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BakerAvenue Asset Management Review

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BakerAvenue Asset Management

BakerAvenue Asset Management - more commonly known as BakerAvenue - is a financial advisor firm located in San Francisco, California. The firm offers services such as financial planning and portfolio managment. It works with a range of individual and institutional clients.

As a fee-only firm, all of BakerAvenue's compensation comes from client-paid fees. A fee-based firm, on the other hand, includes both client-paid fees and third-party commissions in their compensation models.

BakerAvenue Background

BakerAvenue is an SEC-registered investment advisor founded in 2004. The firm's principal owner and CEO is Simon Baker. Jerry Luff serves as COO and partner and Doug Couden serves as chief investment officer (CIO) and partner. Hannah Kim serves as chief compliance offier and director of client service operations. The firm made the Financial Times ranking of 300 Top Financial Advisors in July 2020. 

BakerAvenue Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

BakerAvenue advises the following types of clients:

  • Non-high-net-worth individuals
  • High-net-worth individuals
  • Corporate pension and profit-sharing plans
  • Charitable organizations
  • Foundations
  • Trusts
  • Other U.S. institutions

The firm's minimum account size is $1,000,000 and is generally negotiable. 

Services Offered by BakerAvenue

BakerAvenue offers its clients many services, including portfolio management services, third-party managers and financial planning.

For portfolio management services, the firm generally manages monies on a discretionary basis, and on a non-discretionary basis only when clients request it.

In certain cases, clients may be introduced to BakerAvenue from third-party managers through a contract relationship. These accounts are managed on a discretionary basis.

Wealth and financial planning services are available to clients who do not have a relationship with BakerAvenue for portfolio management services or do not meet the minimum asset requirement. These services may include family continuity, estate planning and trustee oversight, integrated tax and financial planning, lifestyle management, family philanthropy and risk management. If a client requests so, the firm may provide financial planning and/or consulting services on a stand-alone (i.e. separate fee) basis.

BakerAvenue Investing Philosophy

The firm uses various methods of analysis and investment strategies when it comes to managing client assets: 

  • Dynamic Core: a strategy that seeks to provide wide exposure to the market across a number of different investment styles. This allocation approach uses macroeconomic, fundamental and technical factors to manage holdings and risk profile. The strategy focuses on diversification and invests mostly in stocks and ETFs to achieve its long-term approach to capital appreciation and risk.
  • Blue Chip: a strategy that seeks long-term capital appreciation (i.e. long-term rise in an investment's market price) by investing in a diversified portfolio of high-quality blue-chip stocks and ETFs in low-risk markets, among other tactics. This strategy actively monitors long-term market trends.
  • Global Income: a strategy that seeks to deliver above-average market yields while maintaining below-average market volatility by investing in various asset classes of income-producing securities. This strategy uses a quantitative approach.
  • Impact: a strategy that seeks long-term capital appreciation and adds a socially responsible layer to the investment approach. This strategy seeks both financial return and aims to do social good. 
  • Fixed-Income: a strategy that seeks to provide current income, capital appreciation and preservation by investing in a widely diversified portfolio of bonds. This strategy uses a quantitative approach.
  • Concentrated Stock: a multi-layered approach to managing concentrated stock positions (that is, when a large percentage of the portfolio is focused or concentrated on a particular stock).  
  • Alternative Investments: financial assets that do not fall into one of the traditional investment categories (i.e. stocks, bonds, cash) and may include venture capital, private equity, private credit, private real estate and hedge funds.
  • Direct Investments: investments made directly into private companies. BakerAvenue may choose to allocate in this fashion if client assets meet certain suitability guidelines.

The firm also provides clients with services such as tax planning, estate planning, risk management, retirement planning, philanthropy and impact, tax preparation and family office services.

Fees Under BakerAvenue

The fees that clients pay to BakerAvenue are negotiable and vary depending on the client. In general, however, the minimum fee for portfolio management services is $9,500 per year and the range of fees is tiered along an asset-based fee schedule, as follows:

BakerAvenue Portfolio Management Fee Schedule
AUM Annual Fees
Minimum fee $9,500
$1,000,000 up to $2,500,000 0.95%
Next $2,500,000 up to $5,000,000 0.90%
More than $5,000,000 0.80%

Accounts smaller than $2 million are the same as the industry average, which 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 Portfolio Management Fees at BakerAvenue*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount Charged on All AUM
$1MM $9,500
$3MM $28,250
$5MM $46,250
$10MM $86,250

For concentrated stock positions, fees depend on the strategy the firm uses and the client's goals, but BakerAvenue will typically charge a fee of 0.75%. 

Regarding advisory fees charged to clients introduced to BakerAvenue by third-party firms, client fees are based on BakerAvenue's standard fee schedule noted above. If the client relationship is introduced in the opposite direction - that is to say, introduced to a third-party manager by BakerAvenue - then while the advisory fees clients incur is also based on the above fee schedule, there may be other fees charged separately by the third-party manager.

For stand-alone wealth and financial planning and consulting services, fees are negotiable, but generally range from $2,000 to $10,000 if on a fixed fee bases, and from $225 to $300 per hour if on an hourly rate basis. Specific amounts depend on the level and scope of services rendered.

What to Watch Out For

Within the past 10 years, BakerAvenue has no legal or regulatory disclosures on its SEC-filed Form ADV.

Opening an Account With BakerAvenue

To open an account with BakerAvenue, you can visit the firm's website or call over the phone.

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

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • Interview at least three advisors before choosing one. This ensures that you have enough context about fees and investment strategies to make an informed decision. To find more advisors in your area, use our interactive financial advisor matching tool. It links you with up to three local pros. Get started now.
  • Ask candidates whether they adhere to the fiduciary standard of putting clients’ interests first. Yes is the ideal answer, of course. But they may follow a lower standard of providing only suitable recommendations.

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