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Boston Private Wealth 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.

Boston Private Wealth (BPW) is the fee-only financial advisor arm of Boston Private Bank & Trust, a full-service banking and wealth management company. Individuals and families represent the vast majority of the firm’s client base. It is also known as SVB Private.

Although Boston Private Wealth is based out of Boston, it also runs branches in other areas of the country. In fact, you’ll find Boston Private locations with wealth management services in San Francisco, California; Beverly Hills, California; Naples, Florida; Palm Beach Gardens, Florida; and Madison, Wisconsin.

Boston Private Wealth Background

Boston Private Wealth can trace its roots back to 1986. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of financial services company Boston Private Bank & Trust Company (BPBTC). BPBTC itself is owned by Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc., a holding company.

The total number of advisory certifications at Boston Private Wealth is unclear. However, the firm’s leadership team boasts such certifications as chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified financial planner (CFP), accredited wealth management analyst (AWMA) and certified investment management analyst (CIMA).

Boston Private Wealth Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Boston Private Wealth’s client base includes individuals, high-net-worth individuals, families, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations, banking and trust companies, retirement and profit-sharing plans, outside investment advisors, state/municipal government entities and foundations.

The firm doesn't have any minimum account size requirements. However, the effective annual fee may be more than 1.25% for clients who have less than $1 million in assets under management.

Services Offered by Boston Private Wealth

Boston Private Wealth has a diverse array of services to cater to its sizable client base. Take a look over the list of offerings here:

  • Discretionary investment management
    • Specific investment analysis
    • Personal investment objective assessment
    • Risk-adjusted asset allocation planning
    • Proprietary separate account strategies
    • Comprehensive review of existing investments
    • Tax-efficient strategies
    • Custom reporting, research and manager searches
    • Investment policy development
    • Consulting
  • Wealth advisory and holistic financial planning
    • Financial goal review
    • Retirement planning
    • Cash flow planning
    • Estate planning
    • Trust planning
    • Debt management
    • Risk management/insurance review
    • Legacy and estate planning
    • Business succession planning
    • Philanthropic gift planning
    • Education fund analysis
    • Investment planning
    • Financial protection planning
    • Compensation and benefit analysis
  • Retirement plan advisory services
    • Education for plan participant communication
    • Risk assessment
    • Expense analysis
    • Plan governance
    • Fiduciary responsibility review
    • Investment planning and selection
  • Wrap fee programs

Boston Private Wealth Investment Philosophy

Boston Private Wealth has an extensive set of investment management services that are designed to meet the needs of each client. Once you officially join the firm, your advisor will look to iron out your financial goals for the future, overall time horizon, risk tolerance and liquidity needs. Usually, your profile will be matched with one of these strategies:

  • Equity: This consists of 40 to 60 individual stocks with strategies like core, growth, small-mid cap, all cap and income-oriented.
  • Tactical: BPW will morph these portfolios by protecting your assets with cash and fixed income holdings when the market is volatile or by increasing your stock holdings when things are safer.
  • Fixed-income: In an effort to offer ample liquidity, return reliability and tax minimization, the fixed-income strategy includes bonds and ETFs.

Just because your assets are invested doesn’t mean that Boston Private is finished working with your portfolio. When this time comes, the firm will instead center its services around the management of your investments. This involves rebalancing your account to better fit current market trends and your initial investment plans, as well as strategic moves that help minimize the capital gains tax.

Fees Under Boston Private Wealth

In order to remain as transparent as possible, Boston Private Wealth will provide your entire set of fees before you actually become a client of the firm. Although the fees below illustrate most of the charges you’ll come across, rates are negotiable and may vary from client to client depending on the complexity of your needs.

Regardless of the services you are receiving, you pay all fees in advance on a quarterly basis. How you pay your fees will depend largely on who BPW utilizes as your account’s custodian. In other words, these fees will either be automatically deducted from your account’s balance or you’ll be charged via an invoice to pay by check.

Wealth Management Fee Schedule
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
First $1,000,000 1.25%
Next $1,500,000 1.15%
Next $7,500,000 0.90%
Over $10,000,000 0.70%

Fixed income portfolios are negotiated on a case-by-case basis, with the annual fee not to exceed 0.75%. Consulting services are typically charged $300 per hour, a fixed dollar fee and/or an asset-based fee. If you're receiving wealth management services, here's what you might expect to pay. 

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Boston Private Wealth*
Your Assets Boston Private Wealth Fee Amounts
$500K $6,250
$1MM $12,500
$5MM $52,250
$10MM $97,250

What to Watch Out For

Boston Private Wealth is a fee-only firm and doesn't list any disclosures on its Form ADV that's filed with the SEC.

Opening an Account With Boston Private Wealth

If you want to become a client of Boston Private Wealth, there a few different ways to do so. You can stop by Boston Private’s website and visit its employee directory to find the contact information for advisors in your area. Prospective clients can also email Boston Private through its website or call them over the phone.

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

Tips for Your Retirement Savings

  • Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Because particular strategies for retirement saving vary according to a particular person’s needs, it can be tough to know how well you’re doing for your age. To gain some insight into the quality of your savings, take a look over our analysis of the average retirement income in the U.S.

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