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Best Financial Advisors in Raleigh, North Carolina

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Raleigh’s economic vitality ranks higher compared to many different metro areas in the United States. This same vitality and lower cost of living compared to other coastal tech hubs has encouraged more and more people to move to the area and find better ways to manage their money. 

Curious about the best way to manage your money if you live in the Raleigh-Durham area? Check out Benzinga’s research to learn more.

Best Financial Advisors in Raleigh, North Carolina:

1. Best for Comprehensive Management: Lewis Financial Management LLC

Thirty-year veteran Lewis Financial Management offers 2 tiers of financial management: An initial financial advisory consultation and comprehensive financial planning. 

Your first meeting with Lewis Financial Management LLC starts with an initial financial advisory consultation. You’ll get advice right away, whether you need help with cash management, investments, retirement planning or divorce advice. 

On the other hand, you might need more than just a one-off consultation. Opt for comprehensive financial planning to hash out long-term objectives and strategy execution directed at your goals.

$298,280,893
$1,000,000
3
N/A
  • Comprehensive financial planning
  • Fee-based
Commissions
FREE automated investing
Account Minimum
$100 for regular accounts $500 for retirement accounts

2. Best Robo-Advisor: M1 Finance

Have you ever been entranced by the idea of managing your own finances? Look no further than M1 Finance for a DIY approach to managing your money. You’ll be able to tap into low-cost ETFs, individual stocks or a combination of both. You can also access a portfolio line of credit up to $10,000 and use M1 Finance’s checking account option to set up direct deposits. 

Choose between 2 account types. M1 Finance’s Core account includes:

  • Zero trading commissions
  • Zero management fees
  • Free checking account
  • 3.5% base rate for a portfolio line of credit

M1 Finance’s Plus account includes:

  • Core account features
  • 1% APY on checking account balance 
  • 1% cashback on qualifying debit card purchases, no limits
  • Access to a second daily trade window
  • 2.75% rate for portfolio line of credit (0.75% reduction)

3. Best for Identifying Undervalued Companies: Cardinal Capital Management Inc.

Cardinal Capital Management Inc. is a fiduciary that specializes in U.S. and non-U.S. equity and fixed-income portfolios for individuals, trusts, corporations, foundations and endowments. So, what’s that mean? In plain English:

  • A fiduciary looks after your interests — it’s not always focused on what your financial advisor can make from your money. 
  • Fixed-income portfolios refer to the portion of a portfolio that involve funds relatively low in market risk.

Cardinal uses a valuation-oriented approach using its Multifactor Model. This means that it identifies strong companies statistically undervalued to generate returns for you over time.

Does the word “commission” get your heart pumping? You’ll be happy to know that Cardinal Capital Management doesn’t charge commissions. The company only earns a fee based on your account value.

$415,579,794
$500,000
7
130
  • Development
  • Investment
  • Management
  • Construction
  • Social Services
  • First $10 million: 1%
  • Next $15 million: 0.90%
  • Next $25 million: 0.85%
  • Balances more than $50 million: 0.075%

4. Best Mobile App: Betterment

Betterment offers a great robo option for new investors. Choose between Betterment Digital, which requires $0 to get started (can’t argue with that!) and charges 0.25% of assets under management per year. 

Betterment Premium offers unlimited phone access to certified financial planners for a 0.40% fee and a $100,000 account minimum.  

Betterment’s customer support team is available 5 days a week to answer questions about your account if you really need live-person support. Get advice packages starting at $199.

5. Best for Excellent Client Portal: Financial Symmetry Inc.

Financial Symmetry is an employee-owned financial advisory firm in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Financial Symmetry charges on a fee-only basis. Financial Symmetry’s financial advisors put your goals first:

  • Financial planning
  • Investment management
  • Retirement planning
  • Tax planning
  • Social Security analysis
  • College planning
  • 401(k) planning 
  • Estate planning

Any item on your financial to-do list can be addressed on Financial Symmetry’s unique high-tech client portal. Financial Symmetry’s portal keeps tabs on your net worth, totals up your spending against your future targets and holds all your documents. Its portal gives you access to your accounts whenever you want it.

