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 connect with up to three advisors in your area.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Legacy Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$1,487,801,654||$500,000|| || |
|2||CapWealth Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,170,906,551||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|3||Reliant Investment Management Find an Advisor||$1,116,738,506||$500,000|| || |
|4||Patriot Investment Management Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,078,001,643||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||Telarray Find an Advisor||$913,377,343||$500,000|| || |
|6||Rather & Kittrell, Inc. Find an Advisor||$878,694,418||$500,000|| || |
|7||Woodmont Investment Counsel, LLC Find an Advisor||$841,616,414||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|8||Patton, Albertson & Miller Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$821,659,932||$1,000,000|| || |
|9||Waddell & Associates Find an Advisor||$805,030,564||$500,000|| || |
|10||PYA Waltman Capital, LLC Find an Advisor||$754,600,955||$500,000|| || |
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 firms are listed here, sorted by AUM, from highest to lowest. All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Legacy Wealth Management
At the top of our list is Legacy Wealth Management. Its team includes certified financial planners (CFPs), MBAs, certified financial analysts (CFA), JDs and lots more (Advisors may have multiple accreditations).
At the fee-only Memphis firm, most of the individual client base are people who do not have a high net worth. Legacy Wealth also serves pensions, profit-sharing plans, corporations, charities and municipal government entities. The minimum investment is generally $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 its 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 Investing Strategy
Legacy Wealth Management 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.
CapWealth Advisors, LLC 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, CapWealth is a fee-only firm. In addition to Pagliara, the team of advisors includes several certified financial planners (CFPs) and a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
CapWealth’s clients are both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals. The practice also serves charitable organizations. 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 CapWealth Advisors.
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 Advisors 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.
Reliant Investment Management
Reliant Investment Management is based in Memphis and has a branch office in Shreveport, Louisiana. Its team of advisors includes both chartered financial analysts (CFA) and certified financial planners (CFPs).
The fee-only firm requires at least $500,000 to open an account. It works with 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. Employee Lon Magness has a small stake.
In business since 2001, the firm provides investment management and consulting services. It offers a wrap fee program, where transaction, custodian and other costs are all bundled into one fee.
Reliant Investment Management Investing 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.
Patriot Investment Management Group
Located in Knoxville, Patriot Investment Management Group is next on our Tennessee list. Its team includes several certified financial planners (CFPs), along with certifications such as certified public accountant (CPA) and 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, charitable organizations, corporations, state governments and other business entities.
Patriot Investment Management Group Background
Patriot Investment Management Group 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 Management Group 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 argues that actively managed funds have historically underperformed and resulted in higher fees. The firm primarily builds client portfolios with index funds, which align with the firm's emphasis on cost efficiency.
Telarray is a fee-only, Memphis-based firm that's been in business since 2005. The team includes certified public accountants (CPA), personal financial specialists (PFSs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and a single certified financial planner (CFP). (Advisors may have multiple professional accreditations.)
Telarray serves both non-high-net-worth individuals and high-net-worth individuals. It has a $500,000 investment minimum, which may be waived under certain circumstances. The practice also serves charitable institutions, profit-sharing plans, pensions and businesses.
Founders John “Cliff” Paessler and Michael “Andy” Shaul own Telarray, along with other employees, including Richard Paessler. The elder Paessler serves as Telarray’s chief investment manager.
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.
Rather & Kittrell
Located in Knoxville, Rather & Kittrell specializes in serving those who are going through transitions. Its clients include individuals, families, businesses, banks, pensions, profit-sharing plans, charities, state governments and businesses. About 30% of its individual clients are high net worth individuals, with the rest being non-high-net-worth. The fee-based firm has an account minimum of $500,000.
The team at Rather & Kittrell includes a handful of certified financial planners (CFPs). Other certifications include certified public accountant (CPA), certified investment management analyst (CIMA) and 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. Jeff Hall, Matt Grabeel and Greg McMurry are minority owners of RK Holdings, Inc.
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, Rather & Kittrell typically relies on its model allocations, which offer several 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.
Woodmont Investment Counsel
Woodmont Investment Counsel is a fee-only, employee-owned financial advisor firm. The team includes a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and a certified financial planner (CFP).
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 charitable organizations, retirement plans and pooled investment vehicles.
Woodmont Investment Counsel Background
Paul H. Kuhn, who has 40+ 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. Owners of the firm are Scott Burns, James Conner, Stephen Frohsin, Will Ed Settle and Paul Kuhn.
Woodmont 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.
Patton, Albertson & Miller Group
Patton, Albertson & Miller Group, LLC (PAM) works mainly with affluent individuals and families throughout the U.S., per their stated mission. It also works with non-high-net-worth individuals, corporations and charitable organizations. PAM generally requires a minimum account size of $1 million.
PAM and its advisors have several financial certifications, including certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC). This is a fee-only firm.
Patton, Albertson & Miller Group Background
Patton, Albertson & Miller Group was founded in 2015 and has grown quickly. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Focus Operating, LLC.
Patton, Albertson & Miller Group offers several services, including:
- Investment management
- Estate planning
- Cash flow management
- Risk management
- Tax planning
- Trust and fiduciary services
- Merger and acquisition
- Business succession planning
Patton, Albertson & Miller Group Investing Strategy
Patton, Albertson & Miller Group commonly invests its clients’ assets in exchange-listed securities, mutual fund shares, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), international and corporate securities, certificates of deposit (CDs), options contracts, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and warrants. The firm invests on behalf of its clients based on their tolerance for risk, liquidity needs and investment objectives.
Waddell & Associates
Fee-only Waddell & Associates, LLC has a main office in Memphis and a branch in Nashville. The team of advisors at the firm includes a handful of certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), certified public accountants (CPAs), personal financial specialists (PFSes), certified divorce financial analysts (CDFAs) and financial paraplanner qualified professionals (FPQPs). (Advisors may have multiple professional accreditations.)
About a quarter of the individual 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 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-advisor 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 Waddell & Associates, 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, resulting in lower fees and minimums.
PYA Waltman Capital
PYA Waltman Capital is a fee-based advisory firm in Knoxville. Among the firm’s team of advisors, there are certified financial planners (CFPs) and certified public accountants (CPAs). (Advisors may have multiple professional certifications.)
The firm works with individuals both with and without a high net worth. 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.