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Annex Wealth Management Review

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by Ben Geier Updated
Annex Wealth Management

Annex Wealth Management is an investment advisory firm based in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. The firm also has four other branch offices throughout The Badger State. It has $1.83 billion in assets under management and 40 financial advisors on staff.

The firm mainly works with individuals, though it also serves a significant number of high-net-worth individuals. Annex also counts pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities and other corporations as clients. In addition to its traditional investment advisory and financial planning services, Annex also has an online advisory service called Savvy, which matches clients with a low-cost model portfolio.

Annex Wealth Management Background

Annex Wealth Management was founded in 2001. It is the sole member to three other companies: Annex Insurance Services LLC, a licensed corporate insurance agent; Annex Advisory Services, the investment advisory arm of the company registered with the SEC; and Annex Investment Services, which is currently dormant. The companies are collectively referred to as Annex Wealth Management.

Each of the subsidiary companies is wholly owned by Annex Wealth Management. Annex Wealth Management is wholly owned by David J. Spano, the firm’s president and CEO. 

What Types of Clients Does Annex Wealth Management Accept?

Annex Wealth Management primarily serves individual investors, including high-net-worth individuals. It also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities.

The firm is likely a good choice for anyone looking for independent advice without connections to a major bank or insurance company. If you are located in Wisconsin, particularly near one of the firm’s five offices (in Elm Grove, Mequon, Delafield, Appleton and Milwaukee), the firm may especially work for you as you’ll be able to meet with your advisor in person. 

Annex Wealth Management Minimum Account Sizes

Annex Wealth Management does not list a required minimum account size for its traditional managed accounts. It does require a minimum investment of $10,000 for its Savvy online investing platform.

Services Offered by Annex Wealth Management

Annex Wealth Management offers investment management, asset selection, asset allocation and rebalancing to its clients. Investment advice is offered either through individual consultations or continuously on a discretionary basis. 

Additionally, the firm firm offers the following wealth management and financial planning services:

  • Overall financial planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Legacy and estate planning
  • ERISA fiduciary consulting
  • Education planning
  • Tax reduction planning

Annex Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

Annex Wealth Management uses actively managed mutual funds, ETFs and individual stocks to build a customer’s portfolio. It looks for active managers that outperform similar funds when adjusted for risk. The firm tends to select mutual funds for sectors of the market that are less efficient. ETFs, meanwhile, are preferred for the more efficient areas of the market. Annex also uses variable annuities, fixed-income strategies and cash.

The firm employs a core and tactical investment philosophy, which focuses on creating globally diversified portfolios. Annex explains in its Form ADV that it strives to “combine the benefits of a long-term core portfolio with the potential for reduced risk and/or enhanced returns through tactical investment selections.”

Fees Under Annex Wealth Management

Unlike some companies that have a set fee structure, Annex makes a point of having its wealth management fees subject to negotiation. The firm bases its fees on the “scope and complexity” of the services offered to each client. 

The firm notes that clients’ fees will never exceed a maximum rate of 1.50% of assets under management per year, and fees generally average around 1.00% per year. Fees are charged on a quarterly basis and are based on the total amount in a client’s account on the last day of the quarter.

For consulting services, Annex may charge an asset-based, hourly or flat fee. Flat fees start at $1,000 and depend on the scope and duration of services. The firm will give clients a written estimates before it provides the services.

What to Watch Out For

Annex notes that its financial planning clients usually end up also using the firm’s investment management services. The firm says that this has the potential to create a conflict of interest, as the company earns a larger fee the more assets a client has under management. Thus, the financial planner may want the client to invest more.

Also of note is that most of Annex’s advisors are also registered with a broker-dealer and many are insurance agents. However, the company does not receive commissions for transactions executed inside an advisory account.

Aside from potential conflicts of interest and outside affiliations, potential clients should also note the firm’s client-to-advisor ratio. Annex Wealth Management has a big roster of clients, boasting more than 5,000 combined individual and high-net-worth individual accounts, and it has more than $1.8 billion in total assets under management. It only has 40 advisors on staff, though. This means that you will be less likely than at some other advisory shops to get individualized service. If you want a truly boutique experience where your advisor is only advising a small number of clients, this may not be a good fit for your needs.

Disclosures

Annex Wealth Management has no disclosures on its record from the past 10 years.

Opening an Account with Annex Wealth Management

If you are interested in opening an account with Annex, the best way to get in touch is to call its headquarters at (262) 786-6363. From there, the firm will be able to connect you with an advisor who can talk you through your options.

Where Is Annex Wealth Management Located?

The firm is headquartered in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. There are four other office locations throughout the state, in Mequon, Delafield, Appleton and Milwaukee.

Financial Planning Tips

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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