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Our ranking is not indicative of which firm may be best for you, but it can help make the shopping experience easier. Take a look at our list below for the top firms in Ohio and their key highlights:
How much would you like to invest?
|Firm name||City||Minimum assets required||Fee structure|
|Fort Washington Investment Advisors Inc.||Cincinnati||$500,000||A percentage of AUM
Fixed fees Performance-based fees
|Bahl & Gaynor Inc.||Cincinnati||$750,000||A percentage of AUM
|Highland Consulting Associates Inc.||Cleveland||Varies depending on the scope of engagement||A percentage of AUM Hourly charges
|Johnson Investment Counsel, Inc.||Cincinnati||$1 million||A percentage of AUM
|Mai Capital Management, LLC||Cleveland||$500,000||A percentage of AUM
Fixed fees Performance-based fees
Other (a percentage of non-investment income)
|Stratos Wealth Partners, Ltd.||Beachwood||None||A percentage of AUM
Other (a percentage of AUM with third-party managers)
|Bartlett & Co. Wealth Management LLC||Cincinnati||$2 million||A percentage of AUM
|Clearstead Advisors, LLC; Hartland & Co., LLC||Cleveland||None||A percentage of AUM
Other (A percentage of assets under advisement or flat fee)
|Sequoia Financial Group, L.L.C.||Akron||None||A percentage of AUM
|Truepoint, Inc.||Cincinnati||$3 million||A percentage of AUM
Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc. was established in 1990. It is a subsidiary of Western & Southern Investment Holdings, LLC, and serves as the investment arm of the insurance company Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. Both of these companies, alongside Western & Southern Mutual Holding Company and The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, are the firm’s primary shareholders.
Fort Washington Investment Advisors offers services to individuals and institutional investors, as well as to private equity funds. Of the individual investors the firm serves, all of them are 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. For these clients, the firm provides wealth management, financial planning and investment advisory services.
In addition to its headquarters in Cincinnati, the firm has satellite offices in the Cleveland metro area, San Francisco and Albany, N.Y.
Fort Washington Investment Advisors’ investment advice is driven by measuring risk and return. The firm evaluates a client’s needs, objectives and risk tolerance, then produces a plan that may include items such as long- and short-term purchases, short sales, options and equities.
The firm bases its recommendations on a number of factors, including the views of their professionals as well as those of independent investment firms. Fort Washington is also committed to using Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Analysis for Responsible Investment (RI), meaning it takes steps to ensure its investment advice is socially responsible.
Fort Washington Investment Advisors has no disciplinary disclosures. For reference, the SEC requires all registered investment advisors to report any civil, legal or regulatory issues involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates from over the last 10 years on their Form ADV paperwork.
For more information on Fort Washington Investment Advisors, visit its Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.
Bahl & Gaynor was established in 1990. The firm, which also does business under the name of Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel, was founded by William F. Bahl, who serves as chairman of the board and president, and Vere W. Gaynor, who is director emeritus. The Cincinnati-based firm is 100% employee-owned.
Bahl & Gaynor primarily serves high net worth individuals, who comprise the entirety of its individual client base. (For reference, the SEC defines high net worth individuals as those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million.) The firm also serves institutional investors, including charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans, government entities and various companies.
Services the firm provides include asset management and financial planning. Working with Bahl & Gaynor generally requires a minimum investment of $750,000.
Bahl & Gaynor’s investment recommendations for both its equity investment and fixed-income strategies center around high-quality, dividend-growth companies.
The firm’s equity investment strategy aims to keep turnover in clients’ portfolios to a minimum, as it focuses on long-term investments, generally held for two to five years. Bahl and Gaynor’s investment committee is responsible for making decisions on which stocks to recommend and conducting analysis to determine whether they meet the firm’s standards. Depending on the client and their objectives, Bahl & Gaynor may either recommend one of its model portfolios or a customized portfolio specifically for that client.
The firm’s fixed income strategy isn’t limited to specific maturity criteria, but is more flexible to meet the client’s individual needs and incorporate what it calls a “margin of safety.” In some limited cases, the firm may recommend a sub-advisor for a portion of municipal holdings.
