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2020 Best Financial Advisors in Colorado: Fees and Services

2020 Best Financial Advisors in Colorado: Fees and Services
17 Sep
9:38

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It may not have not been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners or the Investment company.

Updated on Thursday, September 17, 2020

Choosing a financial advisor can be challenging, given the number of financial advisors in Colorado. Finding the right advisor for you has a lot to do with figuring out the proper fit, which means understanding your financial needs and goals and how much you’re willing to spend.

That being said, we understand comparing firms and data points can be difficult, so we compiled the most pertinent information to help guide your decision. To determine the best advisors in Colorado, we only considered firms that manage individual accounts and offer financial planning services. We then ranked these firms based on assets under management (AUM), which serves as a general metric for the firm’s size, and client-to-advisor ratio, which indicates how much attention you may get as a client.

Our ranking is not indicative of which firm may be best for you, but it can help make the shopping experience easier. Take a look at our list below for the top firms in Colorado and their key highlights:

financial advisor

financial advisor

10 best financial advisors in Colorado

Methodology and criteria

For our search, we looked at firms across the state of Colorado. All of the firms considered are bound by fiduciary duty, registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and offer individual account management and financial planning services.

The firms that met this criteria were ranked based on their AUM and client-to-advisor ratio. These criteria are weighted equally in our scoring metrics. Firms with a higher AUM and lower client-to-advisor ratios garner higher scores. Our ranking system is designed to help compare firms, but does not indicate which firm may be best for you.

In our reviews, we’ve listed several other key features that will help you determine which financial advisor is most fitting for your investing style and financial needs. It is important to note that we did not include disciplinary disclosures as a metric for our ranking. We have listed any disciplinary disclosures current as of September 17, 2020, but urge you to evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.

  • City: Greenwood Village, Colo.
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 98:1
  • AUM: $48,524,968,952
  • Minimum assets required: Not listed
  • Fee structure: 
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees

About Advised Assets Group, LLC

Founded in 2000, Advised Assets Group, LLC provides investment management and advisory services to retirement plan sponsors, plan participants and IRA account holders nationwide. Its services include asset allocation using mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), managed portfolios from third-party investment managers and financial planning. The firm offers services on both a discretionary basis, in which it makes the decisions about buying and selling assets, and on a non-discretionary basis, in which the client makes the final decisions.

In addition to its Greenwood Village, Colo., headquarters, Advised Assets has an additional 14 offices located throughout the country. The firm is registered to serve clients in all 50 states, as well in the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico. It is a subsidiary of Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, which is also based out of Colorado.

Advised Assets Group, LLC investing strategy

Advised Assets Group focuses on achieving long-term returns, as opposed to attempting to predict the future performance of specific securities. It takes a similar stance on attempting to predict clients’ future income and expenses, instead choosing to focus on their current lifestyle.

With an emphasis on retirement planning, the firm’s recommendations are based on factors including the client’s account balance, expected retirement age and contribution rate, among others. Its stated goal is to “make retirement planning smarter and more accessible than ever before.”

Advised Assets Group, LLC disciplinary disclosures

Advised Assets Group, LLC has one disclosure on its record, related to an incident in which the Maryland Department of Insurance determined it needed to revise its buyers guide and policy summary to comply with state law; the firm has since done so, and a $6,000 fine was paid.

All registered investment advisors are required by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to disclose any disciplinary events — including civil, criminal and regulatory actions — on the Uniform Application for Investment Advisor Registration, commonly referred to as Form ADV. For more information, including access to the Form ADV, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

  • City: Denver
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 38:1
  • AUM: $15,848,965,584
  • Minimum assets required: $500,000
  • Fee structure: 
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees

About Mercer Global Advisors Inc.

Mercer Global Advisors was founded in 1985 by attorney Kendrick Mercer. Today, the firm has 50 offices across the United States. Its team of over 400 employees includes certified financial planners (CFP), certified public accountants (CPA), chartered financial analysts (CFA) and attorneys.

The firm provides comprehensive services, including investment management, family office services and financial planning, including tax planning and estate planning. Mercer Global Advisors caters primarily to high net worth individuals, and clients typically must have a minimum of $500,000 in assets.

Mercer Global Advisors Inc. investing strategy

Mercer Global Advisors strives to maintain consistency while optimizing returns, with a focus on preserving capital and maximizing tax efficiency. The firm believes in broad, global diversification within assets and across asset classes, and it also uses alternative investments that may not perform in line with stocks or bonds.

