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Best Financial Advisors in Columbia

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SmartAdvisor by SmartAsset logo
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SmartAdvisor by SmartAsset

Columbia, SC
  • Estate Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Financial Planning
  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

SmartAsset's free, five-minute tool makes it easy to find qualified financial advisors in your area. The exclusive tool uses a quick survey to help SmartAsset's exclusive algorithm match you with up to three advisors based on your specific financial needs. Each advisor is a fiduciary, legally bound to work in your best interest, and rigorously vetted by SmartAsset. You can speak with each for free, sometimes within a matter of minutes, and choose whom you want to work with. Hundreds of thousands of smart investors and retirees have already used SmartAsset's simple, no-cost service to find the right financial advisors for them.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.0
Yelp
4.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Price: Free consultation

Abacus logo
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Abacus

2500 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205
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  • Estate Planning
  • Insurance Products

Business Description

Abacus is an investment counsel and financial planning firm that has been serving families, individuals, and businesses in the metro area of Columbia since 1998. It offers various services, such as retirement planning, insurance, tax planning, risk management, and trust and estate planning. Its team of fiduciaries educates and advises clients throughout the financial planning process. Abacus has been involved in several organizations, including The Children's Trust of South Carolina, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, and Columbia Free Medical Clinic.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Anchor Investment Management, LLC logo
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Anchor Investment Management, LLC

3205 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Retirement Planning
  • Insurance Products

Business Description

Anchor Investment Management, LLC, is a financial advisory company serving the Columbia metro. The company was established in 2000 by W. Patrick Dorn, Jr. through his over three decades of experience in the financial and investment industry. Anchor Investment Management offers financial planning services that present a comprehensive way of handling the clients' expenses and assets, employee retirement plans for maximum retirement savings, and investment management to address short and long-term needs. The company also offers insurance and retirement planning.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
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Detail
Calmwater Advisors logo
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Calmwater Advisors

200 Center Point Circle, Columbia, SC 29210
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Calmwater Advisors is an independent wealth management firm that serves the residents of Columbia and the surrounding areas. It helps clients manage their financial lives through wealth strategies such as asset allocation and accumulation, alternative investments, risk management, and tax management. The firm also provides retirement planning, estate planning, and business planning services. Calmwater Advisors supports non-profit organizations such as St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Harvest Hope Food Bank, Columbia Women's Shelter, and Wounded Warrior Project.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Capital City Financial Partners logo
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Capital City Financial Partners

6208 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia, SC 29209
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  • Estate Planning
  • Tax Planning

Business Description

Capital City Financial Partners is a team of professionals that assists individuals and families in building financial strategies that benefit their retirement plans. It uses the Capital Confidence Plan to handle its clients' financial situations, needs, and goals. Serving Columbia and the surrounding communities, the group is led by managing partner and financial advisor Joshua Bradley, who started the practice in 2015. The firm has also been featured in business magazines such as Fortune, Entrepreneur, and Bloomberg Businessweek.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
CCM Investment Advisers logo
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CCM Investment Advisers

1201 Main Street, Columbia, SC 29201
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

CCM Investment Advisers is an advisory firm located in the Columbia metro. The firm has been in the industry for over 19 years. The firm specializes in client-focused investment programs such as fixed-income, moderate risk-balanced, low risk-balanced, equity, core balanced, and core balanced plus portfolios. It also helps clients in choosing the appropriate investment style for their needs. CCM Investment Advisers was established by Fowler W. Cary, Jr., following his career as a research analyst in 1972.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Cornerstone Financial Management logo
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Cornerstone Financial Management

2000 Center Point Road, Columbia, SC 29210
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

Cornerstone Financial Management is an independent asset management and financial planning company serving individuals and businesses in Columbia. Established in 2014, it provides a range of services, including investment management and insurance, college, and estate planning. The firm also offers guidance and assistance with long-term care and retirement planning as well as business succession planning and business retirement plan management. Cornerstone Financial Management founder Ken Calcutt has been in the financial planning industry since 2004. He is a SmartVestor Pro with Dave Ramsey.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (13)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
DaVinci Financial Designs logo
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DaVinci Financial Designs

