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EP Wealth Advisors Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Based in Torrance, California, EP Wealth Advisors has made a handful of acquisitions since 2015. As a result, the growing firm counts eight more offices in the state - Lafayette, West Lafayette, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Mateo, South Bay, Valencia - along with branches in Denver, Colorado; Chicago, Illinois; Dallas, Texas; Salt Lake City, Utah; Logan, Utah; Chandler, Arizona; Phoenix, Arizona; and Seattle, Washington. It also holds a spot on SmartAsset's lists of the top financial advisors in Torrance and top financial advisors in California.

The team of advisors at the fee-only firm manages billions in client assets on a mostly discretionary basis. As a fee-only operation, the firm does not receive third-party compensation from things like insurance sales.

EP Wealth Advisors Background

EP Wealth Advisors is the result of two firms merging in 2004 - Enright Financial Consultants, Inc. and Premier Financial Management, LLC - which explains the letters in its name. Today, EPWA Inc. and Project EPIC Acquisitions own the firm indirectly, and several other employees own small stakes.

The staff of advisors here includes certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), enrolled agents (EAs) and more.

EP Wealth Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

EP Wealth works with individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and businesses. Of its clients who are individuals, roughly 40% have a high net worth.

The firm generally requires a minimum $500,000 investment, though it may waive the minimum at its discretion. It may also count family accounts together to reach the minimum.

Services Offered by EP Wealth Advisors 

EP Wealth primarily offers investment management services, which can include recommending a third-party investment advisor, managing retirement plan rollovers and overseeing 529 plans. Along with these services, the firm includes some financial planning and consulting services addressing such areas as cash flow, wealth management/transfer strategies, estate planning, risk assessment, executive benefits and business succession/planning, children's education, 1031 tax exchanges, real estate/mortgages and retirement planning, family planning, insurance and tax planning. The firm also offers financial planning and consulting to people who are not investment clients. 

Additionally, at its discretion, the firm may provide tax preparation and filing services. It also offers fiduciary and non-fiduciary services to retirement plans.

EP Wealth Advisors Investing Philosophy

EP Wealth generally invests in no-load mutual funds and equities. It may also recommend exchange-traded funds, corporate debt securities, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, municipal securities and U.S. Government securities. If suitable for a client's portfolio and if the client meets the minimum requirements for investing, the firm may also recommend private funds, hedge funds and other alternative investments.

When reviewing investments, EP Wealth may apply charting and technical analysis, fundamental analysis and cyclical analysis. As investing strategies, it may use long-term purchases, short-term purchases, margin transactions and options trading/writing.

Fees Under EP Wealth Advisors

Like most firms, EP Wealth collects management fees based on a percentage of the client’s assets under management (AUM). Though fees depend on a number of factors, they generally follow the tiered fee schedules below. Here are the fees for discretionary accounts, which are those where clients give advisors the right to make investment decisions on their own:

Discretionary Account Fee Schedule
AUM Annual Fee
First $1,000,000 1.00% 
Next $1,000,000 0.95% 
Next $2,000,000 0.85% 
Next $1,000,000 0.75%
$5,000,000 - $10,000,000 0.65% 
Above $10,000,000 0.55%

Non-discretionary accounts, on the other hand, are accounts where the client needs to give their approval before an advisor can make an investment decision. Those fees will generally be 25% higher than the amounts above. 

Below, you'll find what you can expect to pay in fees for both discretionary and non-discretionary accounts based on how much money you have invested:

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at EP Wealth Advisors*
Your Assets Discretionary Annual Fee Amount Non-Discretionary Annual Fee Amount
$500K $5,000 $6,250
$1MM $10,000 $12,500
$5MM $32,500 $40,625
$10MM $55,000 $68,750

EP Wealth Advisors Awards and Recognition

In 2019, Barron's named EP Wealth Advisors to its list of the Top 50 RIAs in the U.S. Inc. 5000 also listed the firm on its rankings of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies for 2019.

What to Watch Out For

As of its latest filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, EP Wealth has no legal or disciplinary actions to disclose.

Opening an Account With EP Wealth Advisors

To contact EP Wealth, fill out the contact form on its website. Alternately, you can call the office closest to you by looking up the firm's phone numbers online.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article. 

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • If you don't know where to start your search for a financial advisor, you could benefit from finding multiple options to choose from. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Ask how advisor candidates get paid. Those whose only compensation is the fees they collect from you will likely have fewer conflicts of interest than those who also receive commissions. That said, if any advisors say they are fiduciaries, that means they will work in your best interests.

How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research