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Baystate Wealth Management Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Baystate Wealth Management (BWM) is a fee-only financial advisor. Investment management and advisory are Baystate’s core services, as it does not provide its own financial planning or consulting. If you’re looking for these offerings in addition to portfolio management, the firm can recommend outside advisors.

Baystate Wealth Management Background

BWM has been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission since 2010, but its history stretches back as far as 1996. The firm was founded by David Porter, who remains one of its owners. President and chief compliance officer Thomas Neal O’Connor also owns a portion of the business, along with Alan Roycroft, Mark LoBello, Daniel Ronan, Timothy George, Eugene Covino and Keith Gibbons. 

BWM firm employs four chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one certified financial planner (CFP) who also holds the chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) designation.

BWM also has a partnership with MML Investors Services (MMLIS), by which the two firms act as co-advisors to BWM’s client base. 

Baystate Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Individuals who fall below the high-net-worth threshold make up the majority of BWM’s client base. The firm also commonly works with high-net-worth individuals, ultra-high-net-worth individuals, athletes and other professionals involved in athletics, family businesses, trusts, corporations, foundations and corporate pension and profit-sharing plans.

If you want to become a client, you’ll need at least $250,000 ready to invest. The firm reserves the right to waive this requirement at any point in time.

Services Offered by Baystate Wealth Management

BWM is entirely focused on investment advising and management. This means that, unlike much of its competition, the firm does not have proprietary financial planning or consulting services. Here’s a list of the services BWM can offer:

  • Discretionary and non-discretionary investment advisory
    • Creation of:
    • Continued meetings with your Baystate advisor
    • Determination of your personal investment objectives and risk tolerance
    • Model portfolios with unique strategic and tactical allocations
  • Recommendations of outside advisors for financial planning and consulting

Baystate Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

The primary concern behind BWM’s investing philosophy is matching its strategies with your personal situation. That’s why, first and foremost, the firm will work with you to develop your investment policy statement, or IPS. This all-important document lays out your risk tolerance, financial goals, liquidity needs, time horizon and any other relevant details.

Under the terms of its agreement with MMLIS, MMLIS is responsible for the initial and ongoing day-to-day relationship with clients, including the initial and ongoing determination of client suitability for asset allocation strategies. BWM is responsible for managing the client’s assets consistent with their IPS. 

As a firm, BWM is in favor of investing for the long term. Taking things a step further, the firm explicitly states in its Form ADV that its main strategy is “controlling risk, dampening volatility and protecting potential downside risk.” The firm may allocate client assets across a range of different investments, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), exchange-traded notes (ETNs), index funds, mutual funds, bond funds and individual bonds.

Fees Under Baystate Wealth Management

BWM utilizes two separate fee schedules: “Advisory Fee One” and “Advisory Fee Plus.” Clients of BWM are granted complete discretion between these two choices. While the firm has not released any specific rates, it does state that its fees will not surpass 1.64% annually.

  • Advisory Fee One: This is a wrap fee program, meaning that all charges are combined into a single rate.
  • Advisory Fee Plus: Clients who select this must not only pay the base management fee, but also any necessary transactional, brokerage and account fees.

BWM uses an annualized, asset-based fee structure. However, these charges are broken down into quarterly payments based on the market value of your account on the last business day of the preceding calendar quarter. You can have BWM's fees deducted directly from your account balance. 

What to Watch Out For

Based on the information in its Form ADV, BWM has a clean legal and regulatory record. As a fee-only firm, BWM's revenue comes solely from the fees that its advisory clients pay, not sales commissions for selling third-party financial products. This is a more straightforward compensation model than what you may find at fee-based firms, which employ advisors who may receive additional compensation when selling securities or insurance policies. 

Opening an Account With Baystate Wealth Management

If you want to reach out to Baystate Wealth Management and open an account, you can call the firm at (617) 982-5200. The “Contact Us” tab on BWM’s website features a contact form if you’d prefer a member of the firm’s staff to call you. All you need to give is your name, phone number, email address and an abbreviated overview of your needs.

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

How to Start Buying Investments

  • Financial advisors have access to a wide range of investments, along with ample experience building portfolios. This makes them great guides for anyone trying to build their first portfolio. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now
  • If you feel comfortable eliminating the middleman, an online brokerage account is a great way to begin building your investment portfolio. Brokerage firms, such as Merrill Edge and TD Ameritrade, offer many types of investments, like mutual funds, bonds, stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and more. The fees associated with each of these investments vary from brokerage to brokerage, so make sure you do your research.

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.

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