Instead of a single advisor making investment decisions, Mercer Advisors has an investment committee made up of 16 members that oversee the firm’s policies, portfolios and managers. The firm has also signed the United Nations’ Principles Responsible Investment (PRI), which means it takes into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when making investment recommendations.

Mercer Global Advisors Inc. disciplinary disclosures

There are no disciplinary events disclosed on Mercer Advisors’ Form ADV. Disciplinary disclosures include any civil, regulatory or criminal events against the firm, its employees or its affiliates. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

  • City: Boulder
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 5:1
  • AUM: $2,949,776,621
  • Minimum assets required: $25 million
  • Fee structure: 
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
    • Performance-based fees

About Crestone Asset Management, LLC

Crestone Asset Management, LLC was founded in 2001. It is a subsidiary of Crestone Capital, which is owned by The Eric J. Kramer Company, the company’s predecessor. Crestone Asset Management, LLC is only registered in the state of Colorado, and it has just one office location, which is its headquarters in Boulder.

The firm provides full-service wealth management, and it caters to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients, typically requiring a minimum of $25 million in assets. Crestone also serves some corporations and legal entities.

Crestone Asset Management, LLC investing strategy

Diversification drives the investment strategy at Crestone Asset Management. To create diversified portfolios, the firm studies the long-term behavior of various assets. It uses investments in both traditional and alternative markets, such as private equity, hedge funds and real estate, and eschews traditional “buy and hold” investment models, as it does not believe they optimize potential returns.

When creating portfolios, Crestone works with clients to create an individual investment policy statement and to recommend an asset allocation. It then monitors and regularly rebalances client portfolios in accordance with these recommendations.

Crestone Asset Management LLC disciplinary disclosures

There are no disciplinary events disclosed on Crestone Asset Management LLC’s Form ADV. For reference, disclosures include any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against either the firm or its employees or affiliates. For further information on Crestone Asset Management, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

  • City: Denver
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 5:1
  • AUM: $2,031,524,977
  • Minimum Assets Required: No minimum
  • Fee Structure: 
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees

About IWP Wealth Management LLC

IWP Wealth Management was founded in 2004 by Charles A. Willhoit, who serves as the firm’s president. While Willhoit is the firm’s primary shareholder, all of its partners have equity. The firm has one office in Denver.

IWP Wealth Management is a small firm with less than 10 advisors and just about 50 clients. It caters primarily to high net worth individuals, providing family office, wealth management and investment management services. Additionally, the firm provides consulting services and access to concierge services for travel and entertainment.

IWP Wealth Management LLC investing strategy

IWP Wealth Management believes in diversification across asset classes as well as investment vehicles. The firm typically recommends portfolios that include a mix of ETFs, mutual funds, equities, options, fixed-income securities and private investments.

The firm states that it is risk-averse and more focused on maintaining wealth than pursuing aggressive returns. IWP Wealth Management also advises its clients to maintain adequate liquidity and access to cash, since markets can be volatile.

IWP Wealth Management LLC disciplinary disclosures

There are no disciplinary events — meaning any civil, regulatory or criminal events involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates — disclosed on IWP Wealth Management LLC’s Form ADV. For more information, see IWP Wealth Management’s IAPD page.

  • City: Boulder
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 57:1
  • AUM: $1,576,994,626
  • Minimum assets required: $500,000
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees

About Colorado Financial Management, LLC

Colorado Financial Management, LLC registered as an investment advisor firm in March 1999. It is officially registered under the name of Sargent Bickham Lagudis, LLC, but it does business as Colorado Financial Management. The firm is owned by Bradley Bickham, managing partner and chief investment officer, and Christopher Lagudis, Meagan D’Angelo, Luke Daniel and Joshua Miller, all of whom are principals and senior financial advisors at the firm.

In addition to investment advisory services, the firm provides financial planning and consulting services on topics such as estate planning and insurance planning. The firm serves individuals and families, as well as businesses, pension and profit-sharing plants, trusts, banks, estates and charitable organizations.

Colorado Financial Management has its headquarters in Boulder, with additional offices in Denver and Loveland.

Colorado Financial Management LLC investing strategy

Colorado Financial Management LLC uses three primary investment strategies: Long-term purchases, short-term purchases and trading. It also recommends margin and/or options strategies, though less frequently, as they tend to be riskier.

The firm provides both discretionary account management, in which it makes the decisions about buying and selling assets, and non-discretionary account management, in which it provides advice but the client makes the final decisions. Generally, the firm uses fixed income, mutual funds and ETFs in client portfolios, with asset allocations based on each client’s investment objectives.

