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 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
- 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.
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