5301 North Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC 29206
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

DaVinci Financial Designs is a Columbia-based financial planning and investment advisory firm. Its philosophy entails analyzing the situation of each client and designing strategies focused on aligning the clients' available financial resources with their values. The company's financial plans involve risk management, tax planning, cash management, and business and estate planning. Additionally, the professionals from this firm offer investment advice and recommend financial products that address their clients’ needs. Principal and managing partner Jim Agostini is a Certified Financial Planner and a Chartered Financial Consultant.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (8)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
––
EFinancial Advisors logo
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EFinancial Advisors

1715 Pickens Street, Columbia, SC 29201
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  • Estate Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Insurance Products

Business Description

EFinancial Advisors is a firm that serves the Columbia area. It was founded on the mission of creating meaningful financial strategies to help its clients live sustainable lives. The firm's financial advisors make use of an approach that involves determining its customers' goals, designing their portfolios, and implementing and monitoring their strategies. Their services include wealth management, retirement planning, and estate planning. Moreover, they have experience handling financial strategies for small businesses. EFinancial Advisors also offers faith-based planning solutions.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
G3 Wealth Advisors logo
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G3 Wealth Advisors

1901 Bull Street, Columbia, SC 29201
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

G3 Wealth Advisors provides financial planning services to Columbia and the nearby areas. It offers wealth management services to help clients sustain and meet their short- and long-term goals. It also provides retirement, business, estate, and education fund planning services. The company is also available for risk management solutions. One of its founding partners, George Starnes III, is a private wealth advisor who has been in the financial industry since 1982. Starnes III also holds the Chartered Life Underwriter and financial consultant designations.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Hobbs Group Advisors logo
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Hobbs Group Advisors

1704 Laurel Street, Columbia, SC 29201
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  • Estate Planning
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Hobbs Group Advisors is a financial advisory and wealth management firm that serves clients in and around Columbia. Its services include audit and attestation, tax planning, retirement plan consulting, and insurance services. It also provides small business assistance, business consulting, business valuation, and forensic accounting. The firm's financial professionals manage the wealth of various industries, including non-profit organizations, construction, real estate, retail, manufacturing and distribution, and government. Hobbs Group Advisors has been in business for 30 years.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Pendleton Street Business Advisors logo
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Pendleton Street Business Advisors

1100 Shirley Street, Columbia, SC 29205
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Business Formation

Business Description

Pendleton Street Business Advisors provides services to clients in Columbia and all across the country. The firm develops financial strategies which help clients manage their business growth and reengineer financial cashflows. The company also specializes in business valuation and exit planning to assist business owners with selling their business or retirement. Pendleton Street Business Advisors was co-founded by John H. Barnes and Matt A. Morley, both of whom are certified advisers and former chief officers of WHM Capital Advisors.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (6)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
The McDaniel Corporation logo
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The McDaniel Corporation

6156 Saint Andrews Road, Columbia, SC 29212
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  • Estate Planning
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

The McDaniel Corporation is a financial advisory firm serving Columbia and the surrounding areas. It provides investment analysis and planning, risk management, and tax strategies. The firm also handles retirement income planning and estate planning matters. Its advisors focus on the proper implementation of the clients' investments and insurances and send regular updates via review meetings, letters, and newsletters. The McDaniel Corporation is affiliated with H.S. Dent Financial Advisors Network.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.0
Google
4.0 / 5 (10)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Back to Providers

Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

There are many titles for financial professionals, so it's challenging to track what each one means. A financial advisor is probably the term you've heard most often. Financial advisor is a broad term for a professional who helps individuals or companies manage their finances, including investment choices. There are over 100 certifications that financial advisors can obtain.

