10 Best Financial Advisors in New York (for 2019)

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Ryan Friend

September 10, 2019  •  9 min read

Why A Financial Advisor Can Help You

There comes to be a certain point where a financial advisor is not only a good decision but a necessary one. Effective wealth management and investment management can be a full-time job, and you either want to enjoy your success or move on to the next project with as little weighing you down as possible. You will still have control of your wealth and even ultimately your asset allocation; you just won’t have to spend as much worrying about the right direction and will have a financial consultant to get a second opinion on an investment strategy from.

Editor’s Note: Complete the advisor quiz below to get matched with the best advisor for you:

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Here are a few reasons to get a financial advisor:

  • They have the time to gather financial information and determine good investments. Their job is to do so, and they have years of experience, so you don’t have to spend your valuable time looking for the optimal plan.
  • Having a better view of the economy as a whole and also having an outlook that looks toward your financial future decades from now. An advisor can help you a great deal with the big picture.
  • People are emotional, and at times can make emotional decisions, especially when money is concerned. An advisor is trained to objective and can give you an outside perspective, protecting you from impulses short-term reactions.
  • They can guide your portfolio through a stressful time in your life. There are advisors and financial analysts that specialize in clients getting married, going through a divorce, going through massive life changes, and those selling their business. Whatever your situation, there is still an advisor that will work in their clients’ best interests.

What to Look for in a New York Financial Advisor

Financial advisors in New York State, whether in Syracuse or the big city, are many and varied in their specialties. There are thousands of individual advisors and at least dozens of major firms that work in the area. This can make the search difficult.

You’ll want to narrow the field down first, and to do so you will want to consider the following factors:

  • You will want to work with a financial advisor that is there to work strictly for you and has no conflicting interests. You may wish to avoid commission-based advisors (as opposed to fee-only advisors), as well as those who you feel based on their connections might be dishonest with you. You want someone who has your interests as their top priority.
  • You will want to work with advisors who have offices in New York. While there are offices that can help you remotely, you will find the best in the financial capital of the world and being able to meet in person is a great benefit for longer meetings about your future.
  • You’ll want an advisor with a large enough client base that you can trust the stability of the group, firm, or company. You want to be able to forge a strong working relationship with your advisor, and stability is an important factor in that.
  • Look for a wealth of experience in the group with a steady history of sound decisions behind them.
  • Make sure you look for advisors that will personalize their recommendations for you and also regularly check in with you. You’ve come a long way to get to the point where you need a financial advisor. You deserve someone who will give you and your portfolio the time and attention you deserve.
  • This will mostly be a factor far into the final decision stage, but the personal fit is absolutely a legitimate concern. You want to be able to trust and get along well enough with your advisor to the degree that you trust their advice. If an advisor makes you uncomfortable for any reason, we assure you that there is another, better, choice somewhere else.

We recommend you take your time when making your decision. Choosing the right advisor could easily be a decision that makes you (or loses you) millions over your life, so a bit of time to find the right fit now could make all the difference.

1) Payne Capital

Founded by Bob and Ryan Payne, both veterans of Merrill Lynch, Payne Capital takes a human-focused and highly independent approach to providing financial advice that can help you live your most successful life. Happy to innovate and try innovative ideas, the investment advice firm has some of the best young talent in the industry and takes a goal-oriented approach to financial planning. Your story and your goals will matter to them, and they can offer any investment advisory services you might expect from a financial planner.

Additionally, Payne Capital is independent, and its advisors are Registered Investment Advisors, making them represent you and your portfolio first and foremost, and not any large bank or institution with its own interests. This, combined with the founders’ years of experience, make Payne our top choice for a financial advisor in New York.

Working with Payne Capital, you can expect the following:

  • A heavily personalized focus and a commitment to staying in contact with you. Each advisor only works with a number of clients they can easily handle, ensuring the best portfolio management and asset management you can get.
  • Attention to detail that is rarely matched in the industry. You will not get the cookie-cutter approach.
  • Payne is independent and will simply advise you to select the very best options for your situation. They are legally bound to serve your best interests and are not distracted by the concept of commissions or referral fees.

