Our 2016 Review of the Best Financial Advisors in the DC/MD/VA Area

One of the core foundational principles of our firm is transparency, and I’ve previously written articles about how important transparency is in business and in life. (See Transparency Wins!)

I mention this because in full transparency, there are times we meet with potential clients and it’s just not the right fit. Perhaps they don’t meet our $2 million of investable assets minimum. Or perhaps our investment philosophies are not aligned. Whatever the reason, I will recommend other financial advisors that I believe are better suited to their needs.

Having been a financial advisor in the DC metro area for over 20 years (and having led the greater DC chapter of the International Association for Financial Planning and served as chairman of the Financial Planning Association’s National Capital Area Chapter), I’ve gotten to know quite a few of my fellow advisors both professionally and personally.

There are many great financial advisors in the DC, Northern Virginia, and Maryland areas, and I’d like to take this time to mention a few with solid reputations in this industry. Below is my latest list of the best financial advisors/firms in the DC/MD/VA area along with a few blurbs from their websites. (For my previous list, check this post from 2014).

The Best Financial Advisors and Wealth Management Firms in the DC/MD/VA Area

Alexandra Armstrong, Armstrong Fleming & Moore – Washington, DC
Ryan Fleming, Armstrong Fleming & Moore
Our philosophy is grounded in an unwavering commitment to helping safeguard the things that matter most to you. We demonstrate this by adhering to time-honored investment principles, a research-driven process, and a highly personalized approach—all strengthened by the values we share in common with you.


Glen Buco, West Financial Services – McLean, VA
As part of Sandy Spring Bank, West Financial Services has spent over 30 years building a firm dedicated to taking a conservative and ethical approach to growing and protecting our clients’ wealth and prosperity.


Elissa Buie, Yeske Buie – Vienna, VA
You’re successful; you’ve earned the right to explore life and all it has to offer. You have the right to explore with confidence. We help bring clarity to your situation, provide financial advice based on empirically-validated theory, and engage in the ‘straight talk’ that is essential in today’s increasingly complex financial landscape.


Stephan Cassaday, Cassaday & Company – McLean, VA
Our mission is to provide objective guidance to investors seeking advice about their financial situations, to do so with the highest levels of honesty, integrity and overall excellence possible, and to provide faultless quality and courteous service – at a reasonable price.


Marjorie Fox, FJY Financial – Reston, VA
Jon Yankee, FJY Financial
With years of collective experience providing financial planning and investment management services, the team at FJY Financial set out to build a client-centered firm that works the way they believe it should: A fee only, fully transparent model. A holistic approach that incorporates every aspect of the client’s lifecycle. A strong commitment to the community. And a keen ability to translate clients’ vision and goals into a customized and comprehensive plan.


Susan Freed, Freed Advisors – Chevy Chase, MD
Freed Advisors provides comprehensive wealth management to affluent and high net worth individuals. With over five decades of combined experience Freed Advisors offers a coordinated approach to financial management that encompasses investment management, charitable giving, business planning and strategies designed to maximize family wealth.


Michael Gildenhorn, Chevy Chase Trust – Bethesda, MD
Everything we do is designed to pursue the potential in your investment portfolio. It requires a level of dedication—and even a philosophy—you simply won’t find in a conventional money management firm. It also requires focus. It means we act as a fiduciary in the context of an individualized investment strategy. And to that end, we also recommend a comprehensive financial plan that informs asset allocation and other key decisions.


Mary Malgoire, Family Firm – Bethesda, MD
The Family Firm is a deliberately independent fee-only full-service personal financial advisory firm headquartered in Bethesda, MD and, in addition, serves clients from Washington, DC and San Diego, CA.


Paul Pagnato, Pagnato-Karp Group, Hightower Advisors – Reston, VA
We focus on serving the ultra-affluent by providing objective, transparent and pure investing advice. We have placed an emphasis on controlling client’s costs, taxes and entry points into the markets, while also implementing proprietary solutions such as custom stock portfolios, custom indexes and direct private investment opportunities.


Neal Simon, Bronfman E. L. Rothschild – Rockville, MD
At Bronfman E.L. Rothschild, we employ a long-term, strategic approach to planning and execution. The advice we offer our clients is independent and objective. Thus, the counsel we provide is based solely on what is best for our clients. Your investments do not exist in a vacuum.  Each financial choice you make impacts another part of your financial life.  Each decision has an effect on your time, estate objectives, tax strategy, and more.


