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When it comes to finding a financial advisor in Kansas City, options abound, but it also may be hard to narrow it down given the number of financial advisors in Missouri’s biggest city. To make sure you get it right, you’ll want to consider your personal financial needs and goals as well as how much you’re willing to spend on a financial advisor’s services.
Once you figure that out, you’re still left with the task of comparing firms and data points though, which can be a slog. In the hopes of making it easier, we compiled information on the top registered investment advisors in Kansas City. To create this list of the best advisors in Kansas City, we focused on 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 firm may be best for your unique needs, but it can help you make that determination. Check out our list below for the top firms in Kansas City and their key highlights:
How much would you like to invest?
|Firm name||Minimum Assets Required||Fee Structure|
|Prairie Capital Management, LLC||Not stated||A percentage of AUM
Fixed fees Performance-based fees
|Frontier Wealth Management, LLC||Generally no set minimum, with the exception of the funds||A percentage of AUM
|Tower Wealth Managers||Not stated||A percentage of AUM|
|American Century Investments Private Client Group, Inc.||Not stated||A percentage of AUM|
|Buttonwood Financial Group, LLC||No set minimum||A percentage of AUM
|Sterneck Capital Management LLC||$500,000||A percentage of AUM
|The Planned Approach||$2 million||A percentage of AUM
|Mader & Shannon Wealth Management||Not stated||A percentage of AUM
For our search, we looked at firms across the City of Kansas. 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 Kansas, 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 December 10, 2020, but we urge you to also evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.
Brian Kaufman, Curtis Krizek and Rob Schneider founded Prairie Capital Management, LLC in 1995. All three remain managing directors at the firm, but they sold it to its current owner, UMB Financial Corporation, in 2010.
The firm offers investment management, financial planning and various family offices services to primarily high net worth individuals, who the SEC defines as those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million. The firm also works with some institutional investors, including pooled investment vehicles and corporations and other businesses.
In addition to its headquarters in Kansas City, Prairie Capital Management has offices in Chicago and Dallas.
Prairie Capital Management’s investment strategy revolves around constructing custom portfolios for each client consisting of investments with multiple managers and using multiple strategies. The firm aims to find the best third-party managers and investments in each asset class, including both traditional and alternative investments, as well as both active and passively managed securities.
Many of the third-party managers with whom Prairie Capital Management invests client portfolios are closed to or have a limited ability to accommodate new outside investors. The firm continuously monitors those managers’ performance and makes allocation adjustments as necessary.
Prairie Capital Management does not disclose any disciplinary actions, meaning it has a clean record. For reference, the SEC requires registered investment advisors to disclose legal or disciplinary actions in their Form ADV, which they must file every year. This includes any actions against the company, an employee or an affiliate that have occurred in the last 10 years. For more information on Prairie Capital Management, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Principal and CEO Nick Blasi has led Frontier Wealth Management since 2009, two years after the independent firm was founded. The firm is owned by Frontier Wealth Enterprises and some of the firm’s employees, including Blasi.
Frontier Wealth Management offers financial planning and investment management services, primarily to individuals who are not considered high net worth. However, it does also serve some high net worth individuals as well as various institutional investors, including pension and profit-sharing plans, businesses, charitable organizations and pooled investment vehicles.
In addition to its Kansas City headquarters, Frontier Wealth Management has eight additional offices located throughout the country.
Frontier Wealth Management uses the principles of asset allocation and modern portfolio theory, which emphasizes maximizing returns while minimizing risk, to create customized portfolios that are tailored to each individual client’s needs. When creating a diversified portfolio, the firm takes each client’s objectives into account, making adjustments for factors, such as the need for investment income, tax efficiency and risk appetite.
In addition to traditional investments, such as stocks, bonds and funds, Frontier Wealth Management may also recommend that clients invest in alternative investments, such as private equity funds, hedge funds, venture funds or structured products.
Frontier Wealth Management lists no disclosures over the last 10 years, giving the firm a clean disciplinary record. The SEC requires all RIAs to disclose on their Form ADV paperwork any disciplinary actions against the company, its employees or its affiliates that clients would find material in their evaluation of the firm or its management team.
