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Choosing a financial advisor in Tampa can be challenging, given the number of financial advisors in this city on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Finding the right advisor in Florida’s third-largest city — nicknamed “The Big Guava” — comes down to understanding your unique needs and financial goals, as well as how much you can spend.
Still, we understand it can be difficult to compare firms and data points, so we compiled the most important information to help guide your decision. To determine the best advisors in Tampa, Fla., we looked exclusively 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.
Our ranking can’t predict which firm will be the best one for you, but it can make it easier for you to narrow it down for yourself. Read on for the top firms in Tampa and their key highlights:
How much would you like to invest?
|Firm||Minimum assets required||Fee structure|
|J. W. Cole Advisors, Inc.||Varies by program||A percentage of AUM
|Suncoast Equity Management, LLC||$250,000||A percentage of AUM|
|PSI Advisors, LLC||None||A percentage of AUM
|Sutton Wealth Advisors, Inc.||None||A percentage of AUM
|Bayshore Capital Advisors, LLC||Varies by client type||A percentage of AUM
|Wealth Advisors of Tampa Bay||$100,000||A percentage of AUM
|The Tenret Company, LLC||$1 million||A percentage of AUM
|Code Waechter LLC||$150,000||A percentage of AUM
For our search, we looked at firms across the city of Tampa. 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 Tampa, Fla., 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 July 16, 2021, but we urge you to also evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.
Principals John Carlson and RJ Wood launched J.W. Cole Advisors, Inc. in 2000. Carlson is the firm’s majority owner, and serves as president, chief executive officer and chief financial officer. Notably, the firm also ranks on MagnifyMoney’s list of the top financial advisors in the state of Florida.
J.W. Cole Advisors partners with hundreds of independent investment advisors throughout the country, who may operate under their own names, but use the firm’s investment platform and back office services. Advisors offer investment advisory services, as well as financial planning and consulting. They can also provide advice on variable annuities.
Clients of the firm are primarily individuals, though it also serves high net worth individuals and a range of institutional investors. The firm’s account minimum requirements vary by program type, starting at $10,000 and ranging up to $100,000.
When investing client money, J.W. Cole Advisors chooses an investment strategy based on each client’s financial profile and investment goals. The firm offers four programs: One in which your advisor will directly manage your assets, a wrap fee account where all of your costs are bundled into one fee, an option in which your portfolio is managed by a third party and an automated online investment program, similar to a robo-advisor.
Portfolios created by J.W. Cole Advisors may include a range of both public and private stocks and bonds, as well as alternative investments, interests in real estate or oil and gas partnerships and annuities, among other investment products.
J.W. Cole Advisors reports no disciplinary disclosures within the last 10 years, including any criminal, civil or regulatory events involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates that potential clients would find material to their perception of the firm or its management. All registered investment advisors must disclose any such information on the public Form ADV filings that they submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
For more information about J.W. Cole Advisors, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Donald Jowdy founded Suncoast Equity Management, LLC in 1997, and remains the firm’s president and principal owner. The firm operates out of its sole office in Tampa, Fla.
Suncoast Equity Management offers investment supervisory services and financial planning, primarily to individuals and high net worth individuals. Its client base also includes pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, businesses and other investment advisors. A minimum account size of $250,000 is typically required.
Suncoast Equity Management focuses on creating portfolios primarily composed of large cap equities. The firm believes that over the long term, common stock offers better returns than other asset classes. It does not believe in market timing, but rather buys and holds investments.
To identify attractive stocks, Suncoast Equity Management primarily uses fundamental analysis, assessing companies by their general financial health and management or competitive advantages. Specifically, the Suncoast Equity Management invests in companies that have low-to-moderate debt, an above-average return on capital and excess cash flow.
Suncoast Equity Management does not disclose any legal or disciplinary actions against the firm, its employees or its affiliates over the last 10 years that clients would consider material to their assessment of the firm or its management team.
