Top Financial Advisors by City and State
Working with a financial advisor can be instrumental to your financial success. Financial advisors can help with everything from creating a financial plan to growing and managing your wealth. However, finding a financial advisor who is right for you isn't always easy. So SmartAsset's experts dedicated hours of research to determine the top financial advisors across the country. Below, you can find detailed lists of the top financial advisors within cities and across states. In each review, we’ve laid out everything you need to know about the top financial advisor firms, including their fees, services, investment philosophies and certifications. This information can help you better determine which firm might be the right fit for you, so you can ensure you work with a top financial advisor who truly suits your needs.
How We Determined the Top Financial Advisors
How exactly did we select the top financial advisor firms? For each city and state list, we only considered firms in that location that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). That’s because these firms are bound by fiduciary duty, which means they must put their clients' best interests before their own.
From there, we further narrowed down the lists by eliminating any firms that have disclosures. This ensured that all firms that appear on our lists have clean records. We also cut firms that do not serve individual investors and that do not have financial planners on staff.
We sorted the remaining firms according to assets under management (AUM). The firms that appear on our top city and state lists are arranged from the highest total AUM to the the lowest.
Finding a Financial Advisor Who’s Right for You
These lists are just one way you can find a financial advisor to work with who is right for you. You can also ask trusted family members or friends with similar financial situations for recommendations, or look at professional organizations’ online databases. SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool makes it even easier to find an advisor in your area who suits your needs. The tool will take you through a short questionnaire about your financial situation, goals and preferences. Based on that information, our tool will match you with as many as three advisors in your area, all of whom have been vetted and don’t have any disclosures. You can then read the advisors' profiles and interview them to determine who you want to manage your money.
What to Consider When Choosing a Financial Advisor
As you're narrowing down your options, there are several things to keep in mind to ensure you hire an advisor who is right for you. One consideration is the advisor's account minimum, which is the amount you must invest in order to work with the advisor. Some advisors don't have set account minimums, while others have minimums as high as $10 million. This can shed light on the types of investors the advisor typically serves. Ideally, you'll find an advisor to work with who specializes in serving clients with similar needs and financial situations to yours. You’ll want to ensure the advisor offers the services you need, whether that's estate planning, retirement planning or simply investment management.
One indicator of advisors’ specialities and qualifications is their certifications. Two of the most prestigious certifications are the certified financial planner (CFP) and the chartered financial consultant (ChFC), both of which require extensive coursework to earn and an adherence to certain ethical standards. Above all, you want to ensure your advisor is a fiduciary. This means the advisor will always put your best interests above his or her own.
Last but not least, it's crucial to consider an advisor's fees. Fee-only financial advisors are the most straightforward to work with, as they only earn money from fees their clients pay. Because they're not earning money from selling products, they tend to have fewer conflicts of interest. Be sure you understand how particular advisors earn money before you decide which one best fits your financial situation and goals.
Places Maximizing Individual Retirement Accounts
SmartAsset analyzed data to find the places getting the most out of their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). This interactive map allows you to see the counties where people are maximizing their IRAs. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Scroll over any county to learn about that region's statistics.
|Rank||County||Population Making IRA Contributions||IRA Contributions||Retirees Receiving IRA Distributions||IRA Distributions|
To find the places making the most of individual retirement accounts (IRAs), we considered the following factors: the percentage of people contributing to IRAs and Keogh Plans, the amount contributed, the percentage of retirees receiving distributions from IRAs and how much was distributed.
Functionally similar to an IRA, a Keogh plan is a tax-deferred retirement plan available to self-employed individuals or unincorporated businesses for retirement purposes.
To determine how well working-age people take advantage of their IRAs, we combined the number of people making contributions to IRAs and Keogh plans in a region. We then divided that number by the total tax-filing population for the region. This is the total IRA savers score.
Similarly, we compared the total amount contributed to IRA and Keogh plans to the region's total income. This calculation produced our total IRA contribution score.
Finally, we compared the number of retirees receiving IRA distributions to the total tax-filing population. We also compared the amount of distributions received to the total income reported. These two factors were equally weighted and averaged together, with counties receiving the greatest proportion of IRA distributions rating highest on the IRA index.
The three factors were then indexed and equally weighted to yield our IRA maximization index. Places with a higher IRA maximization index are the places where people are making the most of their IRA plans.
Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)