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Choosing a financial advisor can be challenging given the number of choices in the New England state of Connecticut. To find the right financial advisor, you will first need to consider the proper fit for your situation. Gaining an understanding of this requires determining your financial needs and goals and how much you are able to spend for assistance.
Once you have figured that out, however, you will be left with the sometimes daunting task of comparing firms in the area. In the hopes of making that easier, we compiled the most pertinent information on Connecticut’s top advisors to help guide your search. To determine the best financial advisors in the Constitution State, we looked only at 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.
Although our ranking is not an indication of which firm will be best for you and your unique needs, it can make the experience of finding the right advisor easier. Read on for our list of the top firms in Connecticut and their key highlights:
How much would you like to invest?
|Firm name||City||Minimum Assets Required||Fee Structure|
|Symmetry Partners||Glastonbury||$10,000||A percentage of AUM|
|GYL Financial Synergies, LLC||West Hartford||$1 million||A percentage of AUM
|Bradley Foster & Sargent Inc||Hartford||None||A percentage of AUM
|Northeast Financial||Westport||Not specified||A percentage of AUM
|Coastal Bridge Advisors||Westport||$5 million||A percentage of AUM Fixed fees|
|Beirne Wealth Consulting Services, LLC||Shelton||None||A percentage of AUM Fixed fees|
|Connecticut Wealth Management, LLC||Farmington||$1 million||A percentage of AUM Fixed fees|
|Greenwich Wealth Management, LLC||Greenwich||$1 million||A percentage of AUM
For our search, we looked at firms across the state of Connecticut. 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 Connecticut, 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 March 1, 2021, but we urge you to also evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.
Financial planner David E. Connelly, Jr., and stock trader Patrick A. Sweeney founded Symmetry Partners in 1994 and remain co-owners of the firm. Symmetry Partners provides financial planning and wealth management services to individuals and high net worth investors.
In addition to its Connecticut office, Symmetry Partners has a location in Birmingham, Ala.
Symmetry Partners uses several different model portfolios to invest client assets, either as a single strategy or in combination with each other:
Symmetry Partners reports no disciplinary disclosures. All registered investment advisors must disclose any civil, regulatory or criminal actions against the firm, its advisors or its affiliates on its Form ADV, public documents filed with the SEC.
For more information, visit the Symmetry Partners’ IAPD page.
Former Wells Fargo advisors Gerald B. Goldberg and Jonathan S. Yolles formed GYL Financial Services, LLC in 2016. In 2019, the firm merged with Resnick Advisors, led by partner and managing director Martin Resnick. All three men remain executives at the firm, which is now part of the Focus Financial Partners partnership, a publicly-traded corporation that owns 60 registered investment firms across the country.
The firm officers financial planning and wealth management to individuals and high net worth individuals. It generally requires a minimum investment of $1 million. In addition to its West Hartford office, GYL Financial Synergies has offices in Westport, Conn.; Kensington, Md. and Richmond, Va.
To create its portfolios, GYL Financial Synergies relies on Modern Portfolio Theory, which holds that asset allocation has a greater long-term impact on returns than individual stock picking or market timing. To achieve appropriate diversity, the firm uses managed asset-class mutual funds, ETFs and separately managed accounts.
The firm creates custom investment plans for each client, monitoring and rebalancing accounts to reflect changes in the market or in client circumstances.
GYL Financial Synergies has no disclosures, meaning it has a clean disciplinary record, free of any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against the firm, its advisors and its affiliates over the past 10 years. The SEC requires that all registered investment advisors disclose such events on the Form ADV paperwork.
For more information about GYL Financial Synergies, visit its IAPD page.
Bradley, Foster & Sargent launched in 1994, as the result of a merger between Robert H. Bradley & Company, founded by Robert H. Bradley and Joseph D. Sargent, and Arcadia Asset Management, founded by Timothy H. Foster. Bradley and Foster still work at the firm: Bradley is its chairman, and Foster is a portfolio manager.
All of the Bradley, Foster & Sargent’s 13 principal owners work at the firm, including Bradley, who is the largest shareholder, and Sargent. The firm provides financial planning and wealth management services to individuals, including those who are high net worth. In addition to its West Hartford headquarters, Bradley, Foster & Sargent has locations in West Palm Beach, Fla., and Wellesley, Mass.
Bradley, Foster & Sargent believes that investing in individual stocks is the most effective means through which portfolios can outpace inflation over time. So all portfolios typically include stocks, as well as fixed-income investments and cash, depending on the needs of individual clients.
Rather than engage in market timing, the firm focuses on adhering to the asset allocation strategies it has developed for each client. To reduce risk, Bradley, Foster & Sargent emphasizes diversification within portfolios, aiming to hold at least 20 different stocks in a variety of industries.
Bradyley, Foster & Sargent has no disciplinary disclosures on its record. That means that neither the firm nor its employees or affiliates have faced any civil, regulatory or criminal issues over the past decade.
For more information on Bradley, Foster & Sargent, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Lawyer and financial consultant Elwood B Davis launched Northeast Financial in 1983 and remains president of the firm, which is owned by NFC Holdings. The firm offers financial planning and portfolio management to individuals and high net worth individuals, with a focus on wealthy families. It has a single office in Westport, Conn.
