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With all of the financial advisor firms in St. Louis, it may feel tough to narrow it down. Finding the right advisor in St. Louis — or any city, for that matter — comes down to figuring out the proper fit for you, which requires understanding your financial needs and goals and how much you can spend for an advisor’s services.
That’s just one piece of the puzzle, though — you’ll also have to compare all of your options for financial advisors in St. Louis. To make it easier to sift through the choices and firm data points, we’ve compiled this list of the best advisors in the Gateway to the West. To create this ranking, we only looked at SEC-registered 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 the firm’s size.
Our ranking below won’t tell you which firm will end up being right for your unique needs, but it can hopefully help you better narrow that down. Read on for our list of the top firms in Missouri’s second-largest city and their key highlights:
How much would you like to invest?
|Firm name||Minimum assets required||Fee structure|
|Moneta Group Investment Advisors, LLC||None||A percentage of AUM
|Buckingham Strategic Partners, LLC||Varies by service||A percentage of AUM
Other (fee sharing with independent RIAs)
|RubinBrown Advisors LLC||None, but clients generally have at least $500,000||A percentage of AUM
|Visionary Wealth Advisors, LLC||Not specified||A percentage of AUM
|Acropolis Investment Management, L.L.C.||$1 million||A percentage of AUM
|JAG Capital Management LLC||Varies by account||A percentage of AUM|
|Fiduciary Advisors, Inc.||$250,000 recommended, but not required||A percentage of AUM
|Clayton Financial Group||None||A percentage of AUM
For our search, we looked at firms across the city of St. Louis. 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.
The firms that met this criteria were ranked based on their AUM. Firms with a higher AUM and lower client-to-advisor ratios garner higher scores. Our ranking system is designed to help compare firms, but does not indicate which firm may be best for you.
In our reviews, we’ve listed several other key features that will help you determine which financial advisor is most fitting for your investing style and financial needs. It is important to note that we did not include disciplinary disclosures as a metric for our ranking. We have listed any disciplinary disclosures current as of May 10, 2021, but urge you to evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.
Moneta Group Investment Advisors, LLC offers “family CFO” and family office services to individuals (including high net worth individuals), providing financial, tax and estate planning and coaching; advice on philanthropic giving; and investment management. The firm also serves as a consultant to institutional investors and retirement plans.
Moneta Group’s roots go back to the Home Life Insurance Company, an insurance broker founded in 1869. Since then, the firm has evolved significantly, shifting its focus to financial planning and changing names more than once. It became the Moneta Group in 1988 and a registered investment advisor in 1989. It is a subsidiary of Moneta Group LLC, which is owned by Moneta Partners.
In addition to its St. Louis headquarters, the firm has offices in Denver, Missions Woods, Kan. and Worcester, Mass.
Moneta Group’s strategy emphasizes asset allocation, rather than the selection of specific investments or market timing. The firm analyzes several factors when making investment choices, including money supply, interest rates, inflation forecasts and the political climate. Advisors personalize recommendations for each client, based on their objectives and risk tolerance.
The firm generally invests client assets in an assortment of investments — including stocks, bonds and mutual funds — that it feels are appropriate for the specific client. After investing, Moneta Group monitors client portfolios, rebalancing when their allocation strays 5% (or another agreed upon amount) from the target.
Moneta Group Investment Advisors reports no disclosures. For reference, all registered investments advisors must disclose any disciplinary history in their Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC. This includes any civil, regulatory or criminal events involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates within the last 10 years.
Learn more about Moneta Group by visiting its IAPD page.
Founded in 1997, Buckingham Strategic Partners, LLC operated under the name BAM Advisor Services until it merged with the investment advisor Loring Ward in 2018. The firm is now part of Focus Financial Partners, a publicly traded corporation that owns more than 70 registered investment firms across the country.
In addition to providing investment management and financial planning to individual clients, Buckingham Strategic Partners provides technology, back-office support, marketing and other solutions to advisors. It also provides them with model portfolios that they can use in managing client accounts, and in some cases it also works as a sub-advisor overseeing portfolios directly.
In addition to the firm’s St. Louis headquarters, Buckingham Strategic Partners has two California offices, in Sacramento and San Jose.
Buckingham Strategic Partners educates the advisors it works with in modern portfolio theory, which eschews market timing and stock picking in favor of long-term diversified portfolios. In general, the firm recommends passively managed or evidence-based mutual funds, though it may also advise on other types of securities.
