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Top Financial Advisors in West Des Moines, IA

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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 West Des Moines, Iowa

Despite only having around 12,000 people living within its borders, West Des Moines, Iowa has a fairly large selection of financial advisor firms to choose from. To help you sift through your options, SmartAsset has compiled this list highlighting the top firms in the city of West Des Moines. We touch on a number of important factors for each firm, including their minimums, investment strategies, available services and more. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can also pair you up with advisors who serve your area. All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

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Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Foster Group, Inc. Foster Group, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$3,393,383,529 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 Gilbert & Cook, Inc. Gilbert & Cook, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$1,012,333,774 $1,000,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Pension consulting

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Pension consulting
3 Syverson Strege Syverson Strege logo Find an Advisor

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$700,571,814 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
4 Midwest Heritage Financial Advisors Midwest Heritage Financial Advisors logo Find an Advisor

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$183,219,558 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
5 RetireRight Consulting Group RetireRight Consulting Group logo Find an Advisor

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$599,359,006 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
6 Compass Financial Services Compass Financial Services logo Find an Advisor

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$275,281,944 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
7 Ballast Capital Advisors, LLC Ballast Capital Advisors, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$261,402,490 Negotiable
  • Investment management
  • Financial planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning

Minimum Assets

Negotiable

Financial Services

  • Investment management
  • Financial planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning
8 Wealth Advisors of Iowa, LLC Wealth Advisors of Iowa, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$344,288,245 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Advisor selection
  • Educational seminars
  • Qualified plan advice

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Advisor selection
  • Educational seminars
  • Qualified plan advice
9 River Glen Wealth Counselors River Glen Wealth Counselors logo Find an Advisor

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$280,779,154 $500,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
10 Boyle Capital Boyle Capital logo Find an Advisor

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$238,694,156 $75,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$75,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

What We Use in Our Methodology

To find the top financial advisors in West Des Moines, 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.

Foster Group

Foster Group is a fee-only firm, which means all of its compensation comes from client-paid fees. The firm’s clients include both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individual investors. Its institutional clients are all charitable organizations, trusts and corporations.

Advisor certifications at the firm include certified financial planner (CFP), certified public accountant (CPA), certified kingdom advisor (CKA), chartered advisor in philanthropy (CAP), certified exit planning advisor (CEPA), chartered financial analyst (CFA), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and more.

Asset management fees are charged based on a percentage of assets under management. Consulting and financial planning fees are generally charged hourly. 

Foster Group Background

Foster Group was founded in 1991. There are a number of principal owners, some of whom also work as advisors at the firm.

Services offered by Foster include investment management, insurance review, retirement analysis, estate planning document review, charitable gift planning, portfolio analysis, education analysis and cash flow analysis.

Foster Group Investment Strategy

Fundamental analysis is the primary method Foster Group’s advisors use to pick investments for clients. Modern portfolio theory is a major strategy employed, as it states that a portfolio can be built according to a very specific risk profile. Individual stocks are nearly the only investment used at the firm, with a small amount reserved for annuities.

Gilbert & Cook

Gilbert & Cook has mostly individual clients, the majority of whom are not high-net-worth. The firm's institutional client base consists only of corporations and charitable organizations. The minimum account size here is $1 million, though it may be willing to negotiate that requirement.

Of the advisors who work at the firm, there are certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial advisors (CFAs) and certified public accountants (CPAs), among many others.

Some of the advisors at this fee-based firm earn commissions for selling securities or insurance products. This is a potential conflict of interest, though the firm is bound by fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the clients.

Gilbert & Cook Background

Gilbert & Cook was founded in 1994 and has been registered with the SEC since 2016. The owners are Linda Lundstrom Cook, Christopher C. Cook, Marlis A. Gilbert, Brandon D. Grimm, Megan L. Rosenstiel and Jerit P. Tripp. All of these individuals still work at the firm.

Services offered include financial planning, investment advisory, wrap fee program, retirement analysis, cash flow analysis, employee benefits, education funding, estate planning strategies, income tax planning strategies, and intergenerational planning.

Gilbert & Cook Investment Strategy

Advisors at the firm use macroeconomic analysis, client household global allocation analysis, asset class correlation analysis, asset class standard deviation analysis, cyclical analysis and fundamental analysis to choose investments.

Both mutual funds and individual stocks and bonds may be purchased. Both long- and short-term purchases may be used, along with margin transactions, options writing and hedging strategies.

Syverson Strege

Syverson Strege is a fee-only firm with a staff that includes certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and a number of other financial certification holders.

The minimum account size varies significantly by account type and level of service, with requirements ranging from $50,000 up to $500,000. Clients include a near-even mix of individuals both with and without a high net worth. Institutional clients include retirement plans, charitable organizations and corporations.