  • Financial planners, wealth managers, and investment advisors are all financial advisors with different focus areas.
  • A financial planner helps an individual or a company make a plan to achieve long-term financial goals.
  • A wealth manager helps individuals maintain their wealth through various disciplines and services, such as taxes, estate planning, and investment advice.
  • An investment advisor offers investment advice and recommendations to individuals or organizations.
There’s a misconception that you have to be extremely wealthy to use a financial advisor. In reality, they can be beneficial for people from any income level. Keep reading to find answers to the most commonly asked questions about financial advisors, so you know which type can fit your specific needs.

Are financial advisors worth it?

Whether or not a financial advisor is worth it depends on your personal situation. If your finances are fairly straightforward, then you may be better off handling it on your own. But if you have substantial assets or a complex investment portfolio, then hiring someone to handle it for you can be well worth the cost.

What does a financial advisor do?

Financial advisors can have many types of specialties. Generally, a financial advisor advises on or helps to execute a financial plan. Some examples include assisting people with getting out of debt, building out an investment portfolio, and handling taxes.

How much money do I need to work with a financial advisor?

There’s no specific income level you need in order to work with a financial advisor, but there may be a minimum investment amount for certain types of services. Some financial advisors won’t manage your money unless you have $100,000 or more to invest, but this isn’t the case with financial coaches or robo-advisors.

What does a financial coach do?

Financial coaches focus on improving your financial literacy and money management skills. For example, they can help you figure out how to pay down your student loans or decide how much money to put away for retirement. They usually charge by the hour and don’t offer asset management services or investment advice.

When should I use a financial advisor vs. doing it myself?

Smart money management can give you freedom and comfort. Being responsible with your money makes it possible to meet goals and pay for major expenses. A financial advisor is trained and can offer you expertise that would otherwise take years to learn. They know how to save you money and make it go further.

How do I know if my financial advisor is trustworthy?

Because financial advisors aren’t licensed or regulated, it’s up to the client to make that determination for themselves. However, if your advisor is a fiduciary, that means they’re legally bound to act in your best interest. Some types of advisors, including Certified Financial Professionals (CFPs), are held to fiduciary standards.

What\'s the difference between a financial advisor and a financial planner?

The term financial advisor is a broad phrase that encapsulates many specialties, including financial planner. It's similar to how doctor applies to different physicians, while a cardiologist is a specialty doctor. A financial planner helps their client plan to achieve long-term financial goals, such as saving for a house or retirement.

Are financial advisor fees tax deductible?

Until 2018, financial advisor fees were tax deductible as a miscellaneous expense. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act elimited that deduction until at least 2025.

What is a financial consultant?

A financial consultant and a financial advisor are essentially the same. In recent years, financial consultant has become a less popular term, with financial advisor being much more common. Sometimes, the financial professional may opt for the term consultant when offering services to a business rather than an individual.

What is a robo-advisor?

A robo-advisor is essentially an algorithm that manages your investment portfolio for you. Because their services are automated, you’ll pay less than you would for a human advisor — often between 0.25% and 0.50%. They don’t require large initial investments either, making them a popular choice for entry-level investors. However, you won’t get the same level of advice that you would get from a personal financial advisor.

What makes someone a fiduciary?

Fiduciary is a legal term for a person who has a legal or ethical responsibility to act in your best interests. For example, a trustee and a beneficiary. A financial advisor may have a fiduciary obligation to make financial choices that are best for you, even if it means they earn less in commissions or fees.

How often should I meet with my financial advisor?

After your initial meeting, you may only need to check in with your financial advisor on a quarterly or annual basis. Ask them in advance how often you can expect to hear from them, and whether they offer in-person, phone, or virtual meetings.

Should your financial advisor be a fiduciary?

