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Austin Asset Review

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Austin Asset

Conducting business since 1986, Austin Asset is one of the first financial advisor firms in Austin to offer fee-only services. The company offers wealth planning and wealth management. It takes the No. 6 spot in SmartAsset's list of top financial advisors in Austin, Texas.

Austin Asset Background

The company is owned by William Eric Hehman, the CEO. Hehman was one of the top young certified financial planners (CFPs) in the country at one point and his passion for financial planning has been constant since graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in business economics.

Gregory Van Wyk, CFP, is the the executive vice president and the head of wealth planning and client relationships. He’s also a graduate of UT. Jonathan Davison, the chief investment officer and chief compliance officer, is also a CFP. Davison is a Baylor University alum and chairs the investment policy committee at Austin Asset.

Austin Asset Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Austin Asset works with individuals, families, pension and proft-sharing plans, charitable organizations, corporations and other businesses. It does not have a set account minimum, but it does have a minimum annual fee of $5,000.

Services Offered by Austin Asset

Austin Asset places clients in wealth management programs that offer both financial planning advice and portfolio management services. Its advisors can offer guidance on such topics as: 

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management for individiuals and/or small businesses
  • Portfolio management for businesses or institutional clients

The 13 advisory employees at Austin Asset often work as a team, such as during the wealth planning process as well as when its committee reviews investment choices monthly. Of its advisors, 11 are CFPs. 

While the company is not an accounting firm (meaning it’s not licensed to provide bookkeeping services or prepare financial statements), there are three certified public accountants (CPAs) on staff. Usually those with CPA training are useful for help with tax planning and other accounting needs.

Austin Asset will recommend and advise on the following types of securities your portfolio potentially might include: 

  • Municipal securities
  • Variable life insurance
  • Variable annuities
  • Exchange-listed securities
  • Securities traded over-the-counter
  • Foreign issuers
  • Corporate debt securities
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Mutual fund shares
  • U.S. governmental securities
  • Options contracts on securities 

Each of these investments involve different degrees of risk. Your wealth manager will keep that in mind when recommending investments to you: the recommendations will be based on your objectives, tolerance for risk, suitability and liquidity. 

Austin Asset Investment Philosophy

The overarching philosophy behind Austin Asset’s investing is that there is no place for speculation and that diversification spreads risk. That means the company tries to capitalize on already existing efficiencies in the market rather than try to profit from perceived inefficiencies. Additionally, Austin Asset believes in taking more risk in equities rather than fixed income. The company also looks to invest in funds with low transaction costs and minimal portfolio turnover. This means equity allocation is diversified globally and spread across companies, industries and asset classes. Fixed income is invested in short-term debt instruments of high quality.  

Your portfolio’s asset allocation is constructed based on your risk and return goals developed during your initial discussions with an advisor. Your assets will be managed using a number of analysis methods, including: 

  • Asset allocation
  • Mutual fund and ETF analysis
  • Risks for all forms of analysis 

Ultimately, your portfolio will be allocated and rebalanced to have the highest probability of meeting your financial goals outlined in your investment policy statement. Your portfolio is rebalanced when you reach a minimum or maximum tolerance level (as outlined in your statement), but not as a reactive to short-term volatility.  

Austin Asset Fees 

Austin Asset’s fees are based on your portfolio’s value. As a fee-only company, this is the sole way that the company collects compensation. The fee percentage decreases as your portfolio value increases, but the percentages are calculated cumulatively. Fees are calculated on a cumulative basis and are payable in quarterly installments in advance. AUM is determined on a quarterly basis.

There is a minimum annual fee of $5,000. In addition, clients pay fees based on their assets under management. 

Wealth Management Fees
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
Under $7,500,000 $5,000 + 0.65%
$7,500,001 - $15,000,000 $5,000 + 0.40%
$15,000,001 - $25,000,000 $5,000 + 0.30%
Over $25,000,000 $5,000 + 0.25%

For context, the industry average fee for investment management is 0.95%, according to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box. Here is the estimated dollar amount you'd 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.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Nicolet Bank Wealth Management*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount
$1MM $11,500
$5MM $37,500
$10MM $45,000
$15MM $65,000
$25MM $80,000
$50MM $130,000

Brokerage fees have to be paid separately. This includes transaction charges, brokerage commissions and asset-based fees. For example, if your account purchases a mutual fund from Fidelity, you will have to pay the cost of transaction to Fidelity through your account. This is the general arrangement for most financial advisor firms.

Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.

Austin Asset Awards and Recognitions

Austin Asset was recognized by Financial Advisor Magazine as one of its top 250 financial advisors in the country in 2017.

What to Watch Out For

The firm had no disclosures of legal or disciplinary action in its most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.  

Opening an Account With Austin Asset 

To make an appointment to discuss your financial needs, you can call (512) 453-6622, email info@austinasset.com or fill out a contact form on the company’s website. 

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

Tips for Financial Planning

  • 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 financial goals, consider consulting a financial advisor. To find the right one for you, use SmartAsset’s free matching tool. It will connect you with up to three financial advisors in your area. If you’ve got five minutes, get started now.
  • Estimating how much your investments will grow over time can be complicated. SmartAsset’s investment calculator can help. Input how much you’re starting with, how fast you want it to grow and how long you want to invest — and the calculator will do the math for you.

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 the cost of living in retirement for that location.

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

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

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%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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