When Buckingham Strategic Partners acts as a sub-advisor for an account of an investment advisor’s client, it typically has discretionary authority, meaning it can make transactions on an investor’s behalf without their prior permission. In this scenario, the firm generally provides advisors with a selection of model asset allocations to choose from, which generally include exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds. Buckingham can also advise specifically on the fixed income portion of a client’s portfolio, though it recommends that clients make a minimum investment of $500,000 for this service.
Buckingham Strategic Partners has a clean disciplinary record. That means that neither the firm nor its employees or affiliates have faced any civil, criminal or disciplinary issues within the last 10 years.
To learn more about Buckingham Strategic Partners, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Accounting firm RubinBrown launched its subsidiary RubinBrown Advisors LLC in 2002, and RubinBrown LLP remains the firm’s owner. RubinBrown Advisors offers financial planning and wealth management primarily to individuals, including those who are high net worth (defined by the SEC as those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million). While the firm does not technically have a minimum investment requirement, its clients generally have at least $500,000 in investable assets.
In addition to its St. Louis headquarters, RubinBrown Advisors has offices in Denver, Kansas City, Mo. and Leawood, Kan.
RubinBrown Advisors creates portfolios for clients that typically contain a mix of mutual funds and ETFs. The firm may also use a third-party manager to oversee separately managed accounts of individuals stocks and bonds.
The team at RubinBrown Advisors bases their asset allocation decisions on modern portfolio theory, which aims to minimize risk through diversification rather than focusing on individual security selection. Advisors also employ tax-loss harvesting strategies, recommending that clients sell certain securities in order to minimize tax liabilities.
RubinBrown Advisors has a clean record and discloses no legal or disciplinary events over the prior decade that potential clients would find material when evaluating the firm or its management.
For more information about RubinBrown Advisors, visit its IAPD page.
Tim Hammett and Brett Gilliland founded Visionary Wealth Advisors, LLC in 2014 and remain the firm’s principal owners. Hammett is the firm’s president, while Gilliland currently serves as chief executive officer.
Visionary Wealth Advisors offers investment management and financial planning — including retirement planning, estate planning, insurance assessment and college planning — to individual investors. It also helps small and medium-size businesses with the management of their employee retirement plans.
In addition to its St. Louis headquarters, Visionary Wealth Advisors has offices in Illinois, Florida, Colorado, Missouri and Kansas.
To determine the right strategy for each client, Visionary Wealth Advisors considers their risk tolerance, time horizon, cash needs and other factors. Clients can then select their preferred model portfolio, which invests in multiple asset classes following a specific strategy (ranging from conservative to moderate to aggressive), or utilize one of the firm’s model accounts, which focus on a single or limited number of asset classes like stocks, bonds or alternative investments.
To select investments, Visionary Wealth Advisors uses a combination of fundamental, technical and cyclical methods of analysis. The firm also integrates some assumptions from modern portfolio theory, which emphasizes asset allocation and diversification, but also factors in additional considerations, such as tax implications, regulatory constraints and brokerage costs.
Visionary Wealth Advisors notes that not all of its advisors adhere to the same investment philosophies and use the same types of investments. As such, clients should speak to their individual advisor about their unique approach.
Visionary Wealth Advisors does not have any disciplinary disclosures. Investment advisory firms registered with the SEC must report information that would be material to clients evaluating the firm, including any civil, criminal or regulatory events involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates over the past decade.
For more information, visit Visionary Wealth Advisors’ IAPD page.
Financial services executives Chris Lissner and Danelle Ward launched Evertrade Advisors as a subsidiary of Everbank in 1999. Two years later, they were joined by portfolio manager David Ott, and in the following year the trio purchased the firm from the bank, renaming it Acropolis Investment Management. All three remain partners at the firm along with Chris Lissner’s brother, Michael Lissner.
From its office in St. Louis, the firm offers investment management, financial planning and business transition planning to individual investors. It also provides advice to institutional investors and retirement plans. Acropolis Investment Management generally requires a $1 million account size.
Acropolis Investment Management’s investment process begins with asset allocation, as advisors look to create low-turnover, tax-efficient portfolios with minimal transaction costs. Models are used to create a stock-bond allocation tailored to each client’s financial situation. The firm primarily recommends individual stocks, bonds and ETFs, as well as products managed by third parties, such as mutual funds and separately managed accounts.
Notably, the firm states that it believes so strongly in its investments that at least one of its four partners owns every stock on its Approved List and, along with their families, have collectively invested more than $10 million in the securities that they recommend to their clients.
Acropolis Wealth Management does not disclose any disciplinary issues over the past 10 years that would materially impact a client’s view of the advisory company. This includes any civil, criminal or regulatory events involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates.
