Adviser Investments, LLC is a fee-only financial advisor firm that’s headquartered in Newton, Massachusetts. Its services include financial planning, investment management, portfolio model programs, 401(k) plan advisory services, consulting and institutional advisory services. The firm oversees a total of $5.31 billion in assets under management (AUM) and employs 36 financial advisors.
Adviser Investments Background
Adviser Investments, LLC was co-founded in 1994 by chairman Daniel Wiener, president and CEO Dan Silver and director David Thorne. Each spent around 30 years in the financial industry.
Wiener is the firm’s majority owner, and he owns 55% of the company’s shares individually and through a family trust.
The staff at Adviser Investments includes nine certified financial planners (CFP), three chartered financial analysts (CFA), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), one certified senior advisor (CSA), one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC), one chartered life underwriter (CLU) and one accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA).
Adviser Investments’ Purchase of Braver Wealth Management
In February 2017, Adviser Investments bought out one of its crosstown rivals, Braver Wealth Management, LLC. Adviser Investments assumed control of all assets previously under Braver’s management, which is part of the reason the firm has become so large.
Adviser Investments continues to offer all services that were previously provided by both Braver Wealth Management and Braver Capital Management. Braver’s capital management department, Braver Capital Management, is now an unincorporated division of Adviser Investments. The firm offers investment advisory services to institutional clients through this division.
What Types of Clients Does Adviser Investments Accept?
Adviser Investments has nearly 4,000 client accounts. Its client base includes individuals, high-net-worth individuals, privately held businesses, pension plans, profit-sharing plans, estates, trusts and charitable organizations.
Adviser Investments Minimum Account Size
Adviser Investments has different account minimum requirements for each of its investment programs and services. The minimum investment required to participate in each program is as follows:
- Managed Funds Program: $350,000
- Managed Equities Program: $350,000
- Managed Fixed Income Program: $500,000
- Managed Annuity Program: $100,000
- Managed 401(k) Program: no minimum
- Non-Discretionary 401(k) Plan Advisory Services: no minimum
- Adviser Investments Alliance Program: $100,000
Services Offered by Adviser Investments
Adviser Investments approaches financial planning, consulting and advisement in a holistic manner, and its services reflect that. Its services include:
- Financial planning
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Tax planning
- Insurance planning
- Major financial decision assistance
- Cash flow forecasting
- General consulting
- Institutional advisory services
- Discretionary and non-discretionary investment management
- Fundamental investment analysis
- Tactical asset allocation creation
- Computer-based investment models
- Portfolio monitoring and rebalances
The managed investment programs and portfolios listed in the section above are incorporated into these services depending on which program aligns with your needs and goals. Each program has a varying risk level and uses a different asset allocation and investment types.
- Managed Funds Program: This uses an active asset allocation that combines exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds throughout the stock, bond and alternative investment markets. The firm runs algorithms through its computer models to build strategies with these investments for both short- and long-term risk tolerance.
- Managed Equities Program: A “moderately aggressive” portfolio, this program includes mostly dividend-generating stocks for the purpose of both long-term growth and income generation.
- Managed Fixed Income Program: This portfolio includes almost exclusively investment grade corporate and municipal bonds for discretionary investment management.
- Managed Annuity Program: This service is reserved for those who own variable annuities. The firm will managed the contracts using the using the same strategy as the Managed Funds Program, described above.
- Managed 401(k) Program: The firm will work the 401(k) plan sponsor to build an investment portfolio of mostly mutual funds.
- Non-Discretionary 401(k) Plan Advisory Services: This 401(k) investment management program for plan participants includes the development of a mutual fund-centric portfolio and investment advice for clients.
- Adviser Investments Alliance Program: This sub-advisory program allows investment professionals to utilize the portfolio construction, trade execution and client management services of the firm, while still remaining the client’s face-to-face advisor.
Adviser Investments Investment Philosophy
Diversification is at the core of Adviser Investments’ long-term investment strategy. The firm builds clients’ asset allocations based on their risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity needs. Your advisor will then match your short- and long-term needs to one of the firm’s seven general portfolio models, which will shape your investment plan. However, Adviser Investments notes that in certain instances it may customize its existing strategies based on clients’ circumstances.
The firm invests in many different areas of the market. Investments used in client portfolios include mutual funds, ETFs, equities, fixed income, individual corporate bonds, municipal bonds and variable annuity contracts.
Fees Under Adviser Investments
Adviser Investments has different fee schedules for its various advisory programs. Regardless of which advisory program you use, your account will be charged at the conclusion of each calendar quarter based on the average daily market value of your account for the previous quarter. Although these are the rates that Adviser Investments publicly provides, it says that it may alter rates on a case-by-case basis.
|Managed Funds, Managed Equities, Managed Annuity and Alliance Program Fees|
|Portfolio Vale||Annual Fee|
|$350,000 - $750,000||1.50%|
|$750,001 - $1,000,000||1.25%|
|$1,000,001 - $3,000,000||1.00%|
|$3,000,001 - $5,000,000||0.90%|
|$5,000,001 - $10,000,000||0.80%|
|$10,000,001 - $15,000,000||0.75%|
|Managed Fixed Income Program Fees|
|Portfolio Vale||Annual Fee|
|$500,000 - $2,500,000||0.60%|
|$2,500,001 - $5,000,000||0.50%|
|$5,000,001 - $10,000,000||0.40%|
|Various Program Fees|
|Program or Service||Annual Fee Range|
|Managed 401(k) Program||0.50% - 1.00%|
|Non-Discretionary Advisory Services to Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans||negotiable|
|Direct Institutional Advisory and Sub-Advisory||0.25% - 1.00%|
|General Financial Planning and Consulting||negotiable|
Check out the table below to see how Adviser Investments’ fees compare. Note that these fees are only estimates and actual costs may vary.
|*Fee estimates only consider the maximum base fees for the services each firm provides. You may also pay manager fees and other fees, which can vary in amount. **All figures are based on median fee levels according to Bob Veres' 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey. The above estimates solely take into account AUM-only fees. Total costs will likely be higher due to additional expenses.|
|Estimated Fee Comparison*|
|Your Assets||Adviser Investments Managed Funds, Managed Equities, Managed Annuity and Alliance Program Fees||National Median Advisory Fees**|
|$1MM||$12,500||$8,500 - $10,000|
|$5MM||$45,000||$25,000 - $32,500|
What to Watch Out For
Although variable, service-based fee schedules like Adviser Investments’ are common throughout the advisory industry, they do create a possible conflict of interest. The firm states in its Form ADV (SEC-filed paperwork) that its fee structure could entice advisors to enroll clients in more expensive programs, as these employees are paid based on services rendered. As a fiduciary, though, Adviser Investments is required to always act in clients’ best interests.
Current and prospective clients should also note that the firm does have a disclosure. You can find more information on it below.
Adviser Investments has one disclosure in its past that’s related to a violation of investment-related regulations. However, it appears that the violator wasn’t the firm itself, but rather one of its advisory affiliates. The firm did not appear to pay any fines or face any other punishments for the violation.
Opening an Account With Adviser Investments
If you live near Newton, Massachusetts, you can stop by Adviser Investments’ office and speak with an advisor about what services the firm can offer you. Another option is to call the firm at (617) 559-3413 and set up an appointment.
Where Is Adviser Investments Located?
Adviser Investments has just one location. Its office is in Newton, Massachusetts, at 85 Wells Avenue, Suite 109.
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