Based in Lexington, Massachusetts, BTS Asset Management, Inc. oversees more than $1.32 billion in assets. With more than 40 years of experience, it describes itself as one of the “oldest risk managers.” Its primary business is providing investment advisory services to individuals, registered investment companies and others. Assets under its management are on a discretionary basis.
BTS Asset Management Background
Vilis Pasts founded the firm in 1979 and broker-dealer BTS Securities Corporation in 1981. Today he serves as the investment advisory’s chairman of the board of directors and director of research. He owns the firm, along with his son Matthew Pasts, who joined the firm in 1989. The younger Pasts serves as CEO, treasurer and director.
In addition to BTS Securities, the firm is affiliated with BTW Insurance Agency, Inc. Additionally, on its website, the firm lists Trust Company of America, Envestnet, Jefferson National and Laser App Software as partners or vendors.
BTS Asset Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Of BTS Asset Management clients who are individuals, the vast majority do not have a high net worth. The exact numbers are 5,681 who don't have a high net worth vs. 50 who do, according to data from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm also works with corporate pension and profit-sharing plans, Taft-Hartley plans, foundations, endowments, registered investment companies and trust portfolios.
Initial account minimums depend on the investment program. They are $25,000 for BTS Tactical Asset Allocation Portfolio, BTS Strategic Asset Allocation Portfolio and variable annuity accounts in the BTS Multi-Strategy Portfolio. For BTS Multi-Strategy Portfolio accounts held at E*Trade Advisor Services, the minimum is $100,000. BTS Hedged Income Portfolio accounts have a $50,000 floor. That said, these minimums may be waived at the firm’s discretion.
Services Offered by BTS Asset Management
As noted earlier, the firm’s primary business is providing investment advisory services. It does this for individuals, mutual funds, wrap fee programs,other advisors and more. It is an active, tactical manager that also offers strategic asset allocations. Through its affiliates, the firm also offers brokerage services and insurance products.
BTS Asset Management Investing Philosophy
As just mentioned, the firm offers tactical and strategic approaches. Its tactical asset allocation portfolios and strategic asset allocation portfolios are available at different levels of risk tolerance: conservative, moderate, growth and aggressive growth. The firm also offers multi-strategy portfolios and a hedged income portfolio. The advisory primarily invests in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Fees Under BTS Asset Management
As with most firms, management fees are a percentage of client assets under management and follow a tiered schedule. At BTS Asset Management, these fees have two components: advisory and representative. Combined, these fees will not exceed 2.75% for its tactical asset allocation portfolios, 2.10% for its strategic asset allocation portfolios, 2.50% for its multi-strategy portfolios or 2.35% for its hedged income portfolio. These fees do not include third-party transaction fees and expenses.
What to Watch Out For
BTS Asset Management does not provide financial planning services. If that’s what you are looking for, this firm is not the right fit. Additionally, representatives may receive commissions for certain transactions. This may present a potential conflict of interest. Whenever you receive a recommendation for an investment or insurance product, be sure you know what it is based on and whether and how the advisor and firm may benefit. As a fiduciary, your advisor is obligated to tell you.
In its most recent SEC filings, BTS reported one disciplinary action, in which the SEC alleged that some of advertisements for the BTS High Yield program were materially misleading. As part of the settlement, BTS paid a fine of $200,000 and hired an independent compliance consultant to review advertising policies and procedures, among other things.
All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.
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