Washington, D.C., our nation’s capital, has no shortage of financial advisors from which to choose. Deciding who to work with can be a challenge. Finding the right advisor is a lot about figuring out the proper fit, which means understanding your financial needs and goals and how much you’re willing to spend.
That being said, we understand comparing firms and data points can be difficult, so we compiled the most pertinent information to help guide your decision. To determine the best advisors in the city housing the U.S. seat of government, we considered only 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 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 Washington, D.C. and their key highlights:
How much would you like to invest?
|Firm name||Minimum Assets Required||Fee Structure|
|Farr Miller & Washington LLC||$100,000 for Wealth Builder Portfolios; $500,000 for regular accounts|| |
|Armstrong, Fleming & Moore, Inc.||$1.5 million recommended for portfolio management services|| |
|Geometric Wealth Advisors, LLC||No minimum|| |
|Capital Investment Advisors||No minimum|| |
|Bryspen, Incorporated||No minimum stated but the firm primarily works with high net worth individuals|| |
|Graham Capital Wealth Management, LLC||$40,000|| |
|Frango Financial||No minimum|| |
|Barrack Yard Advisors, LLC||$1 million|| |
For our search, we looked at firms across Washington, D.C. 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 Washington, D.C., 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 8, 2021, but we urge you to also evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.
Farr, Miller & Washington, LLC was founded in 1996. The financial advisory firm provides portfolio management and financial planning to individuals, trusts, estates, corporate pension and profit-sharing plans, companies and other institutions. The minimum account size is $500,000 unless it’s a Wealth Builder Portfolio (an ETF model portfolio option) where the minimum is $100,000.
Michael K. Farr founded the firm and remains the principal owner and CEO. Farr is known for his appearances on CNBC and The Today Show as well as his three published books. The Farr, Miller & Washington main office is located in Washington, D.C. Additional offices are located in Naples, Florida; Devon, Pennsylvania and Memphis, Tennessee.
For clients with $500,000 or more to invest, Farr Miller & Washington offers five core investment portfolios: Large Cap Growth Equity, Fixed Income, Balanced, Small/Mid-Cap Equity and Growth and Income. Each portfolio name corresponds with the strategy it follows. Portfolios are further customized based on factors such as client return and risk objectives, risk tolerance, tax status, goals and cash flow needs.
The firm offers Wealth Builder Portfolios for those with less money to invest. These portfolios are invested in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and each model is diversified among international and domestic asset classes. Which model a client is matched with will depend on risk tolerance and specific goals.
Farr, Miller & Washington does not have any disciplinary disclosures. Investment advisory firms registered with the SEC are required to 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 from within the past 10 years. For more information, visit Farr, Miller & Washington’s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.
Armstrong, Fleming & Moore is a financial advisory firm with services that include portfolio management, retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, and cash and debt analysis. Typical clients are high income, high net worth individuals (defined by the SEC as those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million). Armstrong, Fleming & Moore recommend a $1.5 million minimum for assets under management and believe that those with a net worth of over $3 million benefit the most from comprehensive financial planning services.
Armstrong, Fleming & Moore was founded in 1983 and ownership is divided between the four principal employees.
Advisors at Armstrong, Fleming & Moore follow the firm’s investment philosophy, which is to seek capital appreciation and/or client current income, bound within the constraints of prudent risk-taking. The amount of risk taken is informed by the client’s risk tolerance, which is determined before investments are made.
Portfolios are informed by client objectives, goals and time horizons. In general, advisors at the firm invest for relatively long time horizons (several years or more).
Armstrong, Fleming & Moore and its employees have had a clean record for the past 10 years. Firms registered with the SEC are required to disclose reportable offenses, which range from criminal to civil to the public. Check out the firm’s IAPD page for more information.
Geometric Wealth Advisors formed in 2015. The firm provides investment management and financial planning services to individuals, families and trusts. There is no minimum account size at Geometric Wealth Advisors. The firm’s headquarters is located in Washington, D.C., and there are two additional offices: one in Denver and the other in Chicago.
The company is owned by Andrew Leonard, founder and CFP, and Thomas McAndrews, CFA, who both serve as wealth advisors at the firm.
Portfolios at Geometric Wealth Advisors will primarily consist of passive mutual funds. The firm believes in long-term investing and broad diversification across securities, asset classes and geographic regions.
Portfolios are rebalanced systematically and costs are taken into account for investments (meaning the firm looks for low-cost, passively managed mutual funds and ETFs). Portfolios are built based on life situation, financial goals, investment objectives time frame for investing, risk tolerance and more. The firm recommends, when possible, involving multiple generations within families for comprehensive and holistic financial planning.
This firm has a clean record. Investment advisory firms that are registered with the SEC are required to list and disclose reportable offenses and regulation violations. For further information about Geometric Wealth Advisors, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Founded in 1998, Capital Investment Advisors is a registered investment advisor headquartered in Washington, D.C. The firm has one additional location in Easton, Md. Capital Investment Advisors’ services include financial planning and education, and asset management. Clients typically consist of individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts and estates, foundations and corporations.
The firm is majority owned by John Girouard, the CEO and founder, and Samuel Boyd, a senior vice president.
Capital Investment Advisors’ financial planning services are extensive. For its investment management, advisors at the firm will recommend a third-party multi-manager program to provide supervision for client investment portfolios. Portfolios may include stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other types of assets. Investment plans are created in five-year time segments, which address cash needs and financial objectives.
