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Top Financial Advisor Firms in Washington

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Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Washington

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 the initial research for you, collecting fundamental factors such as assets under management (AUM), fees and investment strategy. Then we put the info together, here, for convenient comparing and contrasting. Start your search with this list of the top financial advisor firms in Washington. 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 Fisher Investments Fisher Investments logo Find an Advisor

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$ 94,107,835,606 (as of May 6, 2019) $200,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Portfolio assessment

Minimum Assets

$200,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Portfolio assessment
2 Brighton Jones LLC Brighton Jones LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 5,299,273,672 No set account minimum;$1,500 minimum quarterly fee
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum;$1,500 minimum quarterly fee

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Educational seminars/workshops
3 Freestone Capital Management LLC Freestone Capital Management LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 4,689,552,671 $1 million ($500,000 for Schwab Advisor Network referrals)
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$1 million ($500,000 for Schwab Advisor Network referrals)

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
4 Columbia Pacific Wealth Management Columbia Pacific Wealth Management logo Find an Advisor

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$3,724,111,896

$5,000,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$5,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
5 Cornerstone Advisors, Inc. Cornerstone Advisors, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$3,639,172,397 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
6 Pacific Portfolio Consulting, LLC Pacific Portfolio Consulting, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$3,404,741,381 $500,000
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
7 Coldstream Wealth Management Coldstream Wealth Management logo Find an Advisor

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$2,768,045,933 $2,000,000
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$2,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
8 Badgley Phelps Wealth Managers Badgley Phelps Wealth Managers logo Find an Advisor

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$2,636,476,973

$1,000,000

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
9 The Pacific Financial Group, Inc. The Pacific Financial Group, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$2,564,604,025 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
10 Merriman Wealth Management, LLC Merriman Wealth Management, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 2,551,828,938 Varies by account type
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

Varies by account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Washington

To make it onto this list, a firm has to be a registered fiduciary with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). It also must have a clean record, having had no disclosure or disciplinary issue within the last 10 years. Additionally, individual accounts must make up at least half the firm’s client base. The top 10 firms are listed here, ranked by AUM, starting with the biggest.

Fisher Investments

Fisher Investments

Fisher Investments is a global money management firm headquartered in Camas, Washington. The fee-only financial advisor has more than $94 billion in assets under management on a discretionary basis only. With private clients (in addition to institutional ones) across the U.S., Europe, Canada, Asia and the Middle East, the firm serves more than 60,000 private clients.

Though it generally calls for a $500,000 account minimum, the firm may selectively accept a lower minimum of $200,000 for its WealthBuilder accounts. High-net-worth clients still comprise the largest percentage of its client base, though Fisher Investments also works with pooled investment vehicles, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities and other investment advisors.

Fisher Investments' services for private clients include portfolio management, annuity conversion, financial planning and retirement planning. Its portfolio management services are divided into three categories, each of which is aimed at maximizing returns within risk parameters:

  • Equity accounts: mainly use common stock and cash equivalents
  • Fixed income accounts: mainly use various fixed income instruments and cash
  • Balanced accounts: use a combination of stocks, fixed income instruments and cash

Fisher Investments Background

Now a renowned figure in the investment world and author of 11 books, Ken Fisher founded Fisher Investments in 1979. Investment Advisor Magazine has named Fisher one of the 30 most influential figures in the investment advisory business for the last three decades. 

Fisher is the majority owner (indirectly through his company Fisher Investments, Inc) and serves as the firm's executive chairman and co-chief investment officer. Several other senior leaders have small stakes.

Fisher Investments Investing Strategy

Believing that no one investment strategy is always superior, the firm takes an active approach to investing so it can respond to the markets and make changes to client portfolios as necessary. It also takes a top-down approach, with its investment policy committee (led by Fisher) making investment decisions. The firm believes that asset allocation is the primary driver of portfolio performance and uses both qualitative and quantitative tools to analyze markets, sectors and securities with the aid of computers, computer peripherals, software and computer databases. The committee screens invests in market sectors and securities it thinks are likely to outperform.

According to recent SEC data, assets under Fisher Investments’ management were allocated primarily (94%) in exchange-traded securities (like common stocks). The rest were in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies (5%) and cash and cash equivalents (1%).

Brighton Jones LLC

Brighton Jones LLC

Brighton Jones is a fee-only firm managing nearly $5.3 billion, mostly on a discretionary basis. Headquartered in Seattle, it has offices in Portland, San Francisco, Scottsdale and Washington, D.C. The Seattle location includes 23 certified financial planners (CFPs), eight certified public accountants (CPAs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one accredited investment fiduciary analyst (AIFA). 

