Best Financial Advisors in Raleigh, NC 2021: Fees and Services

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Updated on Wednesday, July 28, 2021

If you’re looking for a financial advisor in Raleigh, NC, you may feel overwhelmed by the options and unsure of how to choose an advisor that’s right for you. Finding the right advisor in North Carolina’s capital — the City of Oaks — comes down to figuring out the proper fit, which means understanding your unique needs and goals and how much you’re willing to spend.

If you’re living in the Research Triangle, you may already be comfortable doing, well, research before making important decisions. Still, it can be challenging to compare firms and data points, so we’ve compiled the most important information to help guide your decision. To determine the best advisors in Raleigh, NC, 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.

The list below isn’t meant to suggest which firm is best for you — that will depend on your unique situation and needs. However, it can hopefully make your search easier. Read on for more information on the top firms in Raleigh:

8 best financial advisors in Raleigh, NC

Methodology and criteria

For our search, we looked at firms across the city of Raleigh, NC 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 Raleigh, NC, 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 could also 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 July 22, 2021, but we urge you to also evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.

1. CAPTRUST

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  • Minimum assets required: Varies by account type
  • AUM: $450,010,401,287
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 30:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
    • Performance-based fees
  • Firm phone number: 919-870-6822
  • Headquarters address:
    4208 Six Forks Road, Suite 1700
    Raleigh, NC 27609

About CAPTRUST

CAPTRUST offers investment advisory services, financial planning and estate planning to individuals and high net worth individuals, with a particular focus on executives and business owners and professional athletes. Individual clients, however, comprise a small overall share of the firm’s assets under management, which primarily come from services provided to pension and profit-sharing plans. The firm also works with other institutional investors, including charities, government entities and businesses.

Financial advisors J. Fielding Miller and David Perkins launched the firm in 1997, and registered it with the SEC as an investment advisor in 2003. Miller and other employees are the primary owners of CAPTRUST. In 2020, private equity firm GTCR became a 25% owner of the firm, with the goal of helping it expand beyond the 35 offices it currently operates across the country.

Notably, CAPTRUST ranks on MagnifyMoney’s list of the top firms in North Carolina as well as among the top firms in the U.S.

CAPTRUST investing strategy

CAPTRUST clients have their portfolio managed by either an individual financial advisor or the firm’s investment committee. Clients that have separately managed accounts can also allocate their investments to long-term stock investments, fixed income or other strategies selected by a third-party portfolio manager.

Portfolios typically include a mix of domestic and international stocks and bonds, mutual funds, real estate and commodities. Depending on their preference or the account type, clients can work with CAPTRUST on a discretionary basis, in which the firm doesn’t need authorization for individual transactions, or on a non-discretionary basis.

CAPTRUST disciplinary disclosures

CAPTRUST has a clean disciplinary record. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires all registered investment advisors to disclose any events against the company, its employees or its affiliates that would be material to a client’s evaluation of the firm or its management. This includes any civil, criminal or regulatory events within the last 10 years.

Learn more about CAPTRUST by visiting its IAPD page.

2. Founders Financial Alliance, LLC

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  • Minimum assets required: None
  • AUM: $588,493,543
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 46:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: 855-860-5940
  • Headquarters address: 9212 Falls of Neuse Road, Suite 221
    Raleigh, NC 27615

About Founders Financial Alliance, LLC

Financial advisor Tom Porter launched Founders Financial Alliance, LLC in 2014 and remains the full owner of the firm. Founders Financial Alliance provides financial planning, asset management and family office services to individuals, including those who are high net worth (defined by the SEC as having at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million). The firm also provides retirement plan consulting to companies and back-office support to other advisors.

In addition to its Raleigh headquarters, Founders Financial Alliances has 13 other offices, many of which are in North Carolina.

Founders Financial Alliance, LLC investing strategy

Clients of Founders Financial Alliance generally have portfolios invested in individual stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, mutual funds and other securities. Each client’s asset allocation reflects their investment goals and current financial situation.

