Beacon Wealth Management is a financial advisor firm based in Hackensack, New Jersey with just shy of $285 million in assets under management. The firm’s clients are a roughly even split between individuals and high-net-worth individuals, but the firm also advises banking or thrift institutions, charitable organizations and pension plans. Clients are generally required to have a minimum account size of $500,000.
The firm was founded in 2002 with just four clients. Today, Beacon offers a range of services to its clients, including investment management, financial planning, estate planning and tax planning.
Beacon Wealth Management Background
Beacon Wealth Management was founded by Mark Germain in 2002. Working as the chief financial officer for an international software company, Germain felt that traditional financial advisors weren’t going far enough to implement the plans they made with clients. He started Beacon with four clients, and the firm has grown rapidly since then, providing advisory services to more than 200 clients during the most recent fiscal year.
Germain is the firm's principal owner. Christopher Cacchiola, partner and managing director of wealth management, and Kerry Crowley, partner and head of operations, are minority owners.
What Types of Clients Does Beacon Wealth Management Accept?
Beacon Wealth Management’s clients include individuals, high-net-worth individuals, banking or thrift institutions, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities, government pension plans, other investment advisors and insurance companies.
Beacon Wealth Management Minimum Account Sizes
Beacon Wealth Management generally requires an account minimum of $500,000 for its investment management services, although the firm maintains its ability to waive this minimum at its discretion.
Services Offered by Beacon Wealth Management
Beacon Wealth Management breaks down the services it offers into six main categories. They are:
- Investment management
- Financial planning
- Tax planning
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Insurance analysis
Beacon Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
When it comes to its investing philosophy, Beacon takes several factors into account, including the personal and financial variables in your life, your risk tolerance, when you’re planning to retire and how long of a retirement you’re planning for. Furthermore, the firm takes into account your future cash needs and family dynamics, as well as health and legacy considerations.
In addition to factoring in your preferences and goals, Beacon also uses macroeconomic analysis to suss out broader economic trends and patterns, as well as technical analysis to identify the best timing for investment decisions. Client portfolios are generally allocated across non-correlated asset classes, meaning the volatility of returns is lowered.
Fees Under Beacon Wealth Management
Fees can always vary depending on the complexity of your plan and portfolio, but the firm does provide a few general guidelines.
Asset management fees are fixed and calculated as a percentage of the portfolio, billed quarterly. Generally fees vary, from 0.00% to 1.50%, although it can be higher or lower depending on the account. Financial planning fees can be either hourly or fixed. If hourly, the charge is $600 per hour for senior professionals and $125 per hour for junior professionals. If fixed, the fees can range from $1,000 to $56,000.
If you choose to invest in a mutual fund or an exchange traded fund (ETF), then you may have to pay a transaction fee or a custody fee in order to hold those shares. If that’s the case, you’ll have to pay those fees on top of the normal advisory fees you’ll pay to Beacon. Be sure to keep that in mind if the firm recommends products like that.
Beacon Wealth Management isn’t a broker-dealer, which means it doesn’t earn commissions on investment products it recommends or purchases on your behalf. According to its Form ADV, Beacon and Germain may receive referral fees from third parties for recommending certain products or services, but the client will not pay for these. Read the What to Watch Out For section for more information on these referral fees.
What to Watch Out For
Mark Germain, the founder and CEO of Beacon, is separately licensed as an independent insurance agent and occasionally conducts insurance product transactions for Beacon clients. In doing this, he receives the customary commissions for those transactions on top of the normal advisory fees. The receipt of such commissions generates a potential conflict of interest
Furthermore, if Beacon clients are looking for a real estate investment firm, Germain may also recommend them to Dome Equities, LLC for a referral fee. Dome Equities pays this fee, not the client, but it does create a potential conflict of interest.
All that said, Beacon is bound by fiduciary duty, which means that it’s bound by law to always act in the best interest of its clients. So while you should be aware of the financial incentives the firm has, you can be assured that its actions can’t be in your detriment.
Beacon Wealth Management does not have any disclosures.
Opening an Account With Beacon Wealth Management
You can get in touch with Beacon by filling out the contact form provided on its website. The form requests your first and last name, email address and a brief message or question. If you’d prefer to call the firm, Beacon provides a toll-free phone number on its website as well.
When you open an account, you may be asked to sign a financial management agreement defining the scope of the firm’s advisory services, as well as the investment objectives, guidelines and relevant restrictions.
Where Is Beacon Wealth Management Located?
Beacon Wealth Management’s office is located in Hackensack, New Jersey on Main Street between Clinton Place and Euclid Avenue.
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