Hiring a firm, or trusting an individual within a firm, to invest and protect your money for retirement or wealth accumulation is a big decision. Knowing what asset management company or wealth advisory service to hire can be a tough decision to make. How do you know your money is in the right hands? How do you know about their fees and how it affects your retirement or savings long term? In the financial planning business, reputation is one thing. But the philosophy and how they go about managing your portfolio is much more important. Keep reading to find out what the best Financial Advisors in Baltimore are.
Many seek the advice of a financial planner to navigate sudden changes in life such as marriage, divorce, death or switching a career. Selling a business can often result in needing a new approach, with a good business broker and a financial planner needed to take the seller to the next level of success.
Every stage of life calls for a different approach to saving and planning. If one started investing at age 21, the needs of that person are drastically different than one who starts at 65 years of age. The approach, how aggressive the investment portfolio is and the current income of the different individuals, are all things to consider. Many options are available for those who wish to invest and plan for a final destination—whether it’s freedom from the work force or for a very comfortable eventual retirement. The success or failure to reach the ultimate destination largely depends on the firm chosen and the performance of their services. Let’s not forget that the political climate, the state of the economy and how dedicated the investor is at staying with the market ups and downs are factors that can impact the lifetime results of your long-term financial strength.
Financial planning can be accomplished in several ways. Signing up with an online do-it-yourself investment company is one way. Another is to hire an actual advisor. Both strategies come with their pros and cons.
An online do-it-yourself firm lets you do it without human advice and usually comes with a lower price or cost to invest. After all, another human is not paid for doing research or making transactions in the investment. The option of hiring a wealth manager or financial planner comes with higher costs, but proven to have more lucrative results. Analysts say you can anticipate 2% to 4% higher results when you have direct involvement of an active financial planner versus going it alone.
What Will That 2% or 4% Cost?
Hiring a financial planner comes with greater returns but at higher costs? At which point is it beneficial? To know that, it’s crucial to understand how your advisor makes money. It will determine how they work to make you money. Which means it is important to understand the various options and payment structures. Here are the most common choices:
Hourly: The investor is charged for time use on his behalf, regardless of assets.
Retainer: A scheduled (usually monthly or annual) fee makes the Financial Advisor available, on-call for the advisory services the retainer covers.
Flat fees: A set price for financial planning and asset management services. The fees have nothing to do with the amount of the investor’s account, big or small. It’s like ordering off a menu of services.
Commission: The financial advisor receives a percentage of the money spent buying high-performing investments, usually charged per transaction.
Asset management: The investor is charged a fee based on how much money is invested and fees usually are paid directly from the investor’s account.
If a financial advisor is less motivated to make you more money—for example, an hourly fee—that advisor is more likely to spend time on another account. They make more money the more investments and assets grow in an Asset Management account. But also be aware that conflicts of interest can arise, depending on the fee structure. For example, advisors in Austin might move money around needlessly if they get a flat fee per transaction. Taking a portion of the growth of the investment (commissions) may encourage more thoughtful transactions.
How do you know an advisor isn’t pushing you into investments that benefit someone else’s interests more than your own? Be sure to ask a financial planner you plan to work with, “Do you have a fiduciary responsibility to my investments?” The question will tell you if he is licensed* or not. If he is, that means the financial planner must invest in your best interest first, even if it doesn’t benefit the financial planner. They are bound by ethics and regulations to do so. If the planner is not operating with a strict sense of fiduciary responsibility, he could lead you down a path that has more risk. But that riskier path can also offer a higher pay off for you, as well as him. Who can say which choice is better? It would be hard to determine. Safer? Or bigger and better results? Like anything else, depending on your unique situation, you may be wise to try it both ways to find which approach is better. The wisest course? Get to know your financial planner and make sure you feel comfortable with the road he or she has planned for you, tailored to the results you desire.
The following are the best financial planners in Baltimore, MD:
Buttonwood Financial Advisors
Buttonwood Financial Advisors has been serving individual and family clients for over eight years. The business offers financial services including retirement and education, investment management, taxes, insurance, and debts. Principals Damian Gallina and Jeff A. Malcolm have more than 35 years of experience between them and when clients who hire Buttonwood Financial Advisors get a team of objective, fee-only professionals dedicated to advancing the client’s financial health.
