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Altfest Personal Wealth Management Review

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by Ben Geier Updated
Altfest Personal Wealth Management

Altfest Personal Wealth Management is a New York City-based wealth management firm. The firm has 14 financial advisors on staff, and it manages more than $1.3 billion in assets.

The firm offers investment management and integrated financial planning to its clients. It mostly advises individuals and high-net-worth individuals, in addition to a small number of institutional clients. Its institutional clients include one pooled investment vehicle and a few charitable organizations.

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.

What Types of Clients Does Altfest Personal Wealth Management Accept?

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.

Altfest Personal Wealth Management Minimum Account Sizes

Altfest requires a minimum account size of $1 million.

Services Offered by Altfest Personal Wealth Management

A range of financial planning services are offered by Altfest. They include:

  • Retirement planning
  • Cash flow management
  • Debt management
  • Work benefits
  • Estate planning
  • College savings
  • Investment analysis
  • Customized portfolios
  • Active management
  • Asset allocation and diversification

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 Lew 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 wholistically and on an asset-by-asset basis. Common investments used by Altfest include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, 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. 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 $3,000,000 1.00%
$3,000,001 - $6,000,000 0.75%
More than $6,000,000 0.50%

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. Altfest charges different fee rates for clients who are young professionals. For the first year, this client group is charged 0.275% of assets on a quarterly basis, with a minimum quarterly fee of $625. After that, these clients are charged 1.00% of assets under management, with a minimum fee of $375 per quarter. For additional financial planning services, these clients will pay an additional fee of $250 an hour.

The chart below shows how Altfest Personal Wealth Management’s fees for its investment management services compare. Note that these fee estimates are based on the maximum fee rates charged for wealth management services.

Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets Altfest Personal Wealth Management National Median Advisory Fees***
$500K n/a (below required minimum) $5,000
$1MM $11,000** $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $37,500 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $50,000 $50,000
*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. **Includes additional advisory fee of 0.001% that applies to accounts below $2 million. ***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.

What to Watch Out For

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.

Disclosures

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

Opening an Account With Altfest Personal Wealth Management 

To get a complimentary consultation from Altfest, fill out this form on the company’s website. Or, you can call Reza Rezvi, the firm’s marketing project manager, at (212) 406-0850.

The form on the firm’s website requests information about your identity and location, as well as your contact information. There is also a box where you can tell the firm “a little bit about your story,” allowing your potential advisor to learn more about what you’re looking for in an advisor relationship before you even meet for the first time. 

Where Is Altfest Wealth Management Located?

The firm is located in New York City. The office is situated in Midtown East, at the intersection of East 57th Street and Park Avenue.

Financial Planning Tips

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  • 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 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 cost of living in retirement there.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities. Using that calculation, we determined how many years $1 million would last in retirement in each major city.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors throughout the country. 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.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%, reflecting the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Finally, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would last in each of the cities in our study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research