To view the firm’s Form ADV and learn more about its disclosure, visit Frontier Wealth Management’s IAPD page.
Founded in 2007, Tower Wealth Managers is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Country Club Trust Company, which in turn is owned by Country Club Bank. The firm offers financial planning and investment management services to individuals, as well as some institutional investors.
In addition to its Kansas City headquarters, Tower Wealth Managers has an office in Prairie Village, Kansas.
While Tower Wealth Managers takes individual financial situations into account when building client portfolios, it usually creates an asset allocation strategy for its clients based on its portfolio models. The firm builds these models using modern portfolio theory to create diversified portfolios aimed at reducing risk and volatility.
The final investment decisions for each client will reflect their preferred management style and the platform on which they hold their assets. In general, portfolios may include individual equities, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, among other investments.
Tower Wealth Managers does not disclose any disciplinary actions on its Form ADV, meaning it has a clean record. For reference, the SEC requires all registered investment advisors to disclose legal or disciplinary actions in their Form ADV, which they must file every year. This includes any actions against the company, an employee or an affiliate that have occurred in the last 10 years. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Founded in 2017, American Century Investments Private Client Group, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Century Companies, a financial services company founded by the late billionaire and philanthropist James E. Stowers, Jr.
The company’s private client group provides investment management to individuals, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and business entities. Specifically, the firm offers the Planner Service, which provides point-in-time advice, including an investment plan, consisting at least in part of American Century Investment Private Group’s mutual funds.
In addition to its headquarters in Kansas City, American Century Investments Private Client Group has another Kansas City location, as well as offices in Leawood, Kansas, and Mountain View, Calif.
American Century Investments Private Client Group takes each client’s financial situation into account and recommends one of its five model portfolios based on various levels of risk tolerance. The firm’s Planner Service is provided on a non-discretionary basis, meaning that once American Century Investments give clients an investment plan, it is up to the client to implement the plan, either directly or with accounts held with other brokers, dealers or advisors.
The firm’s asset allocation recommendations reflect diversified model portfolios that range from very aggressive, all-equity portfolios, to more conservative strategies with less exposure to stocks. The equity portion of each model portfolio aims to include diversity across company size, sector and geographic region.
American Century Investments Private Client Group does not disclose any disciplinary actions on its Form ADV, meaning it has a clean disciplinary record. This includes any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against the company, its employees or its affiliates from over the last decade. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
The primary owner of Buttonwood Financial Group, LLC, Jon McGraw, has served as the firm’s president and CEO since its founding in 2002. The firm provides wealth management and financial planning, as well as “Family CFO” services, which may include bill pay, the management of domestic staff, business strategy consulting and estate and philanthropic planning.
The firm has one office, in Kansas City, Mo., and it caters primarily to individuals and high net worth individuals, though it also serves a small number of business and charitable organizations.
Buttonwood Financial Group analyzes securities to make portfolio recommendations using a “multigenerational” approach that takes into account potential challenges that could arise decades into the future. The firm typically takes control of the day-to-day management of client accounts, in what is known as a discretionary relationship.
To evaluate potential securities, the firm uses traditional fundamental and technical analysis, which look at economic and industry conditions and past price patterns, respectively. The firm may also communicate with other investment managers and use research materials to make its assessments. Portfolios primarily include both long- and short-term securities purchases.
Buttonwood Financial Group has no disciplinary disclosures to report, meaning that neither the firm nor its employees or affiliates have faced any civil, criminal or regulatory issues within the last 10 years. For more information, visit Buttonwood Financial Group’s IAPD page.
Frank Sterneck founded Sterneck Capital Management as a Wall Street hedge fund in 1989, but later moved the firm to Kansas City and transitioned the business to individual-level financial planning and wealth management. Sterneck remains the owner of the firm and serves as CEO. Sterneck’s wife, Robin Sterneck, has been the firm’s president since 2014.
The firm primarily serves individuals and high net worth individuals, including early career professionals, professional families, those about to retire and those who have already retired from its Kansas City office. It generally requires a minimum portfolio size of $500,000.
