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Henssler Financial 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.

Led by finance professor and radio talk show host "Dr. Gene" Henssler, Henssler Financial is an advisory firm that has billions in assets under management (AUM).

This fee-based firm has its headquarters in Kennesaw, Georgia, and a branch office in Atlanta

Henssler Financial, legally known as G.W. Hensler & Associates, works with a variety of clients, including both high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals, as well as other investment companies, pension and profit-sharing plans, charities, state or municipal entities and corporations. 

In 2018, Atlanta Magazine named five Henssler Financial advisors - William Lako, Jr., Jennifer Thomas, James Barker, Adam Ledbetter  and Shawna Theriault - to its Five Star Wealth Manager list.

Henssler Financial Background

Though Henssler founded the firm in 1987, it wasn’t until 1991 that he took on his first “managed client.” In the beginning, the Kennesaw State University professor was only designing financial plans for people who called into his radio talk show and asked him for help - both the consulting work and radio show were side gigs. A few years later, when he saw that clients were having trouble implementing those plans, he hired a person to help them. 

Henssler at last found a way to manage clients’ assets in 1991, when Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. started offering a program where it would be the custodian of assets for financial advisors, formerly called Schwab Institutional.

Henssler's financial team holds multiple certifications, including designations as certified financial planner (CFP), certified public accountant (CPA) and certified wealth strategist (CWS), among others. 

Henssler is owned by Dr. Gene and William G. Lako, Jr., the firm's managing director and principal.

Henssler Financial Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Henssler Financial works with roughly 1,000 individuals who fall above and below the high-net-worth threshold. It also serves corporate pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable institutions, foundations, endowments, trust accounts and other U.S. and international institutions. Additionally, the Henssler Asset Management arm provides advisory services to municipalities and a registered mutual fund.

Instead of requiring investment minimums, Henssler Financial has annual fee minimums, which may not make economic sense at lower investment levels. Those minimum fees range from $3,000 a year to $25,000 a year. That said, its automated platform for investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) does have a minimum investment of $5,000.

Meanwhile, fees for financial planning services are $1,500 for clients with net worths of up to $250,000; $2,500 for clients whose net worths fall between $250,000 and $500,000; and $5,000 for clients who are worth more than $500,000.

Services Offered by Henssler Financial

Henssler Financial provides comprehensive financial planning, targeted analysis of a client’s financial position, service as a separate account manager, automated asset management and basic investment advice. Its investment advice can be performed on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis.

Additionally, through its affiliates, the firm can help with insurance, tax and accounting needs.

Henssler Financial Investment Philosophy

Henssler Financial bases its asset allocation on what it calls the “10 Year Rule.” To boot, the firm believes that “any money a client needs within 10 years should be invested in fixed income securities, and any money not needed within 10 years should be invested in high-quality, individual common stocks or mutual funds that invest in common stocks.”

To determine liquidity needs (or how much should be in bonds and cash equivalents), the firm runs several cash flow projections using client savings goals, desired future spending and expected retirement date. Henssler Financial will then recommend fixed income securities with maturity dates and amounts that correspond to these needs, with one year’s worth of expenses going into a money market fund or another cash equivalent. It will recommend stocks and mutual funds that meet its guidelines for the rest of a client’s portfolio.

Fees Under Henssler Financial

Like most investment advisor firms, Henssler Financial collects management fees based on a percentage of the client’s assets under management (AUM). It’s notable, though, that the first thing the firm says about its fees in its brochure is that they are negotiable. 

That said, it lists the annual fee for the Henssler Automated Investment Management program as 0.5% of client AUM, with a minimum $5,000 investment. Here are the tiered fee schedules for its other discretionary programs:

Asset Management with ETFs or Mutual Funds (Minimum Fee: $3,000)
AUM Annual Fee
First $1 million 0.75%
$1 - $3 million 0.65%
$3 - $5 million 0.50% 
$5 million and more Negotiable


Asset Management with Individual Stocks (Minimum Fee: $5,000)  
AUM Annual Fee
First $1 million 1.00%
$1 - $3 million 0.85%
$3 - $5 million 0.65% 
$5 million and more Negotiable 


Traditional Management with Individual Stocks (Minimum Fee: $12,000)
AUM Annual Fee
First $1 million 1.25%
$1 - $2 million 1.00%
$2 - $3 million 0.90%  
$3 - $5 0.75%  
$5 million and more Negotiable 


Wealth Management with Individual Stocks (Minimum Fee: $25,000)
AUM Annual Fee
First $1 million 1.25%
$1 - $2 million 1.00%
$2 - $3 million 0.90%  
$3 - $5 million 0.75%  
$5 million and more Negotiable 

By comparison, as stated earlier, fees for financial planning services are:

  • $1,500 for clients with net worths of up to $250,000
  • $2,500 for clients whose net worths fall between $250,000 and $500,000
  • $5,000 for clients who are worth more than $500,000

What to Watch Out For

Henssler Financial had no legal or disciplinary actions in the past 10 years to disclose in its most recent SEC filings.

As a fee-based firm, advisors who are also brokers or insurance agents receive commissions in their separate capacities, which can present a potential conflict of interest. That said, as fiduciaries, they are legally bound to work in your best interests.

Opening an Account With Henssler Financial

To contact Henssler Financial, call its headquarters at (770) 429-9166 or its Atlanta office at 770-668-9000. 

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

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • Working with a financial advisor can help you better understand how your personal financial plan should work to help you achieve your goals. They can also answer all of your related questions. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel 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 comes from 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