Clients who are high net worth outnumber those who aren’t roughly two to one. The firm also serves institutional clients, including pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. The firm does not set a minimum account size but does have a minimum quarterly fee of $1,500.

Brighton Jones Background

Charles Brighton and Jon Jones founded the firm (and lent their names to it) in 1999. They are the majority owners and serve as managing director of the family office and CEO, respectively. Several other employees have small stakes.

 In addition to providing portfolio management services, the firm manages several affiliated and non-affiliated private funds and offers wealth management, retirement plan consulting, financial planning and financial wellness consulting.

Brighton Jones Investing Strategy

The firm’s methodology in screening securities includes fundamental, technical and cyclical analyses. In constructing portfolios, it may use long-term and short-term purchases, margin transactions and options.

As of its recent SEC filings, assets under Brighton Jones’ management were allocated as:

  • 71% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 14% in exchange-traded securities (like common stocks)
  • 9% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 3% in derivatives
  • 2% in state and local bonds
  • 1% in non-exchange-traded securities

Freestone Capital Management, LLC

Freestone Capital Management LLC

Freestone Capital Management manages nearly $4.7 billion for its clients. Headquartered in Seattle, the fee-based firm also has an office in Portland and three in California. The Seattle team includes seven certified financial planners (CFPs), five chartered financial analysts (CFAs), four certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), two certified public accountants (CPAs), two chartered alternative investment advisors (CAIAs), two certified public wealth advisors (CPWAs) and one accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA). (Advisors may have multiple certifications.)

There are almost twice as many clients who are high-net-worth individuals as ones who aren’t. Freestone Capital also serves pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations. Though there is technically no minimum investment, the firm seeks clients who can invest at least $1 million in discretionary assets ($500,000 if referred through Schwab Advisor Network service). 

Freestone Capital Management Background

Gary Furukawa founded Freestone Capital as a corporation in 1999 (it’s now a limited liability company). His wife, Della, and he indirectly own more than 25% but less than 50% of the firm through entities they control. He manages the firm, along with Erik Morgan, a senior partner who has a small stake.

 Services offered by the firm include:

  • Discretionary and non-discretionary investment advising
  • Private funds
  • Financial planning
  • Retirement plan solutions
  • Insurance
  • College planning
  • Corporate benefits

Fees for discretionary investment advice are based on a percentage of assets under management. Generally, the minimum fee is $10,000 (except for clients referred by Schwab, in which case the minimum fee is $4,000). The firm may charge performance-based fees. Additionally, Freestone Capital may earn commissions for selling insurance products to clients. 

Freestone Capital Management Investing Strategy

Seeking to build client portfolios with a proper balance of risk and reward, the firm’s strategy is summed up in the motto “stay wealthy.” Freestone Capital typically takes long-term positions, but may also use short-term purchases, trading, concentrated positions, short sales and other techniques.

According to recent SEC data, assets under the firm’s management were allocated as:

  • 73% in exchange-traded securities (like common stocks)
  • 12% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 5% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 4% in state and local bonds
  • 3% in investment-grade corporate bonds
  • 2% in U.S. government and agency bonds
  • 2% in securities issued by pooled investment vehicles (other than registered investment companies or business development companies)
  • 1% in non-exchange-traded securities

Columbia Pacific Wealth Management

Columbia Pacific Wealth Management

Managing more than $3.7 billion in assets, Columbia Pacific Wealth Management (officially CPWM) has its headquarters in Seattle and branch offices in San Francisco and Austin. The firm has five certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified public accountants (CPAs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one certified investment management analyst (CIMA) on staff. For any NFL players searching for a Seattle financial advisor, this is the only firm on this list that has an NFL Players Association (NFLPA) Registered Financial Advisor.

Columbia Pacific Wealth typically imposes a $5 million minimum family account size, though this requirement is waivable. In fact, clients who are not high-net-worth individuals outnumber those who are (303 to 229), though the latter’s assets account for more than $3 billion of the assets under the firm’s management. The firm also serves corporate pension and profit-sharing plans, defined contribution plans, institutions, foundations and endowments. Accounts are on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis.

Columbia Pacific Wealth Management Background

Though formed in 2011, Columbia Pacific Wealth can trace its roots back to 1989, when Dan Baty founded parent company and private equity firm Columbia Pacific Management. Baty serves as chairman and owns the firm along with five other employees. 

Columbia Pacific Wealth offers investment management services, for which its charges are on a fee basis. Advisors who are representatives of a registered broker or are insurance agents may receive commissions in their other capacities. Also, two members of Columbia Pacific Wealth have an ownership interest in an insurance company that employees may recommend. The firm also provides tax and wealth transfer services, multi-generational planning, risk management, employer benefits and philanthropic planning. Additionally, it serves as an advisor to several private funds.

