory assistance of SEI Asset Management. This program would utilize only mutual funds offered by SEI.
Fiduciary Advisors, Inc.
Fiduciary Advisors, Inc. primarily works with corporate retirement plan sponsors and other major profit-sharing plans. However, it also offers financial planning and investment advisory services to individual clients. According to SEC documents, the firm works with fewer than 100 individual clients. Most of these are high-net-worth individuals.
The firm does not require a minimum initial investment for financial planning services. However, it recommends an investment of at least $250,000 for ongoing portfolio management services. The current minimum annual fee for investment advisory services is $1,500.
Fiduciary Advisors generally charges this fee as a percentage of assets under management. Depending on your balance, it can range from 0.50% to 1.00%.
Fiduciary Advisors, Inc. Background
Fiduciary Advisors, Inc. was incorporated in 2000 by John Hefele, who remains owner of the firm. Fiduciary Advisors primarily extends its services to pension, profit sharing and 401(k) plans. But the company states: “Our firm will also offer these services, where appropriate, to individuals, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations, other business entities, and government entities.
The firm’s team includes five chartered financial analysts (CFA), three accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs) and two certified public accountants (CPA). There is no certified financial planner (CPA) on board. This may stem from the fact that the main bulk of Fiduciary Advisors’ business is not focused on financial planning services for individuals.
Fiduciary Advisors, Inc. Investing Strategy
The firm’s investment philosophy is driven by modern portfolio theory. This means the firm prioritizes portfolio diversification and strategic asset allocation. Fiduciary Advisors states in an official document filed with the SEC: “Client assets are allocated among various asset classes in an attempt to capture the potential returns associated with groups of securities (asset classes) having certain characteristics.”
Depending on your risk tolerance and other factors, the firm may invest your assets on the following:
- Mutual funds
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Certificates of deposit (CDs)
- Individual bonds
Krilogy Financial, LLC
For every one high-net-worth individual Krilogy Financial, LLC works with, it has five non-high-net-worth counterparts. This disparity is indicative of the firm’s more significant focus on clientele with lower net worths than some of higher firms on this list. Its $250,000 minimum account size supports this. Estates, trusts, pension/profit-sharing plans, businesses and charitable organizations are clients of this firm as well.
This firms employs 12 certified financial planners (CFPs), seven accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), four certified public accountants (CPAs), two certified trust and financial advisors (CTFAs), one certified fund specialists (CFSs), two certified investment management analyst (CIMA), one certified IRA services professional (CISP), one certified income specialist (CIS) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
This fee-based firm employs certain advisors that sell insurance policies for commissions. However, the firm is a fiduciary, meaning it is legally bound to act in your best interests.
Krilogy Financial, LLC Background
One of the younger firms on this list, Krilogy Financial, LLC opened in 2008. Although one leader, president Kent Skornia, runs it, it’s under the ownership of holding company Krilogy Partners.
This firm offers rather nonspecific advisory services, but personalizes them to its clients’ needs. Therefore you can subscribe to offerings like financial independence, money management, tax loss planning, estate planning, investment planning and risk management.
Krilogy Financial, LLC Investing Strategy
Risk tolerance and liquidity are two of the most essential characteristics that dictate what stocks will ultimately flesh out your investment portfolio. These can sometimes be incongruent, though, as a need to gain liquidity quickly can be the antithesis of a low risk tolerance. Krilogy is prepared to handle issues related to this, as it offers both long- and short-term trading.
As far as investment choices go, this firm keeps things simple, utilizing mostly exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, bonds and equities. Because these are inherently indexed across markets, Krilogy believes this will keep your portfolio diversified from the inside out in an attempt to maintain consistency.
Lowenhaupt Global Advisors, LLC
Unlike most of the firms on this list Lowenhaupt Global Advisors, LLC specializes in single and family-office services. This means the firm provides holistic wealth and investment management services to ultra-high-net-worth families and individuals. It meets these goals by utilizing its own team of professionals as well as outsourced firms or individuals to direct a collaborative effort around managing the complex financial situations of its clients.
