Best Financial Advisors in Denver 2021: Fees and Services

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Updated on Monday, October 12, 2020

Choosing a financial advisor can be challenging given the number of financial advisors in Denver. Finding the right advisor is a lot about 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 Denver, 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 a firm’s size. Although not formally part of our ranking, we encourage readers to take note of each firm’s client-to-advisor ratio, as this indicates how much attention you may get as a client. All data used in our methodology is taken from each firm’s most recent Form ADV filing with the SEC so as to ensure the accuracy and reliability of our rankings.

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 Denver and their key highlights:

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8 best financial advisors in Denver

Methodology and criteria

For our search, we looked at firms across the city of Denver. 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. Information used for our methodology criteria is taken directly from each firm’s most recent Form ADV filing and brochure, found on the IAPD database.

To localize our results for this list, we exclusively looked at firms that met the above criteria and had their headquarters in Denver, as per the address provided in the Form ADV. Of those firms, we only considered those that offer financial planning services and portfolio management to individual investors. To be considered for this list, firms also could have no more than one disciplinary disclosure in the past 10 years. From there, the remaining firms that met all of the above stipulations were ranked in order of highest to lowest AUM, as this is an indication of a firm’s size and how many assets it has been entrusted to manage.

In our reviews, we have also listed several other key features that will help you determine which financial advisor may be most fitting for your investing style and financial needs. While our ranking system and methodology is designed to help you compare firms, it does not indicate which firm may be best for you. All information here is accurate as of October 12, 2020, but we urge you to also evaluate these firms on

1. Mercer Global Advisors Inc.

  • Minimum assets required: $500,000
  • AUM: $15,848,965,584
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 38:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (888) 565-1681
  • Headquarters address:
    1200 17th Street, Suite 500
    Denver, CO 80202

About Mercer Global Advisors

Kendrick Mercer, a former attorney, opened Mercer Global Advisors in 1985 as a law practice focused on estate planning. Today, the firm offers financial planning, investment management, tax and estate planning and corporate trustee services. It primarily works with individuals, both non-high net worth and high net worth individuals as defined by the SEC (those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million). The firm also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and other businesses.

Mercer Global Advisors is currently owned by three private equity firms: Genstar Capital, Lovell Minnick Partners, and Oak Hill Capital. Its headquarters are in Denver but it has 45+ additional locations throughout the U.S.

Mercer Global Advisors investing strategy

Mercer Global Advisors creates customized portfolios for its clients. The firm uses a variety of strategies to try to earn higher returns including tax management, portfolio rebalancing and factor investing, which is where portfolios are overweighted to companies that have characteristics for higher returns.

Notably, Mercer Global Advisors was the only registered investment advisor (RIA) in 2019 to sign the UN-backed “Principles for Responsible Investing.” When designing portfolios, the firm looks to screen out companies with poor environmental records and employee hiring practices.

Mercer Global Advisors disciplinary disclosures

Mercer Global Advisors does not have any disciplinary disclosures to report. For reference, the SEC requires RIAs to disclose any instances of major wrongdoing on its official brochure and Form ADV. These include criminal sanctions, regulatory fines and civil suits taken against the firm and its employees or affiliates over the past 10 years. For more information on Mercer Advisors and to access its Form ADV, visit its IAPD page.

2. IWP Wealth Management LLC

  • Minimum assets required: No minimum
  • AUM: $2,031,524,977
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 5:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (720) 328-9700
  • Headquarters address:
    2719 East Third Avenue
    Denver, CO 80206

About IWP Wealth Management

Charles Willhoit launched IWP Wealth Management in 2004, and he remains the firm’s primary owner, though other firm partners own equity as well. IWP Wealth Management is a family office service, looking to manage the needs of high net worth individuals, their families and their small businesses. Through these relationships, the firm offers day-to-day financial planning, investment management, tax planning and wealth transfer services.

IWP Wealth Management only has one office, its Denver location.

IWP Wealth Management investing strategy

As a family office, IWP Wealth Management looks to build portfolios that not only meet a client’s investment needs, but also their goals for leaving an inheritance. The firm is more focused on overall wealth management versus asset management. It skews toward more conservative investments, prioritizing preserving wealth and maintaining cash liquidity rather than chasing aggressive returns.

With that being said, IWP Wealth Management is willing to consider a wider range of investments due to its clients’ large portfolios. Besides stocks and bonds, IWP Wealth Management could also put money in real estate equity, private equity, hedge funds and other alternative assets when appropriate.

IWP Wealth Management disciplinary disclosures

IWP Wealth Management does not have any disciplinary disclosures to report. This means that neither the firm, its employees or its affiliates have had any issues with criminal actions, regulatory fines or civil lawsuits over the past 10 years. For more information, visit IWP Wealth Management’s IAPD page.

