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Arete 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.

Arete Wealth Advisors is a financial advisor firm headquartered in Chicago. It has additional offices throughout the country, including locations in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. 

Arete firm advises mostly high-net-worth clients, though it does have individual clients who fall below the high-net-worth threshold. It also has a roster of institutional clients, including pension/profit-sharing plans and corporations. 

Arete Wealth Management Background

Arete Wealth Advisors was founded in 2007, and it has been registered with the SEC since 2009. It is wholly owned by its parent holding company, Arete Wealth, Inc. The holding company owns another wholly owned subsidiary, Arete Wealth Management, LLC, which is a broker-dealer. Some of the advisors at Arete Wealth Management may also be registered representatives with Arete Wealth Management.

Arete Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Arete Wealth Advisors is capable of serving the following types of clients:

Arete Wealth Advisors generally requires its clients to have an initial account balance of at least $50,000. However, the firm may waive this minimum depending on the clients' needs and complexity of services needed. 

Services Offered by Arete Wealth Management

Arete offers a range of services, including:

  • Discretionary investment management
  • Asset allocation review and recommendations 
  • Cash management 
  • Insurance planning / risk management
  • Retirement planning 
  • Education planning
  • Estate planning
  • Family office services
  • Wealth transfer between generations and to charitable organizations
  • Private asset management

In addition, the firm offers investment banking and consulting services to companies and institutional clients.

The company cana also help clients acquire, curate and protect a collection of fine art and wine, treating it as an investment. 

Arete Wealth Management Investment Philosophy 

Arete Wealth Advisors works with clients to develop a plan to set themselves up for the future, with a focus on accumulating wealth for retirement and creating a strategy for how to use that income post-retirement.

The firm uses a variety of analytical tools to pick the best investments for their clients, including mutual fund analysis, charting, fundamental analysis, technical analysis and quantitative analysis. The firm recognizes that market volatility has been high for the past 15 years. It looks to avoid short-term losses as best it can while also staying focused on the long-view of investing.

Fees Under Arete Wealth Management

Arete Wealth Advisors charges an advisory fee based on a percentage of assets under management (AUM). This takes the form of a wrap fee, which covers investment advice, execution and clearing of transactions, custody of assets and record-keeping services. Around 90% of the fee goes to the person directly managing your account, the portfolio manager.

The annual fee can be up to 3.00% of assets under management. However, the firm’s fee rate generally decreases the greater the level of assets under management, as show in the fee table below.

Investment Management Fees
Assets Under Management Maximum Annual Fee
$0*- $249,000 3.00%
$250,000 - $749,999 2.50%
$750,000 - $1,499,999 2.00%
$1,500,000 - $4,999,999 1.75%
$5,000,000+ 1.50%
*Arete generally requires a minimum initial account balance of $50,000.

Here's what your investment management fees may look like based on the size of your account:

Estimated Investment Management Fees at Arete Wealth Advisors*
Your Assets Arete Wealth Advisors Fee Amounts
$500K $13,750
$1MM $25,000
$5MM $96,250
$10MM $171,250

Other fees clients may pay include mutual fund charges, structured product charges, transaction charges and wire transfer fees. Some qualified clients may be recommended to use a performance-based fee structure through Arete’s third-party asset manager, Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel. These clients will not be charge an ongoing management fee.

For financial planning services, the firm charges clients either an hourly fee or a fixed rate fee. Rates will be negotiated between each client and his or her advisor and will be noted in the client's advisory contracted.

What to Watch Out For

Arete Wealth Management has two disclosures of regulatory actions listed on the Form ADV filed most recently with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions. Both actions involve an advisory affiliate, and they are regulatory and civil judicial in nature, respectively. 

Potential and current clients should be aware that Arete Wealth Advisors is connected to a registered broker-dealer, Arete Wealth Management. Many of the firm’s advisors are also registered representatives of the broker-dealer, and they may receive additional compensation for these services.

Additionally, advisors may also sell insurance through an insurance agency affiliated with the firm, Arete Insurance Agency, LLC. Advisors may also receive additional compensation for the sale of insurance products. The firm is bound by fiduciary duty, binding it to act in clients' best interests.

Opening an Account With Arete Wealth Management

To become a client of Arete, you can fill out a contact form on the firm's website or call the Arete headquarters at (312) 940-3684.

Financial Planning Tips

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  • Fees can be easy to forget about when you’re using a workplace retirement plan. Make sure you understand how 401(k) fees work before you start saving. 
  • You’ll be getting money from the government when you retire, too. Use our Social Security calculator to get an estimate of just how big you can expect your check to be.

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