Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Tennessee
You’re not about to entrust your wealth with just anyone. But with so many financial advisors out there, how do you choose one? To help you narrow the field, we did some of the initial research for you, collecting a number of important factors - fundamentals such as assets under management (AUM), fees and investment strategy. Then we put all the info together, here, for convenient comparing and contrasting. Start your search with this list of the top financial advisor firms in Tennessee. Then use SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool to personalize your search.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Legacy Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$ 1,225,200,390|| |
| || |
|2||CapWealth Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$ 1,017,356,826||No minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo minimum
|3||Reliant Investment Management Find an Advisor||$ 927,944,531||$500,000|| || |
|4||Patriot Investment Management Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$ 863,130,925|| |
No set account minimum
| || |
No set account minimum
|5||Telarray Find an Advisor||$ 808,280,690||$500,000|| || |
|6||Woodmont Investment Counsel, LLC Find an Advisor||$ 715,070,626|| |
Varies based on account type
| || |
Varies based on account type
|7||Waddell & Associates Find an Advisor||$ 691,456,318||$500,000; or $5,000 for robo-advising|| || |
Minimum Assets$500,000; or $5,000 for robo-advising
|8||Rather & Kittrell, Inc. Find an Advisor||$661,864,079|| |
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|9||PYA Waltman Capital, LLC Find an Advisor||$ 630,844,484||$500,000|| || |
|10||Private Wealth Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$590,634,796||$1,000,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Tennessee
For this list, we only considered financial advisor firms in Tennessee that are registered fiduciaries with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We removed from consideration any advisory practices that have had a disclosure or disciplinary issue within the last 10 years or whose individual accounts make up less than half of their client base. The top 10 firms are listed here, sorted by AUM, from highest to lowest.
Legacy Wealth Management Inc.
At the top of our list, Legacy Wealth Management has almost $1.23 billion assets under management. Its team includes 14 certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified financial analysts (CFAs), one certified and trust advisor (CTFA), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one financial paraplanner qualified professional (FPQP). (Advisors may have multiple accreditations.)
At the fee-only Memphis firm, there are twice as many clients who are not high net worth as those who are (667 to 328). Legacy Wealth also serves a limited number of corporate pensions, 401(k) and profit-sharing plans, foundations, endowments and both state and municipal government entities. The minimum investment is $500,000.
Legacy Wealth Management Background
John Ueleke founded the firm in 1982 as one of the first fee-only firms in the area. Although he’s no longer part of the company, Legacy Wealth Management still operates on his founding principles of clients, commitment to honesty and integrity, compassion and culture. The practice is currently owned by nine employees, including President and CEO Jim Isaacs and Managing Director Duncan Miller.
Legacy Wealth offers portfolio management and financial planning. It can provide guidance in such areas as cash flow, debt management, budgeting, risk management, education planning, tax planning, retirement planning, early retirement-offer evaluations, deferred compensation planning and estate planning.
Legacy Wealth Management Investment Strategy
This firm is a proponent of globally diversified portfolios, stating on its website its belief that “a diversified portfolio is a sound portfolio.” Most client portfolios are invested in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs.
According to recent SEC data, assets under its management were allocated as:
- 37% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
- 27% in non-exchange-traded equity securities
- 20% in state and local bonds
- 7% in investment-grade corporate bonds
- 6% in alternative investments
- 3% in cash and cash equivalents
CapWealth Advisors, LLC
CapWealth Advisors has been in business since 2000, though it originally went by a longer name (Capital Trust Wealth Management). Its founder, Tim Pagliara, was featured in Barron’s as the “No.1 Financial Advisor in Tennessee” in 2018, while Forbes named him “Best-in-State Wealth Advisors” the same year.
Located in Franklin, the fee-only firm manages more than $1 billion in assets mostly on a discretionary basis. In addition to Pagliara, the team of advisors includes three certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one certified public accountant (CPA).
Almost twice as many of CapWealth’s clients are not high-net-worth individuals as those who are. The practice also serves charitable organizations, corporations and other businesses. It has no minimum account size requirement, though it does have a minimum $1,000 annual fee, which can be waived at the firm’s discretion.
CapWealth Advisors Background
Through his CapWealth Group, LLC, Pagliara is the majority owner of the firm. President and CEO Phoebe Venable has a small stake.
