Buckingham Strategic Wealth is a fee-only financial advisor firm that employs a large staff of 210 financial advisors. These advisors work out of the firm’s offices located across the U.S., including in Missouri, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Wyoming, West Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Virginia, Indiana, California, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, New Jersey and Arizona. The firm’s headquarters is in St. Louis.
Buckingham has just over $14.9 billion in assets under management (AUM), most of which belongs to individual investors. Buckingham’s premier service, Practice Integrated Wealth Management, provides holistic financial planning services alongside the firm’s other advisory services.
Buckingham Strategic Wealth Background
Buckingham Strategic Wealth was established in 1994. The firm is solely owned by financial services holding company, Focus Financial Partners, LLC. Focus Financial is a massive, publicly traded company that owns many advisory firms like Buckingham throughout the country.
Buckingham’s staff of 210 financial advisors has a number of different certifications. The firm’s team includes certified financial planners (CFP), certified public accountants (CPA), chartered financial analysts (CFA) and chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIA).
What Types of Clients Does Buckingham Strategic Wealth Accept?
Buckingham Strategic Wealth works with more than 7,000 individual investors, both with and without a high net worth. The rest of the firm’s client base consists of businesses, pension plans, profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.
Buckingham Strategic Wealth Minimum Account Size
Buckingham Strategic Wealth’s minimum account size and fee requirements vary by client type. They are as follows:
- Wealth management clients:
- $500,000 initial investment
- $5,000 minimum annual fee
- Institutional advisory clients:
- $26,000 minimum annual fee for accounts with $5 million or more in AUM
- Investment management clients:
- $250 minimum quarterly fee
Services Offered by Buckingham Strategic Wealth
Buckingham Strategic Wealth offers a complete set of advisory services for each of its client types. Check out the list below for the firm’s full offerings:
- Practice Integrated Wealth Management/Financial planning services
- General financial planning
- Financial goal determination
- Budget planning
- Cash flow and debt review
- Business transition planning
- Education cost planning
- 529 plans
- Retirement planning
- Investment planning
- Divorce planning
- Tax planning and minimization
- Estate planning
- Disability income analysis
- Advisory services
- Investment portfolio management
- Creation of a specific investment policy statement
- Passive and active investing
- Asset allocation
- Continuous oversight and rebalances
- Client-advisor review meetings
- Regular monitoring of client credit scores
- Third party investment advisor
- Employee benefit retirement plan services
- Creation of a specific investment policy statement
- Investment recommendations based on plan’s goals
- Investment monitoring
- Plan participant education
- Fiduciary plan advice
- Sub-advisory services for independent RIAs
- Client portfolio analysis
- Creation of specific investment policy statement
- Strategy recommendation
- Performance monitoring and quarterly reports
- In-person meetings
Buckingham Strategic Wealth Investment Philosophy
Buckingham Strategic Wealth utilizes a long-term, evidence-based investment approach that is founded on past and current market research. It firmly believes that attempting to beat the market is difficult and costly. Therefore, Buckingham largely avoids short-term investing, which tries to take advantage of quick shifts in the market.
Buckingham primarily uses mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and bonds in client portfolios. While bonds are individual investments, mutual funds and ETFs group multiple investments into a single, inherently diversified fund. Buckingham typically selects mutual funds and ETFs that include fixed income securities, commodity futures, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and alternative investments.
Fees Under Buckingham Strategic Wealth
Unlike some financial advisor firms, Buckingham Strategic Wealth has multiple fee schedules, depending on which service you use. The firm charges fees in three distinct ways: annually, monthly and hourly. Annual fees, which are based on a percentage of assets under management, are charged in advance and are divided into four equal fees charged each quarter. Monthly fixed fees and hourly fees are charged in advance every month.
|Fees at Buckingham Strategic Wealth|
|Service Type||Fee Rate|
|General advisory services||0.40% - 1.25% annual fee|
|Practice Integrated Wealth Management/Financial planning||$150 - $825 monthly fee|
|Employee benefit retirement plan services||0.20% - 1.00% annual fee|
|Tax planning and related services||$200 - $350 hourly fee|
You can pay the above fees either through a direct withdrawal from your account, or you can choose to receive monthly fee statements. If you want to take the direct withdrawal route, you must provide written authorization.
What to Watch Out For
All clients of Buckingham Strategic Wealth must keep their assets in either a Schwab, Fidelity or TD Ameritrade account. The firm states in its Form ADV (SEC-filed paperwork) that this is based “in part on the benefit to Buckingham of the availability of some of the foregoing products, services and economic benefits” from these companies. This does present a conflict of interest, but the firm maintains a fiduciary status that requires it to act in clients’ best interests in all situations.
Buckingham Strategic Wealth has no disclosures listed in its Form ADV.
Opening an Account With Buckingham Strategic Wealth
On Buckingham Strategic Wealth’s website, you’ll find an interactive map that allows you to virtually visit each branch of the firm. There you’ll get an overview of the branch’s specialties and team members, as well as the office’s contact information. If you aren’t sure where to start, though, feel free to email the firm at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 711-2027.
Where Is Buckingham Strategic Wealth Located?
Buckingham Strategic Wealth is headquartered in St. Louis, at 8182 Maryland Avenue, Suite 500. The firm operates an additional 25 branches in Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Wyoming, West Virginia, Colorado, Texas, Virginia, Indiana, California, Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Arizona and New Jersey.
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