Tax accountant Arthur Dykes, estate attorney Deborah Cochran, and financial advisers Rita Cheng, Ryan Fleming, and Barry Glassman are among Washington's top money experts. Photograph by Greg Powers.
By Kerry Hannon
Since the powerful Wall Street player Lehman Brothers imploded four years ago, it's been a choppy ride for investors. That collapse, which many view as the peak—or depths—of the financial crisis, rocked financial markets and radically changed the investing landscape.
Although things have settled down somewhat, markets remain volatile and the economy seems stalled. Many of us grapple to regain ground in our 401(k) and savings accounts. We're living longer, so we'll need to support ourselves over a longer period in retirement. Meanwhile, health-care costs have increased and real interest rates have declined.
By Mary Clare Glover
To put together this list of Washington's top financial experts, we surveyed hundreds of area financial professionals, asking them: Whom would you trust with your own money? We also did our own research, interviewing experts and consulting industry organizations and publications. The people listed received the most recommendations from all sources.
No list can be totally comprehensive, and omission from this one doesn't mean an adviser isn't good. Likewise, inclusion here doesn't necessarily mean the person is right for your needs.
By Kimberly Palmer and Travis Andrews
Because many professionals at larger financial institutions work on in-house teams rather than with other firms, a peer survey can miss them. So in addition to sending a survey to Washington-area financial professionals, we asked banks and brokerages to give us the names of their top wealth managers based on assets under management. Listed here are the names given to us by the institutions that agreed to participate (some declined).
Many of the wealth managers listed work within what's called the "private bank," an arm of a larger bank that caters to clients who want to invest big amounts. Financial experts say one advantage to working with a large institution is having all your money in one place. For example, Bank of America can handle checking and savings accounts, investments, mortgages, college savings, life insurance, and more. Managers at smaller, boutique investment firms say disadvantages can be less personal service and high staff turnover.
There are many good wealth managers working at large banks and brokerages who are not listed here. Because some of these institutions are so large, having a name to start with can be helpful.
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
Illustrations by Harry Campbell.