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Aspiriant Review

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Aspiriant, LLC

Aspiriant, LLC is a fee-only financial advisor firm that’s headquartered in Los Angeles. The firm has additional locations in California —and in Massachusetts, New York, Minnesota, Ohio, Texas and Wisconsin. Aspiriant has also placed on two of SmartAsset’s top financial advisor lists: the top firms in Los Angeles and the top firms in California.

The only form of compensation Aspiriant receives is client-paid fees, which is what makes it a fee-only firm. A fee-based firm, on the other hand, receives third-party compensation in addition to client fees.

Aspiriant Background

Aspiriant was formed in 2008. As it exists today, the firm is actually a combination of several financial advisor businesses that Aspiriant has purchased since its founding. Although Aspiriant is principally owned by holding companies, a number of firm employees have stakes in its ownership.

Aspiriant advisors hold a number of ceritifications, including certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified public accountant (CPA), certified investment management analyst (CIMA), chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA), certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), certified private wealth advisor (CPWA) and accredited estate planner (AEP).

Aspiriant Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

By far the most common clients at Aspiriant are high-net-worth individuals, namely business owners, corporate executives and other affluent investors. The firm also has a demonstrated history of working with non-high-net-worth individuals, family partnerships, limited partnerships, businesses, pension plans, profit-sharing plans, pooled investment vehicles, investment companies, foundations and charitable organizations.

Although Aspiriant does not require a specific account minimum, it says that it usually works with clients who have at least $1.5 million in investable assets. There is a minimum fee of $14,000.

Services Offered by Aspiriant

Aspiriant primarily offers wealth management and financial planning services. Investment management is woven into most of the firm’s services as well. Here is the complete list of the firm’s offerings:

  • Wealth planning
    • Long-term focus
    • Trust planning
    • Estate planning
    • Private foundation planning
    • Investment personalization
    • Stock option consulting
    • Divorce financial consulting with firm’s CDFAs
  • Financial planning
    • Family office
    • Retirement planning
    • Risk management and life/health insurance planning
    • Tax planning
    • Cash and debt management
    • Compensation planning
    • Philanthropic gift planning
    • Bill pay
    • Investment reporting
    • Education funding
  • Investment management
    • In-house investment research
    • Customized investment strategies and portfolios
    • Investment policy statement creation
    • Asset allocation selection
    • Discretionary and non-discretionary services
    • Evaluation of current investments
    • Regular rebalances
    • Sub-advisor selection
    • Tax considerations
    • Investment education

Aspiriant Investment Philosophy

Aspiriant relies on a customizable process to build clients’ investment portfolios. The firm bases asset allocations on its proprietary capital market expectations (CMEs), or multi-year market projections. Although the firm prefers a long-term investment approach, it will consider short-term investment opportunities.

To find a balance between short-term and long-term strategies, your advisor will generate CMEs for each of these strategies. Aspiriant’s lower-risk investment choices tend to center around bonds and other fixed-income securities, as well as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. Its higher-risk investments are usually anchored in stocks, private equities, natural resources and commodities, among other investment types.

Fees Under Aspiriant

Aspiriant determines its fee rates on a client-by-client basis. However, its rates typically fall within the ranges listed in the table below. For investment management, the firm charges clients an annual rate based on a percentage of assets under management. Aspiriant charges clients quarterly in arrears, meaning at the conclusion of each quarter. Clients’ rates are based on the average daily value of their portfolio during the last quarter.

Wealth and financial planning rates are also determined at the discretion of Aspiriant, though the fee schedule for these services is a bit less straightforward. The firm may charge as many as three separate fees, including retainer fees, administrative fees and ongoing consulting fees. Rates are determined based on the complexity of the services needed for a client’s financial situation. Clients are expected to make payments upon receiving the firm’s invoice.

Fees at Aspiriant
Service Type Fee Rates
Investment management
  • 0.20% - 1.00% annual fee
  • $14,000 minimum
Wealth/financial planning
  • Retainer fees: $5,000 - $50,000
  • Consulting fees: $100 - $695/hour

What to Watch Out For

Aspiriant has a clean legal and regulatory record according to its latest SEC-filed Form ADV.

Opening an Account With Aspiriant

To find out more about Aspiriant, prospective clients should call the firm. If you’d prefer that an advisor reach out to you, fill out an email form on Aspiriant’s website. Simply enter your full first and last name, phone number, email address and a clear description of the purpose of your inquiry.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Tips for a Smarter Retirement Plan

  • It's been said that a goal without a plan is only a dream. For help making a concrete plan so you can achieve your retirement goal, consider hiring a financial advisor. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Social Security should be an important factor in anyone’s retirement plans, but it can be difficult to estimate what your checks will look like. To get an idea of what you can expect, use SmartAsset's Social Security calculator

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.

Least
Most
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