Best Financial Advisors in Michigan 2021: Fees and Services

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Updated on Thursday, February 11, 2021

Selecting which financial advisor in Michigan can be a challenge given how many options there are to choose from. Finding the right advisor comes down to figuring out the proper fit, which requires understanding your financial needs and goals and how much you can spend.

Next, you’ll need to start comparing firms and data points, a process that can feel overwhelming. In the hopes of making it less so, we compiled the most pertinent information here to help guide your decision. To identify the best advisors in the Wolverine State, 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 won’t tell you which advisor is best for you, but it can help make the comparison shopping process easier. Check out our list below for the top investment firms in Michigan and their main highlights:

8 best financial advisors in Michigan

Methodology and criteria

For our search, we looked at firms across the state of Michigan. 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 Michigan, 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 February 11, 2021, but we urge you to also evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.

1. Plante Moran Financial Advisors

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  • Minimum assets required: $500,000
  • AUM: $17,595,379,416
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 20:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: 248-352-2500
  • Headquarters address:
    27400 Northwestern Highway
    Southfield, MI 48034

About Plante Moran Financial Advisors

Plante Moran Financial Advisors launched in 1977 as the investment advisory and financial planning arm of P&M Holding Company, which owns the accounting and management consulting firm Plante & Moran. Plante Moran Financial Advisors offers financial advising and wealth management services primarily to individuals and high-net-worth individuals.

In addition to its Southfield headquarters, the firm has offices in Ann Arbor, Traverse City, Auburn Hills, Detroit, East Lansing, Grand Rapids and Portage. It has six additional locations in Illinois, Ohio and Colorado.

Plante Moran Financial Advisors investing strategy

The team at Plante Moran Financial Advisors generally creates an asset allocation strategy for clients based on their financial situation and goals. Typical asset classes used include mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and investments with third-party managers who may use options, derivatives or arbitrage strategies.

Plante Moran Financial Advisors offers clients both discretionary portfolio advisory services — meaning the firm can make trades on a client’s behalf without their consent for individual transactions — and non-discretionary services. The firm uses fundamental, cyclical and technical analysis when evaluating potential investments.

Plante Moran Financial Advisors disciplinary disclosures

Plante Moran FInancial Advisors lists no disclosures over the past 10 years, giving the firm a clean disciplinary record. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to disclose on their Form ADV paperwork any disciplinary actions against the company, its employees or its affiliates that a client would find material to their evaluation of the firm or the integrity of its management team. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

2. LSIA

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  • Minimum assets required: $1 million
  • AUM: $6,030,379,476
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 21:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
  • Firm phone number: 248-430-0262
  • Headquarters address:
    39533 Woodward Avenue, Suite 302
    Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

About LSIA

LSIA spun off in 2008 from Natixi Global Asset Management, the parent company of investment advisor Loomis, Sayles & Company. Mark Shank, LSIA’s executive vice president and chief investment officer, is the firm’s largest shareholder with a 30.60% ownership stake. Five other LSIA executives, who co-founded the firm with Shank, hold the remaining membership interest.

The firm offers financial planning and wealth management, primarily to individuals and high-net- worth individuals. In addition to its Bloomfield Hills, Mich., office, the firm has locations in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pasadena, California, and Boca Raton, Fla.

LSIA investing strategy

LSIA creates client portfolios using four main strategy types:

  • Equity: This active management strategy aims to invest in industry-leading domestic stocks that produce long-term returns.
  • Bond: The fixed-income investment strategy invests in a range of securities, with various durations, credit qualities and structures.
  • Passive management: With investments in both stocks and bonds, passive strategies aim to generate market returns in line with a specific index, such as the S&P 500 Low Volatility Index or the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Corporate Bond Index.
  • Multi-asset class: For clients who want diversification across asset classes, these strategies combine the above investments, and may also include commodities or foreign market investments. Accounts with a high cash allocation may also include money market mutual funds.

LSIA disciplinary disclosures

LSIA does not have any disclosures listed on its Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC. That means it has a clean disciplinary record over the past 10 years. For more information on LSIA, visit the firm’ IAPD page.

3. Schwartz & Co.

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  • Minimum assets required: None
  • AUM: $4,011,048,003
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 56:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: 248-644-2701
  • Headquarters address:
    3707 West Maple Road
    Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301

About Schwartz & Co.

Gregory J. Schwartz, Sr., founded Schwartz & Co. in 1976 and remains chairman of its owner, Schwartz Holdings, LLC. His five sons serve as officers and principals of the firm, which provides financial planning and wealth management, to individuals and high-net-worth individuals from its Bloomfield Hills, Mich., office.