Capital Investment Advisors has not been involved in a criminal, regulatory or civil judicial violation in the past 10 years. SEC-registered firms are required to report all disciplinary disclosures from the past 10 years. Find more information on Capital Investment Advisors firm’s IAPD page.
Established in 1993, Bryspen, Incorporated conducted business as a registered investment advisor. Bryspen, Incorporated is a small firm with just two employees, and primarily works with high net worth clients, defined by the SEC as those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million, and corporations or businesses. Services offered by the firm include financial planning (which includes tax, insurance, retirement, estate planning and more) and investment supervisory services.
Bryspen, Incorporated has two offices in Washington, D.C., and is owned by the firm’s president, John S. Bryan.
Bryspen, Incorporated creates client portfolios that are informed by client goals and objectives, time horizon, tolerance for market volatility and cash needs. The firm also takes into account prior investment history, as well as information about family composition and background. Accounts are managed based on client objectives, such as moderate asset growth (less aggressive) or maximum capital appreciation (more aggressive).
Portfolios may consist of mutual funds, exchange-listed securities, securities traded over-the-counter, foreign issuers, warrants, corporate debt securities, CDs, governmental securities, variable annuities and more.
Bryspen, Incorporated does not have any disciplinary disclosures to report. SEC-registered investment advisory firms are required to disclose, in public-facing documents, information that may be material to evaluation of the firm. Visit the firm’s IAPD page for more information.
Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Graham Capital Wealth Management provides individuals, high net worth individuals, trusts, estates, businesses and retirement plans with investment management services and financial planning. The fee-only firm’s minimum account size is generally $40,000.
Graham Capital Wealth Management is principally owned by SSA Holding Company, LLC, which is controlled by Stash J. Graham, the principal owner, managing director and chief investment officer of Graham Capital Wealth Management.
The company has two additional offices in Florida: a location in Tampa and another in Sarasota.
Clients of the firm receive custom investment solutions. These solutions are informed by client investment goals and objectives, risk tolerance and financial situation. For the most part, portfolios consist of low-cost diversified mutual funds and ETFs. Stocks and bonds also may be used. Each investment is evaluated and subjected to the firm’s due diligence process. Assets may be sold or redistributed to diversify the portfolio, harvest capital gains or losses or to hedge against market movement.
Graham Capital Wealth Management has nothing to report under disciplinary disclosures. Firms that fall under SEC regulation are required to report violations, including regulatory and criminal. Visit Graham Capital Wealth Management’s IAPD page for access to the firm’s Form ADV and additional information.
In business since 2009, Frango Financial provides comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services to individuals and families. The firm has a special emphasis on helping women, and the company is run by two women: Frances Goldman and Pamela Khinda.
There is no minimum account size required to become a client. Frango Financial is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and has no additional offices. Founder Fran Goldman owns and operates the firm.
The firm’s governing investment philosophy is that broad diversification is the smartest way to control risk and increase chances of return. To achieve this, Frango Financial primarily recommends no-load mutual funds (mutual funds that have no sales fees), ETFs, U.S. government securities, money market accounts, CDs and individual bonds for its clients.
Investment strategies will vary per client and are informed by risk tolerance, risk capacity, tax situation, earnings potential, work status, investment experience, financial situation, goals and aspirations, personal values, age and individual and family circumstances.
Frango Financial does not have any disciplinary disclosures. Firms registered with the SEC must disclose information pertinent to evaluation of the firm’s integrity. Check out the firm’s IAPD page for more information.
Barrack Yard Advisors is a fee-only registered investment advisor headquartered in Washington, D.C. The firm offers investment management and financial planning to individuals, high net worth individuals, trusts, estates and other financial services firms. Barrack Yard Advisors typically works with clients who have $1 million or more to invest.
The firm is owned by Martin G. Leclerc, who serves as the firm’s principal and chief compliance officer. Barrack Yard Advisors operates out of one location in Washington, D.C.
For the most part, advisors at the firm employ a “long-only” strategy, meaning holding positions for longer than a year. Portfolios are generally focused on foreign and domestic individual securities. These securities are selected around three themes: compounders (businesses with great financial strength and a long history of profitability, i.e. blue chip), toll-takers (companies with a fixed asset), and rarities (businesses with assets that are hard to replicate).
Client particulars influence portfolio construction. These factors include investment goals and objectives, as well as risk tolerance and financial situation.
Barrack Yard Advisors does not have any violations to disclose. The SEC requires registered firms to disclose information regarding violations in criminal, civil judicial and disciplinary areas. Find additional information on Barrack Yard Advisors’ IAPD page.
Washington, D.C., residents are subject to a personal progressive income tax that ranges from 4% to 8.95%. These tax brackets also apply to those who have a D.C. estate or trust. The District of Columbia also has an inheritance tax that is applicable to those receiving assets after a death.
Most financial advisors offer retirement planning as a service. However, some financial advisor firms have additional or alternate specializations, such as family office services, tax planning and preparation or education. If retirement planning is a priority for you, make sure to choose an advisor who offers this service and has experience serving investors in your situation.
To start, check the list above under the “about” portions of each firm to see whether tax planning is offered. To find the services offered by other Washington, D.C., firms, check out the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) site offered by the SEC. Within each firm brochure listed on the site you’ll find a breakdown of services offered.
Generally, financial advisory firms charge fees based on a percentage of assets under management (AUM). Typically, fees will range from 0.50% to 1.25% of your assets under management. Additionally, some firms may have hourly charges, fixed fees, consulting fees, performance-based fees or other types of charges.
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.