3. GHP Investment Advisors Inc

  • Minimum assets required: $500,000
  • AUM: $1,539,415,782
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 61:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
    • Performance-based fees
  • Firm phone number: (303) 831-5051
  • Headquarters address:
    1801 California Street, Suite 2200
    Denver, CO 80202

About GHP Investment Advisors Inc

GHP Investment Advisors launched in 1995. Brian Friedman co-founded the firm and remains its president and principal shareholder. The firm offers investment management, financial planning and workplace retirement plan consulting. It also has a financial concierge service, where it assists clients with day-to-day financial tasks.

GHP Investments Advisors mainly works with individuals, and its clients are a mix of high net worth and non-high net worth. The firm also serves a few pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations and pooled investment vehicles. The firm only has one office, which is in Denver.

GHP Investment Advisors Inc investing strategy

GHP Investment Advisors creates customized investment portfolios based on the financial plans of its clients. The firm focuses on long-term investments, which are those held for one year or longer, and relies on its in-house valuation analysis to find opportunities.

Clients can also move some of their portfolios to investments in Israel through the firm’s subsidiary, Israel Investment Advisors.

GHP Investment Advisors Inc disciplinary disclosures

GHP Investment Advisors does not have any disciplinary disclosures to report, meaning it has a record free of any civil, criminal or regulatory events over the last decade. For more information on the firm, you can visit its IAPD page.

4. Private Capital Management, LLC

  • Minimum assets required: $1 million
  • AUM: $1,225,919,318
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 71:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (303) 370-0055
  • Headquarters address:
    210 University Boulevard, Suite 400
    Denver, CO 80206

About Private Capital Management

Private Capital Management launched in 2000. The firm is a subsidiary of Independent Bank, a Michigan-based bank that’s owned by Independent Bank Group. Private Capital Management has its headquarters in Denver and a second office in Castle Pines, Colo.

The firm offers financial planning and investment management for individuals, businesses, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, endowments and charitable organizations. Its individual client base includes both those who are and are not considered high net worth per the SEC’s definition. It generally requires a minimum investment of $1 million, though this requirement is waivable at its discretion.

Private Capital Management investing strategy

Private Capital Management focuses on long-term investment strategies, with a time horizon of at least five years. The firm looks to create diversified portfolios that could include alternative assets — such as private equity, venture capital funds and private income funds — to meet a client’s unique financial plan.

Private Capital Management focuses more on passive investment strategies in an effort to keep investment costs low. However, it also uses some active management for less liquid investments.

Private Capital Management disciplinary disclosures

Private Capital Management does not have any disclosures, as neither the firm nor its management team has run into any legal or disciplinary issues over the past 10 years that needed to be reported. For reference, the SEC requires all registered investment advisors to report such events on their Form ADV paperwork. To view the firm’s Form ADV or to find more information, visit its IAPD page.

5. Johnson Financial Group LLC

  • Minimum assets required: $30 million
  • AUM: $1,122,349,597
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 3:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (720) 475-1195
  • Headquarters address:
    1144 Fifteenth Street, Suite 3950
    Denver, CO 80202

About Johnson Financial Group

Brandon Johnson launched Johnson Financial Group in 2002. He remains the firm’s president and owner. The firm’s only office location is in Denver.

Johnson Financial Group offers financial planning, investment management and family office services primarily to ultrahigh net worth individuals and their families, though it can also extend its services to trusts, charitable organizations and small businesses. It generally takes at least $30 million to join as a client, though the firm notes it can waive this minimum requirement at its discretion.

Johnson Financial Group investing strategy

Johnson Financial Group creates customized portfolios to meet the unique needs of its ultrahigh net worth clients. To do so, the firm takes into account each client’s past investment experience, current financial situation and likely future financial needs.

Aside from investing in standard market assets like stocks and bonds, the firm can also help its clients invest in privately held assets and impact investments, which are those that help with social goals while also making money. The firm may also recommend that a client’s assets are overseen by a third party in a wrap fee program, which bundles all of their costs into one fee.

Johnson Financial Group disciplinary disclosures

Johnson Financial Group does not report any disciplinary disclosures on its Form ADV filing with the SEC. Disciplinary disclosures include any civil, criminal or regulatory events within the last decade involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates. For more information on Johnson Financial Group, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

6. Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC.

  • Minimum assets required: $15 million
  • AUM: $1,112,597,667
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 9:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (303) 296-7100
  • Headquarters address:
    3840 York St, Suite 100
    Denver, CO 80205

About Syntrinsic Investment Counsel

Syntrinsic Investment Council launched in 2008 and is owned by Ben Valore-Caplan, who serves as the firm’s CEO, and Akasha Absher, the firm’s president. The firm is based out of Denver and does not have any other office locations.