Greg Sullivan, Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blaney – McLean, VA
Mark Johannessen, Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blaney
SBSB offers comprehensive financial planning, portfolio management, fiduciary services, and tax services. You can rely on us for the expertise, objectivity and the individual attention you need to pursue your financial goals with confidence.


Stephen Bingham, Bingham Financial Advisory – Arlington, VA
Steve is my go-to advisor when I need to refer someone who may be looking for just a financial plan rather than investment management. He works with clients on an hourly or plan basis to develop a financial plan that considers their risk parameters and goals.


Jennifer Myers, Sagevest Wealth Management – McLean, VA
SageVest provides comprehensive investment and wealth management services to individuals, families, trusts, and small businesses. We work with people who care about their wealth and the opportunities it creates, and who recognize the potential to make wiser financial decisions in support of what matters most.


Brian Jones, CJM Wealth Advisors – Fairfax, VA
Jessica Ness, CJM Wealth Advisors
At CJM, we offer clients real solutions for their most pressing financial concerns and needs, helping make their dreams a reality in an understandable and transparent manner. As a fee-only financial advisory and management firm, our client’s interests always come first, and we remember that the money invested belongs to our clients.


Jim Joseph, Financial Services Advisory – Rockville, MD
Financial Services Advisory has worked in collaboration with individuals, families, and business owners to establish an approach to investing that focuses on protecting what you have worked so hard to create. It’s given us a unique perspective on investing—how to protect your wealth and how to grow it wisely.


Lisa Kirchenbauer, Omega Wealth Management – Arlington, VA
At Omega, we have the training, expertise & process to help clients successfully navigate through significant life/financial/career/business transitions. Transition isn’t just about the money and requires a professional who integrates the personal side as well as the financial side into the planning & investment strategy.


Michael Kitces, Pinnacle Advisory Group – Columbia, MD
Our team has a single mission: To help our clients live the lives they’ve worked so hard to enjoy. When we take on new clients, they become part of our extended family, and in the past two decades, we’ve developed multi-generational relationships with many of them.


Cal Brown, Savant Capital Management – McLean, VA
Savant has been committed to providing our clients with the advice, experience, and value they deserve to help you navigate to your vision of an ideal future. Getting to you destination requires planning, focus, coordination, and the ability and willingness to adapt as you encounter challenges along the way.


John Devine, Brown Advisory – Chevy Chase, MD
Our mission remains the same today as when we opened our doors: to be a firm where every action we take, every investment strategy we employ, every decision we make, puts clients first. To award professionals an ownership stake in the company so that everyone sees their interests as aligned with our clients’ long-term success. To be a firm that you would build for yourself, if given a blank slate. To be relevant to our clients five, 10 and 20 years from now. To be the firm to which all our clients turn and ask: What do you think I should do? In short, to be regarded by our clients as thoughtful investors.


Karen Schaeffer, Schaeffer Financial – Rockville, MD
Schaeffer Financial is a family owned, full-service, fee-based financial planning company committed to taking the mystery out of financial matters and helping people make smart financial decisions.  We maintain the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in our client relationships.


Dana Sippel, West Financial Services
At West Financial Services, we have spent over 30 years building a firm dedicated to taking a conservative and ethical approach to growing and protecting our clients’ wealth and prosperity.  Since our inception in 1982, we have provided financial services on a fee-only basis, acting as a fiduciary for our clients.  Each member of our team fully embraces the importance of this role and what it means for our clients.  We bring planning excellence, investment discipline and personal service to everything we do.


This is by no means a comprehensive list and I’m sure that there are others equally deserving of a place here. And keep in mind that this is purely my opinion and not a testimonial or endorsement of these advisors.

It’s important to do your homework and ask a lot of questions when deciding on which financial advisor to engage. I hope this makes your process a bit easier. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us directly here.

 

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Barry Glassman, CFP®

Barry Glassman, CFP®

His vision for starting GWS was to deliver investment strategies and wealth management services typically available at the highest levels of wealth. Today, clients benefit from these sophisticated financial services targeted to meet their unique needs.
Barry Glassman, CFP®
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