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Abacus Wealth Partners Review

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Abacus Wealth Partners, LLC

Abacus Wealth Partners, LLC

An abacus may be a primitive counting tool, but rest assured that the advisors at this firm use more high tech methods when managing money for clients.

Through its 24 office locations across the country, Abacus Wealth Partners provides comprehensive financial planning and investment advisory services. Its financial advisors currently manage more than $2.7 billion in assets under management. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the firm is at the top of SmartAsset's top financial advisor list for Santa Monica.

Abacus Wealth Partners Background

Abacus has been in operations since 2004, following the merger of Abacus Wealth Management, LLC (AWM) and Sherman Financial, Inc. (SFI). Both of these firms serve as the principal owners of Abacus today. 

Abacus Wealth Partners Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Abacus serves the following clients: 

  • Individuals
  • High-net-worth individuals, couples and families
  • Pension and profit-sharing plans
  • Trusts
  • Estates
  • Charitable organizations
  • Business entities 

Abacus doesn’t require a minimum account size to receive its services. However, the firm imposes a minimum $120 annual fee per account. For investment advisory services, that minimum can rise to 1% of assets under management (AUM). The firm may alter or waive these minimums at its discretion. 

Services Offered by Abacus Wealth Partners

Advisors with Abacus work with individual clients to build holistic financial plans. Depending on the needs and goals of the client, this plan may cover some or all of the following topics: 

In addition, the firm’s advisors can create, manage and monitor a diversified investment portfolios on behalf of its clients. 

Abacus Wealth Partners Investment Philosophy

Abacus doesn’t engage in market timing or stock picking. Instead, it believes that a well-diversified portfolio can outperform an actively managed one during long-term market cycles. For this reason, it primarily builds client portfolios with mutual funds. 

That said, Abacus may also provide advice about exchange-traded funds, individual securities such as stocks and bonds, options and variable annuities. Ultimately, the asset allocation for any portfolio depends on the individual needs of the client and circumstances such as risk tolerance and time horizon. 

Fees Under Abacus Wealth Partners

For financial planning services, the firm usually charges an hourly fee. The rate depends on the complexity of the services requested. Hourly fees typically range from $150 to $300. 

Investment management fees are based on a percentage of the client's account size and follow the current fee schedule we detail below. 

Portfolio Value Base Fee
Up to $3,000,000 1.00%
$3,000,001 - $5,000,000  0.75%
$5,000,001 - $15,000,000 0.50%
More than $15,000,000  0.25%

These fees are prorated and charged quarterly in advance, based upon the market value of the assets being managed by Abacus on the last day of the previous quarter. If investment advisory clients with account sizes more than $10,000 request financial planning services, the charges for those services are included in the investment management fee. 

Here's how much you'll pay at Abacus 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 Abacus Wealth Partners*
Your Assets Abacus Wealth Partners Annual Fee Amount
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $45,000
$10MM $70,000

What to Watch Out For

Abacus had no legal or disciplinary events to disclose on its more recent Form ADV filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). 

One thing to note: Abacus is entitled to management and performance fees from partnerships it sponsors, namely the Abacus Sustainable Fund and Align Impact Fund 2013. However, it has chosen to waive or credit those fees for investors who are clients of Abacus’s investment advisory and financial planning business.

Opening an Account With Abacus Wealth Partners

To contact the firm, send a message on its website at abacuswealth.com/contact/ or call (888) 422-2287.

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

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • Speak to at least three financial advisors before choosing one. That way, you'll have a sense of the range of advisor costs, services and investment strategies. For more advisor possbilities, use SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool. It links you with up to three advisors in your area. The process takes about five minutes and is free.
  • Before deciding on an advisor, ask if he or she is a certified financial planner (CFP) or has any other professional designations. Then look up online what those certifications required. CFPs, for instance, would have undergone extensive training and testing. They also work as fiduciaries, a higher standard that requires them to always provide financial planning advice in clients' best interests. 

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