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In the Mile High City, it might seem like your list of financial advisor options is a mile long. But when it comes down to choosing an advisor in Denver, what really matters is finding the right fit for you, which means identifying your own financial needs and goals.
Still, there can be a lot of information to wade through, so to make the search easier for residents of Colorado’s capital, we’ve compiled the most pertinent points to help guide your decision. To determine the best advisors in Denver, we considered only firms that manage individual accounts and offer financial planning. We then ranked these firms according to assets under management (AUM). All data used in our methodology is taken from each firm’s most recent Form ADV filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Our ranking is not indicative of which firm may be best for you, but it can help make it easier to assess your options. Take a look at our list below for the top firms in Denver and their key highlights:
How much would you like to invest?
|Firm name||Minimum assets required||Fee structure|
|Mercer Global Advisors Inc.||$500,000||A percentage of AUM
|BOK Financial Private Wealth, Inc.||$2.5 million||A percentage of AUM
|IWP Wealth Management LLC||None||A percentage of AUM
|GHP Investment Advisors Inc||$500,000||A percentage of AUM
|Johnson Financial Group LLC||$30 million||A percentage of AUM
|Private Capital Management, LLC||$1 million||A percentage of AUM
|Syntrinsic Investment Counsel, LLC.||$15 million||A percentage of AUM
|Paragon Capital Management||Not specified, but minimum annual fee of $7,000||A percentage of AUM
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 primarily owned by Mercer Advisors Intermediate Holdings Inc., though numerous firm executives also hold small stakes. The firm’s headquarters are in Denver but it has roughly 55 additional locations throughout the U.S.
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 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 Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.
BOK Financial Private Wealth is a registered investment advisory firm that offers investment management and investment supervisory services. It offers financial planning services through its affiliate, BOKF, NA. Clients of the firm include individual investors, including those who are high net worth, as well as businesses, charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans and insurance companies. In general, $2.5 million in liquid assets is recommended to start and maintain an account with the firm.
Originally founded in 1996 as The Milestone Group, Inc., the firm was acquired in 2012 by BOK Financial Corporation, a financial holding company. Then, in 2019, The Milestone Group merged with CoBiz Wealth, LLC, a registered investment advisor and wholly owned subsidiary of BOK Financial Corporation. The resulting firm was rebranded as BOK Financial Private Wealth, Inc.
Today, the firm has offices in Colorado, Texas, Arizona and Oklahoma.
BOK Financial Private Wealth helps each client to determine their investment objectives and appropriate exposure to stocks and bonds based on their financial needs, risk tolerance and any special circumstances. The firm’s investment team is responsible for overseeing client assets, while its affiliate BOKF, NA, has a Strategic Investment Advisors group that handles the research and analysis that goes into selecting investments for client portfolios.
In general, BOK Financial Private Wealth aims to diversify client funds across a mix of several asset classes — namely U.S. and foreign stocks, bonds and specialized investments — through investing in individual securities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds. Rebalancing to target asset allocations is done as needed, and the firm focuses on limiting portfolio expenses when possible.
BOK Financial Private Wealth does have a disciplinary disclosure to report related to its affiliate, BOKF, NA. In 2016, BOKF, NA entered into a consent decree with the SEC over findings that a former employee of the company had perpetuated the fraud of an individual accused by the SEC of violating anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws. BOFK, NA agreed to pay a fine of $60,000 as well as prejudgment and disgorgement interest, though it neither admitted to nor denied wrongdoing.
For further information on this incident involving the firm’s affiliate and to learn more about BOK Financial Private Wealth, visit its IAPD page.
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 has only one office, its Denver location.
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 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.
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 has only one office, which is in Denver.
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 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.
Brandon Johnson launched Johnson Financial Group in 2002 and 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 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 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.
Private Capital Management launched in 2000. The firm is a subsidiary of Independent Financial, a Michigan-based bank that’s owned by Independent Bank Group. Private Capital Management has its headquarters in Denver and additional offices in Colorado in Castle Pines, Boulder and Longmont. It also has a location in Dallas.
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 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 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.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 4.55% 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 make money only 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.
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 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 February 7, 2022, but we urge you to also evaluate these firms on adviserinfo.sec.gov.
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.