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BSW Wealth Partners Review

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BSW Wealth Partners

BSW Wealth Partners is a fully employee-owned and female-founded financial advisor firm. It is a certified B corporation and has a number of accolades, including being certified by gender equality now and being ranked as a top financial advisor and workplace.

Based in Boulder, Colorado, the firm is a financial advisor firm that provides a wide range of financial services to mostly individual clients, as well as a few institutional clients. The firm has just over $1.2 billion in assets under management (AUM) that's managed by a large team of financial advisors. BSW currently holds spots on SmartAsset's list of the top financial advisor firms in Boulder and the top financial advisor firms list for Colorado.

This is a fee-only firm, meaning that it only receives client-paid fees as compensation. In the case of BSW, these earnings come from either a percentage of each client's AUM, fixed fees or hourly fees. A fee-based firm may also earn such fees, but it can also receive compensation from outside sources, such as commissions for insurance sales.

BSW Wealth Partners Background

Founding principal Debi Baydush opened BSW Wealth Partners in 1992. Baydush has since retired, but worked for 17 years as the firm's chief investment officer (CIO). Today, the firm is owned by Baydush and other employees: managing principal David Wolf, chief operating officer (COO) Matthew Samek and advisors Drew Simon, Benjamin Weaver, Raliegh Riddoch, Tim Wojtalik and Julie Martinez.

The firm employs advisors with a range of certifications, including certified financial planner (CFP), certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified public accountant (CPA).

BSW Wealth Partners Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

BSW Wealth Partners considers itself to be a multi-family office and advisory firm, so it serves a wide range of clients. The firm works primarily with high-net-worth individuals. BSW also manages assets for non-high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans and charitable organizations.

While BSW does not have minimum account sizes, it does have minimum quarterly fees which could prove to be overly expensive for those with less to invest. They go as follows:

  • Wealth management: $1,250
  • Private client: $2,500
  • Family office: $10,000

Services Offered by BSW Wealth Partners

BSW provides a comprehensive variety of investment management and financial planning services. These include:

  • Investment management
    • Investment analysis
    • Determining client's short- and long-term investment goals, time horizons and risk profiles
    • Development and implementation of investment plans
    • Portfolio monitoring, rebalancing and updating
    • Periodic financial security analysis
    • Annual contribution and withdrawal review
    • Required minimum distribution (RMD) management
    • Regular client communication
    • Periodic investment report preparation
  • Financial planning
    • General wealth planning
    • Tax planning
    • Estate planning
    • Diversification planning
    • Charitable planning
    • Employee stock option planning
    • Business and cash flow planning
    • College planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Debt planning

BSW Wealth Partners Investment Philosophy

BSW Wealth Partners makes an effort to tailor investment strategies to the needs of each individual client. This involves customizing portfolio plans based on personal risk tolerance, liquidity need and time horizon. BSW takes a "top-down" approach to investing in an attempt to assess the investment market, beginning from the top.

The firm sticks to two specific investment strategies:

  • Growth strategies: This consists of a broad range of assets that are selected based upon their long-term risk and return characteristics. Porfolios using this strategy are rebalanced frequently so as to avoid returns dictating the overall asset allocation.
  • Fixed-income strategies: This unsurprisingly focuses on fixed-income investments, such as bonds, notes, certificates of deposit (CDs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), money market funds and mutual funds. In general, this is a low-risk strategy.

BSW also pursues alternative investments should they make sense for certain client portfolios. These include margin trades and leveraged investments. At times, the firm may also recommend that clients place money in pooled investment vehicles and other similar funds.

Fees Under BSW Wealth Partners

BSW Wealth Partners charges AUM-based fees, as well as fixed and hourly fees, for their various investment and financial advisory services. Fees may be negotiable and can be altered at the discretion of the firm. Investment management and sub-advisory fees are charged according to the following schedule:

Investment Management Fees
AUM Maximum Annual Fee
First $2MM 1.00%
Next $3MM 0.75%
Above $5MM 0.50%

Here's an overview of the actual advisory fee amounts you could pay based on the fee schedule of BSW Wealth Partners. For reference, a 2018 study by RIA in a Box found that the average annual advisory fee is 0.95% of AUM.

*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 BSW Wealth Partners*
Your Assets BSW Wealth Partners Fee Amount
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $42,500
$10MM $66,500

Depending on the complexity of your needs, BSW's hourly fees are generally $300 an hour. Fixed fees for advisory services are negotiated between the client and the firm. All fees at BSW are calculated and billed on a quarterly basis.

BSW Wealth Partners Awards and Recognition

BSW Wealth Partners boasts a few accolades, such as:

  • Certified B corporation
  • Gender Equality Now (GEN) Certified
  • Ranked one of the best places to work in 2019 by Outside Magazine
  • Named a top financial advisor by the Financial Times in 2019

What To Watch Out For

There are no legal or regulatory disclosures on BSW Wealth Partners' Form ADV.

Opening an Account With BSW Wealth Partners

If you're interested in opening an account at BSW Wealth Partners, you can either call its team at (303) 444-9696, visit one of its office locations or submit a contact form through its website so an advisor can reach out to you directly.

BSW Wealth Partners has two office locations. One is in Boulder, Colorado at 2336 Pearl Street, while the other is in Denver at 383 Inverness Parkway, Suite 405. Note that your proximity to either of these branches does not impact your ability to open an account with BSW.

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

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How Many Years $1 Million 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 To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

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%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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