The best way to get to a secure and satisfying future is by building a cohesive plan that allows making confident decisions about money. Buttonwood Financial Advisors will create a thorough and thoughtful plan that identifies opportunities unique to each client’s stage of life, employment benefits, and taxes. They’ll point out strengths and weaknesses in the current investments and suggest ways to modify and improve the portfolio in order to achieve goals. Coordinating your pension benefits, social security, and investments can help you feel more confident in your work and prepared for your retirement. Buttonwood’s investment management services are based on value investing, a timeless and disciplined approach that is a know‐what‐you‐own approach. They believe reputable businesses can do the heavy lifting of compounding your wealth.
Buttonwood Financial Advisors
509 S Exeter St UNIT 500,
Baltimore, MD 21202
Facet Wealth was founded in 2016 with private equity firm Warburg Pincus, and the current CEO, co-founder Anders Jones, executive chairman Patrick McKenna, chief evangelist Brent Weiss combine to own the firm.
Planning a prosperous financial life demands individual attention. The firm takes the time to match clients with the right CFP® Professional and does not pass them from person to person. Clients always work with one CFP® Professional consistently & virtually. That lets the Professional know each client and understand their needs, goals and dreams.
Facet Wealth creates individually tailored financial plans and does not charge fees based on assets under management or commissions. Facet Wealth does not have a minimum investment or minimum fee for its investors. The vast majority of its clients are individuals, with a few high-net-worth individuals. The firm does not advise any institutional clients.
Facet charges a flat fee on transactions rather than a fee based on assets under management or commissions, though several staff members are also registered brokers or insurance agents and can sell clients securities or insurance policies. The potential conflict of interest is nullified by the firm’s fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the client.
Facet Wealth advisors use fundamental, technical and cyclical analysis to pick securities and the firm uses both long-term and short-term purchases to maximize returns. Potential investments include open-end mutual funds, closed-end mutual funds, exchange traded funds, individual equities and individual bonds.
509 South Exeter Street, Suite 202
Baltimore, MD 21202
Formerly known as Wagner Bowman Management Corp., the firm was founded in 1986 and changed its name in 2017 when ownership was transferred from founder Daniel E. Wagner to long-time investment professional and chief compliance officer Marc J. Hertzberg. Clients have relied on WBH Advisory for more than 30 years to provide independent advice and guide sound financial decisions. The firm has been entrusted to manage more than $750 million of assets for 500 plus clients and their families.
Services offered include, Investment management services, Retirement planning, Income tax planning, Education planning, Insurance planning and Estate planning.
WBH tailors its investing strategy to the goals and wishes of the client. The firm has clients with all-equity portfolios, all-fixed-income portfolios and portfolios made up of a combination of the two. The asset allocation in each portfolio is up to the client.
WBH Advisory is a fee-only firm, meaning it only makes money from advisory fees, and there is no minimum account size except for clients using the firm’s digital investing, which requires a minimum balance of $5,000. The majority of the firm’s clients are average investors though the firm does serve a number of high-net-worth individuals. It also has a percentage of institutional clients, including pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations, charitable organizations and state or municipal government entities.
The advisory team at WBH includes chartered financial analysts (CFAs), certified financial planners (CFPs) and certified public accountants (CPAs).
The firm takes a team approach to building custom investment portfolios for clients. Decisions are made by a team of advisors, leveraging their collective expertise and decades of experience.
1829 Reisterstown Road, Suite 225
Baltimore, Maryland 21208
GGM Wealth Advisors
GGM Wealth Advisors is a wealth and financial advisory firm that has offered customized investment solutions and retirement plans, as well as estate planning, accounting, tax services, and audits through the firm’s affiliation with Gross, Mendelsohn, and Associates, PA, for over 19 years.
GGM Wealth Advisors helps families and businesses invest for all seasons. If you don’t know what the weather is, how do you know what to wear? The same is true for different investment environments or “seasons.” The firm’s keys to investment success starts with preparing a portfolio for the current economic ‘season’ and is then tailored to the client’s goals, risk profile, time horizon and the market climate.