Founders Financial Alliance takes what it describes as an evidence-based approach, digging into academic and industry-related research. It also incorporates the tenets of modern portfolio theory, which aims to maximize returns for the given level of risk that each investor is willing to assume.

Founders Financial Alliance, LLC disciplinary disclosures

Founders Financial Alliance has no applicable disclosures to report. For reference, all registered investment advisors must share with the SEC any reportable offenses and regulatory violations over the past 10 years involving either the firm or its employees or affiliates.

For more information, visit Founders Financial Alliance’s IAPD page.

3. Financial Symmetry Inc.

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  • Minimum assets required: None, but minimum annual fee of $3,000
  • AUM: $664,733,649
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 51:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: 919-851-8200
  • Headquarters address: 1511 Sunday Drive, Suite 300
    Raleigh, NC 27607

About Financial Symmetry, Inc.

Financial planner Bill Ramsey launched Financial Symmetry, Inc. in 2001, taking on additional partners over time. Ramsey now co-owns the firm with eight other partners, nearly all of whom are certified financial planners (CFPs). The firm operates from its Raleigh office.

Financial Symmetry offers financial planning and wealth management to individuals, including high net worth individuals. The firm offers a particular program called Emerging Wealth, for those who are just starting out and may not yet need its full suite of services. Financial Symmetry also provides additional services as needed, including college planning, Social Security and Medicare analysis, benefits analysis, debt management advice and financial coaching.

While the firm doesn’t have a minimum investment requirement, it does require a minimum fee of $3,000 per year for its continuous wealth management offering.

Financial Symmetry, Inc. investing strategy

Portfolios created by advisors at Financial Symmetry take into account a client’s unique financial profile. They are primarily comprised of low-cost, high-quality mutual funds and ETFs, and emphasize investments that have higher expected returns. Some clients may also have access to Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investments or private investments.

Financial Symmetry tends to use equities to meet clients’ long-term needs, while bonds and cash allocations are used for short-term needs. In general, the firm aims to optimize portfolios for after-tax returns.

Financial Symmetry, Inc. disciplinary disclosures

Financial Symmetry has no disclosures to report. The SEC requires registered investment advisory firms to detail any regulatory, criminal or civil judicial events involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates in paperwork they file with the SEC.

To find out more about Financial Symmetry, visit its IAPD page.

4. Collegiate Capital Management, Inc.

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  • Minimum assets required: None required, but $100,000 recommended
  • AUM: $439,233,991
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 80:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
  • Firm phone number: 919-838-0101
  • Headquarters address: 214 New Bern Place
    Raleigh, NC 27601

About Collegiate Capital Management, Inc.

Investment advisor Tony Sigmon launched Collegiate Capital Management in 1994, and remains the firm’s owner, president and chief compliance officer. The firm specializes in providing university professionals with financial planning, asset management, tax planning and estate planning services. And while the firm doesn’t technically have a minimum investment requirement, it states that its portfolio management services are generally best for those with at least $100,000 to invest.

In addition to its Raleigh headquarters, Collegiate Capital Management has offices in Charlottesville, Va.; Decatur, Ga., and Austin, Texas.

Collegiate Capital Management, Inc. investing strategy

Collegiate Capital Management bills itself as a “financial concierge,” providing holistic advice to clients while also managing their accounts. Portfolios typically reflect the needs of each client, based on their investment objectives, risk tolerance and other factors; however, the firm generally recommends model portfolios for those with less than $250,000 in assets.

Collegiate Capital Management is an active manager, working with clients to allocate assets between both their employer-sponsored retirement accounts as well as their other accounts. The firm focuses on mutual funds, ETFs and individual stocks and bonds for its investments. When creating portfolios, Collegiate Capital Management seeks to achieve a balance between risk and return.

Collegiate Capital Management, Inc. disciplinary disclosures

Collegiate Capital management does not report any disciplinary disclosures. Firms registered with the SEC must disclose any civil, regulatory or disciplinary events in the past decade involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates that would be material to a potential client’s evaluation of the firm.
For more information, visit Collegiate Capital Management’s IAPD page.