Northeast Financial creates custom portfolios for its family clients based on each family’s risk tolerance and goals. The firm takes a long-term investing approach, with an emphasis on asset allocation.
The firm’s advisors aim to have a large enough fixed-income allocation in each portfolio to cover all the client’s spending needs. The balance of the portfolio is invested in real estate and equities.
Northeast Financial has no disciplinary disclosures on its record. For reference, all registered investment advisors must disclose any civil, regulatory or criminal actions against the firm, its advisors or its affiliates on their Form ADV.
For more information on Northeast Financial, visit its IAPD page.
Advisors Kevin Burns, Bill Loftus, and Jim Pratt-Hearney founded Coastal Bridge Advisors during the financial crisis of 2008, and all three men still work at the firm. Coastal Bridge Advisors is now part of Focus Financial Partners, a publicly traded corporation that owns 60 registered investment firms across the country.
The firm offers financial planning and wealth management to individuals and high net worth individuals from its Westport, Conn., headquarters and another office in Los Angeles. You generally must have a minimum portfolio value of $5 million to work with the firm.
Coastal Bridge Advisors primarily invests its client portfolios with independent managers. The firm then monitors the portfolio and makes adjustments as needed to ensure that it continues to meet the client’s investment objectives.
The firm also invests a small portfolio of client assets in its wrap program, which typically invests in mutual funds.
Coastal Bridge Advisors has no disciplinary disclosures on its record. All registered investment advisors must disclose any civil, regulatory or criminal actions against the firm, its advisors or its affiliates on their Form ADV documents filed with the SEC.
For more information on Coastal Bridge Advisors, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Money manager John Beirne, Jr., launched Beirne Wealth Consulting in 2012, and remains the firm’s chief investment officer. Beirne’s son, John-Oliver Beirne, serves as president. The firm is owned by a trust, benefiting the Beirne family.
Beirne Wealth Consulting offers financial planning and wealth management, primarily to individuals and high net worth individuals. In addition to its headquarters in Shelton, Conn., the firm has an office in Center Valley, Pa.
Beirne Wealth Consulting uses a three-year time horizon to evaluate potential investments for its portfolios, which typically consist of a mix of investments with independent managers, separate accounts, mutual funds and ETFs, as well as individual stocks, bonds and options. The firm creates custom portfolios for each client, based on their individual financial situation, goals and risk tolerance.
The firm uses several methods of analysis to determine which investments to include in client portfolios, including the following:
Beirne Wealth Consulting has no disciplinary issues to disclose. To find out more about Beirne Wealth Consulting, visit its IAPD page.
Wealth manager Kevin Leahy founded Connecticut Wealth Management, LLC in 2010. Leahy remains CEO of the firm, which he owns with firm executives Denis Horrigan and Michael Tedone.
The firm offers financial planning and wealth management, primarily to individuals and high net worth individuals from its Farmington, Conn., office.
Connecticut Wealth Management generally creates customized portfolios for each of its clients, based on their financial situation, goals and risk tolerance. Typically, the firm uses a long-term strategy when selecting investments, but may use short-term trades when it feels they’re necessary due to market conditions or client needs.
Mutual funds and ETFs make up the composition of most portfolios, but the firm will invest in individual stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit or alternative investments, as needed.
Connecticut Wealth Management does not disclose any disciplinary actions on its Form ADV. This means that neither the firm, nor its employees or affiliates, have faced any civil, criminal or regulatory actions in the past decade.
For more information about Connecticut Wealth Management, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Financial advisor Michael J. Freeburg founded Greenwich Wealth Management in 2006 and remains its principal owner. The firm offers financial planning and wealth management, primarily to high net worth individuals.
In addition to its Greenwich headquarters, the firm has an office in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Greenwich Wealth Management manages all client accounts on a discretionary basis, meaning that it does not consult with clients before making every trade. The portfolios created by Greenwich Wealth Management may make use of a range of investment strategies, including long-term strategies, short-term strategies and trading.
To determine the appropriate investment strategy for its clients, Greenwich Wealth Management uses fundamental, technical and macroeconomic analysis.
Greenwich Wealth Management has a clean record and does not disclose any disciplinary actions. This includes any actions against the company, an employee or an affiliate that have occurred in the past 10 years.
For more information on Greenwich Wealth Management, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Connecticut is among the least tax-friendly states in the country. The state ranks second in state and local tax burden, according to the Tax Foundation, at a rate of 12.60%. Its top individual income tax rate is 6.99%. The state also has the third-highest property tax burden in the U.S. Connecticut levies an estate tax and gift tax that starts at 10% on estates of $7.1 million or more in 2021. Residents may also be subject to a federal inheritance tax.
There are no state-specific certifications for financial advisors, but certified financial planners (CFPs) and chartered financial analysts (CFAs) are among the most well-regarded certifications in the financial advisory industry. Both require extensive coursework, continuing education and adherence to ethical standards.
No. While many financial advisors firms offer retirement planning services, not every firm specializes in it. If you’re interested in getting help with retirement planning, or any other specific area of your finances, make sure to ask these 10 questions before you start working with an advisor to ensure you find a good fit.
The best financial advisor for you will depend on what type of services you want, your budget to pay for the advisor’s services and your personal comfort level with the advisor. Start by getting referrals from family or friends, or use our advisor search tool. Then interview potential candidates to find the one that’s the best 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.