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Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Review

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Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel is a fee-only financial advisor firm that currently has $11.65 billion in assets under management (AUM). The Cincinnati-based firm has 21 financial advisors on staff. Although it works with a few different client types, Bahl & Gaynor mostly serves high-net-worth individuals. It generally requires a $750,000 account minimum.

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Background

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel’s co-chairmen and presidents William Bahl and Vere Gaynor opened the firm in 1990. The duo has spent an average of 46 years in the financial services industry. Although Bahl and Gaynor remain the firm’s principal shareholders, an additional 17 principals at the firm now also own shares, making this a largely employee-owned business.

Despite its relatively small team of 21 financial advisors, Bahl & Gaynor boasts 12 chartered financial analysts (CFA), eight chartered investment counselors (CIC), three certified financial planners (CFP), one chartered wealth manager (CWM) and one certified public accountant (CPA).

What Types of Clients Does Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Accept?

Nearly 82% of Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel’s client base is made up of high-net-worth individuals, meaning the firm deals almost exclusively with wealthy individuals and their families. However, the firm also has advisory relationships with non-high-net-worth individuals, businesses, charitable organizations, pension plans, profit-sharing plans, investment companies, insurance companies and state/municipal government entities.

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Minimum Account Size

In order to begin an advisory relationship with Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel, you must have at least $750,000 in investable assets. However, in certain situations, the firm may work with clients with lower levels of investable assets.

Services Offered by Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel combines aspects of investment management and financial planning in regards to all portfolio decisions. Here is a full list of the firm’s service offerings:

  • Investment portfolio management
    • Socially responsible investing considerations
    • Tax considerations
    • Investment goal determination
    • Time horizon, risk tolerance and liquidity needs
    • Asset allocation
    • Wealth management
    • Investment restrictions (if necessary)
  • Financial planning
    • Cash flow planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Trust services
    • Tax planning
    • Debt management
    • Education funding strategies
    • Insurance evaluation
    • Net worth statement
    • Financial goal development
    • Current investment analysis

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Investment Philosophy

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel uses two overarching investment strategies depending on clients’ needs: a fixed income strategy and an equity strategy. In either case, the firm adheres to a long-term time horizon, which it specifically defines as two to five years. This is done not only because the firm believes in its investment choices, but also because it wants to keep turnover, and therefore trading costs, to a minimum.

For its equity strategy, Bahl & Gaynor aims to identify and ultimately invest in high quality, dividend growth companies. In its Form ADV (SEC-filed paperwork), the firm defines high quality companies as companies that have “consistent earnings growth, low debt levels, pay and grow dividends and are market leaders.” The same general principles apply to the firm’s fixed income strategy, only to bonds and other related investments.

Fees Under Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel bases its fees on a percentage of assets under management. The firm’s rates vary somewhat depending on which strategy is used in a client’s portfolio. The tables below list all potential rates with the exception of Bahl & Gaynor’s Total Return Bond strategy. This is because the firm separately negotiates fees for this strategy.

Fees for Quality Growth, Income Growth, Mid-Cap, Global Dividend Growth and Non-Strategy Specific Accounts
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
First $1MM 0.90%
Next $1MM 0.80%
Next $2MM 0.70%
Next $1MM 0.60%
Above $5MM 0.50%

 

Fees for Small-Cap and Smig-Cap Strategy Accounts
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
First $5MM 0.90%
Next $5MM 0.70%
Above $10MM 0.65%

The firm charges clients quarterly in arrears, and fees are based on the value of the client’s portfolio on the final day of the last quarter. The above fees do not take into account brokerage and trading costs, which clients will be responsible for.

Check out the table below to see how Bahl & Gaynor’s fees for its asset management services compare. Note that these fees are only estimates and actual costs may vary.

*Fee estimates only consider the maximum base fees for the services each firm provides. You may also pay manager fees and other fees, which can vary in amount.  **All figures are based on median fee levels according to Bob Veres' 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey. The above estimates solely take into account AUM-only fees. Total costs will likely be higher due to additional expenses.
Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel** National Median Advisory Fees**
$500K $4,500 $5,000
$1MM $9,000 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $37,000 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $62,000 $50,000

What to Watch Out For

Current and prospective clients should know that Bahl & Gaynor’s co-chairman and president William Bahl serves on the board of directors for the Cincinnati Financial Corp (CINF), a publicly traded company. Bahl’s dual positions at Bahl & Gaynor and CINF present a potential conflict of interest, as this could cause the firm’s advisors to recommend investments in CINF. In order to mitigate this risk, the firm has implemented a procedure prohibiting its employees from purchasing CINF stock if Bahl releases non-public information about CINF. The firm is a fiduciary, though, meaning it is bound to always act in clients’ best interests.

Disclosures

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel has a clean legal and regulatory record, with no disclosures listed in its Form ADV.

Opening an Account With Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel

If you’re interested in working with Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel, you can contact the firm by emailing info@bahl-gaynor.com or by calling (513) 287-6100. Should you decide to call the firm, Bahl & Gaynor’s website recommends that you ask to speak to receptionist Janet Duncan.

Where Is Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel Located?

Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel has just one office in Cincinnati, Ohio. The office is located off of Route 71 at 255 East Fifth Street, Suite 2700.

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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 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