For more information about Acropolis Wealth Management, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
JAG Capital Management’s parent company, J.A. Glynn & Co., began as a broker-dealer in 1945. It registered as an advisor with the SEC in 1997 and operated under the name JAG Advisors until 2013, when J.A. Glynn & Co. consolidated its advisor business under the name JAG Capital Management. J.A. Glynn is primarily owned by Norm Conley III, JAG Capital Management’s CEO and chief investment officer.
The firm offers financial planning and private investment solutions, primarily to affluent families and individuals. It also provides investment management and advisory solutions to other financial advisors and consultants, as well as to institutional investors. The firm’s minimum requirement generally depends on the account — as an example, for managed accounts, it’s $1 million — though it may waive or lower this requirement at its discretion.
In addition to its St. Louis headquarters, JAG Capital Management has one office in Chicago.
JAG Capital Management will either use a model portfolio that’s appropriate for the specific client’s financial situation, or create a portfolio that’s customized for them. The firm may invest client money in a range of investments, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs and other securities.
As an active manager, JAG Capital Management uses both long- and short-term purchases in client portfolios. It uses several methods of analysis and information from multiple sources to evaluate investment opportunities and determine its investment recommendations for clients.
JAG Capital Management does not disclose any legal or disciplinary events over the past decade that would materially impact a client’s opinion of the firm or its management. As a registered investment advisory firm, the SEC requires JAG Capital Management to report this information in its Form ADV paperwork.
For more information about JAG Capital Management, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
After eight years working at an accounting and benefits consulting firm, John Hefele launched Fiduciary Advisors, Inc. in 2000. Hefele remains the president and owner of the firm, which operates out of its St. Louis headquarters.
Fiduciary Advisors’ primary clients are pension, profit-sharing and 401(k) plans. However, the firm also provides fee-only financial planning and investment advice to individuals. Though it doesn’t have a strict investment minimum requirement, Fiduciary Advisors generally recommends that its clients have an account of at least $250,000 for ongoing portfolio management services.
Fiduciary Advisors centers its approach to portfolio management around modern portfolio theory, which focuses on asset allocation and diversification when building client portfolios in an effort to maximize returns for a given level of risk. Portfolios typically include a mix of mutual funds and ETFs, though the fixed income portion of a portfolio may also include individual bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs).
The firm manages money on both a discretionary basis, in which it makes trades on behalf of clients, and on a non-discretionary basis, where the firm must get a client’s approval before placing trades in their account.
Fiduciary Advisors has a clean disciplinary record. That means it has not disclosed any disciplinary events over the last 10 years involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates that could be material to a client. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to disclose such information on their Form ADV paperwork.
For more information about Fiduciary Advisors, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Kenneth and Matthew Bower and Julie Bahr, former advisors at Moneta Group (the top-ranking firm on our list) launched Clayton Financial Group in 2015. The Bower brothers primarily own the firm, though Bahr and other managing directors at the firm own a small percentage.
Clayton Financial Group offers investment management and financial planning (including tax planning, estate planning and insurance planning) to individuals and families, and also serves as a consultant to corporate retirement plans. The firm’s sole office location is in St. Louis.
Clayton Financial Group develops an investment policy statement for each client, then invests and supervises their portfolio according to these established guidelines and based on the client’s goals and risk tolerance. The firm uses long-term trading, and portfolios may include mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, bonds and annuities.
The firm chooses securities for portfolios based on the tenets of modern portfolio theory, which aims to maximize portfolio returns as they relate to risk by carefully managing a portfolio’s asset allocation.
Clayton Financial Group has a clean disciplinary record, meaning that neither the firm nor its employees or affiliates have faced any civil, regulatory or criminal actions in the last decade. The SEC requires that any registered investment advisor report such information on their Form ADV filings.
To learn more about Clayton Financial Group, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Missouri’s state income tax rates in 2021 range from 1.50% to 5.40%, depending on your income. And while the state doesn’t have its own estate or inheritance tax, Missourians are still subject to federal estate taxes. In addition, if they receive an inheritance from a state that does have an inheritance tax, they may be responsible for those taxes.
To determine the best financial advisor for you, you’ll need to figure out which one offers the services you need and makes you feel comfortable when sharing your financial details and dreams. You’ll also want to make sure that their fees are fair when compared to the industry average and that you understand how they’re calculated. Finally, you’ll want an advisor with bona fide credentials and experience working with clients whose financial situations are similar to yours.
Yes. In general, fee-only financial advisors are paid only by the client and receive no commissions for selling specific products. That means they have fewer conflicts of interest than advisors who might have a financial incentive to sell you specific products.
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.