Learn more about Suncoast Equity Management by visiting its IAPD page.
Eric Eaton launched PSI Advisors, LLC in 2016, and serves as the firm’s president, chief compliance officer and primary owner. The firm is headquartered in Tampa, and has additional Florida locations in St. Petersburg and Brandon.
PSI Advisors offers investment management, tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning and insurance services through its network of independent investment advisors. As stated on its most recent SEC filings, its clients are exclusively individual investors who are not considered high net worth (per the SEC, a high net worth individual is someone with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million). The firm also works with businesses.
PSI Advisors creates portfolios primarily containing exchange-traded funds (ETFs), but it will also offer advice on other investments, based on each client’s financial profile. The firm may also invest clients in model portfolios created by LPL Financial, an affiliated broker-dealer and registered investment advisor.
To identify potential investments, PSI Advisors employs several methods of research. The firm’s recommendations will ultimately be determined by each client’s financial situation, goals and risk tolerance, as well as economic and tax considerations.
PSI Advisors has a clean record: The firm discloses no legal or disciplinary events against the firm, its employees or its affiliates within the previous decade that potential clients might find material when evaluating the firm or the integrity of its management team.
Learn more about PSI Advisors by viewing its IAPD page.
Sutton Wealth Advisors, Inc. began providing investment advisory services in 2007. It is principally owned by W. Edward Sutton, the firm’s founder.
Sutton Wealth Advisors offers financial planning, tax planning, estate planning and portfolio management. It primarily works with individuals — including high net worth individuals — though it also serves a small number of institutions. The firm operates out of its headquarters in Tampa.
Sutton Wealth Advisors works with clients to create a custom portfolio that aligns with their risk tolerance and objectives; it may also use a predefined strategy or select a model portfolio based on the client’s financial picture. Portfolios offered by the firm can include stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, as well as any other investments that may make sense for the client.
To select securities for investment, Sutton Wealth Advisors uses several different types of analysis. The firm also subscribes to modern portfolio theory, which aims to maximize returns and minimize risk by diversifying portfolios across different asset classes.
Sutton Wealth Advisors does not disclose any legal or disciplinary events against the firm, its employees or its affiliates in the past 10 years that a client would find material to their evaluation of the firm or its leadership. That includes civil, regulatory or criminal events.
For more information on Sutton Wealth Advisors, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
After successfully managing her family’s investment office, Tready Smith launched Bayshore Capital Advisors in 2001. She remains the chief executive officer and primary owner of the firm, which has one office location in Tampa.
The firm supervises client investments in pooled investment vehicles or in their own separate accounts. The latter typically requires a $20 million minimum account size, while investment requirements for the funds range from $500,000 to $1 million. Bayshore Capital Advisors works with a small number of individuals and high net worth individuals, as well as a handful of institutional investors.
Bayshore Capital Advisor offers five investment funds to clients — each one has a different strategy, including third-party managers, alternative income, private markets and rare earth elements. For consulting clients with individual accounts, the firm may also suggest other types of investments depending on the client’s financial situation.
In general, Bayshore Capital Advisors prefers to invest in pooled vehicles, such as funds. All investments must receive unanimous approval from the firm’s investment committee and pass its operational due diligence process.
Bayshore Capital Advisors has a clean record, disclosing no legal or disciplinary marks against the firm, its employees or its affiliates over the prior 10 years that would be material to a client’s view of the firm or its leaders.
For more information about Bayshore Capital Advisors, visit its IAPD page.
Banking and investment executive Robert “Fenn” Giles, Jr. founded Wealth Advisors of Tampa Bay in 2012, and currently serves as the firm’s president and chief investment officer. Giles owns 77% of Wealth Advisors of Tampa; the remainder owned by Robert “Fenn” Giles III, who is also an advisor at the Tampa-based firm.
Wealth Advisors of Tampa Bay primarily works with individuals, including those who are high net worth, and generally requires a minimum account balance of $100,000. The firm’s services include investment management, comprehensive wealth management, financial planning, retirement planning, estate planning and wealth transfer, trust services and insurance. It also offers services for foundations and endowments.
