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Altfest Personal Wealth Management 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.

Altfest Personal Wealth Management is a New York City-based wealth management firm that mostly advises individual investors, but also works with some institutional clients. The fee-only firm offers investment management and integrated financial planning services, and manages one pooled investment vehicle. 

Altfest Personal Wealth Management Background

Altfest Personal Wealth Management has been in business since 1983. The firm is primarily owned by Lewis Jay Altfest, who also serves as the firm’s president. Altfest founded the business because he wanted to create a firm that would offer a “comprehensive and genuinely objective” outlook on personal wealth management. Altfest has been inducted into the Research magazine Advisor Hall of Fame in 2014.

Altfest Personal Wealth Management has a number of accredited professionals on staff, including 16 certified finanial planners (CFPs), seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three certified public accountants (CPAs), one personal financial specialist (PFS) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF). 

Altfest Personal Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Altfest Personal Wealth Management offers wealth management services to both individuals and high-net-worth individuals. It requires a minimum portfolio size of $1 million, so it isn’t necessarily a good option for investors who are just getting started but it could work for individuals and families who have acquired a decent amount of wealth. 

The firm isn’t tied to any big financial institutions. However, it is located in New York City so investors who want a firm that is independent but still located in a financial capital might find what they are looking for.

Aside from individuals, Alfest can also serve pension plans, profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations, private funds and other business entities.

Services Offered by Altfest Personal Wealth Management

Altfest Personal Wealth Management offers a range of financial planning services, including:

  • Retirement planning
  • Cash flow management
  • Debt management
  • Work benefits
  • Estate planning
  • College savings
  • Investment analysis
  • Customized portfolios
  • Active management
  • Asset allocation and diversification
  • Proprietary Total Portfolio Management (TPM) system

Altfest Personal Wealth Management Investment Philosophy 

Altfest Personal Wealth Management strives to put the investor at the center of all of its investment decisions. It tailors clients’ plans to their individual needs and financial goals. Founder Lewis Altfest still heads the investment committee, which is responsible for deciding and setting the company’s investment objectives and policies.

The firm uses an active management strategy to find value, manage risk and maximize portfolio performance. The firm works to diversify each client’s portfolio, and it looks at risk both holistically and on an asset-by-asset basis. Common investments used by Altfest include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), private funds, stock and bonds.

Fees Under Altfest Personal Wealth Management 

Altfest Personal Wealth Management charges clients for its investment management services based on a percentage of assets under management (AUM). Clients pay fees quarterly. For accounts worth less than $2 million, the firm adds on an additional advisory fee of 0.001%. Otherwise, the firm charges new clients according to the annual fee rates listed below:

Investment Management Fees
Assets Under Management Maximum Annual Fee
First $3MM 1.00%
$3,000,001 - $6MM 0.75%
More than $6MM 0.50%

Here's a look at how much you might pay in advisory fees based on the size of your account:

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount. **Includes additional advisory fee of 0.001% that applies to accounts below $2 million.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Altfest Personal Wealth Management*
Your Assets Altfest Personal Wealth Management Fee Amounts
$500K $5,500**
$1MM $11,000**
$5MM $45,000 
$10MM $72,500

For select investment review clients, the firm generally charges clients on an hourly basis. Rates are typically set at $500 per hour but may be as high as $800 per hour. AFor clients who are young professionals, fees are billed based on the fee schedule above with a with a minimum quarterly fee of $625 for the first year and then $375 per quarter in subsequent years. 

For additional financial planning services, these clients will pay an additional fee of $250 an hour.

What to Watch Out For

Altfest Personal Wealth Management has no disclosures from the last decade on its record. 

Altfest Personal Wealth Management is a fairly small company. If you’re looking for a big company with a substantial research staff and access to major financial institutions, Altfest may not be the best choice. The firm is located in New York City, so if you don’t live in the Big Apple know that you won’t have easy in-person access to the firm’s advisors. 

Potential clients should also note that if you are planning on investing less than $2 million, you’ll pay slightly higher fees. The firm charges clients with less than $2 million in assets an additional .001% fee.

Opening an Account With Altfest Personal Wealth Management 

To get a complimentary consultation from Altfest, visit the firm's website or call the firm directly at (212) 406.0850.

Financial Planning Tips

  • Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • There are a number of financial products that you can use to plan for your financial future. A deferred annuity is becoming an increasingly popular option as life expectancies continue to go up. 

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