Columbia Pacific Wealth Management Investing Strategy

Columbia Pacific Wealth uses a manager-of-manager approach, where it determines asset allocation, which it considers the key driver of returns, while specialized, third-party investment managers conduct sector and security selection. The firm selects managers, both active and passive, using quantitative and qualitative analysis. 

Aiming to construct globally diversified portfolios, the practice primarily invests client assets in exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, separately managed accounts and limited partnerships. It may also use individual stocks and bonds when appropriate. The firm claims to have access to unique investment opportunities, including dimensional fund advisors, SNW asset management, global endowment management, real estate investing and private lending.

According to recent SEC data, assets under Columbia Pacific Wealth’s management were allocated as:

  • 34% in non-exchange-traded equity securities
  • 24% in securities issued by pooled investment vehicles (other than registered investment companies or business development companies)
  • 21% in exchange-traded equity securities
  • 10% in investment-grade corporate bonds 
  • 5% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 4% in state and local bonds
  • 1% in U.S. government and agency bonds
  • 1% in alternative investments

Cornerstone Advisors, Inc.

Cornerstone Advisors, Inc.

Cornerstone Advisors, Inc. is a fee-only Bellevue-based financial advisor firm with $3.6 billion in assets under management. Along with its headquarters, it has an office in Anchorage. Its team includes 17 certified financial planners (CFPs), eight chartered financial analysts (CFAs), five certified public accountants (CPAs), one accredited asset management specialist (AAMS), one chartered mutual fund counselor (CMFC), one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC).

Cornerstone does not impose a minimum investment requirement, though different services have minimum annual fees, which may be prohibitively expensive for lower account sizes. Wealth management clients must pay at least $10,000 annually in fees, while family office services adhere to a $50,000 minimum annual fee. If you’re looking for consulting, the minimum fee is $5,000.

The vast majority of Cornerstone’s client base is made up of individuals and high-net-worth individuals. The firm also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates and charitable organizations. Investment accounts are on a discretionary basis only.

Cornerstone Advisors Background

In business since 1984, Cornerstone Advisors is owned by employees and board members. No single owner holds larger than a 25% stake in the firm. 

Cornerstone Advisors takes a holistic approach, providing a wide range of financial services. For example, you’ll find:

  • Strategic wealth management
  • Investment management and portfolio design
  • Cash flow management
  • Tax planning and management
  • Estate planning
  • Lifestyle services
  • Family office services

Also, the firm serves as the managing member or general partner to two private funds that it created, it says, “for the purpose of facilitating investments by our clients in various private equity investments or marketable equity securities on a pooled basis.”

Cornerstone Advisors Investing Strategy

Like Columbia Pacific Wealth (above), Cornerstone follows a manager-of-managers approach to investment management. Guided by clients’ stated objectives (i.e. maximum capital appreciation, growth, income or growth and income) and tax considerations, the firm allocates funds to third-party managers including open-end funds, closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds, comingled trusts, separate accounts under a comingled/pooled investment entity (such as Cornerstone Mutual Funds) and private partnerships. 

As of its recent SEC filing, assets under the firm’s management were invested as:

  • 51% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as its mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 25% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
  • 18% in state and local bonds
  • 3% in investment-grade corporate bonds
  • 3% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 1% in U.S. government and agency bonds

Pacific Portfolio Consulting, LLC

Pacific Portfolio Consulting, LLC

Located in Seattle, fee-only advisory firm Pacific Portfolio Consulting, LLC manages more than $3.4 billion in assets on either a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. There are 10 advisors on staff, including two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified pension consultants (CPCs), one chartered financial counselor (ChFC), one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA), one certified plan fiduciary advisor (CPFA), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one certified financial planner (CFP). (Advisors may have multiple certifications.)

The individual clients at the firm are a nearly even mix of high-net-worth individuals and other individuals. Institutional clients include pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and other corporations. 

The minimum account size required is $500,000, though it may be waived. Qualified clients may enroll in the automated investment program (via Schwab Institutional Intelligent Portfolios, which has a $5,000 minimum). Fees for wealth management are based on a percentage of assets under management. Some services may be billed based on an hourly rate. 

Pacific Portfolio Consulting Background

President and CEO Lawrence Hood founded the firm in 1992. He and several investors own the firm, primarily through parent company Pacific Wealth Advisors LLC. 