Syverson Strege Background

Syverson Stege was founded in 1997. It is wholly owned by Values Based Holding Corporation, which has David Strege, one of the firm's founders, as a majority owner.

Services offered at the firm include financial planning, asset management, retirement planning, estate planning, tax and cash flow planning, investment planning, risk management planning, charitable planning and education planning.

Syverson Strege Investment Strategy

Advisors at Syverson Strege base investments on a number of factors, including:

  • Current income needs
  • Loss of principal balance
  • Volatility of income
  • Time horizon
  • Tax considerations

A majority of client money is invested in mutual funds. Stocks and bonds are also used as investments.

Midwest Heritage Financial Advisors

Midwest Heritage Financial Advisors is the financial advisory arm of Iowa-based Midwest Heritage Bank. The small firm only works with individual clients, with most of them having less than high net worth. If you're interested in becoming a client of the firm, you won't need to adhere to any specific minimum account size.

The fee-based firm's website doesn't list any certifications on its advisory staff. Some of these advisors can sell securities and insurance products on a commission basis. Although this creates a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty means it must act in clients' best interests at all times.

Midwest Heritage Financial Advisors Background

Midwest Heritage Financial Advisors is headquartered in West Des Moines, but it also has a secondary office in Chariton, Iowa. The firm's parent company, Midwest Heritage Bank, was originally founded in 1873, giving it a long history in the Iowa area.

Advisory services at this firm are divided into four main categories: investment management, financial planning, retirement planning and tax planning.

Midwest Heritage Financial Advisors Investing Strategy

In its Form ADV, Midwest Heritage Financial Advisors calls itself a "total portfolio manager," as it employs active management techniques when handling clients' investment portfolios. This means the firm and its advisors may make trades on a consistent basis rather than holding onto securities for mostly a year or longer. Diversification is also integral to the firm's strategy, as it works to divide your assets across various market sectors and security types.

Every portfolio at this firm is customized to the individual client's needs. Some of the most important factors used in this process include risk tolerance, time horizon, income needs and long-term financial goals.

RetireRight Consulting Group

RetireRight Consulting Group is the next firm on our list. This firm works mainly with non-high-net-worth individual clients, though it also works with some high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, businesses and charities. Account minimums vary between $5,000 and $250,000, depending on the type of account you're looking to open.

As a fee-based firm, RetireRight employs some advisors who can receive commissions from the sale of insurance products and securities to clients. Although this represents a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty means it must act in clients' best interests at all times.

RetireRight Consulting Group

RetireRight is one of the youngest firms on our list, having been founded in just 2019. Brian Ormond, Dan Kinney and Dirk Dixon are the firm's trio of advisors. They each have more than 25 years of investment experience. Ormond is a chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS) and an accredited investment fiduciary (AIF). Kinney and Dixon are also AIFs.

RetireRight looks to help people plan their finances for retirement. They provide both investment management and financial planning services to help their clients plan for the future.  

RetireRight Consulting Group

As is the case with many financial advisory firms, RetireRight crafts investment strategies and financial plans based on the investment goals, financial objectives, risk tolerance and financial situation of clients. Advisors review and monitor accounts on a regular basis to ensure that goals are being met.

Advisors at RetireRight use a wide range of investments in client portfolios. These include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stocks, bonds, margin, shorts, alternative investments and options contracts. While advisors typically take a long-term approach, they may sell investments on a short-term basis if it makes sense to do so.

Compass Financial Services

For those who want to become clients of Compass Financial Services, there is no minimum investment to worry about. This lack of a minimum has likely contributed to the variety of the firm's client base, as it works almost entirely with non-high-net-worth individuals. The firm also has around 70 high-net-worth clients.

Three of the on-staff advisors at Compass Financial hold a certified financial planner (CFP) designation. As a fee-based operation, some of the firm's advisors have the ability to sell insurance products and securities for a commission. Although this represents a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty means it legally must act in the clients' best interests.

Compass Financial Services Background

Compass Financial Services has been in business for just over two decades, as it was established back in 1999. The firm is independently owned by five of its employees: founder Kurt Pearson, Caleb Pearson, Steve Conard, Guy Leman and Julie Greer. Compass has a secondary office in Adel, Iowa.

Investment management is a premier service at this firm, as is financial planning. The latter can cover a wide range of topics, such as retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, budgeting, business planning, cash flow analysis and more.

Compass Financial Services Investing Strategy

When making investment decisions, Compass Financial Services typically uses two methods of analysis: fundamental and technical. Fundamental analysis focuses on the financial situation, management and competitive position of companies and investments in the market. Technical analysis instead focuses more on the market itself, using charts and other data to form ideas about trends.

