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.

Occasionally we meet with potential clients and it’s just not the right fit. Perhaps our wealth management philosophies are not aligned, or after establishing a net worth statement they don’t meet our $2 million of investable assets minimum. There are many types of financial advisors, Glassman Wealth isn’t right for everyone—and that’s okay! We’re committed to providing you with only the best advisors around, so we’ve updated our 2018 list for those seeking the right fit.

There are many uncertainties when managing the future of your finances. Whether switching financial advisors or seeking out a personal wealth manager for the first time, we want to make sure you find a skilled advisor who best fits your needs. If we’re not it, I will recommend some of the best financial advisors that I believe are better suited to your needs.

Having been a financial advisor in the DC metro area for over 25 years (and having led the greater DC chapter of the International Association for Financial Planning and served as President and 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/financial planners in the DC/MD/VA area along with a few blurbs from their websites. (For my previous list, check this post from 2018.)

The Best Financial Advisors and Wealth Management Firms in Washington, DC

Alexandra Armstrong, Armstrong Fleming & Moore – Washington, DC
Ryan Fleming, Armstrong Fleming & Moore – Washington, DC
“We know how important it is to provide a clear picture of your progress and options and we welcome your questions along the way. Through our decades in DC as pioneering financial planners, we’ve developed an approach that focuses on doing the right things today so you can enjoy tomorrow. We can work with you to create a financial plan and investment strategy that is uniquely tailored to your life.”

Paul Gloth, Pathstone Federal Street – Washington, DC
“Pathstone is built to provide customized advice to help you achieve your goals. Your experience will include a dedicated team of advisors, access to a completely unconstrained universe of investment solutions and an execution system designed to reduce your expenses and taxes. Your portfolio will be tailored around your preferences, constraints, and targets—purposefully built to give you the best chance at achieving your goals.”

Why Your Financial Advisor Should Work with Your Family

The Best Financial Advisors and Wealth Management Firms in Virginia

Jennifer Myers, SageVest Wealth Management – McLean, VA
“We know that your financial goals are about more than just the numbers, and we take the time to get to know what your wealth means to you. Working with SageVest, you receive personal attention and clear advice, all just a phone call or email away. We’re your sounding board and your financial partner. Whether it’s about your investments, a life change, or making a financial decision on the fly, we’re here to help.”

Elissa Buie, Yeske Buie – Vienna, VA
“The financial planning process helps us identify your goals and resources and then establish steps to harness those resources in pursuit of your Live Big® goals. Your financial plan will cover cash flow and tax planning, risk management, retirement and other goal planning, investment planning, and estate planning. It will do so in a big-picture, holistic way.”

David B. Armstrong, Monument Wealth Management – Alexandria, VA
“Our team will show you how to meet your goals using what we know today and adapt to the unforeseen changes of tomorrow—always with the unfiltered opinions and straightforward advice we’re known for.”

Stephan Cassaday, Cassaday & Company – McLean, VA
Christopher Krell, Cassaday & Company – McLean, VA
“Our primary objective is to provide you with a comprehensive roadmap that consolidates all of the various financial components of your life into a centralized, integrated plan. We believe that financial planning is a process, not an event. As the markets, economy, opportunities, or personal circumstances change, we provide ongoing guidance to ensure your plan stays aligned with your goals.”

Paul Pagnato, Pagnato-Karp Cresset – Reston, VA
“Cresset’s integrated platform includes comprehensive wealth advisory services, along with direct access to institutional-quality private investments. It is a powerful and much-needed combination. We simplify complexity with goals-based planning—providing the clarity and wisdom you need to take action confidently.”

Ric Edelman, Edelman Financial Advisors – Fairfax, VA
“You don’t need to become an expert in personal finance. We can provide you with the strategies, ongoing advice and services to help you achieve your financial goals so you can spend your time doing the things you really enjoy.”

Glen Buco, West Financial Services – McLean, VA
“West Financial Services offers financial planning, investment management and personal CFO services to individuals, families, businesses, foundations and associations. Our retirement plan consulting services focus on helping retirement plan sponsors and trustees meet their fiduciary obligations.”

What Do Those Letters Behind Your Advisor’s Name Mean?

Greg Sullivan, Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blaney – Creative Planning – McLean, VA
Mark Johannessen, Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blaney – McLean, VA
“With our personal approach and in-house expertise in financial planning, investments, taxes, estate planning, insurance and more, you’ll get clear, comprehensive advice from a team dedicated to helping you reach your goals. We connect the details of your financial picture—so you don’t have to.”

Brian Jones, CJM Wealth Advisors – Fairfax, VA
Jessica Ness, CJM Wealth Advisors – Fairfax, VA
“CJM services individuals, families and institutions. Our clients have substantial financial assets, spread among varying individual, retirement, trust and estate vehicles. We develop solutions tailored to their respective financial goals and provide education on the benefit to their wealth profile.”