Services offered by the firm include:

  • Wealth management
  • Financial planning
  • Investment planning
  • Discretionary investment management

Pacific Portfolio Consulting Investing Strategy

In-house analysts do all investment research used to manage client money. Following Modern Portfolio Theory, the firm constructs broadly diversified portfolios across asset and sub-asset classes that have shown relatively low levels of correlation. Pacific Portfolio primarily invests in no-load mutual fund managers and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

According to its SEC filing, Pacific Portfolio mainly (97%) allocated assets under its management to securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds and ETFs) or business development companies. The remainder was in state and local bonds (2%) and cash and cash equivalents (1%).

Coldstream Wealth Management

Coldstream Wealth Management

Managing nearly $2.8 billion in assets primarily on a discretionary basis, this financial advisor firm is based in Bellevue, where they have two offices. They also have one office in Seattle and one in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Its team of 46 advisors includes seven certified financial planners (CFPs), six chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified public accountants (CPAs), one accredited estate planner (AEP), one chartered life underwriter (CLU), one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) and one financial risk manager (FRM).

Although Coldstream Wealth’s client base is roughly split between high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals (556 to 462), the former’s assets make up more than 87% of the firm’s overall assets under management. The practice specifies corporate executives, business owners, multi-generational families and professional athletes as clients. It also provides services to businesses, charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans and investment companies. There is a $2 million account minimum. 

Coldstream Wealth Management Background

In business since 1996 (though under the name Coldstream Capital Management), Coldstream Wealth takes the Coldstream part of its name from a British regiment that was known for its integrity and dedication. Currently, only employees and board members are the owners.

The firm is unusual in that it assigns a team to manage each client portfolio. Each team includes a relationship manager, portfolio manager, private client services associate, wealth planner, private client services administrator and chief investment officer (and investment strategy group). As one might surmise, the team provides a full range of wealth management services. It also offers financial planning and consulting.

Investment advisory services are on a fee basis. Advisors who are representatives of brokers or insurance agents may receive commissions in their separate capacities. 

Additionally, Coldstream Wealth is the general partner for several private funds, including hedge fund Alternative Strategies Fund LP, and Genesee Investments LLC and real estate lending partnership Ascent Capital LLC.

Coldstream Wealth Management Investing Strategy

In reviewing securities, the firm applies fundamental, technical and cyclical methods of analysis. It combines its internal expertise with external portfolio management in global equity, global fixed income, and alternative investment strategies. When constructing client portfolios, it may allocate assets to domestic, international and emerging markets; a range of equity capitalizations, from large- to small-cap stocks; a full range of fixed income instruments; alternative investments, including hedge fund strategies, private equity, venture capital and leveraged buyouts; and tangible assets, including public and private real estate, commodities and other natural resources.

According to recent SEC data, assets under Coldstream Wealth’s management were invested as:

  • 41% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
  • 36% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 8% in state and local bonds
  • 8% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 5% in securities issued by pooled investment vehicles (other than registered investment companies or business development companies)
  • 1% in investment-grade corporate bonds

Badgley Phelps Wealth Managers

Badgley Phelps Wealth Managers

Founded in 1966, Badgley Phelps Wealth Managers is older than Fisher Investments (No. 1 on this list) by 13 years. The fee-only firm manages more than $2.6 billion in assets mostly on a discretionary basis. Its team has seven chartered financial advisors (CFAs), four certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered investment counselors (CICs), one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC). (Advisors may have multiple accreditations.)

To be a client of the firm, which primarily serves high-net-worth individuals, you’ll generally need at least $1 million. (The minimum may be waived under special circumstances.) The practice also serves trusts, estates, corporations, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable institutions, foundations and endowments. 

Badgley Phelps Wealth Managers Background

Badgley Phelps Wealth has been completely employee-owned since its founding. The firm currently has 20 employees, and six of those employees are shareholders. Badgley Phelps Chairman Kevin Callaghan and President and Chief Investment Officer Steven Phelps own the biggest stakes. 

The firm provides an array of wealth management-related services, including wealth transfer planning, asset protection, investment management, cash flow planning, college planning, retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, foundation management, risk management, legacy planning, philanthropic planning and investment policy development.

Badgley Phelps Wealth Management Investment Strategy

When it comes to equity securities, Badgley Phelps Wealth has four investment strategies: consistent growth, relative value, small and mid cap and international. Both the consistent growth equity strategy and the relative value equity strategy generally hold between 30 to 40 stock positions, and the Russell 1000 Growth Index serves as their relative benchmark. The small and mid cap strategy and the international strategy use exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The former may also utilize mutual funds and other investments. 

The firm also employs fixed income and alternative investment management.