It’s important to understand that only some — not all — financial advisors have a fiduciary obligation to their clients. Always ask your financial advisor if they’re bound by fiduciary duty. If not, it’s possible that they’ll push products or services that earn them the highest commission, not necessarily what’s best for you. Opt for a financial advisor bound by fiduciary duty whenever possible.

Can my financial planner help with taxes?

Financial advisors aren’t necessarily accountants or tax preparers, so don’t expect them to prepare your taxes for you. However, they may be able to provide tax-related advice to help you optimize your returns and deductions. If you need an advisor who can file your taxes, look for one who is also a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).

Do I need a financial advisor?

Ask yourself if a financial advisor can fill a need or solve a problem you can’t easily handle on your own. They can be helpful in a wide variety of ways, such as building budgets or financial plans, finding ways to save money on taxes, creating an investment portfolio, or offering investment advice.

How do financial advisors get paid?

Clients pay to work with a financial advisor whether it’s through fees, commissions, or salaries. If they’re paid by client fees or commissions, their salary is tied to how much business they bring in. The harder they work, the more they make. In comparison, a salaried employee is guaranteed their wage no matter how many clients they have.

What experience should I look for in a financial advisor?

 If you have specific goals or a unique financial situation, look for a financial advisor with expertise in that area. For example, some financial advisors specialize in working with millennials or focus on socially responsible investing.

How much does a financial advisor cost?

A financial advisor’s costs depend on their fee structure. Some advisors charge a fee — either hourly or a percentage of the client assets under management. Another common option is to charge a commission on the products sold or investments made.

Should I hire a financial advisor before buying a house?

While not always necessary, a financial advisor could help you decide how large of a mortgage to apply for, how much money to put down, and how to balance the purchase with other savings and investment goals.

How many financial advisors are there in the U.S.?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s estimated that there are 218,050 financial advisors. California is the state with the highest employment of financial advisors across the nation.

Do banks offer financial advisors?

Yes, many banks have financial advisors on staff. Your bank may also offer incentives to work with their financial advisors, such as lower fees or free accounts. However, it's important to note that many of the bank's financial advisors don't have a fiduciary obligation and might prioritize the bank's products above all else. There is a cost when working with your bank's financial advisor.

Should I hire a wealth manager?

A wealth manager can help offer complex financial planning services, including tax guidance, estate planning, and legal assistance. While you don't have to be a high-income earner to benefit from a financial advisor, a wealth manager is typically for those that have a high net worth. However, many people build wealth and need a wealth manager later on in life.

Is wealth management worth it?

Wealth management is typically worth it for those who need help with multiple endeavors or comprehensive financial situations, such as charitable contributions or investment portfolio management, or want to protect their assets. A wealth manager can also offer you guidance if you’ve been neglecting your finances or making poor judgements.

How can you tell if a financial advisor is bad?

Your relationship with your financial advisor is a very personal one, as you’re trusting them with your wealth and future. Some general signs that your financial advisor is bad include:

  • They can’t answer your financial questions
  • You have worked with them for a while but haven’t seen a financial improvement
  • They don’t provide you with progress reports
  • They don’t check in with you

What do you need to be a financial advisor?

As mentioned, there are over 100 types of certifications for financial advisors. The training or experience you need will depend on which specialty you want to pursue. Generally, financial advisors need to have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree
  • A General Securities Representative license (Series 7 license)
  • A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification isn’t mandatory but is often preferred

Where do financial advisors work?

Where a financial advisor works will depend on what type of financial advisor they are. Financial advisors can work at a variety of places, including:

  • Securities and commodity brokers
  • A bank
  • A credit union
  • Independently
  • Insurance companies
  • Financial investment firms
  • Small investment advisory firms

How much do financial advisors make?

In 2019, the national average salary for a financial advisor was $87,850. However, it’s important to note the average salary varies from state to state and the different focus areas — an investment advisor may make a lot more than a financial planner. Lastly, salary can depend on how the individual is getting paid. Financial advisors can be paid by client fees, commissions, or salaries.

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