Grand Rapids, the largest city in West Michigan, is an important part of the state’s vibrant economy. Because of this, there are many different financial advisory firms you can choose from in the Grand Rapids area. All of them will promise to deliver you the financial future you desire, but not all of them can deliver on that promise.
To help you avoid wasting your precious time, we’ve researched the many firms operating in and around Grand Rapids and came up with a list of the best five. Below you can find who made the list and why so that you can decide which is best for you.
1) Formula Folios
With assets under management (AUM) totaling just over $3 billion, Formula Folios is by far the largest financial advisory firm in Grand Rapids. However, with an account minimum of just $25,000, it’s still an accessible firm that’s designed to help investors of all types build a portfolio and plan.
Because of the wide range of investors who work with Formula Folios, it does not apply the same investment approach to all its clients. Instead, when you hire an advisor, he or she will come up with a plan designed around your current financial situation, your goals, and, perhaps most importantly, your individual tolerance for risk.
Formula Folios prefers to take a long-term approach, as the firm feels this is the best way to truly grow wealth. However, it makes use of an automated tool, known as WealthGuard, which helps alert you and your advisor of potential market downturns so that you can react in time and protect your investments. Other things you can expect from Formula Folios include:
- Assistance with asset location so that you can diversify your portfolio and minimize risk
- Retirement planning that is designed around your personal goals
- Educational materials to help you understand the market
2) Forest Hills Financial
The list of services Forest Hills Financial provides is impressive. You can get help planning retirement, education, your estate, and everything in between. This extensive menu of choices is what helps the firm come up with a financial plan designed entirely around your personal goals and nothing else.
To make this commitment to your goals even clearer, know that Forest Hills Financial is also a fee-only fiduciary.
Forest Hills Financial will help you come up with your customized financial plan using a six-step process that involves assessing your current financial situation, identifying your goals, and determine your risk tolerance, timeline, as well as the strategies most likely to help you get where you want to go. Other things you can expect from Forest Hills Financial include:
- Expert advice given by the firm’s highly-qualified staff of advisors
- Assistance understanding the many ways to save for retirement and guidance in choosing the right one for you
- Pressure-free financial planning based purely on your goals and capabilities
3) Financial Advisory Corporation
For Grand Rapids-area residents approaching the “high-net-worth” designation, Financial Advisory Corporation is an ideal choice. This is because although the firm doesn’t have an official account balance requirement, the minimum annual fee is $9,500, which means you would need to invest at least $750,000 for this firm to be a realistic option.
If you do decide to work with Financial Advisory Corporation, know you’ll be working with an advisor who really knows their stuff; all the firm’s principal advisors hold both the Certified Financial Advisor (CFA) and Certified Kingdom Advisor (CKA) designation. It will be tough to find this level of professionalism in other firms.
In general, Financial Advisory Corporation works to develop an investment plan tailored specifically to your needs. Your advisor will consider how much money you have, how much you are willing to invest, and how much cash you want to keep on the side. Typically, the firm likes to invest in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, but other options are available for investors looking to do other things with their money.
When working with Financial Advisory Corporation, you can also expect:
- Tax planning to help you minimize your liabilities and keep more of your hard-earned money
- Risk management strategies focused around insurance and diversification, that will bring stability to your financial life
- Estate planning designed to make it easier for you to transfer your wealth to future generations
4) Grand Wealth Management
High-net-worth individuals residing in Grand Rapids should consider Grand Wealth Management. You will need to invest at least $1 million, and the firm has tools and resources designed specifically for working with larger investments.
In terms of investment philosophy, Grand Wealth Management prefers to take a long-term approach. Typically, it advises clients to work with low-cost institutional mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (EFTs). They also encourage you to take a passive management approach, which involves investing your money and waiting for the market to weather the ups and downs and deliver returns.
Building on this, advisors at Grand Wealth Management go through special training to help them handle their emotions and look at the big picture. The market does fluctuate, but this isn’t a bad thing. It always recovers, and it always grows, and when you’re investing a large sum of money, you’ll find it helpful to have an advisor who knows how to keep his or her cool when things get a bit unpredictable. Other things you can expect:
- A heavy emphasis on diversification to minimize risk and maximize return
- Special attention to your tax burden and the costs of investing to maximize your returns
- A large team of highly-qualified advisors prepared to help you design and implement your ideal financial plan
5) Action Point Financial Planners
With no minimum fee and with clients who have accounts ranging in size from $5,000 to $5,000,000, Action Point Financial Planners is a great option for “everyday” investors in the Grand Rapids area. By this we mean it’s a great firm for those who are just starting out on their financial journey, or who are still a far way away from retirement and who are looking for help setting up for their future.
Action Point uses data-driven analytics to identify quality investment opportunities that best meet your needs and risk tolerance. Furthermore, because it is a fee-only firm with fiduciary obligations, you can be sure the advice you receive is in your best interest.
The firm’s investment strategy revolves around low-cost indexing, money manager selection, individual equity portfolios, and option strategies, which include covered call writing for income generation, as well as alternative investments. However, the specific investments your advisor recommends will depend on your specific plan. Other things you can expect include:
- Interactive educational resources designed to help you better understand the science of investing
- Transparent fee structures disclosed to you at the beginning and available to you whenever you desire to see them
- Financial planning grounded in your personal objectives and plans
Whether you’re planning for retirement, saving for college, or getting ready to transfer your wealth to the next generation of your family, there’s a financial advisor in Grand Rapids that can help you get where you want to be. However, with so many choices, it’s easy to hesitate when making this crucial decision. But you can’t go wrong with any of the firms on this list. So, don’t wait one more minute and get in touch with one today so that you can take control of your financial future.