$413,647,939
$3,000 minimum fee for continuous service
18
321
  • Financial planning services
  • Pension consulting services
  • A percentage of assets under your management
  • Hourly charges
  • Fixed fees (other than subscription fees)

6. Best Portfolio Analysis: Personal Capital

At first glance, Personal Capital is a hybrid of 2 types of service. It tallies up your accounts and tells you where your spending patterns fall. Personal Capital can also help you develop your portfolio with managed services. However, you must have an account minimum balance of $100,000 or more. 

You’ll be able to track a multi-asset portfolio with its free investment management tools. Add a real person into the mix and you can get tax optimization strategies and personal long- and short-term plans for success.

7. Best for Keeping Your Goals Front and Center: Beacon Wealthcare Inc.

Beacon Wealthcare Inc. can help you design the future and utilize your goals and priorities. Beacon packages up a recommended goal package for you — but doesn’t leave you in the dust after that. The company suggests regular meetings for active goal planning. Your goals might not stay the course, so Beacon’s financial advisors will contact you with new advice — always with your goals at the forefront. 

Beacon Wealthcare uses probability analysis called Monte Carlo to ensure your goals are active. Beacon’s disciplined approach tackles: 

  • Market returns
  • Index investing
  • Volatility reduction
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Optimal allocation
  • Rebalancing
  • Tax considerations
$138,695,477
No minimum account size, but may charge a minimum fee depending on the complexity of the client’s planning needs
5
691
  • Financial planning services
  • A percentage of assets under your management
  • Hourly charges
  • Fixed fees (other than subscription fees)

8. Best for Finding Custom Financial Advisors: SmartAsset

Find the right financial advisor to prepare for your future. SmartAsset‘s platform connects investors, soon-to-be-retirees and retirees with financial advisors from across the country. 

As the first comprehensive solution for easily and securely pairing investors with financial advisors, SmartAsset provides you with free and secure access to the financial advisor marketplace and sources advisors that are right specifically for you based on your location, assets and personal preferences. 

Answer a brief survey regarding your preparedness for retirement, investment style and contact information. SmartAsset’s algorithm can match you with the best financial advisor for you!

9. Best for Insurance and Annuities: Waddell & Reed Inc.

Waddell & Reed is one of the oldest investing firms in the United States and has more than 400 offices throughout the country. This tried-and-true investing firm, a subsidiary of publicly traded Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE: WDR) delivers:

  • Financial planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Education funding 
  • And more!

Within those categories are advice about mutual funds, advisory programs, general securities, insurance and annuities, banking and cash solutions and gifting or giving strategies.  

$57,400,000,000
N/A
1,347
N/A
  • Mutual funds
  • Advisory programs
  • General securities
  • Education savings
  • Retirement solutions
  • Fee-based

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can financial advisors help you determine how to handle debt?

A: Absolutely! Reach out to any one of these advisors with any specific questions you might have about debt. An advisor should be able to give you a comprehensive overview of how to tackle it within the context of your overall goals.

Q: How can I research the background of my financial advisor?

A: The internet is your best friend as you research prospective financial advisors. Check out the financial advisor’s bio on the company website and find out which types of certifications he or she currently has. Dig a little further on Investor.gov, which will direct you to the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) website. You can also visit the IAPD website directly, FINRA’s BrokerCheck program and/or your state securities regulator.

Q: What return should I expect from a financial advisor?

A: There’s a quantifiable increase in return from working with a good financial advisor, around 3% per year, according to Vanguard research. 

Get the Best Financial Advisor for You in Raleigh

A couple of important to-do items before you land on an advisor: 

  1. Ask friends and family in Raleigh whether they prefer one financial advisor over another.
  2. Carefully interview a financial advisor in a firm who comes highly recommended. Remember, the first one is free! Be sure to articulate your goals and explain exactly what it is you’re interested in getting out of the relationship. Do you want to plan carefully for retirement? Have some short-term money goals in mind? Think carefully about these things before you visit.

Don’t be afraid to give yourself time to think after each hour with your financial advisor is up. You’re entitled to think about the decision — after all, your future’s at stake. 

Methodology

To determine the top financial advisors in Raleigh, we pored through all SEC-registered advisory firms with offices in Raleigh. We winnowed the list by only including advisors who are registered fiduciaries, had no past disclosures and have minimal personal conflicts of interest. We gave weight to companies that offer both investment management and planning, had no conflicts of interest, had offices in multiple states, have a wrap fee program and over $50 million in assets under management.

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