5. Lewis Financial Management, LLC

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  • Minimum assets required: Varies by service
  • AUM: $393,346,710
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 47:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: 919-872-7000
  • Headquarters address:
    1611 East Millbrook Road
    Raleigh, NC 27609

About Lewis Financial Management, LLC

Financial planner Douglas Lewis founded Lewis Financial Management, LLC in 1984. Today, he owns the firm along with his wife Linda Lewis — Linda is also a financial advisor at the firm, as well as its marketing director.

Lewis Financial Management provides either continuing financial advisory consultations or comprehensive financial planning to its clients. It works with individual investors, the vast majority of whom are high net worth individuals. In particular, the firm notes that it works with widows, retirees and small business owners. Though there’s no minimum required for its consultations, the firm does call for at least $1.5 million for its comprehensive financial planning services.

The firm operates from its Raleigh office, its only location.

Lewis Financial Management, LLC investing strategy

Lewis Financial Management provides investment advice to its clients as part of its holistic financial planning service. It offers investment services on a non-discretionary basis only, meaning clients are responsible for making the final decision on selections and executing the transactions.

The firm selects mutual funds and pooled investments for recommendation based on factors such as diversification, prior performance and its evaluation of the manager. Lewis Financial Management follows a buy-and-hold strategy, reviewing portfolios at least semi-annually and making rebalancing recommendations when necessary.

Lewis Financial Management, LLC disciplinary disclosures

Lewis Financial Management does not report any disciplinary disclosures. Firms registered with the SEC must list any civil, criminal or regulatory actions over the past 10 years involving the company, its employees or its affiliates in client-facing paperwork filed with the SEC.

For more information, visit Lewis Financial Management’s IAPD page.

6. Capital Investment Counsel Inc.

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  • Minimum assets required: $100,000
  • AUM: $509,854,280
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 183:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
    • Commissions
  • Firm phone number: 919-831-2370
  • Headquarters address:
    100 E. Six Forks Road, Suite 200
    Raleigh, NC 27609

About Capital investment Counsel Inc.

Bobby Edgerton and Richard Bryant launched Capital Investment Counsel in 1984. Bryant is the manager of R. Bryant Family Partners, which owns Capital Investment Counsel, and also serves as the firm’s president. Edgerton serves as Capital Investment Counsel’s chief investment officer.

Capital Investment Counsel offers financial planning and asset management to individuals (including high net worth individuals), as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations, trusts and estates. A minimum account value of $100,000 is typically required.

The firm operates out of its Raleigh office, and has nine sister companies that offer a range of financial services including mortgages, trust services and insurance sales.

Capital Investment Counsel Inc. investing strategy

Capital Investment Counsel takes a five-point approach to stock investment, building portfolios with the following tactics:

  • Focusing on cash-rich, financially strong companies that sell at great discounts
  • Reinvesting dividends and interest to dollar cost average throughout the year
  • Emphasizing the importance of savings or additional portfolio contributions
  • Focusing on long-term capital gains to minimize tax liability
  • Maintaining diversity by selling and reinvesting the proceeds when a stock’s price exceeds its intrinsic value

The firm complements its equity allocations with bonds, and investors can choose among four portfolio types — growth, growth and income, balanced and income. However, clients may customize their portfolio to better meet their objectives.

Capital investment Counsel Inc. disciplinary disclosures

Capital Investment Counsel does not report any disciplinary disclosures. Investment advisory firms registered with the SEC must report any infractions over the past decade.
For more information about Capital Investment Counsel, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

7. Cook Wealth Management Group LLC

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  • Minimum assets required: None
  • AUM: $405,365,714
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 28:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: 919-784-9100
  • Headquarters address:
    4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 210
    Raleigh, NC 27607

About Cook Wealth Management LLC

Army veteran and serial entrepreneur Jon Cook founded Cook Wealth Management in 1984, and registered the firm as an investment advisor in 2014. Cook now co-owns the firm with his son, Brian Cook, who serves as Cook Wealth Management’s chief compliance officer.

