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Updated on Wednesday, December 2, 2020
For those looking for a financial advisor in the Peach Stateâ€™s capital, this list of the top financial advisors in Atlanta can help narrow your search so you can find an advisor who is right for you. Of course, finding the right fit will also require taking the time to consider what your financial needs and goals are and how much you can comfortably spend on an advisorâ€™s services.
Still, that leaves a lot of data to dig through and firms to compare to determine which companies fit the bill. In the hopes of making that process easier, we compiled the most pertinent information on the best advisors in Atlanta. We only considered firms that manage individual accounts and offer financial planning services for this list, and we then ranked these firms based on assets under management (AUM), which serves as a general metric for the firmâ€™s size, and client-to-advisor ratio, which indicates how much attention you may get as a client.
While our ranking alone wonâ€™t tell you which firm may be best for you, it can hopefully help guide your search. Take a look at our list below for the top firms in Atlanta and their key highlights:
For our search, we looked at firms across the city of Atlanta. 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, weâ€™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 December 2, 2020, but urge you to evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.
Founded in 1992 by its current owner and principal Douglas B. Leeson, Investment Research & Advisory Group, Inc., also known as IRA Group, provides investment advice to private and institutional clients, including individuals, foundations, endowments and pension plans. Though the firm generally requires a minimum account size of $1 million, its individual client base is split between individuals who are and are not considered high net worth, which the SEC defines as having at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million.
In addition to securities advice, IRA Group also provides advice on financial planning, tax issues and trust services. The firmâ€™s Atlanta location is its only office.
IRA Group places an emphasis on mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in client portfolios, and also includes individual stocks and bonds as necessary. The firm believes strongly in global diversification.
When choosing investments, IRA Group only considers publicly-traded securities, including open-end mutual funds, ETFs, individual stocks and bonds, options and CDs. The firm compiles a list of the investments it thinks are best, based on its proprietary analytical process, and then puts them on the â€śIRA Focus List.â€ť When investments are removed from the list, they are also taken out of client portfolios. While most of the investments in their clientsâ€™ portfolios will be on the list, some exceptions are made for those not included on the list.
IRA Group has one disciplinary issue on its record. For reference, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires all registered investment advisors to report any civil, legal or regulatory issues involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates from over the last 10 years on their Form ADV paperwork.
The issue on IRA Groupâ€™s record relates to an error in which three of the firmâ€™s advisors were incorrectly coded as â€śterminatedâ€ť due to an administrative error. The firm caught and self-reported the issue, and the state of Georgia reinstated the advisors. IRA Group paid $5,000 to the state as a reimbursement for their time and also made a $5,000 donation to the Investor Protection Trust for Investor Education. There was no civil penalty assessed.
For more information on IRA Group, visit the firmâ€™s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.
Founded in 1989, Homrich Berg provides wealth management services to individuals, including high net worth individuals, as well as to trusts, retirement plans, corporate entities and family offices. The firm can also offer more targeted investment advice based solely on a clientâ€™s investment objects and instructions.
The firmâ€™s principal owner is Andrew Berg, who also serves as CEO of the company, and 23 employees are additional owners. Homrich Berg has three offices in the Atlanta area and one in Alpharetta, Ga.
Homrich Berg uses asset allocation models to construct most portfolios, but it customizes them as necessary. The portfolios the firm creates primarily contain ETFs, mutual funds and individual securities, but may sometimes also include alternatives, such as private equity, real estate and hedge funds.
The primary custodian of accounts opened with Homrich Berg is Charles Schwab & Company, and investment purchases are primarily made through them. On occasion, Homrich Berg may also use Fidelity Investments or TD Ameritrade Institutional.
Homrich Berg reports no legal or disciplinary history. This includes any civil, criminal or regulatory events from within the last 10 years that involve either the firm or its employees or affiliates. For more information about Homrich Berg, visit the firmâ€™s IAPD page.
Iron Capital Advisors Inc. was founded in 2003 by Charles Osborne and Larry Gray. Osborne is the sole owner and managing director today.
The firm offers portfolio management services as well as defined contribution plan services. Its clients include individuals with and without a high net worth, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts and estates. Iron Capital Advisors has just one office, located in Atlanta.