The firm primarily provides investment management services on a discretionary basis. It generally collects a performance-based fee on accounts that are more than $1,000,000. A much smaller part of CapWealth’s business is on a non-discretionary basis, where the firm provides recommendations but not supervisory services.
CapWealth Advisors Investment Strategy
CapWealth has developed three model strategies: equity income, growth and income and growth. Clients' portfolios may contain a combination of the strategies. The firm primarily uses fundamental analysis in its securities selection process.
As of its most recent SEC filings, assets under CapWealth’s management were allocated as:
- 68% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
- 16% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
- 8% in cash and cash equivalents
- 3% in investment-grade corporate bonds
- 2% in state and local bonds
- 2% in warrants and limited
- 1% in U.S. government and agency bonds
Reliant Investment Management, LLC
With more than $ 927.9 million in assets under management, Reliant Investment Management is based in Memphis and has a branch office in Shreveport, Louisiana. Its team of six advisors includes two chartered financial advisors (CFAs) and two certified financial planners (CFPs).
The fee-only firm requires at least $500,000 to open an account. It works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations, government entities and corporations.
Reliant Investment Management Background
Reliant Investment is a family shop, with Susan Huffman and John Huffman as founders and owners. Employees Lon Magness and Dennese Black have small stakes.
In business since 2001, the firm provides investment management and consulting services. It offers a wrap fee program, where transaction and other costs are all bundled into one fee.
Reliant Investment Management Investment Strategy
Reliant Investment Management applies a number of methods of analysis when selecting securities, including fundamental analysis, technical analysis and charting. The firm aims to discern the overall economic health of a company or entity, rather than focus exclusively on stock price movement.
The firm recommends a range of investments, including but not limited to stocks, bonds, debt securities, option contracts, futures contracts, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and money-market instruments. As of recent SEC data, assets under the firm’s management were allocated as:
- 41% in U.S. government and agency bonds
- 24% in investment-grade corporate bonds
- 20% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
- 8% in state and local bonds
- 7% in cash and cash equivalents
Patriot Investment Management Group, Inc.
Located in Knoxville, Patriot Investment Management Group manages more than $863.1 million in assets. Its team includes eight certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA). (Advisors may have multiple professional accreditations.)
With no minimum investment required, the vast majority of the fee-only firm’s clients are not high-net-worth individuals. It also serves pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities.
Patriot Investment Management Group Background
Patriot Investment has been providing investment advisory services since 1992. It’s principally owned by Brad Bower, the firm’s president and CEO.
Patriot Investment Management describes itself as "quarterback" for its clients, coordinating efforts between its accountants, attorneys and any other professionals with whom the firm works. The firm offers asset management, as well as financial planning and wealth management. The latter may include:
- Risk management and insurance analysis
- Asset allocation and portfolio management
- Tax planning
- Education planning
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning and trust management
Patriot Investment Management Group Investment Strategy
Patriot Investment says that it believes in taking a "conservative, prudent approach to investing, and earning attractive, risk-adjusted returns over the long term." It emphasizes diversification and asset allocation. It eschews market timing, and arguing that actively managed funds have historically underperformed and resulted in higher fees, CapWealth primarily builds client portfolios with index funds, which align with the firm's emphasis on cost efficiency.
According to recent SEC data, assets under the firm’s management were mostly (87%) allocated to securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies. The rest were invested in exchange-traded equity securities (8%) and cash and cash equivalents (5%).
Telarray is a fee-only Memphis firm that has nearly $808.3 million in assets under management. In business since 2005, it has 10 advisors managing almost 600 accounts. The team includes four certified public accountants (CPAs), three personal financial specialists (PFSs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one certified financial planner (CFP). (Advisors may have multiple professional accreditations.)
Telarray serves almost twice as many non-high-net-worth individuals as high-net-worth ones. It has a $500,000 minimum investment, though it may be waived under certain circumstances. While the firm offers limited financial planning, its parent company, CPA firm Financial Strategy Group (FSG), provides tax and estate planning services. The practice also serves charitable institutions, foundations, trusts, profit-sharing plans and retirement plans.
Founders John “Cliff” Paessler and Michael “Andy” Shaul own the firm, along with nine employees and the McGehee family. Paessler is Telarray’s president and chief manager, while Shaul focuses more on FSG, where he serves as the managing member.