2) KLS Professional Advisors Group

Founded in 1989, with offices in both New York and Los Angeles, KLS Professional Advisors Group manages over $5 billion in assets under management and employs several dozen advisors, all well trained (some of them certified financial planners (CFPs) and happy to check-in quarterly to see that your portfolio is in good shape. KLS wants to build a solid relationship with their clients.

They pride themselves on their fee-only financial planning services, in which they don’t receive any incremental revenues, and seek primarily to earn the trust and loyalty of their clients. Much like Payne Capital, you can trust your advisor to be on your side.

You will need at least $1 million in investable assets.

You can expect the following when working with KLS:

  • A complete lack of bias in their advice. They are objective and will remain as such.
  • They only collect fixed fees and hourly charges to make income. You won’t need to worry about commissions, paying a percentage of your profits, or anything of the sort. You pay them for their work, and that’s it.
  • A high level of expertise in a variety of specialized fields, including retirement planning, trust and estate planning, and tax planning. You can expect a complete financial management package.

3) Sontag Advisory

Sontag Advisory, with over $4.5 billion in managed assets, is a major wealth management firm in New York City and has been around since 1995. A fee-based firm, Sontag is disciplined, careful, and focused on risk management. There are no limitations, and with them, you can expect a guide that will work to keep your portfolio perfectly balanced and provide comprehensive financial planning.

Sontag offers several service models for clients, from the standard full-service model which offers a full, personalized package, ranging down to a core service model which is a more self-service approach for people with not as much wealth. Don’t let this make you think that there is anything subpar about their service, however. Sontag has some of the best advisors available in the City.

You will need a minimum amount of investable assets to work with Sontag Advisory, which changes based on the model you want to use and your financial situation.

You can expect the following when planning with Sontag Advisory:

  • The support of a large team with a variety of backgrounds, ensuring you have access to the specialists you might need regardless of your circumstances or events that could come up.
  • A core, automated and online system for individuals that don’t want to work with people or don’t have as much to spend on advisory services, but still want to move forward to ensure their future financial success.
  • A well-developed risk-management process that allows you to be secure in the knowledge that Sontag will not advise you to take needless risks, no matter your personal risk tolerance, and will let you know exactly where you might stand financially.

4) Joel Isaacson & Co.

Founded in 1993, Joel Issacson & Co. is a fee-only investment advisory firm and financial group that specializes in high net worth clients who need specialized help navigating that challenges that wealth can sometimes provide. These wealth advisors do a wonderful job in providing you with a tax plan that serves your financial needs, having several tax specialists on staff.

The advisor utilizes a fee-only model, and you can expect independent advice from them. They are an excellent choice for business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking for a combination approach to growing their wealth.

You will need at least $1 million in investable assets to work with them.

You can expect the following when working with Joel Isaacson & Co.

  • Expert tax planning and financial services that are rarely matched in the industry.
  • A fee-only structure that is paired with a fiduciary commitment. You can expect them to treat your money as if it were their own, creating a high level of trust.
  • A commitment to help you maximize all the opportunities that might come your way, including company-provided benefits, potential insurance coverage, and making sure you have the cash for things such as your children’s education and new residences.

5) Stash Wealth

Stash Wealth, when compared to some of the other options listed here, caters to a bit of a different clientele. Started in 2013 by Priya Milani and Rob Kovalesky, Stash Wealth caters towards millennials and helps people in great careers on the rise meet their financial goals. This is a group that is often ignored by more traditional planners, and if you find yourself in that group you should absolutely give them a look.

Naturally, Stash Wealth can handle all basic financial advisor functions, but they do so with a sense of personality, making them one of a kind in the market.

You should expect the following when working with Stash Wealth:

  • A choice of affordable plans and arrangements to help you plan your future. They are great options if you don’t have too much money in the bank right this moment.
  • A staff that knows exactly what millennials want and can guide them to their goals.
  • A high-energy, proactive approach to financial planning.

Editor’s Note: Complete the advisor quiz below to get matched with the best advisor for you:

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After reviewing the major firms operating in the state of New York, from Albany to Brooklyn to the rest of NYC, we find that the above five are the best services, and at least one of them should be able to meet your needs. In most cases, however, we recommend Payne Captial for their personalized approach and regular contact with their clients. Whatever your needs and regardless of your decision, we hope that you find the right people to trust your financial future with.