Schwartz & Co. investing strategy

Schwartz & Co creates custom portfolios for clients based on their financial situation, risk tolerance and goals. The portfolios typically include both long- and short-term purchases and a diverse range of securities across asset classes.

The firm uses both a fundamental and cyclical analysis to evaluate potential investments. In general, Schwartz & Co. looks for securities that are priced well relative to their asset class.

Schwartz & Co. disciplinary disclosures

Schwartz & Co has a clean disciplinary record. That means it has had no disclosures over the past 10 years against the company, its employees or affiliates that would be material to a client’s evaluation of the firm. For more information about Schwartz & Co., visit its IAPD page.

4. R.H. Bluestein & Co.

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  • Minimum assets required: Varies
  • AUM: $3,374,451,562
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 83:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
  • Firm phone number: 248-646-4000
  • Headquarters address:
    260 East Brown Street, Suite 100
    Birmingham, MI 48009

About R.H. Bluestein & Co.

Former Goldman Sachs executive Robert Bluestein launched R.H. Bluestein in 1991. He remains firm president and a co-owner, along with senior managing director Jeffrey Bluestein, who joined the firm in 2004.

R.H. Bluestein offers financial planning and portfolio management primarily to individuals including high-net-worth individual clients. In addition to its Birmingham, Mich., office, the firm has a location in New York City.

R.H. Bluestein & Co. investing strategy

On the whole, R.H. Bluestein takes a long-term approach to investing, creating personalized portfolios for clients with an emphasis on resiliency and flexibility. Accounts typically include a mix of domestic and international stocks, Treasury bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds mutual funds and ETFs.

While the firm typically focuses on traditional investments, it may direct some clients toward alternative investments such as private equity funds, real estate investment vehicles or the firm’s private funds.

R.H. Bluestein disciplinary disclosures

R.H. Bluestein has a clean disciplinary record over the past 10 years. That means that neither R.H. Bluestein nor its employees or affiliates have been subject to civil, criminal or regulatory actions within that time frame. To learn more about the firm, visit its IAPD page.

5. Zhang Financial

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  • Minimum assets required: $1 million
  • AUM: $3,217,727,271
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 159:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: 269-385-5888
  • Headquarters address:
    5931 Oakland Drive
    Portage MI 49024

About Zhang Financial

Shanghai native Charles Zhang launched Zhang Financial in 2012 after a successful career with American Express Financial Advisors. Zhang remains the firm’s chief executive officer and principal owner, and his wife, Lynn Chen-Zhang, serves as chief operating officer and chief compliance officer.

The firm offers financial planning and wealth management, primarily to individuals including those who are high net worths. In addition to its Portage, Mich., headquarters, the firm has Michigan locations in Battle Creek, Troy, Ann Arbor and Ada.

Zhang Financial investing strategy

Zhang Financial uses a passive, buy-and-hold strategy focused on broad market diversification across thousands of securities in multiple asset classes to drive growth. The firm’s approach reflects its proprietary internal research and the thinking of its advisors and board members who come from academic institutions, such as the University of Chicago and Yale University.

The firm creates individual portfolios for clients based on their particular investment goals and circumstances. Accounts may include individual stocks or bonds, ETFs, mutual funds and other public securities or investments.

Zhang Financial disciplinary disclosures

Zhang Financial has a clean disciplinary record, which means it did not disclose any civil, criminal or regulatory events over the past 10 years on its Form ADV paperwork. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD site.

6. FormulaFolio Investments

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  • Minimum assets required: $25,000
  • AUM: $3,135,001,995
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 1,003:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Subscription fees
    • Other (fees for selection of other advisors)
  • Firm phone number: 616-667-2150
  • Headquarters address:
    89 Ionia Ave NW, Suite. 600
    Grand Rapids, MI 49503

About FormulaFolio Investments

Founder Jason Wenk originally developed FormulaFolios, a platform with computer-created investment models, for his firm Retirement Wealth Advisors. In 2011, however, FormulaFolios registered as a standalone RIA. In July 2020, RIA Brookstone Capital Advisors purchased FormulaFolio, and Wenk remained an executive director.

The firm offers financial planning and portfolio management services, primarily to individuals, including some high-net-worth individuals. In addition to its Grand Rapids, Mich., location, the firm has an office in Costa Mesa, Calif.

FormulaFolio Investments investing strategy

FormulaFolio relies solely on computer models to determine both asset allocation and specific investments for clients. The model creates an allocation for each client, based on their individual financial situation and goals.

While they vary, each portfolio has at last 4% of holdings in cash. The rest of the portfolio contains a mix of individual stocks, bonds and ETFs, bought and sold according to the computer model, and rebalanced on an annual basis. If no securities meet the computer model’s requirements, the portfolio could remain in cash for a period of time.

