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Top Financial Advisors in Utica, NY

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Utica, New York

If you're looking to work with a financial advisor firm in Utica, New York, this list goes into detail on the top options. Our list includes information about their services, minimums, fees and more. To expand your search, try using SmartAsset's free advisor matching tool. It will connect you with up to three advisors who serve your area.

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Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Strategic Financial Services Strategic Financial Services logo Find an Advisor

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$1,848,073,650 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
2 Adirondack Financial Services Corp. Adirondack Financial Services Corp. logo Find an Advisor

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$420,289,221 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
3 Caruso McLean & Co., Inc. Caruso McLean & Co., Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$227,370,046 $50,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting

Minimum Assets


Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting

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What We Use in Our Methodology

To find the top financial advisors in Utica, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the city. 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:

  • AUM
    Firms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
  • Individual Client Count
    Firms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
  • Clients Per Advisor
    Firms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
  • Age of Firm
    Firms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
  • Fee Structure
    Firms with a fee-only (as opposed to fee-based) compensation structure 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.

Strategic Financial Services

With billions in assets under management, Strategic Financial Services is far and away the largest firm on our Utica list. The firm employs a large team of financial advisors who work with individual clients both with and without a high net worth, retirement plans, charities and businesses. This firm does not have a set account minimum for new clients.

Strategic Financial Services offers several different asset allocation programs and strategies. It's also a fee-only firm, which means all of its compensation comes from client-paid fees. While some advisors hold insurance licenses, the firm does not allow them to sell new policies.

Strategic Financial Services Background

Strategic Financial Services has been in business since 1979. Alan Leist III is the firm's principal owner, along with Judith Vicks Sweet. Leist III is the CEO of the firm and holds a chartered financial analyst (CFA) certification, and Sweet serves as president and is also a CFA. In addition to Sweet and Leist, the firm employs other CFPs and CFAs, among other certifications.

This firm offers three types of financial services: wealth counseling, investment management and employer retirement plan services. Wealth counseling is often bundled together with other investment management services; the firm provides the Strategic Core Program for traditional investment management and financial planning, while the Strategic SKY Program is for clients with fewer assets to invest. The firm manages the majority of its assets on a discretionary basis.

Strategic Financial Services Investment Strategy

Strategic Financial Services' investment committee utilizes asset allocation models to best fit the financial objectives of each client. The firm also tailors its investment management services to address the needs of each client, including their risk tolerance, time horizon, income needs and investment preferences.

The advisory uses forecasting, budgeting, data analysis and other investment models to inform its investment decisions. Its portfolios usually consist of several investment securities, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The Strategic Core Program typically utilizes a wider range of investments than are included in the Strategic SKY Program.

Adirondack Financial Services Corp.

With hundreds of millions of dollars in assets under management, Adirondack Financial Services Corp. is up next on our list. The firm has five divisions: investment advisory services, qualified retirement plans, employee benefits, client-directed investments and medicare planning.

Non-high-net-worth clients outnumber more affluent clients at Adirondack. The team of advisors here also works with businesses, not-for-profit corporations, government entities, businesses and insurance companies. The firm does not have a set account minimum.

Certain advisors here can sell insurance products on a commission basis. While this represents a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty means it must act in clients' best interests at all times.

Adirondack Financial Services Corp. Background

Harold T. Clark, Jr., who owns several local companies, including Adirondack Bank, is the majority shareholder of Adirondack Financial Services Corp. William Locke serves as CEO of the firm and as Adirondack Bank's board director. He is a chartered financial analyst (CFA).

The firm offers investment management on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. It also provides financial planning, pension consulting, 401(k) investment advice and trust management. Some advisors may be brokers and/or insurance agents. This can be confusing, since in their non-advisor roles, they are not required to act as fiduciaries. When receiving a recommendation, be sure you know what it is based on, and whether and how the advisor may benefit from it.

Adirondack Financial Services Corp. Investing Strategy

All investment advice and decisions at Adirondack Financial Services Corp. is based on clients' specific needs. This includes their personal risk tolerance, time horizon, liqudity needs and long-term financial goals. All of this information is put together into an investment policy statement (IPS), which will guide the management of your portfolio over time.

Should your goals or market conditions change, your investment portfolio's asset allocation may be altered. Rebalances may also be necessary if your asset allocation falls out of its intended settings.

Caruso McLean & Co.

Wrapping up our list of the top firms in Utica is Caruso McLean & Co. The firm manages assets for high-net-worth individuals, though non-high-net-worth individuals actually make up a larger percentage of its client base. Its on-staff financial advisors also work with retirement plans, charities and businesses.

For the most part, you'll need at least $50,000 in investable assets to open an account with Caruso McLean & Co. The firm may decide to waive this minimum at its discretion, though.

The advisors here are also broker-dealer representatives and insurance agents. In these roles, they collect transaction-based commissions, which can potentially pose conflicts of interest. This is different from a fee-only firm, where advisors' only compensation is from client fees. As an SEC-registered firm, however, the practice has a fiduciary duty to act in its clients' best interests.

Caruso McLean & Co. Background

Gregory McLean and Ernest Caruso co-founded Caruso McLean & Co. in 1988 after spending many years working in the financial services industry. McLean currently serves as the firm's president, founding partner and principal owner, as Caruso passed away in 2010. Stephen Caruso, his son, serves as the firm's chief investment officer (CIO) and is a chartered financial analyst (CFA).

Caruso McLean offers investment management services through both wrap fee and non-wrap fee programs. The firm also provides asset allocation consulting, financial planning, retirement planning and college planning services.

Caruso McLean & Co. Investment Strategy

Caruso McLean & Co. tailors its investment strategies based on the goals of each individual client. Client relationships begin with a session to determine these goals and objectives so that the firm and its advisors can plan accordingly. Advisors take into account retirement goals, investment objectives, risk tolerance, cost of living needs, cash flow needs and more.

The firm employs portfolio strategies that range from conservative to moderate to aggressive. The methods of analysis that it utilizes include economic analysis, fundamental analysis and technical analysis, each of which allow the firm to assign an intrinsic value to a security. Portfolios are typically comprised of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

How Long $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We weighed potential expenditures for a prospective retiree with a  $1 million nest egg to assess how many years that fund would cover in retirement in America’s largest cities.

We applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in metro areas across the U.S.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a net annual return of 2% after inflation. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.