Bahl & Gaynor reports no disciplinary events on its Form ADV paperwork. This includes any civil, regulatory or criminal events involving either the firm or its employees or affiliates over the last decade. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Established in 1993, Highland Consulting Associates, Inc. is 100% employee-owned. Its primary shareholder is the firm’s president, Richard Veres.
Highland Consulting Associates offers investment advisory services, family wealth planning and institutional retirement plan consulting. The firm primarily serves high net worth individuals, as well as defined benefit and defined contribution plans, charitable organizations, foundations, endowments and corporations and other businesses. Its only office location is in Cleveland.
Highland Consulting Associates recommends investments across the board and states that it doesn’t limit its recommendations; rather, it caters them to each client’s unique needs. Most often, however, the firm recommends mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), hedge funds, private equity funds, venture capital funds and private placements, as well as other money managers.
Highland Consulting Associates’ team relies on in-house software and estimates of return, risk and correlation to help make asset allocation recommendations based on each client’s goals and risk tolerance. The firm generally serves its clients on a non-discretionary basis, meaning the client has the ultimate authority on all decisions made regarding their portfolio.
Highland Consulting Associates, Inc. has no disciplinary disclosures to report. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to report any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against the firm, its employees or its affiliates from the last 10 years on their Form ADV paperwork. For more information about the firm, visit its IAPD page.
Johnson Investment Counsel was founded in 1965 by Tim Johnson, a financial professor who is now the firm’s chairman and principal. Today, the firm has two offices in Cincinnati, as well as three others in Ohio — Brecksville, Columbus and Dayton — and an additional one in the Detroit metro area. The firm is 100% employee-owned, with no one person owning more than 25%.
Johnson Investment Counsel provides portfolio management, financial planning, an automated investing service and mutual fund and pension consulting services. The firm’s clients include individuals who both do and do not qualify as high net worth individuals, though it does generally have a minimum investment requirement of $1 million. Johnson Investment Counsel also serves a range of institutional clients.
Johnson Investment Counsel uses a number of methods to determine individual portfolio recommendations, preferring to work in a team setting to take advantage of their collective experience and academic heritage. While the firm does create customized portfolios based on a client’s goals and tolerance for risk in some cases, it will use predefined strategies in others.
The firm notes that tax efficiency isn’t its primary consideration when creating portfolios, and thus clients may want to consult with a tax professional prior to investing.
Johnson Investment Counsel, Inc., doesn’t report any disciplinary history, meaning it has a record free of any civil, regulatory or criminal events over the last 10 years. For more information on the firm, visit its IAPD page.
Mai Capital Management, LLC, was established in 1973 as Investment Advisors International, Inc. After a merger with McCormack Advisors International, LLC, it was renamed Mai Capital Management, LLC in 2014. The firm is an indirect subsidiary of MAI Capital Management Holdings LLC, which is in turn a majority-owned indirect subsidiary of Galway Insurance Holdings LP.
Mai Capital Management provides investment management, wealth management and advisory services to individuals and institutions. The firm’s individual investor client base includes individuals and families who are and are not considered to be high net worth, with a specialty in serving senior officers of major corporations and sports professionals.
Mai Capital Management, LLC takes a unique approach to each client’s portfolio, taking into account their objectives, risk tolerance, tax considerations and time horizon. The firm focuses primarily on longer-term securities and generally avoids frequent trading because of the associated higher taxes and transaction costs as well as the risk of loss.
Mai Capital Management uses a variety of predetermined investment strategies, each of which has a varying minimum investment requirement. In some cases, the firm may use a combination of these strategies. The firm also may recommend third-party investment advisors to manage some client portfolios either in part or in full.
Mai Capital Management, LLC has no reported legal or disciplinary action. This includes any civil, criminal or regulatory actions involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates within the last 10 years. All registered investment advisors must report these incidents on their Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC. For more information on the firm, visit its IAPD page.
