10 Best Financial Advisors in Michigan (for 2019)

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Ryan Friend

September 30, 2019  •  6 min read

Whether its college football, the automotive industry, or Motown, there are a lot of ways in which Michigan has contributed to the past and present of the United States of America. It’s true the state has seen harder times as of late, but the resiliency of the people combined with some changes in the structure of the economy have once again put Michigan front and center.

As a result, if you call the state home, you should be thinking about finding a quality financial advisor to help you navigate what’s to come. Fortunately, you’ve got lots of choices, but this can also make it difficult to know how to proceed. To help you, we’ve identified the five best firms in the state.

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

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Read on to find out which ones have made the list and why we consider them to be the best of the best.

1) Plante Moran – Detroit

It’s tough to find a financial services firm in Michigan more prepared to help you grow your money than Plante Moran. Currently, the firm manages nearly $15 billion in assets, and it has over 250 advisors on staff. Your advisor will have the tools they need to find the right investments for your plan.

However, despite the firm’s size, it still takes a highly-personalized approach to financial planning services. Your relationship with your Plante Moran wealth advisor will start with a detailed discussion about your financial goals and objectives, and the plan your advisor creates will be designed specifically around these goals and your best interests.

Overall, Plante Moran prefers to take a long-term approach to investing, which means passive management and a heavy emphasis on mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and hedge funds, although other investment opportunities are available for those looking to go in a different direction. In addition to general financial planning and investment management, Plante Moran also offers:

  • Trust fund and estate planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Business planning

2) Formula Folios – Grand Rapids

Although Formula Folios manages more than $3 billion in assets, it has an account minimum of just $25,000, making it a surprisingly accessible financial group for its size. Because of the diversity of its clients and their needs, the firm does not have a single investment approach, choosing instead to tailor your plan based on your specific needs and goals. On staff they have a bit more than a dozen investment advisors and financial consultants, including a few certified financial planners (CFPs) and a chartered financial analyst (CFA).

When creating this plan, your advisor will spend time understanding your current situation, as well as your level of risk tolerance, and he or she will use this information to recommend investment most suited for you. However, no matter which combination of investments your advisor recommends, you will almost always be steered towards a longer-term approach.

This means Formula Folios makes use of passive portfolio management, but it uses an automated tool, known as WealthGuard, which alerts you and your advisor of upcoming risks and opportunities so that you can adjust when it’s necessary and comfortable to do so. In addition to general financial planning, the firm also provides assistance with:

  • Portfolio diversification and risk management through asset allocation. You can trust their asset management team as you would trust yourself in terms of working with your best interests in mind
  • Retirement, estate, and trust planning
  • Understanding the markets and the nature of investing so that you can make more autonomous decisions

3) Zhang Financial – Portage

While not located in one of Michigan’s major cities, Zhang Financial, and it’s $2.8 billion in assets, is one of the largest and most successful financial advisory firms in the entire state. However, the firm got to this point mainly by focusing on high-net-worth individuals. Currently, the account minimum for Michigan residents is $1 million. If you are from outside of Michigan, you will need at least $2 million to open an account.

Zhang Financial works on a client-by-client basis, meaning your advisor will work with you to come up with an investment strategy tailored to your specific situation as well as your individual goals. But no matter the nature of your plan, your advisor will be operating using Zhang Financial’s investment philosophy, which focuses on long-term, buy and hold strategies designed to diversify your portfolio, minimize risk, and allow for the market to produce returns.

Zhang also makes use of Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA), which provide you with access to institutional size mutual funds that have historically good returns and low risk. Finally, all the financial advice you receive will be backed by data and sound academic research, eliminating some of the guesswork and improving your chances of success. Other things you can expect from Zhang Financial include:

  • Assistance planning your charitable donations so that your money can have high impact while also minimizing your tax liabilities
  • A highly-qualified team of advisors with experience in financial planning, accounting, insurance, law, and much more.
  • Unbiased investment advice based purely on your personal finance needs and objectives.

4) Telemus Capital, LLC. – Detroit

With more than $2 billion in assets, Telemus Capital LLC is one of the larger financial advisory firms in the state. There is no account minimum, but fees start at $4,000 per year, which means investments of less than $400,000 will be subjected to a much higher fee percentage than with other firms.

However, Telemus is a fee-only firm, meaning it only makes money from these fees. The firm is also a fiduciary.

One of the primary focuses of Telmus Capital’s investment philosophy is minimizing costs. This applies both to the price of the investment but also to your taxes. As a result, your investment adviser will work closely with you to help you figure out the best tax planning strategy and find the most cost-efficient investments. Other things you can expect when working with Telemus Capital include:

  • Business advisory services in the event you are an entrepreneur and need help managing all aspects of your financial life
  • Retirement, estate, and trust planning in addition to general financial planning and investment management
  • Emphasis on risk management to make sure you’re properly prepared for any unexpected events that might affect your financial situation

5) Retirement Income Solutions – Ann Arbor

As you might expect from the name, Retirement Income Solutions is a financial advisory firm specializing in helping you prepare for this exciting yet unnerving final chapter of life. As of writing, the firm manages around $1.8 billion in assets, and you will need at least $500,000 to open an account.

Retirement Income Solutions follows an investment philosophy based around the active management of your portfolio, which means your advisor will keep a close eye on your account and move money around to take advantage of upswings in the market and also to maintain liquidity based on your needs leading up to and during retirement. This is a difficult strategy to do well, but Retirement Income Solutions’ track record shows its ability to make this approach work.

Other things you can expect when working with Retirement Income solutions include:

  • Assistance understanding and making the most of your current retirement investment accounts
  • Investment options ranging from IRAs and annuities to mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (EFTs)
  • A community feel; the firm is locally owned, completely independent, and an active member of the Ann Arbor community

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

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Considering how large Michigan is, it should come as no surprise that there are so many financial advisors out there willing to help you achieve your dreams. But quantity and quality are not the same thing (some don’t even have a proper FINRA listing), which is why we ask you to consider the above five firms whether you live in SaginawLansing, or Southfield. So, if you’re ready to take a big step forward in your financial journey, get a few phone numbers and call one of these wealth management firms today.