To work with the firm, a family generally needs a minimum investment of $50 million. The firm currently handles more than $900 million in assets under management.
Lowenhaupt Global Advisors, LLC
Lowenhaupt Global Advisors, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lowenhaupt Global Advisors Holdings. This private company is primarily owned by Charles A. Lowenhaupt. The firm also has a branch office in New York City.
The firm typically provides advisory services around the following wealth management topics:
- Family wealth transmission
- Philanthropy and family governance
- Investment-portfolio asset allocation
- Money-manager selection and monitoring
- Coordination of external legal counsel
- Accounting advice
Lowenhaupt Global Advisors, LLC Wealth Management Approach
Lowenhaupt Global Advisors aims to establish comprehensive wealth management action plans for families by meeting with each additional member. During this time, the firm gathers relevant information about financial position, goals and other factors. Clients work with a Family Office team led by a Family Office Executive. To meet client needs, the firm may work with third-party professionals or those employed by its affiliates.
However, Lowenhaupt Global Advisors works on a fee-only basis. This means it does not collect commissions from third parties for recommendations or selling investment products. Its fees are based rely on its own services. These fees are generally fixed or based on a percentage of assets under advisement. These are typically charged monthly or quarterly and typically range from 0.40% to 1%.
However, Lowenhaupt Global Advisors fees do not account for other fees clients may face such as those paid to affiliates, subadvisors or other organizations involved in investment management services.
Argos Investment Advisors, LLC
Despite the more than $700 million in assets under management at Argos Investment Advisors, LLC, the firm only has 30 individual clients, all of whom have ultra-high-net-worths. Although individual clientele is the main customer base of this firm, the charitable accounts, trusts, partnerships and other financial holdings of these individuals are also typically under its management. There is no set account minimum at this fee-only firm, though.
Two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one certified financial planner (CFP) work at this firm. It’s also the sole firm on this list to charge performance-based fees if your account overperforms.
Argos Investment Advisors, LLC Background
Although Argos Investment Advisors, LLC is entirely its own financial advisor firm, another firm called Black Swan Investments, LLC actually owns it. It has been in business since 2008.
If you’re looking for very particular advisory services at your next firm, Argos probably isn’t your best choice. Instead its service selection is fairly small and fluid, including the likes of retirement analysis, third party investment reporting, in-person investment planning, investment portfolio review and investment policy statement creation.
Argos Investment Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
“Passive index investing” is the main investment ideology to which Argos adheres. However, you will not be rigidly forced into a general portfolio style based on this strategy. Rather its advisor will take the time to build a profile for you so it can be appropriately applied to your needs. This involves identifying your liquidity needs, time horizon, tax situation and risk tolerance.
ETFs and index funds in general have become all the rage in the investment world, and for good reason. Argos has followed this strategy, although it supplements these investments with mutual funds, private equity funds, stocks, bonds, REITs, hedge funds and separately managed accounts.
Clayton Financial Group, LLC
Clayton Financial Group, LLC is distinctive in that it uses a sectioned financial advisor staff, dividing its advisors into five teams. Each group is led by one of the members of upper management and is centered around a different area of financial advising. Across the firm, there are six certified financial planners (CFPs), two accredited wealth management advisors (AWMAs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one financial paraplanner qualified professional (FPQP).
This fee-only firm has just about an equal amount of individual clients with and without a high net worth. While this by far makes up the majority of this firm’s accounts, it also has relationships with businesses, retirement plans and their sponsors. There is no minimum amount of investable assets needed to join this firm.
Clayton Financial Group, LLC Background
Along with the seventh firm, Mosaic Family Wealth, LLC, Clayton Financial Group, LLC is the most recently formed firm on this list, having been created in 2015. Principals and managing directors Kenneth and Matthew Bower own the firm, and have spent more than 30 years combined in financial services.
Retirement planning is the hallmark service of this firm, but it does have other offers. CFG can also help you identify your risk tolerance, asset allocation, investment strategies, asset selection and personal investment policy, all while keeping an eye on your portfolio’s performance.