Headquartered in Beachwood, Ohio, Stratos Wealth Partners, Ltd. has over 100 additional offices across the country. Stratos Wealth Partners is owned by Stratos Wealth Holdings, LLC (also known as Stratos Wealth Network), a collective of independent financial advisors and firms. Stratos Wealth Holdings, LLC also includes Stratos Wealth Advisors, Stratos Wealth Alliance, Stratos Wealth Enterprises and Fundamentum. The firm was founded in 2008 by Jeff Concepcion, who serves as CEO.
Stratos Wealth Partners provides investment advisory services and programs, including asset allocation, financial planning and consulting, as well as advisory programs via third-party firms. Client portfolios may be customized and managed individually or managed based on the firm’s model accounts. Stratos Wealth Partners’s clients include individuals, IRAs, banks and thrift institutions, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and businesses.
Stratos Wealth Partners believes in taking a holistic approach to their clients’ financial lives. The firm’s independent advisors are able to customize unique investment strategies for their clients and use their own research methods, investment style and philosophy.
Advisors may recommend a variety of securities, including mutual funds, unit investment trusts, closed-end funds, ETFs, fixed income securities, equities and hedge funds, among others.
Stratos Wealth Partners does not report any disclosures. For reference, this includes any civil, criminal or regulatory actions related to the firm, its employees or its affiliates, and all registered investment advisors are required to report such incidents on their Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Bartlett & Co. Wealth Management, LLC, is part of the Focus Financial Partners, LLC partnership, a large network of wealth management firms across the U.S. managed by Focus Financial Partners, Inc., a publicly traded company. Bartlett & Co.’s roots date back to 1898, when its namesake, Benjamin Bartlett, a partner at Cincinnati-based private investment firm George Eustis & Co., bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. Bartlett & Co. eventually came to replace George Eustis & Co.
Today, the firm provides investment management, financial planning and consulting services. Its clients are primarily individuals and high net worth individuals, as well as foundations, endowments, businesses and institutions. The firm has offices in Cincinnati and Chicago.
Bartlett & Co. Wealth Management describes itself as an active investment manager that aims to maximize a client’s return for their given level of risk. To meet each client’s unique needs and level of risk tolerance, the firm focuses on portfolio diversification.
It generally recommends assets that span various economic sectors and international geographies, and tends to favor using mutual funds and ETFs in client portfolios. In addition to risk tolerance level, factors including portfolio size, tax sensitivity, income needs and time horizon, among others, will all influence the investment recommendations the firm makes.
Bartlett & Co. Wealth Management, LLC reports no disclosures on its Form ADV paperwork, meaning it has a record free of any civil, regulatory or criminal actions. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Clearstead Advisors, LLC was originally founded in 1989 as Hartland & Co. In 2018, the firm changed its name to Clearstead Advisors, LLC, though it can still do business under the name Hartland & Co., LLC. The firm is owned by Hartland Holdings, Inc. and Hartland Management Investors, LLC, which hold the shares of Clearstead’s employee shareholders, as well as investment firm Rosemont Partners III, L.P.
While its main office is in Cleveland, the firm also has an office in Portland, Maine, which operates as Plimsoll Mark Capital. Clearstead Advisors provides an array of services, including investment management, financial planning, tax planning and compliance and family office administration.
Although the firm does not require a minimum portfolio size, it does primarily work with high net worth individuals and families. However, it does also serve individual investors who do not meet this threshold, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans and businesses.
Clearstead Advisors’ investment philosophy puts an emphasis on evaluating and mitigating risk while balancing individual client needs and characteristics. Clearstead Advisors believes that to achieve optimal returns for a client, it must take into account their time horizon, spending needs, legal constraints, personal beliefs and culture.
The firm emphasizes broad diversification and doesn’t limit its recommendations to any specific products or services. That being said, Clearstead Advisors generally favors mutual funds, ETFs, separately managed accounts and alternative investments, including hedge funds and private equity.
