Choosing a financial advisor can be challenging, given the number of financial advisors in Colorado. Finding the right advisor for you has a lot to do with figuring out the proper fit, which means understanding your financial needs and goals and how much you’re willing to spend.
To help make an informed decision, we compiled the most pertinent information on the best advisors in Colorado. For this list, we considered only firms that manage individual accounts and offer financial planning services, and then ranked the remaining firms based on assets under management (AUM). All data used in our methodology is taken from each firm’s most recent Form ADV filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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 Colorado and their key highlights:
How much would you like to invest?
|Firm name||City||Minimum assets required||Fee structure|
|Mercer Global Advisors Inc.||Denver||$500,000||A percentage of AUM Fixed fees|
|Crestone Asset Management LLC||Boulder||$25 million||A percentage of AUM Fixed fees
|BOK Financial Private Wealth, Inc.||Denver||$2.5 million||A percentage of AUM
|Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel, LLLP||Aspen||$1 million||A percentage of AUM|
|IWP Wealth Management LLC||Denver||No minimum||A percentage of AUM Fixed fees|
|Western Wealth Management LLC||Golden||$5,000 to $250,000, depending on program||A percentage of AUM Hourly charges
|Colorado Financial Management LLC||Boulder||$500,000||A percentage of AUM Hourly charges
|GHP Investment Advisors Inc.||Denver||$500,000||A percentage of AUM Hourly charges
Fixed fees Performance-based fees
|BSW Wealth Partners||Boulder||No minimum, but minimum quarterly fees apply||A percentage of AUM Hourly charges
Other (travel reimbursement)
|Transform Wealth, LLC||Greenwood Village||$500,000||A percentage of AUM Hourly charges
Other (assets on third-party platforms)
Mercer Global Advisors was founded in 1985 by attorney Kendrick Mercer. Today, the firm has over 50 offices across the United States and is owned through a holding company as well as a number of firm employees. Its team of over 450 employees includes certified financial planners (CFP), certified public accountants (CPA), chartered financial analysts (CFA) and attorneys.
The firm provides comprehensive services, including investment management, family office services and financial planning, including tax planning and estate planning. Mercer Global Advisors caters primarily to high net worth individuals, though its client base does include numerous individuals without a high net worth (defined as at least $750,000 under an advisor’s management or a net worth believed to be at least $1.5 million). Clients typically must have a minimum of $500,000 in assets.
Mercer Global Advisors strives to maintain consistency while optimizing returns, with a focus on preserving capital and maximizing tax efficiency. The firm believes in broad, global diversification within assets and across asset classes, and it also uses alternative investments that may not perform in line with stocks or bonds.
Instead of a single advisor making investment decisions, Mercer Advisors has an investment committee made up of 16 members that oversee the firm’s policies, portfolios and managers. The firm has also signed the United Nations’ Principles Responsible Investment (PRI), which means it takes into account environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when making investment recommendations.
There are no disciplinary events disclosed on Mercer Advisors’ Form ADV. Disciplinary disclosures include any civil, regulatory or criminal events against the firm, its employees or its affiliates. For more information, visit the firm’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.
Crestone Asset Management, LLC was founded in 2001. It is a subsidiary of Crestone Capital, which is owned by The Eric J. Kramer Company, the company’s predecessor. Crestone Asset Management, LLC has five office locations in total, including its headquarters in Boulder.
The firm provides full-service wealth management, and it caters to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients, typically requiring a minimum of $25 million in assets. Crestone also serves some corporations and legal entities.
Diversification drives the investment strategy at Crestone Asset Management. To create diversified portfolios, the firm studies the long-term behavior of various assets. It uses investments in both traditional and alternative markets, such as private equity, hedge funds and real estate, and eschews traditional “buy and hold” investment models, as it does not believe they optimize potential returns.
When creating portfolios, Crestone works with clients to create an individual investment policy statement and to recommend an asset allocation. It then monitors and regularly rebalances client portfolios in accordance with these recommendations.
