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EP Wealth Advisors Review

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EP Wealth Advisors

EP Wealth Advisors

Based in Torrance, California, EP Wealth Advisors has made seven acquisitions since 2015. As a result, the growing firm counts seven more offices in the state - Lafayette, West Lafayette, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, Valencia - along with branches in Denver, Colorado; Phoenix, Arizona and Seattle, Washington. It's on SmartAsset's top financial advisor lists for both Torrance and California.

The firm seeks to serve women especially, and in early 2019, it promoted three female advisors to partner. The team of 47 advisors at the fee-only firm manages nearly $4.4 billion in assets on a mostly discretionary basis. 

EP Wealth Advisors Background

The firm 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, and Brian Parker and Derek Holman are the managing partners. Several other employees own small stakes. 

EP Wealth Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

EP Wealth works with individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities. Of its clients who are individuals, roughly one-third 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 these tiered fee schedules for discretionary and non-discretionary accounts:

Discretionary Accounts
AUM Annual Fee
First $1 million 1.00% 
Next $1 million 0.95% 
Next $2 million 0.85% 
Next $1 million 0.75%
Assets more than $5 million 0.65% 

 

Non-Discretionary Accounts 
AUM Annual Fee
First $1 million 1.25%
Next $1 million 1.20% 
Next $2 million 1.10% 
Next $1 million 1.00% 
Assets more than $5 million 0.90%

These charts show what you'll 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 (Discretionary Account)*
Your Assets EP Wealth Advisors Annual Fee Amount
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $44,000
$10MM $76,500

 

*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 (Non-discretionary Account)*
Your Assets EP Wealth Advisors Annual Fee Amount
$500K $6,250
$1MM $12,500
$5MM $56,500
$10MM $101,500

The industry average for investment advisory fees is 0.95%, according to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box. Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.

EP Wealth Advisors Awards and Recognition

In 2016, Financial Planning magazine named EP Wealth to its "Top 150 Fee-only Registered Investment Advisory Firms" list.

What to Watch Out For

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

One thing to note: EP Wealth is indirectly and partly owned by Wealth Partners Capital Group (WPCG), which also holds stakes in Forbes Family Trust and MAI Capital Management. EP Wealth operates independently of WPCG and its affiliates, but you should be aware of the connection.

Opening an Account With EP Wealth Advisors

To contact EP Wealth, send a message on its website at https://www.epwealth.com/contact-an-advisor. Alternately, call the office closest to you.

  • Torrance (headquarters): (310) 543-4559 or (800) 272-2328
  • Lafayette: (925) 283-2201
  • West Los Angeles: (424) 270-8750
  • Orange County: (949) 247-2067 or (800) 272-2328
  • San Diego: (858) 622-9009
  • San Mateo: (650) 712-1000
  • Valencia:  (310) 543-4559
  • Denver: (303) 225-8400 or (800) 242-1604
  • Seattle: (800) 777-4015

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

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • Ask how advisor candidates get paid. Those whose only compensation is the fees they collect from you will likely have fewer conflicts of interests than those who also receive commissions. That said, if any advisors say they are fiduciaries, that means they will work in your best interests.
  • Use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool. The program will connect you with up to three advisors in your area.

How Many Years $1 Million 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.

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

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

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%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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