Clearstead Advisors has no disciplinary disclosures to report, which includes any civil, criminal or regulatory actions taken against the firm, its employees or its affiliates. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to report this information in their Form ADV paperwork. For further details, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Sequoia Financial Group LLC was founded in 2000. It is owned in part by Sequoia Financial Advisors’ president, Thomas Haught, and Gerald Knotek, the company’s executive vice president and chief compliance officer. Kudu Investment US, LLC, an investment management company, also owns a minority stake in the firm.
The firm provides financial planning, consulting and investment management services. It primarily serves individual investors who do not qualify as high net worth, meaning they do not have at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million. However, the firm also serves some high net worth individuals, as well as charitable organizations and businesses.
Aside from its Akron headquarters, Sequoia Financial Group has additional offices in Ohio in Beachwood, Cleveland and Youngstown. It also has locations in Michigan and Florida.
Depending on the client’s situation, Sequoia Financial Group may design a custom portfolio or recommend one of their model portfolios, which typically include mutual funds, ETFs and individual stocks. Custom portfolios include those investment types as well as bonds, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and private instruments.
In formulating its investment advice, Sequoia Financial Group turns to financial publications as well as the following methods of analysis:
An investment committee is responsible for voting on overall investing strategies used by the firm, and portfolios are reviewed a minimum of once a year.
Per its Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC, Sequoia Financial Group does not have any disciplinary history. This includes any civil, regulatory or criminal actions involving either the firm or its employees or affiliates. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Truepoint, Inc. was founded in 1990 by Michael J. Chasnoff, the firm’s current CEO. It is 100% employee-owned and has two offices in Cincinnati.
Truepoint offers wealth management services, including financial planning, investment management, tax planning, risk management and estate planning services to clients with an account minimum of $3 million. Those with more than $20 million in investable assets also have access to family office services. For clients with smaller accounts, the firm offers services through its financial planning-focused subsidiary Commas, which has no account minimum. It also works with institutional investors.
Truepoint primarily provides discretionary account management, meaning the client is responsible for signing off on all portfolio decisions. However, it does make some exceptions.
Truepoint discounts active investing, in which people attempt to time the market, and instead believes in long-term investment strategies that utilize low-cost funds and smart rebalancing to achieve returns.
Truepoint attempts to build portfolios in which the overall volatility is less than the sum of the individual investments. The firm recommends securities across the board, but most frequently uses individual equity securities, mutual funds, ETFs, fixed income securities, options and private funds/illiquid investments in client portfolios.
Truepoint, Inc. reports no legal or disciplinary history. This includes any civil, regulatory or criminal actions against the firm or its advisors or affiliates. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to report these events on their Form ADV paperwork. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
There are no estate or inheritance taxes in Ohio, though residents may be subject to federal taxes. The income tax rate in Ohio ranges from 2.85% to 4.797%.
While any financial advisor should be well-versed in retirement planning, not all of them specialize in it. If your goal is to plan for your “golden years,” you’ll want to make sure you select a financial advisor who is knowledgeable and has experience in retirement planning, as it can be a complicated topic. Beyond checking an advisor’s credentials, be sure to ask key questions about their background and the type of clients they serve and have served in the past.
No matter where you live, if you want reassurance that your financial advisor is going to put your best interest first, then you want to find a fee-only financial advisor. Because fee-only financial advisors only earn money through the fees that their clients pay, they tend to have fewer potential conflicts of interest, as they won’t be financially incentivized to make certain recommendations.
Fee-based financial advisors, on the other hand, may have an incentive to recommend certain products or services to their clients, since they can earn money from sales or referrals on top of the fees they earn from their clients.
All registered investment advisors in Ohio are legally required to abide by fiduciary duty. That means they must always put their clients’ best interests ahead of any potential commission or personal gain for themselves.
Broker-dealers, on the other hand, as well as financial advisory firms that are not registered with the SEC or state investment authorities, only have to adhere to the less stringent suitability standard, which means they only must make recommendations that are suitable for the client, not necessarily what is best.
For our search, we looked at firms across the state of Ohio. 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 Ohio, 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 January 26, 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.