Wealth Advisors of Tampa Bay offers its investment management services to clients through a wrap fee program, which bundles the advisory fee with transaction costs and also includes financial planning or consulting services.
Based on the client’s information, the firm will recommend an investment portfolio that typically consists of ETFs, mutual funds, individual stocks or bonds or other securities, and may also use independent managers. When building portfolios, Wealth Advisors of Tampa Bay says it emphasizes striking a balanced asset allocation, as well as achieving tax efficiency.
Wealth Advisors of Tampa Bay does not disclose any disciplinary issues. This means that neither the firm nor its employees or affiliates have faced any issues within the last 10 years that a prospective client may find relevant when evaluating the firm or its management.
You can learn more about Wealth Advisors of Tampa Bay by visiting its IAPD page.
Former reporter Tina Tenret became a financial advisor in 2006 and launched The Tenret Company, LLC in 2018. Tenret remains the president and principal owner of the Tampa-based firm.
The Tenret Company offers portfolio management and financial planning. It also can assist with the financial aspects of collaborative divorces, as well as offering consulting to clients and their attorneys dealing with a divorce or the death of a spouse. The firm generally works with individuals and trusts with at least $1 million.
The Tenret Company selects investments using the tenets of modern portfolio theory — this investment theory emphasizes long-term investing and asset allocation, rather than market timing or stock picking in an effort to maximize returns for a given level of risk. Portfolios created by The Tenret Company tend to include broadly traded mutual funds, ETFs and bonds.
The firm may also use third-party investment advisors to manage a portion of client assets. To choose those advisors, The Tenret Company conducts due diligence, a process that includes phone calls, meetings and a review of the advisor’s investment strategy and performance.
The Tenret Company 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.
Learn more about The Tenret Company by visiting its IAPD page.
Founded in 2017, Code Waechter LLC offers financial planning and asset management primarily to individuals and high net worth individuals, and also helps business owners with business planning and benefits programs. The firm’s employees also sell insurance products. In general, Code Waechter requires clients to invest at least $150,000 with the firm.
The firm’s sole office location is in Tampa, Fla. It is owned by its founder Brian Code, his son Jordan Code and Scott Waechter.
Code Waechter determines an appropriate asset allocation for its clients based on their individual financial situations, then creates an investment plan using one or more of its model portfolios; it may use active or passive portfolios depending on a client’s objectives. While the firm invests primarily in ETFs, mutual funds and individual stocks and bonds, it does not limit its universe of potential investments when creating portfolios.
Sometimes Code Waechter will invest a portion of client assets with third-party managers. In those cases, the firm evaluates each potential manager based on past performance and their operations and offerings.
Code Waechter has no disciplinary disclosures to report. That means there have been no civil, criminal or regulatory events over the past decade that a client would find relevant when evaluating the firm or its management.
For more information about Code Waechter, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
No, not all financial advisor firms specialize in retirement planning, though many can provide guidance to clients who are preparing for retirement. If retirement planning is one of your financial priorities, ask potential advisors whether it’s an area of focus for their firm and if they have experience working with clients to get ready for their retirement.
Fee-only financial advisors only earn money from the fees their clients pay, which minimizes potential conflicts of interest. Advisors who earn money from selling certain financial products may be financially incentivized to make certain recommendations.
That will depend on lots of factors — beginning with the amount of money you want to invest, as many advisors require clients to meet minimum requirements. Once you’re sure you’ve met any minimum investment thresholds, look for an advisor that specializes in the services you’re looking for, such as retirement planning or estate planning. Finally, you’ll want an advisor with a fee structure that you understand and with whom you feel comfortable.
A tax-friendly state, Florida is one of nine states that doesn’t have an income tax for state residents. The state doesn’t have an estate or an inheritance tax either, although the federal estate tax still applies to large estates.
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.