Sterneck Capital Management believes that the keys to successful investing are diversification and discipline. Thus, the firm creates customized portfolios for its clients that offer diversification across and within asset classes, and strives to continuously re-examine and adjust investment decisions as the economic environment changes. In general, the firm states that it “often buys on weakness and sells on strength,” operating with a focus on the long term.
The firm invests in both equity-oriented and fixed-income securities. Additionally, it may use margin to help clients cover short-term cash needs.
Sterneck Capital Management Investments has no disclosures to report. The SEC requires that all registered investment advisors report such events — including any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against the firm, its employees or its affiliates — in their Form ADV paperwork. For more information, visit Sterneck Capital Management’s IAPD page.
Financial advisors Stephanie Guerin and Kelly Hokanson founded The Planned Approach in 2002 in Prairie Village, Mo. In 2016, they moved the business to Kansas City, Mo., and added a third owner, financial planner Staci Peterson.
The firm offers financial planning and wealth management to investors with incomes over $300,000 ($200,000 for single filers) or investable assets of at least $2 million. Its client base includes individuals who do and do not meet the SEC’s definition of high net worth.
The Planned Approach provides portfolio management to clients on a discretionary basis, meaning clients give advisors the authority to manage their accounts on their behalf. The firm offers both custom portfolios as well as model portfolios with a range of asset allocations to accommodate various levels of risk tolerance, ranging from conservative to aggressive.
The firm does not attempt to time the market, instead choosing investments meant for clients to hold for the long term, and only selling when the asset’s fundamental value changes (rather than its price) or the client’s life situation changes. When creating a portfolio, The Planned Approach makes sure the client has enough liquidity to address cash flow needs and emergencies, and it also takes into account tax considerations and investment costs.
The Planned Approach has a clean disciplinary record, meaning that neither the firm nor its employees or affiliates have faced any civil, criminal or regulatory issues within the last 10 years. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
James Mader and George Shannon co-founded Mader & Shannon Wealth Management in 2005. Mader, who remains the firm’s chairman and CEO, now co-owns it with firm president Bret Guillaume and Robert McQuain. The firm is headquartered in Kansas City, and it has additional offices in Leavenworth, Kans., and Overland Park, Kans.
Mader & Shannon Wealth Management provides financial planning and portfolio management primarily to individuals, though it also serves some high net worth individuals. It also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, businesses and other investment advisors.
Mader & Shannon Wealth Management has an active management style of investing, focused mainly on securities traded on U.S. exchanges. The firm uses a variety of methods to analyze potential investment opportunities.
When it comes to asset allocation, Mader & Shannon Wealth Management takes a top-down, or big-picture approach. To choose specific securities, however, the firm uses a bottom-up strategy that is focused on selecting companies that have the best risk-reward opportunity in the current economic environment.
Mader & Shannon Wealth Management reports no disclosures on its Form ADV paperwork, meaning it has a clean disciplinary record. The SEC requires that all registered investment advisors report any incidents involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates from within the last 10 years that may materially affect an investor’s assessment of the company or its management. For more information, visit Mader & Shannon Wealth Management’s IAPD page.
A fiduciary financial advisor is legally and ethically obligated to put your best interest first at all times. All registered investment advisors (RIAs) are bound by fiduciary duty, but not all advisors are RIAs, so it’s important to check the credential of a firm you’re considering. Advisors who are not bound by fiduciary simply must make recommendations that are suitable to the client, but not necessarily what is best.
In addition to looking for a fiduciary, you’ll want to choose a financial advisor with whom you’re comfortable, who has experience working with clients in similar financial situations to your own and who has a fee structure that you understand. Interview at least three potential advisors to make sure you’re choosing the best fit.
The state and local tax burden in Missouri is about average compared with states in the rest of the country. The top income tax rate in the state is 5.40%, but the state does not have an inheritance tax. However, residents of the state may still be subject to federal estate taxes.
No. While many financial advisor firms can help with retirement planning, it’s not the primary focus of every advisor. Before entering into an agreement with a financial advisor, it’s important to understand what type of services they offer and what type of clients they primarily serve. If you are specifically looking for help with retirement planning, make sure to choose a financial advisor who typically focuses on that area.
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.