There is a disciplinary event disclosed on Crestone Asset Management LLC’s Form ADV relating to an individual affiliated with the firm. The event, which occurred in 2013, was ultimately dismissed.
For reference, disclosures include any civil, criminal or regulatory actions against either the firm or its employees or affiliates. For further information on Crestone Asset Management, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
BOK Financial Private Wealth is a registered investment advisory firm with offices in Colorado, Arizona and Texas. The firm was originally founded in 1996 as The Milestone Group, Inc., which was acquired in 2012 by BOK Financial Corporation, a financial holding company headquartered in Tulsa, Okla. In 2019, another firm under BOK Financial Corporation’s ownership, CoBiz Wealth, LLC, was merged with The Milestone Group, and the entity was renamed as BOK Financial Private Wealth, Inc.
The firm offers investment advisory, investment supervisory and financial planning services, with a minimum of $2.5 million in liquid assets generally recommended to start or maintain an account. BOK Financial Private Wealth’s clients include individuals (both with and without a high net worth) as well as corporations, trusts, foundations, institutional clients and pension and profit-sharing plans.
BOK Financial Private Wealth selects an appropriate objective and asset class mix based on each client’s financial needs, risk tolerance and any special circumstances. In general, a client’s funds are diversified across asset classes including U.S. and foreign stocks, bonds and specialized instruments, though this is typically done through investing in mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Rebalancing is done when necessary to maintain target allocations, and the firm keeps an eye toward limiting unnecessary portfolio expenses.
The firm’s investment professionals are responsible for managing client assets, while the firm’s affiliate group, BOKF, NA’s Strategic Investment Advisors, handles the selection of investments for client portfolios as well as providing research and analytics.
BOK Financial Private Wealth does report a disciplinary in its Form ADV filed with the SEC. The event, which was resolved in September 2016, relates to the firm’s affiliate, BOKF, NA, and its relationship with an individual who was accused by the SEC of violating antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. Without admitting to or denying wrongdoing, BOFK, NA paid disgorgement of $984,200.73, prejudgment interest of $83,520.63 and a civil penalty of $600,000 and also updated its policies and procedures.
For further information and to learn more about BOK Financial Private Wealth, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel began conducting business in 2014 and today has two offices in the state of Colorado, in Aspen and Denver. Though it prefers to work with clients with at least $1 million for investment management services, its current client base includes individuals who both are and are not considered high net worth. Additionally, the firm serves some pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, government entities and businesses. It provides both investment management and financial planning services.
The firm, which was created through the merger of the former firms Obermeyer Asset Management Company and Wood Investment Counsel, LLC, is principally owned by Walter Raymond Obermeyer, the firm’s co-chairman and president.
The firm tailors its investment management services to each client’s individual needs, which it determines through the establishment of their goals and objectives and the creation of an investment policy statement, which informs the creation and management of their portfolio.
Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel takes a long-term approach to investing, focusing primarily on foreign and domestic stocks and, as appropriate, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs. For certain clients, generally those for whom the firm manages $5 million or more, it may offer private investment vehicles. The firm’s investment decisions are largely based on valuation, which considers a company’s fundamentals, and it also takes into account variables such as broad economic trends and global financial markets to identify risks and opportunities.
Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel has no reportable disciplinary events. This means that in the past 10 years, neither the firm nor its employees or affiliates have encountered any civil, criminal or regulatory issues. As a registered investment advisor, the firm is required by the SEC to report such information in its Form ADV filings.
To view the firm’s Form ADV and to learn more, visit Obermeyer Wood Investment Counsel’s IAPD page.
IWP Wealth Management was founded in 2004 by Charles A. Willhoit, who serves as the firm’s president. While Willhoit is the firm’s primary shareholder, all of its partners have equity. The firm has one office in Denver.
IWP Wealth Management is a small firm with just 10 advisors and about 50 clients. It caters primarily to high net worth individuals, providing family office, wealth management and investment management services. Additionally, the firm provides consulting services and access to concierge services for travel and entertainment.
IWP Wealth Management believes in diversification across asset classes as well as investment vehicles. The firm typically recommends portfolios that include a mix of ETFs, mutual funds, equities, options, fixed-income securities and private investments.