Lisa Kirchenbauer, Omega Wealth Management – Arlington, VA
“Holistic means that our work with you is more than just about your money. We want to understand you, your strengths, your dreams and goals at a deeper level. From there we can deliver a personalized financial life plan that puts your money in service to you.”

Cal Brown, Savant Capital Management – McLean, VA
“A fee-only, independent RIA firm, we offer investment management, financial planning, retirement planning, and family office services to financially established individuals and institutions. We also offer corporate accounting, tax preparation, payroll and consulting through our affiliate, Savant Tax & Consulting.”

Eileen O’Connor, Hemington Wealth Management – Falls Church, VA
“Relationship management involves three key tasks: first, fully understanding the clients’ critical needs and meeting those needs over time through a consultative process; second, assembling and managing a network of financial experts; and third, working with our clients’ other professional advisors such as their attorneys and accountants. Advanced planning addresses the wide range of financial needs beyond investment consulting. It consists of four areas: wealth enhancement, wealth protection, wealth transfer, and charitable giving.”

Mark Joseph, Sentinel Wealth Management – Reston, VA
“We strive to help you clearly define your long-term goals as the foundation for the careful, comprehensive counsel we provide to help you achieve them. Because planning for our clients’ financial lives is generally complex, we have assembled a team that is both highly experienced and credentialed. We are equipped to manage the most complex of financial situations.”

The Four Types of Financial Advisors

The Best Financial Advisors and Wealth Management Firms in Maryland

Susan Freed, Chevy Chase Trust – Chevy Chase, MD
Michael Gildenhorn, Chevy Chase Trust – Chevy Chase, MD
“To appreciate our true value, investors must first understand the basic principles that separate Chevy Chase Trust from other investment management firms. The good news: when you look at the methodology, the motivation and the promise upon which we’ve built our reputation, you should find the common thread is actually common sense.”

Nathan Gendelman, The Family Firm – Bethesda, MD
“We begin each relationship with the recognition that every client is a unique human being, with their own personal needs, hopes, dreams, and life situations. From there, we can start to build an investment plan and portfolio that reflects this individuality, supported by these core principles: A Focus on Results, Diversification, Independent Thinking, Risk Management.”

Ron Rubin, The Colony Group – Bethesda, MD
“We are more than money managers. Our teams can proactively address your financial needs while helping you orchestrate business and other deals, build plans for your successors, and guide you as you create a life your wealth allows you to live.”

Tim Hughes, Wealthspire Advisors – Rockville, MD
Ashley Iddings, Wealthspire Advisors – Rockville, MD
“Our advisors are supported by an internal investment committee and dedicated internal investment staff. We seek to provide steady investment guidance to clients through strategic asset allocation, rigorous due diligence, and tailored portfolio construction.”

Jim Joseph, Financial Services Advisory – Rockville, MD
“Financial Services Advisory was built on the belief that we can best meet clients’ financial needs and expectations through an active and disciplined approach to investing. Our investment approach is designed to increase your portfolio value during risky markets, and the FSA Safety Net® (our exit strategy) helps reduce losses during sustained downward trends.”

Fred Cornelius, Burt Wealth Advisors – Rockville, MD
“We employ a conservative, balanced, and disciplined approach to investing that aims to help you meet your goals while minimizing your risk. We believe that the best way to achieve this outcome is to make sure that your portfolio reflects the right mix of asset classes as well as the optimal selection of individual securities.”

Michael Kitces, Buckingham Strategic Wealth – Columbia, MD
“Guided by evidence and fueled by your ambitions, our team will seek to continuously optimize a wealth strategy distinctly tailored to your needs. Helping you focus on the now and letting us prepare for what’s next.”

When to Ignore Your Financial Advisor

John Devine, Brown Advisory – Chevy Chase, MD
“We are deeply committed to our clients, and focus exclusively on helping them plan and implement thoughtful investment strategies. This focus extends to the retirees, students, nonprofit beneficiaries and many others who may never meet us but nevertheless depend on us as trusted stewards of capital.”

Karen Schaeffer, Schaeffer Financial – Rockville, MD
“We help guide people to smart money decisions through competent, ethical, affordable financial planning advice.”

Bruce Wiener, Wiener Financial – Potomac, MD
“A close relationship with you helps us craft custom solutions that meet your specific goals. We take a comprehensive and integrated approach to wealth management. Our close partnership with allied professionals such as accountants, attorneys, and insurance agents empower you to address all of your financial needs.”

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the best financial advisor firms and I’m sure that there are others equally deserving of consideration for meeting your needs. And keep in mind that this is not a testimonial or endorsement of these advisors, but rather my opinion in observing industry trends and advisor practices over the course of my career in wealth management.

It’s important to do your homework and ask a lot of questions when deciding on which wealth advisor to engage. I hope this makes your process a bit easier.