Here is Schwab Institutional’s current list of best-managed independent financial advisor firms, based on data from the 2002 FPA Finanial Performance Study of Financial Advisory Practices by Moss-Adams LLC. More information on the study appears in the December, 2002, “Final Word” column in Investment Advisor.

Accredited Investors Inc. in Edina, Minnesota

Balasa Dinverno Foltz & Hoffman LLC in Schaumburg, Illinois

Bedel Financial Consulting Inc. in Indianapolis, Indiana

Briaud Financial Planning Inc. in Bryan, Texas

Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough LLC in San Francisco, California

Boone Financial Advisors in San Francisco, California

Boudros & Ruhlin Inc. in Columbus, Ohio

Emerson Investment Management Inc. in Boston, Massachusetts

Friedman & Associates in Novato, California

Gemmer Asset Management LLC in Walnut Creek, California

Hutchinson/Ifrah Financial Services Inc. in Little Rock, Arkansas

Maul Capital Management Inc. in Las Vegas, Nevada

Pinnacle Advisory Group in Columbia, Maryland

Plancorp Inc. in Chesterfield, Missouri

Polstra & Dardaman LLC in Norcross, Georgia

SVA Planners Inc. in Madison, Wisconsin

TFC Financial Management in Boston, Massachusetts

The Arkansas Financial Group Inc. in Little Rock, Arkansas

Tyee Asset Strategies LLC in Seattle, Washington

Weil Capital Management LLC in Palo Alto, California

Woodside Asset Management Inc. in Menlo Park, California

Data: Schwab Institutional

Here, according to Schwab, are some average and median measures of performance of best-performing advisory firms, compared with other independent advisors:

Best-Managed Firms All Other Firms
AUM $224,522,514 $40,000,000
Revenue $1,755,354 $385,035
Clients 242 98
Median gross margin 63.3% 55.5%
Median operating profit margin 15.5% 7.5%
Pretax income/owner $294,058 $79,500
Clients/professional 53 43
Revenue/client $5,515 $3,159
AUM/client $909,262 $445,833
Operating profit/client $846 $203

Data: Schwab Institutional