Syntrinsic Investment Counsel provides investment management for nonprofits, trusts, estates, retirement plans and high net worth individuals looking to support charitable goals. The firm also offers donor and operations support for nonprofits. It generally requires assets of at least $15 million to work with the firm.

Syntrinsic Investment Counsel investing strategy

Syntrinsic Investment Counsel designs customized portfolios for long-term investments. In general, the firm aims to create asset allocations that will meet a client’s objectives for spending, growth and impact, as well as their time horizon and tolerance for risk.

The firm builds its portfolios based on a mix of a client’s personal goals as well as Syntrinsic’s 10-year forecasts of returns in capital markets. In addition, clients can request social impact investments that use their portfolios to shape company policies to meet environmental, social and gender equality-related goals.

Syntrinsic Investment Counsel disciplinary disclosures

Neither Syntrinsic Investment Counsel nor any of management personnel have any disciplinary disclosures to report. Per the SEC, all registered investment advisors must report such incidents, which include any civil, criminal or regulatory actions from within the last decade, on their Form ADV paperwork. To view this paperwork or learn more about the firm, visit its IAPD page.

7. Paragon Capital Management

  • Minimum assets required: Not specified
  • AUM: $963,736,730
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 36:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (303) 293-3680
  • Headquarters address:
    999 18th Street, Suite 1401
    Denver, CO 80202

About Paragon Capital Management

Alexander Feick and Henry Lester launched Paragon Capital Management in 1990. They are still the owners and managing directors of the firm, which has its one location in Denver.

Paragon Capital Management provides investment management and financial planning for wealthy individuals and their families. The firm also gives advice to trusts and retirement plans when requested by individual clients.

Paragon Capital Management investing strategy

Paragon Capital Management builds portfolios using a mix of equity, fixed income and alternative asset investments. The firm generally has a long-term focus, and it attempts to build portfolios that outperform their benchmarks using a mix of diversification, tax planning strategies and risk management.

When building a client’s portfolio, the firm takes into account all factors related to their financial situation, including investments that it does not oversee. Clients’ objectives and constraints also shape their portfolios.

Paragon Capital Management disciplinary disclosures

Paragon Capital Management does not have any disciplinary disclosures to report on its Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to report such events relating to either the firm or its employees or affiliates. Visit Paragon Capital Management’s IAPD page for more information.

8. Cardan Capital Partners, LLC

  • Minimum assets required: No minimum
  • AUM: $941,344,102
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 59:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (720) 799-8820
  • Headquarters address:
    100 Saint Paul Street, Suite 640
    Denver, CO 80206

About Cardan Capital Partners

Cardan Capital Partners was co-founded in 2015 by Ross Fox, Matthew Papazian, Martha Awad and Sarah Keys, who remain the firm’s current owners. The firm is based out of Denver, which is its only location.

Cardan Capital Partners offers investment management, financial planning and consulting services. It works with both high net worth and non-high net worth individuals, as well as trusts, estates, retirement plans, charitable organizations and corporations.

Cardan Capital Partners investing strategy

Cardan Capital Partners’s investment philosophy is built on the belief that minimizing downside risk and losses is the key to building long-term wealth.

The firm uses a blend of analysis methods to design custom portfolios for its clients. It focuses more on asset allocation rather than making individual investments to reduce costs and taxes. ETFs play a prominent role in the portfolios the firm creates, and it also uses mutual funds and some individual debt and equity securities.

Cardan Capital Partners disciplinary disclosures

Cardan Capital Partners does not have any disciplinary disclosures to report from over the past 10 years. This includes any civil, regulatory or criminal actions related to the firm, its employees or its affiliates. You can get more information on the firm by visiting its IAPD page.

Financial advisors in Denver: FAQ

Tax planning is relatively simple in Denver. The city of Denver does not charge a local income tax. Residents only need to worry about Colorado state income taxes, which is a flat 4.63% for all income brackets. Colorado also does not charge estate or inheritance taxes.

No, they do not. Some of the financial advisors in Denver are more focused on estate planning, social impact investing, business consulting and other services. If retirement planning is your top priority, make sure it’s a specialty of your financial advisor firm.

A fiduciary financial advisor is legally bound to put your interests first when making investment recommendations. For example, they would need to recommend investments that best fit your needs, even if another option pays them a higher commission. This is one of the top questions to ask before signing up with an advisor because by working with a fiduciary, you can feel more confident about their advice.

Fee-only financial advisors only make money by charging for their advice, meaning they don’t earn commissions for selling products and investments. Working with a fee-only advisor in Denver can be a good way to make sure you get unbiased advice that best fits your financial goals.

The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.