FormulaFolio Investments disciplinary disclosures

FormulaFolio Investments reports no disciplinary disclosures on its Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to disclose any civil, criminal or regulatory events from the past 10 years, involving the company, its employees or its affiliates. For more information about FormulaFolios, visit its IAPD page.

7. Telemus Capital, LLC

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  • Minimum assets required: None
  • AUM: $3,059,601,035
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 41:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: 248-827-1800
  • Headquarters address:
    Two Towne Square, Suite 800
    Southfield, MI 48076

About Telemus Capital, LLC

Telemus Capital, LLC grew out of the 2013 merger of Telemus Wealth Advisors and Beacon Asset Management. That year, the firm became a part of Focus Financial Partners, a publicly-traded company that owns 60 investment firms throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Though it is part of this partnership, Telemus Capital is independently managed by six employees, including chairman, CEO and founding partner Gary Ran.

The firm offers financial planning and wealth management, primarily to individuals including high net worth clients. In addition to its Southfield, Mich., headquarters, the firm has offices in Ann Arbor, Mich. and Chicago.

Telemus Capital, LLC investing strategy

Using each client’s personal financial situation and goals as a guide, advisors at Telemus Capital typically create a portfolio for them adhering to one of five model portfolios: capital preservation, conservative, moderate, balanced, capital accumulation and aggressive. Each model strategy uses a different asset allocation depending on that model’s risk profile. These portfolios include a mix of mutual funds, ETFs and alternative investments, and may also include other investment products.

For clients with smaller account balances or a preference for a passively managed portfolio, advisors use another five model strategies: ultra-conservative, conservative, moderate, balanced, aggressive and ultra-aggressive. These portfolios include a combination of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, and may include other investment products.

Telemus Capital, LLC disciplinary disclosures

Telemus Capital has a record free of any disciplinary disclosures, meaning neither the firm nor its employees or affiliates have faced civil, criminal or regulatory issues within the past 10 years. The SEC requires that all registered investment advisors disclose such information in their annual Form ADV. You can learn more about Telemus Capital by visiting the firm’s IAPD page.

8. Advance Capital Management, Inc

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  • Minimum assets required: None
  • AUM: $2,955,347,426
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 232:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: 800-345-4783
  • Headquarters address:
    One Towne Square, Suite 444
    Southfield, MI 48076

About Advance Capital Management, Inc

Advance Capital Management, Inc began in 1986, founded by three former Michigan Bell Executives who were concerned that their colleagues were mismanaging their retirement pensions. Those founders, John C. Shoemaker, Ramond A. Rathka and Robert Cappelli, remain owners of the firm, along with other employees who have shares in an employee stock ownership plan.

The firm offers financial planning and wealth management, primarily to individuals including high-net- worth clients. In addition to its Southfield, Mich., office, the firm has locations in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Lisle, Ill.; Independence, Ohio; and Dallas.

Advance Capital Management, Inc investing strategy

Advance Capital Management typically uses model portfolios for clients based on their financial situation, though it may create custom portfolios in some circumstances. Most of the firm’s portfolios include mutual funds and ETFs, though it may also recommend alternative investments for diversification.

The firm actively manages its clients’ accounts on a discretionary basis, meaning it does not need client approval for individual transactions. Advisors may make changes to asset allocations in order to take advantage of market opportunities or to protect against losses.

Advance Capital Management, Inc disciplinary disclosures

Advance Capital Management does not report any disciplinary disclosures on its Form ADV, public documents that registered investment advisors must file with the SEC. That means the firm has not had any civil, criminal or regulatory events over the past 10 years involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

Financial advisors in Michigan: FAQ

Income tax rates in Michigan are relatively modest, with the highest rate topping out at 4.25%. Residents of the state don’t have to worry about state estate or inheritance taxes, though they may still face federal estate taxes.

No. While many financial advisor firms specialize in retirement planning, it’s not the primary focus for every advisor. If retirement planning is important to you, make sure to discuss it with potential advisors before you start working with them to make sure you’re on the same page and they can provide the services you need. Here is a list of 10 questions to ask a potential financial advisor to ensure you find someone who is right for you.

Unfortunately, there are no regulations or required credentials around whether or not an individual can call themself a financial planner. To make sure you’re working with a qualified professional, look for one who has a designation, such as a certified financial planner (CFP) or a chartered financial analyst (CFA). CFPs must work as fiduciaries, which means they always must put their clients’ interests above their own.

To find the best financial advisor in Michigan, think about the type of services you want. Look for an advisor that offers those services and has experience working with clients similar to you. You may consider getting referrals from family and friends or using something like the MagnifyMoney tool to narrow down your search. From there, you’ll want to evaluate each candidate’s credentials, fees and investment strategies.

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.