Iron Capital Advisors uses four models to create its clientsâ€™ investment plans, which are based on their financial circumstances, objectives and risk tolerance. The available models include a fixed income strategy, a global equity strategy, an income producing strategy and a long-term equity opportunity investment strategy. In some cases, the strategies are combined.
Iron Capital Advisors chooses stocks via a proprietary selection model. It starts with more than 3,000 companies and narrows it down to a â€śbest ideasâ€ť portfolio consisting of 20 to 30 stocks. Although the firm does believe in the importance of company selection, it thinks that portfolio construction is the top priority. It aims to allocate the largest percentage of clientsâ€™ assets to companies with the highest anticipated returns, while aiming to minimize taxes and portfolio turnover.
Iron Capital Advisors reports no disciplinary history, meaning it has a record free of any civil, criminal or regulatory issues. The SEC requires that all registered investment advisors report any such incidents from within the last decade on their Form ADV paperwork. For more information on Iron Capital Advisors, visit the firmâ€™s IAPD page.
Edge Capital Group, LLC was originally formed in 2006 as Edge Advisors, LLC. The firm is now part of the Focus Financial Partners, LLC partnership, which includes other investment advisors and firms owned by the publicly traded company. Though it is part of this partnership, Edge Capital Group is independently managed by a committee made up of five employees, including Will Skeean, who serves as chairman of the board.
Edge Capital Group primarily serves high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and families, with a minimum investment requirement of $5 million. The firm provides wealth management services, outsourced CIO services, financial planning and family office services.
In addition to its headquarters in Atlanta, the firm also has offices in Charlotte, N.C.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Lexington, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; Tampa, Fla.; and Dallas.
Edge Capital Group constructs portfolios based on individual clientsâ€™ needs. Accounts are monitored at least quarterly and adjusted as necessary. The firm uses both active and passive management strategies, and it typically recommends mutual funds, ETFs and private investment fund managers for its clients portfolios.
Additionally, the firm may use hedge funds and other alternative investments, such as private equity and private real estate, for which it relies on a third-party alternative research firm to provide advice. Edge Capital Group also has an internal asset management division, Blue Current, that offers both a global dividend strategy and an ultra-short fixed income Strategy that the firm may recommend for some clients.
Edge Capital Group reports no legal or disciplinary events. For reference, the SEC requires that all registered investment advisors report these events in their Form ADV paperwork that they must file. You can get more information on Edge Capital Group by visiting the firmâ€™s IAPD page.
Brightworth, LLC was founded in 1997 by Dave Polstra, Chris Dardaman, Alan Gotthardt and Ray PadrĂłn as Polstra & Dardaman, LLC. PadrĂłn currently serves as Brightworthâ€™s CEO, and Polstra is a partner.
Brightworth, which generally requires a minimum account size of $1 million, serves individuals both with and without a high net worth, as well as trusts, estates charitable organizations, small businesses and pension and profit-sharing plans. The firm offers investment management, wealth planning services and seminars and planning services tailored to business owners.
In addition to its office in Atlanta, the firm also has an office in Charlotte, N.C. for its McGill Advisors division, which focuses on serving dental industry professionals. This division requires a $300,000 minimum investment requirement, which is lower than that of Brightworth.
Brightworth invests most client portfolios in one of its models and then further customizes it as needed based on the clientâ€™s specific goals and objectives. The firm primarily constructs clientâ€™s portfolios using stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and private investment strategies, such as hedge funds and real estate. It uses third-party money managers, who are selected by the companyâ€™s investment committee and investment analysts, to manage client accounts.
Additionally, the firm manages individual stock portfolios. For these portfolios, Brightworth seeks to identify industries that are on the verge of growth opportunities and then analyzes these companies to select individual stocks.
Brightworth, LLC reports no disclosures, meaning it has a disciplinary record free of any civil, criminal or regulatory events within the last 10 years involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates. For more information, visit the firmâ€™s IAPD page.
SignatureFD, LLC was founded in 1997. The firm provides investment management and, to the extent the client requests, financial planning and consulting services. With a typical investment requirement of $2 million, SignatureFD primarily serves individuals (both who are and are not high net worth), businesses, trust, estates and charitable organizations.
In addition to its headquarters in Atlanta, the firm also has an office in Charlotte, N.C. The firm is owned by its employees.