Telarray Investment Strategy
Telarray advisors primarily use strategic asset allocation with global diversification. It constructs portfolios with passive index funds, but when deemed appropriate, may employ a more active approach termed Telarray Trend (T2T), which involves underweighting or overweighting asset classes relative to their target weights. The firm does not use alternative asset classes such as managed futures, hedge funds, privately held real estate, precious metals or commodities.
According to recent SEC data, assets under Telarray’s management were allocated primarily (88%) to securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies. The rest were invested in exchange-traded equity securities (10%) and cash and cash equivalents (2%).
Woodmont Investment Counsel, LLC
Woodmont Investment Counsel is a fee-only, employee-owned financial advisor firm with nearly $715.1 million in assets under management. Three chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and a chartered investment counselor (CIC) are employed at Woodmont.
Depending on whether you’re looking for an equity/balanced account or a fixed-income account, you’ll need a minimum account size of $750,000 or $1 million, respectively. The client base is roughly evenly split between clients who are and aren’t high net worth. The Nashville-based firm also serves trusts, estates, charitable organizations, retirement plans, corporations and similar business organizations. It also advises hedge fund Teleion Fund I.
Woodmont Investment Counsel Background
Paul H. Kuhn, who has 42 years of experience in asset management, is a co-founder of Woodmont Investment Counsel and the firm’s principal emeritus. The practice has been around since 2000, and its six advisors average almost 22 years in the financial industry.
As mentioned earlier, Woodmont provides advisory services to the Teleion Fund I. In this capacity, it receives performance-based fees from clients who invest in the fund. Otherwise, fees for its investment advisory services are only based on the market value of assets under management.
Woodmont also offers financial planning that covers tax mitigation, estate planning, retirement planning and investing advice.
Woodmont Investment Counsel Strategy
Woodmont Investment Counsel believes that diversified asset allocations are central to growing your invested assets. The firm uses ETFs, index funds, mutual funds, stocks and bonds in its client portfolios. It may also place your money in pooled investments such as the Teleion Fund I.
According to recent SEC data, assets under Woodmont’s management were allocated as:
- 40 % in non-exchange-traded equity securities
- 17% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
- 16% in cash and cash equivalents
- 8% in U.S. government and agency bonds
- 8% in investment-grade corporate bonds
- 6% in state and local bonds
- 3% in securities Issued by pooled investment vehicles (other than registered investment companies or business development companies)
- 1% in sovereign bonds
- 1% in non-investment-grade corporate bonds
Waddell & Associates, LLC
Fee-only firm Waddell & Associates has a main office in Memphis and a branch in Nashville. Managing nearly $691.5 million in assets, the team includes eight certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs) three certified public accountants (CPAs) three personal financial specialists (PFSes), three certified divorce financial analysts (CDFAs), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) and three financial paraplanner qualified professionals (FPQPs). (Advisors may have multiple professional accreditations.)
About 20% of the client base is high-net-worth individuals. The rest are non-high-net-worth individuals. The firm also serves corporate pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable institutions, foundations, endowments and corporations. There is a $500,000 investment minimum, though the robo-advisor account minimum is $5,000.
Waddell & Associates Background
CEO David Waddell founded his namesake firm (originally incorporated rather than an LLC) in 1986. He and two other employees have small stakes, but the majority owner is Focus Financial Partners, LLC, a public company traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.
The practice offers investment management, robo-advisory services, financial planning and consulting. It also provides employee benefit retirement plan services to 401(k) pension plan trustees.
Waddell & Associates Investment Strategy
As a client of the firm, you’re likely to have your money managed in a model portfolio. This means the firm has already developed several template portfolios to fit specific financial needs and situations. This differs from some firms that will create your portfolio completely from scratch. The primary investments made at Waddell are no-load mutual funds, ETFs, individual securities, money market funds and CDs, corporate bonds, U.S. treasury bonds and municipal bonds.
For those with less than $500,000, the firm offers access to its robo-advising platform called W&Ai. This is the Schwab Intelligent Portfolio. Trading and rebalancing is determined by an algorithm. Your money is managed digitally without hands-on management, resulting in lower fees and minimums.
As of its recent SEC filings, assets under the firm’s management were invested as:
- 45% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
- 43% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
- 9% in cash and cash equivalents
- 2% in state and local bonds
- 1% in non-exchange-traded equity securities
- 1% in U.S. government and agency bonds
- 1% in investment-grade corporate bonds
- 1% in non-investment-grade corporate bonds
- 1% in structured notes
Rather & Kittrell, Inc.