Colorado Financial Management LLC disciplinary disclosures

There are no disciplinary events disclosed on Colorado Financial Management LLC’s Form ADV. Disciplinary disclosures are defined as any criminal, civil or regulatory events involving the firm or its employees or affiliates. For more information on the firm, visit its IAPD page.

  • City: Denver
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 61:1
  • AUM: $1,539,415,782
  • Minimum assets required: $500,000
  • Fee structure: 
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
    • Performance-based fees

About GHP Investment Advisors Inc.

GHP Investment Advisors, Inc., began doing business in 1995. The firm’s primary shareholder is its president, Brian Jay Friedman, and it has just one office in Denver.

GHP Investment Advisors provides comprehensive financial planning services and investment account management on a discretionary basis (meaning it makes the final decisions on buying and selling securities) and a non-discretionary basis (where it provides advice but leaves decision making to the client). It serves individuals, high net worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, corporations, businesses and other pooled investment vehicles, such as hedge funds.

GHP Investment Advisors Inc. investing strategy

GHP Investment Advisors generally creates financial plans for its clients and prepares a long-term financial forecast before advising them on asset management recommendations.

The firm uses its GHPIA Valuation Benchmark to assess whether investments are overvalued or undervalued and high-risk or low-risk. It focuses primarily on long-term purchases, generally buying securities to hold for at least a year. It may also use options writing as an investment strategy, as well as investment in private funds.

GHP Investment Advisors Inc. disciplinary disclosures

GHP Investment Advisors has no disciplinary events to disclose, meaning it has a record free of any criminal, regulatory or civil actions against the firm itself or its employees or affiliates. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

  • City: Golden
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 52:1
  • AUM: $1,496,806,934
  • Minimum assets required: $5,000 to 250,000, depending on the program
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees

About Western Wealth Management LLC

Established in 2016, Western Wealth Management, LLC is owned by G.E. Buenning, who founded the firm and currently serves as a managing member. The firm provides comprehensive portfolio management and financial planning services. Its clients include individuals and high net worth individuals, charitable organizations, corporations and other businesses, investment advisors and pension and profit-sharing plans.

While Western Wealth Management is headquartered in Colorado, it has a network of more than 80 advisors across the country, with offices currently in California, Connecticut, Tennessee and Texas. These advisors registered with and supervised and overseen by Western Wealth Management, and Western Wealth Management provides them with financial products, services and support, but most operate independently under different names.

Western Wealth Management LLC investing strategy

After at least one meeting with clients to assess their resources, goals, financial situation and tolerance for risk, Western Wealth Management will propose an investment strategy for the client. Its investing strategies usually take into account current trends, trend reversals, historical data and other factors in order to forecast price directions. Portfolios commonly consist of ETFs, mutual funds and individual stocks.

Investment strategies typically used by the firm include both short-term purchases (securities sold within a year) and long-term purchases (securities held for at least one year), as well as trading, short sales, margin transactions and option writing.

Western Wealth Management LLC disciplinary disclosures

Western Wealth Management LLC discloses on its Form ADV that one of its advisory affiliates was disciplined by a self-regulatory organization or commodities exchange. For more information about the firm, visit its IAPD page.

  • City: Fort Collins
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 93:1
  • AUM: $1,273,726,304
  • Minimum assets required: No minimum
  • Fee structure: 
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees

About IFAM Capital

IFAM Capital, formally registered with the SEC as Institutional and Family Asset Management, LLC, was founded in 2014 as the successor to IFM Capital Advisors, LLC. It is part of the Focus Financial Partners, LLC partnership. A public company, Focus LLC is traded on the NASDAQ. The firm has offices in Colorado in Fort Collins and Denver, as well as another office Sioux Falls, S.D.

The firm’s services include financial planning, wealth management and investment advisory services as well as retirement plan consulting services. It serves individuals and high net worth individuals, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, businesses and pension and profit-sharing plans.

IFAM Capital investing strategy

IFAM Capital uses the following methods of analysis to evaluate investment opportunities and make recommendations:

  • Fundamental analysis: Looks at the overall health of a company
  • Technical analysis: Looks at past market data
  • Cyclical analysis: Looks at conditions of both the market and the company over time

The firm also works with investment consulting firm Dimeo Schneider to get further research and recommendations regarding investments.

The primary investments the firm uses in client portfolios are mutual funds, ETFs and separately managed accounts via a third-party manager. Most services are provided on a discretionary basis, meaning IFAM Capital makes decisions about buying and selling assets on the client’s behalf without their express approval each time.

