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Churchill Management Group Review

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Churchill Management Group

Churchill Management Group

Churchill Management Group's CEO Fred Fern shares more than Los Angeles with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar — they are also both Hall of Famers. That's right, Fern was inducted into the Barron's Hall of Fame in 2019. (Abdul-Jabbar, of course, was inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame in 1995. It is unknown if Fern can dunk.)

Churchill Management Group functions as a fee-only firm providing investment advisory services to investment limited partnerships and various client accounts. The financial advisor has more than $5.5 billion in assets under management (AUM), and it currently serves more than 17,000 clients. It's also on SmartAsset's top financial advisor list for Los Angeles.

Churchill Management Group Background

CEO and Chairman Fred A. Fern founded Churchill Management in 1963. The firm is headquartered in Los Angeles, and has 43 more offices across the country.

Churchill Management offers financial planning, 401(k) planning and investment management services. In addition, the firm uses its discretionary authority to invest primarily in publicly traded equity and equity-related securities. 

Churchill Management Group Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Churchill Management works with individuals, pension plans, trusts, investment funds and other types of entities.

The firm generally requires an account minimum of $750,000, but for its Chartwell Family Funds and California Limited Partnerships, it prefers a minimum of $1,000,000. 

Services Offered by Churchill Management Group

Churchill Management primarily provides investment management and financial planning services, but it also offers investment products. Its services and products include:

  • Investment Strategies
    • Fully invested strategies
    • Fixed income strategies
    • Tactical strategies
    • Combined strategies  
  • Investment Products 
  • Financial Planning
    • Securities investing advice 
    • Financial plan strategies 
  • 401(k) planning

Investment Philosophy

Through Churchill Management’s Premier Wealth Tactical investment philosophy, the firm strives to pinpoint and grow wealth in favorable markets while protecting capital from high-risk situations. The firm employs a number of investment strategies to help ensure it meets client needs and performance expectations. These include the Premiere Wealth Tactical Core, Premiere Wealth Tactical, Maximum Growth Tactical, Tactical Opportunity, ETF Sector Rotation, Equity Dividend Income, Fixed Income and Equity Growth and Value strategies.

The firm also strongly prioritizes advisor-to-client communication, and believes in making sure they fully understand the risks associated with each client portfolio. Churchill Management says it also utilizes a top-down and bottom-up investment approach to meet each client’s specific needs. 

Fees Under Churchill Management Group

Churchill Management bills its fees quarterly, in advance. The firm bases its final management fee on the total account value at the beginning of each quarterly computation period. For clients who decide to add to or withdraw from their accounts during the quarterly period, Churchill Management doesn’t require a refund or additional management fee for such actions. The firm does list annual management fees for certain account sizes, but these fees may vary upon negotiation. 

For its Maximum Growth Tactical Strategy the firm charges a management fee of 1.25%. For accounts introduced by third-party solicitors or joint advisors, the management fees vary, but they’re available upon request. Churchill Management also retains the discretion to waive the first tier of its fee schedule. 

The firm also participates in wrap fee programs. The firm bills the annual fees quarterly, and the fee ranges from 30 to 80 basis points (BPS). For its Chartwell Family Funds and Limited Partnerships, the firm charges a monthly management fee of 0.07% to 0.09% of AUM. Additionally, accounts investing in mutual funds pay investment advisory fees to the managers of those funds. 

Premiere Wealth Tactical, Premiere Wealth Tactical Core, ETF Sector Rotation, Equity Growth and Value, Equity Divided Income, Tactical Opportunity and Premiere Wealth Tactical Core/ETF Sector Rotation Strategies
Amount of Assets Annual Management Fee
Accounts up to $750,000 1.2%
Accounts between $750,000 and $2,500,000  1.0%
Next $2,500,000  0.80%
Next $5,000,000  0.70%
Greater than $10,000,000 0.60%

This table shows what you will pay in advisory fees based on how much money you have at the firm.

*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 Churchill Management Group*
Your Assets Churchill Management Group Annual Fee Amount
$500K $6,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $45,000
$10MM $80,000

At these standard rates, clients with $2.5 million or less pay more than the industry average of 0.95%, according to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box. Learn more about advisors' typical costs here

Churchill Management Group Awards and Recognition

Churchill Management was listed as one of the 2018 Financial Times' "Top 300 Registered Investment Advisors." The Financial Times produces the ranking annually and bases its findings on firm data, regulatory disclosures and internal research. While the award doesn’t take into account the quality of client service, it focuses on six areas total: AUM, asset growth, compliance record, credentials, years in existence and online credibility. 

What to Watch Out For

Churchill Management doesn’t have any disclosures of legal or disciplinary action in its latest SEC filings.

One thing to note: if you decide to open an account with Churchill Management, you’ll be responsible for two levels of fees for your investments. You’ll not only pay a management fee to the firm, but you’ll also pay an advisory fee which goes to the investment advisor of the investment companies in your portfolio.

Opening an Account With Churchill Management Group

The easiest way to make initial contact with the firm is to submit your contact information on its website. Alternately, you can call the firm’s Los Angeles toll free phone number (877) 937-7110 or email an advisor at the office nearest you (you'll find emails on the website). 

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

Tips for Getting Retirement Ready 

  • It's been said that a goal without a plan is only a dream. For help making a concrete plan so you can achieve your retirement goal, use SmartAsset’s free matching tool to find a financial advisor. The tool will connect you with up to three advisors in your areas.
  • Unless you are a very high earner, savings alone won't likely be enough to support your retirement. You'll need to invest your nest egg so it can grow. To get a sense of how much you need to save over time, use SmartAsset's investment calculator.


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