Located in Knoxville, Rather & Kittrell specializes in serving those who are going through transitions. Its clients include individuals, families, businesses, banks and pension and profit-sharing plans. About one-third of its individual clients are high net worth individuals, with the rest being non high net worth. The firm has an account minimum of $500,000.
The firm manages more than $728.2 million in assets on both discretionary and non-discretionary bases. Its team includes seven certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF). (Advisors may have multiple professional accreditations.)
Rather & Kittrell Background
Rather & Kittrell started in 2000 as a “two-desk business.” It’s indirectly owned (through RK Holdings, Inc.) by the firm's co-founders, Lytle Rather and Christian Kittrell. Both still work at the practice. COO Greg McMurry has a small stake.
Investment management services are on a fee basis, but advisors who are registered representatives of broker-dealers or insurance agents may receive commissions in their other capacities. In addition to portfolio management and insurance, the firm offers financial planning and consulting.
Rather & Kittrell Investment Strategy
For its discretionary accounts, the firm typically relies on its model allocations, which offer 11 different risk profiles that range from a focus on preserving capital to achieving aggressive growth. The firm says that its core investment strategy consists of "globally diversified, multi-asset class model portfolios designed to deliver expected long-term returns within well-defined ranges of risk." In accordance with Modern Portfolio Theory's assertion that the markets are efficient, the firm primarily uses passive investments in entire asset classes, including managed mutual funds and ETFs.
As of recent SEC data, assets under the firm’s management were primarily (90%) invested in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies. The rest were invested in exchange-traded equity securities (5%) and cash and cash equivalents (5%).
PYA Waltman Capital, LLC
Pya Waltman Capital is a fee-only advisory firm in Knoxville with more than $630.8 million in assets under management. Among the firm’s five advisors, there are three certified financial planners (CFPs), three certified public accountants (CPAs) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA). (Advisors may have multiple professional certifications.)
The firm works with more than twice as many individuals who are not high net worth as ones who are. It also serves pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations. The minimum investment is $500,000, and accounts can be on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis.
PYA Waltman Capital Background
PYA Waltman Capital was established in 2005, and its principal owners are J. William Waltman, Jr. and Douglas Yoakley. They serve as president and wealth management consultant, respectively.
The firm provides investment supervisory services, investment management services, retirement plan consulting services and financial planning services. It also offers a wrap fee program, where all management and transaction costs are bundled into one fee. One of its advisors is an insurance agent and receives commissions in that capacity. Also, the firm receives performance-based fees for accounts that hold $1 million or more.
PYA Waltman Capital Investment Strategy
In analyzing securities, PYA Waltman uses fundamental analysis, which takes into account the economic wellbeing of a company or financial entity instead of looking only at its price movements. The firm may utilize long-term purchases (held at least a year), short-term purchases (held less than a year) and trading (held less than 30 days). Also, if appropriate, it may employ long-term call options or put options.
According to its recent SEC filings, assets under the firm’s management were allocated primarily (82%) to securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies. The rest were invested in exchange-traded equity securities (14%) and cash and cash equivalents (4%).
Private Wealth Management, Inc.
You'll need at least $1 million to become a client at Private Wealth Management. With more than $590.6 million in assets under management, the fe-only firm almost exclusively serves high-net-worth individuals.
At the Memphis firm, the client-to-advisor ratio is very low: less than 20 to 1. Accounts are on a non-discretionary basis only.
Private Wealth Management Background
Joseph Horner and Scott Robbins founded the firm in 2002. The former is the majority owner, while the latter has a smaller stake.
The firm provides investment management, financial planning and tax preparation services. As mentioned earlier, its clients are almost entirely high-net-worth individuals, though the firm also works with a few non-high-net-worth individuals and charitable organizations. Certain clients may enter an arrangement where fees are performance-based.
Private Wealth Management Investment Strategy
For client portfolios, Private Wealth Management typically looks for mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that align with each client’s investment objectives and risk tolerance. Additionally, the firm may select or recommend independent money managers (or sub-advisors). When doing this, the firm examines the manager's historical performance and relationship with risk, as well as his or her investment philosophy and style.
According to recent SEC data, assets under the firm’s management were invested as:
- 54% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
- 22% with money managers who specialize in specific asset categories (i.e., large cap value, small cap, etc.)
- 14% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
- 10% in cash and cash equivalents