According to recent SEC data, assets under the firm’s management were allocated as:

  • 57% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
  • 20% in state and local bonds
  • 12% in investment-grade corporate bonds
  • 10% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 1% in U.S. government and agency bonds

The Pacific Financial Group, Inc.

The Pacific Financial Group, Inc.

With nearly $2.6 billion in assets under management, The Pacific Financial Group, Inc. (TPFG) almost entirely serves individuals who are not high net worth. The Bellevue-based financial advisor firm also offers services to trusts, estates, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses.

TPFG employs 26 financial advisors, who include two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one accredited investment fiduciary analyst (AIFA). Account minimums vary, depending on the program, from zero for the 

Managed Strategist and Core Retirement Optimization programs, to $10,000 for the Variable Annuity Optimization program and $25,000 for the EPIC program. For a separately managed account (SMA), your minimum will vary from $50,000 to $100,000, depending on the custodian you choose. Accounts are primarily on a discretionary basis.

The Pacific Financial Group Background

The Pacific Financial Group opened its doors in 1984. It reorganized in 2017, and became a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Pacific Holdings Group, LLC, a financial services holding company. Co-CEO Megan Meade owns more than 25% of the firm.

TPFG offers extensive investment management programs and services. You have your choice of five pre-built, risk-adjusted portfolio plans (Managed Strategist program) that are made up of RiskPro Funds, a new group of mutual funds managed by TPFG’s affiliate, Pacific Financial Group, LLC. Alternately, you could choose from five SMAs, which are designed for different risk levels and tax impacts. Finally, the firm also offers its EPIC program, which provides access to the aforementioned, plus securities trading, back-office services, account maintenance, recordkeeping and other non-investment management services. 

Investment management services are on a fee basis. Advisors who are representatives of broker-dealers or insurance agents may receive commissions in their separate capacities.

The Pacific Financial Group Investing Strategy

In reviewing investments, TPFG uses what it calls “Rational Analysis,” which combines fundamental, technical and quantitative methods of analysis. It also employs RiskPro software, an online tool developed by TPFG’s affiliate, ProTools, to manage a portfolio’s level of investment risk. 

As of its recent SEC filings, assets under TPFG’s management were allocated as:

  • 98% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as its mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 1% in investment-grade corporate bonds
  • 1% in cash and cash equivalents

Merriman Wealth Management, LLC

Merriman Wealth Management, LLC

Last but not least on this list, Merriman Wealth Management, LLC manages nearly $ 2.6 billion in assets primarily on a discretionary basis. Since acquiring two advisory businesses (Summit Capital Management, LLC and Carter and Carter Wealth Strategies), the Seattle firm also has offices in Spokane, Washington and Eugene, Oregon. The team at headquarters includes 12 certified financial planners (CFPs) and two certified public accountants (CPAs), among other accreditations. The smaller team in Spokane has one CFP and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).

Merriman serves roughly twice as many clients who are not high net worth as those who are (1,428 to 820). It also manages accounts for pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities. The firm’s account minimums vary, from no set account minimum for the firm’s MarketWise account option, to $250,000 for its Leveraged Global Opportunity Fund, to $350,000 for its TrendWise100 and TrendWise80 accounts. 

Merriman Wealth Management Background

In business since 1983, Merriman became an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Focus Financial Partners, LLC in 2012. The parent company, Focus Financial Partners Inc., also owns other registered investment advisers, broker-dealers, pension consultants, insurance firms and other financial service firms, and is a public company traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

Merriman offers a comprehensive slate of services alongside investment planning, including tax planning, estate planning, risk management and charitable donations. Its investment management services are on a fee-only basis, though there is one representative of a broker-dealer on staff who may receive commissions in that capacity. 

Merriman Wealth Management Investing Strategy 

The firm offers two core investment programs - MarketWise and TrendWise - which can be used individually or in combination together. The former is globally diversified, primarily using low-cost mutual funds managed by Dimensional Fund Advisors. The latter, which has two variations, actively trades according to changes in market conditions, with investments primarily made through exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Merriman is also the investment manager of the Leveraged Global Opportunity Fund, L.P., a private investment fund that seeks to achieve capital appreciation primarily through a market-timing approach. Additionally, the firm offers qualified clients access to separately managed accounts that Lord, Abbett and Co, LLC advises.

According to recent SEC data, assets under Merriman’s management were allocated as:

  • 57% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 17% in U.S. government and agency bonds
  • 14% in investment-grade corporate bonds
  • 8% in exchange-traded securities (like common stocks)
  • 4% in cash and cash equivalents

How Many Years $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.

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

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then 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 the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research