GGM Wealth Advisors’ dynamic process is beyond wealth management. It helps put all the pieces of the financial puzzle together so clients can successfully reach their destination. Ultimately, the firm tracks progress, adjust as needs evolve and helps clients build a better tomorrow by manage and growing wealth. Whether the focus is protecting family, attaining financial independence, achieving a mission, or benefiting employees, each client deserves to have their money well managed with sound advice, exceptional service and better conversations. That’s the way financial advice is supposed to be. GGM Wealth Advisors bring simplicity and clear insight to their clients’ decision-making.
GGM Wealth Advisors
1801 Porter Street, Suite 500
Baltimore, MD 21230
&Wealth Partners is financial advisor firm focused on providing financial services to women. It was founded in 2009 and, while there isn’t a required minimum account size, the $10,000 minimum annual fee makes sense only if clients have at least $1 million in assets under &Wealth Partners’ management. The firm clients are mostly high-net-worth, defined by the SEC as $1.5 million or more and &Wealth has less than 100 client accounts.
Dorie Fain founded the firm in 2009 after spending 12 years as a financial advisor at Smith Barney, now known as Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. She’s a certified financial planner (CFP) and third-generation investment advisor. She created the boutique financial advisory firm expressly for a select group of women who are managing major life events and their own new-found finances for the very first time. Given the clients’ distinct needs, &Wealth simplifies complexities and reduces the stress of the investment management, financial planning and divorce decision making. With an elite, hand-picked team, &Wealth blends focused step-by-step financial planning with thoughtful communication and a personalized, “go-at-your-own pace” approach. Anchored in the belief that financial planning is the foundation of investment management, Dorie want clients to experience more patience, more thoughtfulness, more personalized attention, more flexibility, and a steady-as-we-go approach. She followed her instincts and offers women more of everything that matters to them.
Another facet of &Wealth is its divorce financial services. The company will work a client and their attorney to help plan finances and avoid costly mistakes. The service includes the firm’s Historical Lifestyle Analysis™, a process that helps clients understand past income and expenses and what is needed after a divorce.
Since founding &Wealth, the firm has guided clients from being cautious observers to thoughtful investors.
1629 Thames Street, Suite 300
Baltimore, MD 21231
1919 Investment Counsel
1919 Investment Counsel can trace its roots back to 1919, when it was known as Scudder, Stevens & Clark. In 2014, the firm was renamed 1919 Investment Counsel when it was acquired by the Stifel Financial Corporation. It is a full service brokerage and investment banking firm. headquartered in St. Louis and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SF. Harry O’Mealia, CEO and president, has worked in the financial services industry since 1985.
The firm is fee-based, which means advisors can earn commissions for selling financial products. While earning commissions for selling financial products represents a potential conflict of interest, the firm’s fiduciary duty means that it will always act in a client’s best interests.
At least $2 million is needed to open an account at 1919 Investment Counsel for some services. Other accounts have minimums of $10,000 and $100,000.
1919 Investment Counsel has some unique investing options, including socially responsible investing, global total return investing and multi-cap core equity investing. The firm has over 40 years’ experience in socially responsible investing, including environmentally focused securities, social and corporate governance.
Multi-cap core equity investing is a strategy that’s focuses on U.S. small and mid-cap stocks. This strategy invests in stocks for the long term, using bottom-up fundamental research.
1919 was founded on the belief that “no two clients are alike.” Their integrated framework is designed to deliver independent counsel, responsible strategies and investment solutions dedicated to supporting client’s aspirations and goals. The experienced team of advisors strive to provide clarity, services and tailored solutions that build, preserve, and manage wealth.
1919 Investment Counsel
One South Street, Suite 2500
Baltimore, MD 21202
Established in 2015, InvestEd has over 75 years of collective financial investment and advisor experience, with roots in sound money management for high-net worth clients who are dedicated to changing the face of financial advising. InvestEd relies on old-school wisdom combined with new-school technology and the free flow of financial information, to help clients reach their long-term goals.