IFAM Capital disciplinary disclosures

IFAM Capital has no disciplinary disclosures, which include any civil, regulatory or criminal events involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates over the past 10 years. You can learn more about the firm on its IAPD page.

  • City: Boulder
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 19:1
  • AUM: $1,237,125,570
  • Minimum assets required: No minimum
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
    • Travel reimbursement

About BSW Wealth Partners

Founded in 1992 by Debi Baydush, who is currently of counsel, BSW Wealth Partners is a public benefit corporation, which means that while it is a for-profit company, it has vowed to do good both in the world and for its stakeholders. The firm is owned by Baydush and eight other individuals, each of whom owns a varying percentage of the business.

The firm has its headquarters in Boulder, but it also has an office in the Denver metro area. It provides investment management and financial advisory services, including tax and estate planning, charitable gift strategies, college planning and retirement planning. There’s no minimum asset requirement to work with BSW Wealth Partners, and its clients include individuals, high net worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts and estates, corporations, plan sponsors, charitable and not-for-profit organizations and other businesses.

BSW Wealth Partners investing strategy

When determining an asset allocation, BSW uses a top-down approach, which looks first at the big picture of the economy, and then at the markets and individual assets. The firm primarily advises one of two strategies:

  • Growth strategies: May include equities, mutual funds, real estate and other assets
  • Fixed-income strategies: Include investments such as bonds, notes and certificates of deposit (CDs)

The firm works primarily on a discretionary basis, though in some cases offers non-discretionary services in which the client makes the final decision on buying and selling assets in their portfolio rather than handing that control over to the firm.

BSW Wealth Partners disciplinary disclosures

There are no disciplinary events disclosed on BSW Wealth’s Form ADV. This means the firm has a clean record, free of any civil, criminal or regulatory actions from the past 10 years. For further information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

  • City: Greenwood Village
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 112:1
  • AUM: $1,233,311,844
  • Minimum assets required: $500,000
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
    • Performance-based fees
    • Other (asset on third-party platforms)

About Transform Wealth, LLC

Transform Wealth, LLC, formerly Weatherstone Capital Management, Inc., has been in business since 2011. It was acquired in April 2018 by Carnick & Group, LLC, and its name was changed to Transform Wealth, LLC in November 2019. It is part of Focus Financial Partners, LLC, which is a public company traded on the NASDAQ.

The firm offers investment advisory, financial planning and consultation services. Clients include individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and businesses.

In addition to its headquarters in Greenwood Village, the firm also has offices in Colorado Springs, Colo., Denver and Houston.

Transform Wealth, LLC investing strategy

Transform Wealth places an emphasis on liquidity, diversification, risk analysis and cash flow when allocating client assets, and its investment strategy recommendations range from conservative to aggressive. In general, the firm takes a long-term perspective, and it states that it doesn’t believe in relying on just one strategy to outperform the market.

Transform Wealth, LLC uses fundamental analysis (an evaluation of the health of companies) and technical analysis (an evaluation of the health of the market) to make investment recommendations. Investments commonly used in client portfolios include individual equity securities, ETFs, mutual funds and other securities, though it also may offer advice on other types of investments.

Transform Wealth, LLC disciplinary disclosures

There are no disciplinary events disclosed on Transform Wealth’s Form ADV. For reference, disclosures include any civil, regulatory or criminal events against the firm, its employees or its affiliates. For more information, visit Transform Wealth’s IAPD page.

Financial advisors in Colorado: FAQs

The state of Colorado doesn’t collect any estate or inheritance taxes. Residents are, however, subject to federal estate tax and inheritance laws. Note that if you inherit property or assets from another state, it’s that state’s laws that apply. The individual income tax rate in Colorado is 4.63%.

When it comes to choosing a financial advisor, you want to pay special attention to the certifications they have. These certifications provide insight into the advisor’s education and skills. Certified financial planners (CFPs) and chartered financial analysts (CFAs) are two of the most esteemed certifications: They require extensive coursework to acquire, as well as adherence to ethical standards.

Whether it’s important to find an advisor in your area depends on how you want to interact with your advisor. Many people like meeting with their advisor in person, but some are fine with communicating remotely. Others don’t mind traveling out of state to meet with their advisor in person. While choosing a local advisor is generally the most convenient, the most important factor is that you find a qualified advisor who can best meet your needs.

While most financial advisor firms can help you with retirement planning, not all specialize in it and some only provide asset management services. If retirement planning is a priority for you, be sure to ask a financial advisor what services they offer and how much experience they have in the area in which you need assistance.

Source: https://www.magnifymoney.com/blog/investing/best-financial-advisors-colorado-rias/

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