Compass Financial believes in active investment management over passive, buy-and-hold strategies. The firm tends to invest in mutual funds, variable annuities, life insurance, ETFs, stocks, bonds, options, CDs and real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Ballast Capital Advisors is a fee-only firm, meaning that none of its advisors are awarded additional commissions for the sale of securities. This eliminates any potential conflict of interest by representing the client's best interest. The firm works with individuals, retirement plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities. There is no set minimum account size to open an account but it is stated that the firm's minimum is negotiable. 

Ballast Capital Advisors Background

The firm was founded in 2015 by Greg Carstensen. The firm has three advisors today who control more than $260 million in assets under management. They offer the following services: 

  • Investment management
  • Financial planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning

Ballast Capital Advisors Investing Strategy

Ballast has a strong belief in fixed income, which they believe is the bedrock on which all investment allocations rest. They aim to receive the most equity exposure for their clients' portfolios through the use of low-cost indexes, utilizing many ETFs to accomplish this. Then they will aim to add equity and debt over time as market opportunities pop up. Every allocation is dependent on the risk appetite of the individual client. 

 

Wealth Advisors of Iowa

The next firm on our list is Wealth Advisors of Iowa (WAI). This firm works almost entirely with individual clients, the majority of which do not have a high net worth. Its small number of institutional clients includes charitable organizations, retirement plans, investment clubs and corporations. There is no set account minimum at WAI.

As a fee-based firm, some advisors at WAI can receive commissions when they sell insurance products. Despite the potential conflict of interest this creates, the firm is a fiduciary, obligating it to act in the best interests of clients at all times.

Wealth Advisors of Iowa

WAI registered with the SEC as an investment advisor in 2020. The firm's advisory team consists of three certified financial planners (CFPs). Currently, Capobianco Wealth Management, LLC, Pearson Wealth Management, LLC and MHCS Wealth Management, LLC each own part of the firm. Jay Pearson is the firm's managing member and Kellie Masters serves as chief compliance officer (CCO).

While WAI used to focus on referring clients to other wealth managers, it now focuses on providing portfolio management and financial planning services to clients itself. It also provides a wrap fee program.

Wealth Advisors of Iowa

WAI and its advisors base their investment strategies on the wants, needs and objectives of each individual client. This includes gathering information such as the tolerance for risk, tax situation and time horizon of all clients, in addition to any other information that could be relevant to creating an investment profile.

Advisors at WAI use a variety of analytical methods to inform their investment decisions. These include charting analysis, fundamental analysis, technical analysis, cyclical analysis, quantitative analysis and modern portfolio theory. They buy and sell a variety of investments using such methods as long-term trading, short-term trading, short sales and options trading.

River Glen Wealth Counselors

River Glen Wealth Counselors is a fee-only firm. Clients of the firm include a mix of high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals, with slightly more coming above the high-net-worth threshold. Pension and profit-sharing plans are the only institutional clients of the firm.

River Glen has a $500,000 minimum investment requirement. There is a small team of on-staff advisors here, two of whom hold a certified financial planner (CFP) designation.

River Glen Wealth Counselors Background

River Glen Wealth Counselors was first established back in 2008. Matthew Busick, the firm's founder and managing partner, is the principal owner.

Services include wealth management, financial planning, budget analysis, retirement analysis, net worth analysis, insurance analysis and basic estate planning analysis.

River Glen Wealth Counselors Investment Strategy

Charting, technical analysis and fundamental analysis are the most important ways advisors at River Glen Wealth Counselors make decisions about which securities to purchase for clients. Long-term and short-term purchases are used, along with short sales, margin transactions and options trading. Mutual funds are the most common investment, while stocks and bonds are also used.

Boyle Capital

Boyle Capital has a client base that is mostly comprised of non-high-net-worth individuals, though there is also a handful of high-net-worth clients. The only institutional clients that hold assets at the firm are corporations and a single retirement plan. The minimum account size here is $75,000, though it may be willing to waive this requirement under certain circumstances. 

Portfolio management fees are charged based on a percentage of assets under management (AUM) and a wrap fee program is available. Financial planning fees are charged hourly. Performance fees may be charged for some qualified clients.

Certain on-staff advisors at this fee-based firm may also earn commissions for selling insurance products. This is a potential conflict of interest, though all advisors must act in clients' best interests. 

Boyle Capital Background

Boyle Capital was founded in 2004. The firm is owned by BFB Holdings, LLC, which is owned by Brian F. Boyle, who also acts as president and chief compliance officer (CCO) of the firm.

Services offered include portfolio management, wrap fee program, financial planning services, and selection of other advisors.

Boyle Capital Investment Strategy

Fundamental analysis is the primary way Boyle Capital's advisors analyze potential investments for clients. Most of the money is invested in individual securities including non-exchange-traded securities. Bonds, mutual funds and cash holdings are also used.

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.

Least
Most
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.