Cook Wealth Management provides financial planning, asset management and tax planning to both individuals and high net worth individuals from its Raleigh office.

Cook Wealth Management LLC investing strategy

Advisors at Cook Wealth Management primarily use fundamental analysis to evaluate potential investments for its clients. This entails using economic and business indicators to find trends and ratios that signify the overall strength and financial viability of specific securities.

The firm customizes its investment advice for each client, based on their individual investment goals and objectives. Portfolios typically include mutual funds and ETFs, but may also have individual stocks and bonds. Independent managers may also be used for all or part of a client’s portfolio.

Cook Wealth Management disciplinary disclosures

Cook Wealth Management does not disclose any reportable disciplinary events. If a firm or its employees or affiliates have been the subject of any disciplinary or judicial events in the past 10 years, it must disclose these events in documents filed with the SEC.

For more information about Cook Wealth Management, visit its IAPD page.

8. KDI Capital Partners, LLC

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  • Minimum assets required: Varies by account type
  • AUM: $349,739,000
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 12:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: 919-573-4124
  • Headquarters address:
    4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 109
    Raleigh, NC 27607

About KDI Capital Partners, LLC

KDI Capital Partners’ roots go back to an investment partnership between John Day, the firm’s managing member and chief investment officer, and Investors Management Corp. (IMC), the parent company of Golden Corral Corporation, an American restaurant chain. Over time, the firm changed its name and started taking on outside investors. The Raleigh-based firm became KDI Capital Partners in 2007, reflecting its operating principles of knowledge, discipline and integrity.

Day remains the chief investment officer and majority owner of the firm. Minority owners include IMC, and employees Sheldon Fox and Colin Kelly. The firm offers financial planning and investment management to individuals, primarily those who are high net worth. It also offers investment services to institutions and other advisors.

KDI Capital Partners, LLC investing strategy

For individual investors, KDI Capital Partners uses a core equity strategy focused on domestic stocks with limited investments in European or Canadian companies. To select investments, the firm uses a long-term lens and looks for companies it expects to grow earnings across market cycles.

This strategy typically holds 20 to 25 stocks and invests across all market caps, and investors can choose to invest in it via either taxable or tax-exempt accounts. To complement this strategy, the firm may also offer limited investments in alternative investments, bonds or passive equity strategies via ETFs.

KDI Capital Partners, LLC disciplinary disclosures

KDI Capital Partners does not report any regulatory, civil or criminal events over the past 10 years. Firms registered with the SEC must disclose any infractions that may impact a client’s evaluation of the firm or its management.

For more information about KDI Capital Partners, visit their IAPD page.

Financial advisors in Raleigh, NC: FAQ

North Carolina has a flat income tax rate of 5.25%. Residents won’t have to pay state inheritance taxes or estate taxes, as North Carolina doesn’t levy taxes on the transfer of inherited property. However, residents could be subject to the federal estate tax.

No. While many financial advisor firms specialize in providing retirement planning services, it’s not the focus for every firm. If you’re concerned with retirement planning, make sure to discuss that with potential advisors and make sure it’s an area in which they have experience.

An advisor’s certifications can indicate their level of training and expertise, as well as their areas of specialty. CFA-designated advisors are chartered financial analysts, specializing in building and managing portfolios. In contrast, those with a CFP designation are certified financial planners, specializing in holistic financial planning. The right advisor for you will depend on the type of services you need.

Selecting the right advisor for you comes down to your individual financial needs and personal preferences. For example, if you’re a small business owner or new parent, you may want an advisor with experience working with others in a similar situation.

It’s also important to understand the advisor’s fee structure and feel comfortable with the amount that they charge. When searching for a financial advisor, it’s important to ask questions of the advisor to ensure you find the right fit.

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.