The firm states that it is risk-averse and more focused on maintaining wealth than pursuing aggressive returns. IWP Wealth Management also advises its clients to maintain adequate liquidity and access to cash, since markets can be volatile.
There are no disciplinary events — meaning any civil, regulatory or criminal events involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates — disclosed on IWP Wealth Management LLC’s Form ADV. For more information, see IWP Wealth Management’s IAPD page.
Established in 2016, Western Wealth Management LLC is owned by G.E. Buenning, who founded the firm and currently serves as a managing member. The firm provides comprehensive portfolio management and financial planning services. Its clients include individuals and high net worth individuals, charitable organizations, corporations and other businesses, investment advisors and pension and profit-sharing plans.
While Western Wealth Management is headquartered in Colorado, it has a network of more than 70 advisors across the country, with over 40 offices throughout the country. These advisors are registered with and supervised and overseen by Western Wealth Management, and Western Wealth Management provides them with financial products, services and support, but most operate independently under different names.
After at least one meeting with clients to assess their resources, goals, financial situation and tolerance for risk, Western Wealth Management will propose an investment strategy for the client. Its investing strategies usually take into account current trends, trend reversals, historical data and other factors in order to forecast price directions. Portfolios commonly consist of ETFs, mutual funds, bonds and individual stocks.
Investment strategies typically used by the firm include both short-term purchases (securities sold within a year) and long-term purchases (securities held for at least one year), as well as trading, short sales, margin transactions and option writing.
Western Wealth Management LLC discloses on its Form ADV that one of its advisory affiliates was disciplined by a self-regulatory organization or commodities exchange due to findings that the individual had failed to adequately supervise trades and another registered representative. The event was resolved in 2016; the individual joined Western Wealth Management in 2019.
For more information about the firm, visit its IAPD page.
Colorado Financial Management, LLC registered as an investment advisor firm in March 1999. It is officially registered under the name of Sargent Bickham Lagudis, LLC, but it does business as Colorado Financial Management. The firm is owned by Bradley Bickham, managing partner and chief investment officer, and Christopher Lagudis, Meagan D’Angelo, Luke Daniel and Joshua Miller, all of whom are principals and senior financial advisors at the firm.
In addition to investment advisory services, the firm provides financial planning and consulting services on topics such as estate planning and insurance planning. The firm serves individuals and families, as well as businesses, pension and profit-sharing plants, trusts, banks, estates and charitable organizations.
Colorado Financial Management has its headquarters in Boulder, with additional offices in Denver and Johnstown, Colo.
Colorado Financial Management LLC uses three primary investment strategies: Long-term purchases, short-term purchases and trading. It also recommends margin and/or options strategies, though less frequently, as they tend to be riskier.
The firm provides both discretionary account management, in which it makes the decisions about buying and selling assets, and non-discretionary account management, in which it provides advice but the client makes the final decisions. Generally, the firm uses fixed income, mutual funds and ETFs in client portfolios, with asset allocations based on each client’s investment objectives.
There are no disciplinary events disclosed on Colorado Financial Management LLC’s Form ADV. Disciplinary disclosures are defined as any criminal, civil or regulatory events involving the firm or its employees or affiliates. For more information on the firm, visit its IAPD page.
GHP Investment Advisors, Inc., began doing business in 1995. The firm’s primary shareholder is its president, Brian Jay Friedman, and it has just one office in Denver.
GHP Investment Advisors provides comprehensive financial planning services and investment account management on a discretionary basis (meaning it makes the final decisions on buying and selling securities) and a non-discretionary basis (where it provides advice but leaves decision making to the client). It serves individuals, high net worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, corporations, businesses and other pooled investment vehicles, such as hedge funds.
GHP Investment Advisors generally creates financial plans for its clients and prepares a long-term financial forecast before advising them on asset management recommendations.
The firm uses its GHPIA Valuation Benchmark to assess whether investments are overvalued or undervalued and high-risk or low-risk. It focuses primarily on long-term purchases, generally buying securities to hold for at least a year. It may also use options writing as an investment strategy, as well as investment in private funds.
