They Know Money: Fee-Only Advisers

Here are the area’s best financial planners, wealth advisers, tax accountants, insurance experts, and estate attorneys who can provide financial help and advice

How did The Washingtonian put together this list of the area’s top financial experts?

We first surveyed hundreds of area financial professionals, asking them: Whom would you trust with your own money? We also did our own research. The experts listed here received the most recommendations.

No list can be totally comprehensive, and omission from this list doesn’t mean an adviser isn’t good. Likewise, inclusion here doesn’t necessarily mean the person is right for your needs.

The category of fee-only advisers includes certified financial planners — who create detailed financial plans and often also manage money — as well as financial advisers who manage and invest portfolios. Fee-only advisers do not accept commissions or referral fees — a practice, they say, that keeps them free of bias. Most charge a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a fee based on a percentage of assets.

“Minimum” is the minimum investment portfolio handled by an adviser — although many take smaller portfolios, such as when a young professional with whom an adviser is working has the promise of higher future earnings.

While most offer a range of services , we asked the advisers or those who recommended them to tell us of any specialties. 

Key Credentials:

CFA: chartered financial analyst
CFM: certified financial manager
CFP: certified financial planner
CFS: certified fund specialist
ChFC: chartered financial consultant
CIC: chartered investment counselor
CIMA: certified investment-management analyst
CLU: chartered life underwriter
CPA: certified public accountant
JD: juris doctor (attorney)
PFS: personal financial specialist


George F. Albright Jr., JD; Washington DC

Mark Atherton, CFP; Reston

Michael F. Bearer, CFP, CPA, PFS, CIMA; Bethesda

John (Terry) Beaty Jr.,; Bethesda

Paul C. Bennett, MSF, ChFC, CFP; Great Falls

Gordon Bernhardt, Bernhardt Wealth Management

Stephen E. Bingham, CFP; Arlington

William G. Brennan, CFP, PFS, CPA; Washington DC

Joseph M. Brodecki, CFP; Washington DC

Christopher N. Brown, MBA, CFP; Rockville

Cal Brown, CFP; McLean

Glen J. Buco, CFP; McLean

Elissa Buie, CFP; Vienna

Paul F. Cocozza, CFP, CPA; Arlington

Thomas B. Conway, CFP, JD; Rockville

Fred J. Cornelius, CFA, CFP; Rockville

Michael Cornfield, CFA, CIC; Bethesda

John T. Devine, CPA, PFS; Chevy Chase

Michael Farr

Marjorie L. Fox, CFP, JD; Reston

Thomas D. Frank, CFA; Bethesda 

Susan Freed, CFP; Chevy Chase

Barry Glassman, CFP; McLean

Herbert G. Hopwood, CFP, CFA; Great Falls

Donald Irwin IV; Washington DC

Mark Johannsessen, CFP; McLean

J. Mark Joseph, CFP, CPA, PFS, CLU; Reston

Daniel Kane, CFA, CIC; Chevy Chase

Glenn Kautt, CFP; McLean

Veena A. Kutler, CFA, Bethesda

Steven D. Lockshin, CIMA; Rockville

J. Michael Martin, CFP, JD; Columbia

James W. (Skip) Mersereau, CFA, CIC; Chevy Chase

Helen L. Modly, CFP, ChFC; Middleburg

Eileen M. O’Connor, CFP; McLean

Everrette B. Orr, CPA, CFP, CFA; Orr Financial Planning 

Alice Paik, Brown Advisory

Christine Parker, CFP; La Plata

Ron Rubin, PFS, CPA; Bethesda

Karen P. Schaeffer, CFP; Rockville

Robert Scherer; Potomac

Annette F. Simon, CFP; Bethesda

Neal J.B. Simon; Bethesda

Leslie K. Smith, JD; Bethesda

Peter C. Speros, CFP; McLean

Greg Sullivan, Sullivan, Bruyette, Speros & Blayney, Inc.

Steven Thalheimer, CFP; Silver Spring

David Zier, CIMA; Rockville

This list first appeared in the November 2010 issue of The Washingtonian.


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