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Acorn Financial Services Review

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Acorn Financial Advisory Services, Inc.

Acorn Financial Advisory Services is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, and has four other offices in Virginia, two in Maryland - plus branches in North Carolina and Florida. The firm has also expanded north with an office in Massachusetts. Its financial advisors currently manage more than $810 million in assets. 

Acorn Financial Advisory Services Background

Acorn Financial Advisory Services was founded in 1996. James M. Gambaccini, a certified financial planner (CFP), is the sole shareholder. He oversees a team that features nine CFPs.

Acorn Financial Advisory Services Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

The firm serves individuals, families, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and business entities. Acorn Financial Advisory Services generally requires a minimum investment of $1 million for asset management services. 

Services Offered by Acorn Financial Advisory Services

Acorn Financial Advisory Services can tailor a financial plan to your needs and preferences. Plans may cover: 

  • Budgeting
  • Cash flow analysis and debt management
  • Charitable planning
  • College planning
  • Estate planning
  • Insurance planning and analysis 
  • Investment planning and analysis
  • Tax planning 

In addition, the firm’s advisors can offer different portfolio programs to help clients meet their long-term financial goals. 

Acorn Financial Advisory Services Investment Philosophy

Acorn Financial Advisory Services generally relies on portfolio diversification to help its clients meet their goals. Its portfolios are designed for varying risk tolerances and utilize various types of securities, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The firm’s advisors work with clients to help them decide which one is best for their goals, time horizon and profile. 

Fees Under Acorn Financial Advisory Services

Acorn charges financial planning fees on a fixed fee or hourly basis. The minimum flat fee is $1,200 and the maximum is $5 million. The hourly fees for consultations with advisors is $475 and the hourly rate for staff time is $115. The firm requires a minimum of two hours of financial planning advice. 

Fees for non-discretionary portfolio management are based on a percentage of assets under management (AUM). They generally follow this tiered fee schedule:

AUM Annual Fee Rate
First $1,000,000 1.70%
Next $4,000,000 1.00%
Next $5,000,000 0.80%
Next $10,000,000 0.70%
Next $30,000,000 0.60%
Assets in excess of $50,000,000 0.50%

These fees do not include third-party expenses such as custodian costs and brokerage fees.

What to Watch Out For

Some advisors may also be registered representatives of a broker-dealer or licensed insurance agents. These other roles may present potential conflicts of interest. It may also not be clear to clients if a recommendation is in their best interests or only suitable, since the different roles are held to different standards. When receiving a recommendation, be sure you know what it's based on, and whether and how the advisor and firm may benefit.


Neither the firm nor its employees have undergone any disciplinary events material to a client or potential client’s evaluation of the firm’s business.

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • Don't have $1 million to invest? Use our free matching tool to find advisors who have lower assets requirements. After you answer several questions, we'll connect you with up to three advisors based on your preferences and needs.
  • When interviewing candidates, ask about their credentials. Believe it or not, but you don't actually have to have any to call yourself a finacial advisor. So those who do have certifications have that much more training - and likely specialization. 

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

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.

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