The firm’s exclusive partnership with Betterment, one of the world’s leading online financial management websites, combines sound financial advice with flexible custodial services and are a secure, trusted money management site, plus mobile apps for iOS and Android.
InvestEd and Betterment have a .95% annual fee which is automatically deducted every year. InvestEd offers free financial planning meetings because the firm believes everyone should have access to high-quality fiduciary financial advice. They strive to make clients you feel confident and empowered in regards to their finances.
The free financial planning meeting is all about the client and the client leaves the meeting with advice and recommendations from InvestEd financial advisors regarding their personal financial situation.
InvestEd charges their 0.95% asset management (aum) fee once an account has been funded. The more money clients make the more money the firm makes. They want investments to succeed are cheering clients on to reach their financial goals.
345 N Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
Burt Wealth Advisors
Burt Wealth Advisors is an independent, fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor serving the greater Baltimore-Washington Metro area for over 25 years. Since the founding in 1985 by Dr. Marvin Burt, the firm has been providing comprehensive wealth management for individuals, families, trusts, and companies throughout the area. The lead advisors all have between 15 and 25-plus years of experience as Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) professionals.
As an independent firm, free to find the best offerings to meet client’s goals and objectives, they are a trusted partner of high net worth individuals, families, and business owners wishing to protect and grow their assets across generations. Their commitment to clients’ financial success includes building a trusting, long-term relationship based on education, communication, objectivity, and proactive service.
Independent doesn’t mean alone – Burt Wealth Advisors invests with some of the most prominent institutional investment managers in the world, giving clients access to the best investment management and services available today.
Clients receive as much information as needed to keep them informed about their investments. In a world in which cyber-attacks and geo-politics can temporarily overtake economic fundamentals at any time, it is critical for clients to know what’s happening with their money. Burt Wealth Advisors is very serious about the role as fiduciaries and wholeheartedly embrace their obligation to always put a client’s needs first.
Burt Wealth Advisors provides fee-only wealth management services to individuals, retirement plans, trusts, corporate accounts, and endowment funds, etc., with at least $1 million of investable assets.
Burt Wealth Advisors
6116 Executive Blvd. Suite 500
N. Bethesda, MD 20852
Sovereign Wealth Management
Sovereign Wealth Management’s Gary Korolev has used his 15 years of experience as a Wealth Manager with firms such as Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and Charles Schwab to build a comprehensive Wealth Advisory practice centered around meeting clients’ needs for Investment Management, Risk Management, Estate Planning and Retirement Planning. The firm focuses on High Net Worth individuals, families and business owners with financial needs far beyond investment management.
The firm’s passion is partnering with clients to crystallize their financial goals, design a strategy to achieve those goals and execute the plan to its completion.
Even the most well designed strategies can fail if not executed properly and then monitored for progress and suitability. This is why Sovereign Wealth Management consistently monitors the progress of a client’s plan and make changes as new developments come to light or goals change.
The firm uses the latest and the most sophisticated tools to produce accurate and realistic analyses and help clients identify a strategy and stay on track
Sovereign Wealth Management will work together with clients to build a plan to help make your financial goals a reality.
Sovereign Wealth Management
8229 Boone Blvd. Suite 760
Vienna, VA 22182
The team providing this Top Ten list believes smart people make smart decisions because they educate themselves on the choices they are preparing to make. We hope we’ve helped you become smarter about choosing a financial advisor that meets your unique and specific needs. We try to provide readers with up-to-date information that will help make those good decisions. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading the information we’ve provided and learning about some of the choices for Financial Advisors in the Baltimore, MD area.
No content is intended to constitute professional advice. This content is not responsible or liable for any consequences relating directly or indirectly to any action you take or fail to take based on the information provided. It is very important to do your own analysis, based on your own personal circumstances, before making any investment. Consult with your own investment, financial, tax and legal advisers. Readers agree to indemnify and hold harmless the providers of this information, from and against any and all liability, losses, claims, demands, disputes, damages or costs of any kind.
Searching For A Business Broker?
Peterson Acquisition is rated #1 among all business brokers in the nation!
If you have any questions on our top 10 lists, please contact Chad Peterson to discuss partnership opportunities.