Clayton Financial Group, LLC Investing Strategy
Modern portfolio theory, or MPT, is the essential building block of all the investment decisions that Clayton Financial Group, LLC makes. This ideology states that a portfolio’s risk tolerance and return potential must be equal in a relative sense. In other words, if you’re going to increase your risk, there must be an expected and proportional jump in return.
Because MPT inordinately lends itself to a long-term investment approach, CFG is generally interested in sticking to long-term investing rather than a more short-term approach. As a result, the firm adheres to four core investment areas for its client portfolios: equities, mutual funds, annuities and fixed income.
Mosaic Family Wealth, LLC
At $1 million, Mosaic Family Wealth, LLC has the highest minimum account size on this list. Despite this, the firm currently has more clients without high net worths than their high-net-worth counterparts. Businesses and their retirement plans will also find services at Mosaic.
The staff of 12 advisors at this firm includes certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and one chartered life underwriter (CLU).
Some of the advisors at this fee-based firm separately sell insurance policies that could earn them extra commissions. The firm is still a registered fiduciary, though.
Mosaic Family Wealth, LLC Background
Mosaic Family Wealth, LLC splits its ownership three ways among CCO Duncan Highmark, CIO Larry Shikles and director of advisory services Michelle Brown. This firm has been open since just 2015, placing it as the youngest firm on this list.
This firm has three major headings under which its advisor services are manifested: wealth management, financial consulting and retirement planning. Within these areas, you can choose which directions you want your advisor to carry your assets in.
Mosaic Family Wealth, LLC Investing Strategy
Whereas some firms will strictly follow long-term investing principles, Mosaic is open to the possibility of shorter-term investments, so long as a client’s needs actually call for it. For reference, a short-term investment is one that is held in a portfolio for less than a year.
More often than not, this would be for purposes of rebalancing the portfolio if the original asset allocation has fallen out of place. In some situations, though, a need for liquidity could create a need for short-term investments. In some even rarer situations, a short-term investment opportunity may be utilized to help you meet your long-term goals if there is a significant return to be had.
Visionary Wealth Advisors, LLC
All you’ll need to open an account with Visionary Wealth Advisors, LLC is $20,000 in investable assets, giving it the lowest set account minimum on this list. This has caused its client base to be completely skewed towards lower-net-worth individuals, as it has no high-net-worth clients at the moment. Trusts, estates, businesses and charitable organizations also have services available at the firm.
Visionary has a surprising number of advisor certifications for a generally smaller firm. More specifically, there are 24 certified financial planners (CFPs), eight chartered life underwriters (CLUs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs), four chartered mutual fund counselors (CMFCs), four chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), one chartered advisor for senior living (CASL) and one retirement income certified professional (RICP).
Some of the advisors at this fee-based firm sell insurance policies. While these can result in extra compensation, the firm is a registered fiduciary.
Visionary Wealth Advisors, LLC Background
Visionary Wealth Advisors, LLC was formed in 2014, narrowly placing it as the third most youthful firm on this list. President Timothy Hammett and CEO Brett Gilliland split ownership of the firm.
Services at Visionary are geared towards a number of different types of clients. These include:
- Trust/estate planning
- Tax mitigation
- Charitable gift planning
- Retirement planning
- Risk management
- Distribution planning
- Investment consulting
- Insurance planning
- Business planning
Visionary Wealth Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
In order to maintain a solid and sustainable portfolio of investments for its clientele, Visionary Wealth looks to keep a balance between risk and potency of the possible return of your investments. This is manifested into modern portfolio theory, which has become a staple of the investment world. It hinges on the tenet that an investor should only take on addition risk if there is the opportunity for commensurate reward.
But having a strategy to invest through is only half of the equation, as actually picking investments is the missing sect. The firm manages this decision process through technical analysis of market data and the patterns that are borne from it. Once these analyses have identified an area of the market to look into, Visionary will use cyclical analysis to find exactly which companies should be invested in.