SignatureFDâ€™s primary investment strategies include long-term purchases (those held for a year or more), short-term purchases (those sold within a year) and trading (investments sold within 30 days). The firm may also use short sales, options and margin transactions as appropriate.
In analyzing securities to determine its recommendations, SignatureFD uses a variety of analysis methods to forecast the direction of prices, including:
SignatureFD has a clean disciplinary record. This means that it reports no issues in its Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC, which may include any civil, regulatory or criminal events involving the firm or its affiliates. You can learn more about SignatureFD by visiting the firmâ€™s IAPD page.
Capital Investment Advisors, LLC was founded in 1996. Its three primary owners are managing partners and senior investment advisors at the firm.
The firm works with individual investors who both are and are not high net worth individuals, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and businesses. It generally requires a $500,000 account minimum to access the firmâ€™s services, which include asset management and pension consulting.
In addition to its headquarters in Atlanta, Capital Investment Advisors also has offices in Denver and Tampa, Fla., as well as meeting locations in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida Texas and Washington.
Capital Investment Advisors typically places client assets into two primary types of investments: growth investments and income investments. Growth investments most often include ETFs and stocks, while income investments typically include bond mutual funds, bond ETFs, individual issued bond and closed-end funds. In certain cases, the firm may also offer clients access to private funds overseen by its affiliate, Altera.
To evaluate investments, Capital Investment Advisors primarily uses fundamental analysis. This method of analysis looks at a companyâ€™s or productâ€™s sales, assets, markets, management and other factors.
Capital Investment Advisors reports one disciplinary disclosure on its Form ADV paperwork. The incident relates to the firmâ€™s failure to file registrations and notice filings with the state commissioner of Georgia for four years, from 1998 through 2001. The firm was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine, which it did.
You can learn more about this disclosure and Capital Investment Advisors by visiting the firmâ€™s IAPD page.
Founded in 1985, Capital Directions LLC provides financial planning and investment advisory services to individuals, including high net worth individuals, as well as to pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates and charitable organizations. Though the firm does not have a minimum investment requirement, it does typically require a minimum advisory fee of $10,000.
Capital Directions is independently operated and owned by three of its employees. The firmâ€™s only office location is in Atlanta.
Capital Directionâ€™s approach to investing is primarily based on modern portfolio theory, which is centered around reducing risk through diversification both across and within asset classes. The firm believes in passive investing. As such, it typically includes indexed and passive mutual funds in its recommendations and typically does not recommend individual stocks or bonds. On the whole, it strives to keep clientâ€™s investment fees, expenses and taxes to a minimum.
Capital Directions largely relies on financial newspapers and magazines, research materials and corporate rating services to make its investment decisions as well as its annual reports, prospectuses and other SEC filings.
Capital Directions has no legal or disciplinary events to report. As is the case with all registered investment advisors, the firm is required to report any civil, regulatory or criminal events on its filings with the SEC. For more information on Capital Directions, visit the firmâ€™s IAPD page.
For 2019 to 2020, Georgiaâ€™s income tax rate ranges from 1% to 5.75%. The Peach State has no estate or inheritance tax, though if you inherit property from a state that does have one, you still may be subject to that as well as to federal estate taxes.
No, not all financial advisors focus on this topic area. Because retirement planning can be a complicated topic, you want to make sure you find an advisor who knows the ins and outs of it if thatâ€™s your primary concern. When considering advisors, ask them how much experience they have with retirement planning and other key questions about their background and credentials.
It is understandable why you might focus your search on a fee-only financial advisor, as they only only earn money through fees their clients pay, thus minimizing potential conflict of interest. To find a fee-only advisor in Atlanta, you can use online search tools, such as those provided by The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors or the Financial Planning Association.
You should also ask an advisor how they are compensated. All registered investment advisors must file a Form ADV with the SEC, which lists the types of fees they charge. You can ask an advisor for a copy or look it up at https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.
To find the best financial advisor for you in Atlanta, take an inventory of your needs and calculate your assets, then eliminate those advisors that donâ€™t meet those needs or who require more assets than you have.
Beyond that, you want to evaluate advisorsâ€™ credentials, the fees they charge and their investment strategies. Getting referrals from family and friends is always a good place to start, and MagnifyMoney also has a tool to help you narrow down your search for a financial advisor.