GHP Investment Advisors has no disciplinary events to disclose, meaning it has a record free of any criminal, regulatory or civil actions against the firm itself or its employees or affiliates. For more information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Founded in 1992 by Debi Baydush, who is currently of counsel, BSW Wealth Partners is a public benefit corporation, which means that while it is a for-profit company, it has vowed to do good both in the world and for its stakeholders. The firm is owned by Baydush and eight other individuals, each of whom owns a varying percentage of the business.
The firm has its headquarters in Boulder, but it also has an office in the Denver metro area. It provides investment management and financial advisory services, including tax and estate planning, charitable gift strategies, college planning and retirement planning. There’s no minimum asset requirement to work with BSW Wealth Partners, and its clients include individuals, high net worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts and estates, corporations, plan sponsors, charitable and not-for-profit organizations and other businesses. Clients will have a minimum quarterly fee requirement, with the amount varying depending on which service they receive.
When determining an asset allocation, BSW uses a top-down approach, which looks first at the big picture of the economy, and then at the markets and individual assets. The firm primarily advises one of two strategies:
The firm works primarily on a discretionary basis, though in some cases offers non-discretionary services in which the client makes the final decision on buying and selling assets in their portfolio rather than handing that control over to the firm.
There are no disciplinary events disclosed on BSW Wealth’s Form ADV. This means the firm has a clean record, free of any civil, criminal or regulatory actions from the past 10 years. For further information, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Transform Wealth, LLC, formerly Weatherstone Capital Management, Inc., has been in business since 2011. It was acquired in April 2019 by Carnick & Group, LLC, and its name was changed to Transform Wealth, LLC in November 2019. It is part of Focus Financial Partners, LLC, which is a public company traded on the NASDAQ.
The firm offers investment advisory, financial planning and consultation services. Clients include individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and businesses.
In addition to its headquarters in Greenwood Village, the firm also has offices in Colorado Springs, Colo., Northglenn, Colo. and Houston.
Transform Wealth places an emphasis on liquidity, diversification, risk analysis and cash flow when allocating client assets, and its investment strategy recommendations range from conservative to aggressive. In general, the firm takes a long-term perspective, and it states that it doesn’t believe in relying on just one strategy to outperform the market.
Transform Wealth, LLC uses fundamental analysis (an evaluation of the health of companies) and technical analysis (an evaluation of the health of the market) to make investment recommendations. Investments commonly used in client portfolios include individual equity securities, ETFs, mutual funds and other securities, though it also may offer advice on other types of investments.
There are no disciplinary events disclosed on Transform Wealth’s Form ADV. For reference, disclosures include any civil, regulatory or criminal events against the firm, its employees or its affiliates. For more information, visit Transform Wealth’s IAPD page.
The state of Colorado doesn’t collect any estate or inheritance taxes. Residents are, however, subject to federal estate tax and inheritance laws. Note that if you inherit property or assets from another state, it’s that state’s laws that apply. The individual income tax rate in Colorado is 4.55%.
When it comes to choosing a financial advisor, you want to pay special attention to the certifications they have. These certifications provide insight into the advisor’s education and skills. Certified financial planners (CFPs) and chartered financial analysts (CFAs) are two of the most esteemed certifications: They require extensive coursework to acquire, as well as adherence to ethical standards.
Whether it’s important to find an advisor in your area depends on how you want to interact with your advisor. Many people like meeting with their advisor in person, but some are fine with communicating remotely. Others don’t mind traveling out of state to meet with their advisor in person. While choosing a local advisor is generally the most convenient, the most important factor is that you find a qualified advisor who can best meet your needs.
While most financial advisor firms can help you with retirement planning, not all specialize in it and some provide only asset management services. If retirement planning is a priority for you, be sure to ask a financial advisor what services they offer and how much experience they have in the area in which you need assistance.
For our search, we looked at firms across the state of Colorado. 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 Colorado, as per the address provided in the Form ADV. Of those firms, we considered only 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.