B. Riley Wealth Management, Inc. is a Memphis, Tennessee-based financial advisor firm with nearly $2.2 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm employs a large team of 208 financial advisors that work in a variety of locations around the U.S. The firm provides financial planning, consulting and asset management services to its client base, which is comprised primarily of individuals.
B. Riley is a fee-based firm. That means certain members of its advisory staff can sell insurance and securities products on a commission basis. They receives such commissions in addition to the advisory fees paid to them by clients. That's different from a fee-only firm, which only receives advisory fees and does not earn third-party forms of compensation.
B. Riley Wealth Management Background
B. Riley Wealth Management was founded in 1996 as Wunderlich Securities, Inc. At that time, the firm was only an investment company, as it wasn't until 2001 that it began offering investment advisory services. The firm is led by CEO Philip Zanone, who has been in the position since 2018, and president Chuck Hastings. B. Riley is owned by Wunderlich Investment Firm, Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of B. Riley Financial, Inc.
The firm has offices in 18 different states. Among the financial advisors employed by the firm, there are several financial certifications, including certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and more.
B. Riley Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
B. Riley Wealth Management provides financial services to a wide range of clients. Most of them are non-high-net-worth individuals, but the firm also works with high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans, charitable organizations and corporations. It also offers services to wrap fee programs, trusts and estates.
This firm's minimum account sizes vary by program:
- Wunderlich Securities, Inc., Wrap Fee Program (WSI): $250,000
- Wunderlich Asset Management Program (WAM): $50,000
- Alpha Research Portfolio Program (ARP): $100,000
- Wunderlich Investment Solutions Discretionary Management (WISDM)
- Mutual fund portfolios: $15,000
- Exchange-traded fund (ETF) portfolios: $25,000
Services Offered by B. Riley Wealth Management
B. Riley Wealth Management provides a wide variety of financial planning, consulting and investment management services to its clients. While financial planning services are typically designed to help clients with their overall financial goals, such services typically relate to one of more of the following:
- Estate planning
- Income tax and spending analysis
- Cash needs at death
- Income needs of surviving dependents
- Retirement strategies
- Analysis of investment alternatives
Financial consulting services are more directed at single issues that clients are interested in receiving help with. This service does not involve a written report and is much narrower in scope than the general financial planning offering. Asset and investment management services provided by the firm are tailored to the individual objectives of each client.
The firm works with clients to construct portfolios and may use a wide range of different investments. The firm has both non-wrap and wrap fee programs available. The firm also has a number of model portfolios and portfolio programs that it may employ to help you develop an optimal portfolio:
- WSI Wrap Plan
- Wunderlich Asset Management Program (WAM)
- Wunderlich Investment Solutions Discretionary Management (WISDM)
- Alpha Research Portfolio Program (ARP)
B. Riley Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
B. Riley Wealth Management's investment philosophy is centered around helping clients craft portfolios that work in conjunction with their investment objectives, time horizon, risk tolerance and other important factors. Advisors provide advice on a wide range of securities, including:
- Foreign and domestic stocks
- Corporate and government bonds
- Certificates of deposit (CDs)
- Money market funds
- Mutual funds
- Closed-end funds
- Limited partnerships
- Variable life and variable annuities
To help inform investment decisions, the firm and its advisors rely upon a wide range of information sources that are both publically and privately available. The firm makes it clear that it does not adhere to a single investment strategy when working with portfolios. The only goal is to help them achieve their ultimate financial goals, and advisors employ any strategy they see fit to make that happen. Some practices this firm's advisors typically engage in include long- and short-term purchases, day-trading, short selling, margin trading and options transactions.
Fees Under B. Riley Wealth Management
Fees under B. Riley Wealth Management vary significantly depending on the type of account you're looking to open. The WAM and WSI wrap fee programs have negotiable annual fees which are capped at 2.00% of the client's AUM annually. All non-wrap fee programs also have a maximum annual fee of 2.00%. The ARP program is the only one with a variable fee schedule:
|APR Program Annual Fees|
|Total AUM||Annual Fee|
|Up to $200K||1.50%|
|$200K to $300K||1.25%|
Fees are billed quarterly.
What to Watch Out For
Certain B. Riley Wealth Management employees receive commissions from the sale of specific insurance products and securities to clients. This is a conflict of interest, because advisors may have an incentive to recommend certain transactions that earn them commissions. The good news is that the firm a fiduciary, meaning that it is legally bound to act in the best interests of clients.
B. Riley Wealth Management has several disclosures listed on its Form ADV. As a result of some of these, the firm has paid fines and submitted to censure, disgorgement and restitution. These disclosures relate to a myriad of violations, including the firm's failure to report that its affiliated securities firm was on probation and the overcharging of clients for commissions and transactional fees.
Opening an Account With B. Riley Wealth Management
For those interested in opening an account with B. Riley Wealth Management, you can visit the firm's website and submit a contact form. Those who prefer working over the phone can call the firm's headquarters at (877) 488-3748. On its website, you can also view contact information for locations other than its main office.
Tips for Retirement Planning
- Putting together a retirement income plan on your own can get complicated, which is why many people choose to work with a financial advisor. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. 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.
- Don’t forget to take Social Security payments into account as you consider what kind of income you’ll need in retirement. If you don’t know what you’re in line to receive, check out SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator.