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Compass Wealth Management Review

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Compass Wealth Management

Compass Wealth Management, LLC is a small, fee-only financial advisor firm nestled in Concord, Massachusetts, that has almost $64 million in assets under management (AUM). Compass has no secondary branches, and it employs just one financial advisor to manage its roughly 80 client accounts. The firm serves institutional and individual investors, and most of its services are centered around financial planning and investment management.

Compass Wealth Management Background

Firm president Louis E. Conrad opened Compass Wealth Management in 2000. The firm was originally called Compass Investment Advisors, LLC until it changed its name in 2007. 

Conrad remains the firm’s principal owner. He has been a chartered financial analyst (CFA) for 25 years. Throughout his career, Boston Magazine has given him the Five Star Wealth Manager? award multiple times.

What Types of Clients Does Compass Wealth Management Accept?

The vast majority of Compass Wealth Management’s assets under management belong to individual investors without a high net worth. Although this type of client is the firm’s most common customer, it also offers investment and wealth management services to families, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, businesses, non-profits, pension plans and profit-sharing plans.

Compass Wealth Management Minimum Account Size

Rather than impose a minimum investment requirement, Compass Wealth Management has minimum annual fee requirements for each of its services. The firm’s minimum annual fees range from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on the nature of your needs. The minimum annual fee for its wealth services for individuals and families is generally $2,500.

Services Offered By Compass Wealth Management

Compass Wealth Management provides a number of advisory, management and consulting services. Below you’ll find a complete list of the firm’s offerings:

  • Services for individuals and families
    • Investment management
      • Creation of customized investment strategies
      • Asset allocation and diversification
      • Tax considerations
    • General financial planning
    • Tax planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Estate planning
    • Charitable gift planning
    • Education fund planning
    • Insurance strategies and risk management
    • Stock option planning
    • Business succession planning
    • Consulting
  • Services for businesses and other organizations
    • Investment management
    • Investment consulting
    • Retirement plans
      • Plan sponsor services
        • Fiduciary support
        • Investment evaluation and planning
        • Regular investment committee meetings
      • Plan participant services
        • Education programs and seminars
        • Enrollment campaigning
        • One-on-one participant advice

Compass Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

Compass Wealth Management’s first step in any advisory relationship is to create an investment policy statement for the client. This will help to finalize the client’s risk tolerance, time horizon, tax situation, liquidity needs and financial goals so that a personalized strategic asset allocation and investment portfolio can be built.

Compass has a rigid set of investments that it uses to flesh out its clients’ portfolios. It invests client assets in open-end mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and occasionally individual securities. Rebalancing is also a integral to portfolio performance at Compass. Your advisor will generally rebalance your portfolio at least annually, although this can vary. If you feel as though you’d rather have your portfolio adjusted more often, the firm will typically oblige.

Fees Under Compass Wealth Management

As a fee-only firm, all of Compass Wealth Management’s revenue comes from the fees it charges its clients. Most of its fees are based on a percentage of assets under management.

Compass has separate fee schedules for its individual and family services and its institutional client services. Regardless of the type of client you are, your annual fee will be split into four equal quarterly payments. Your fee will be calculated based on the value of your portfolio on the last day of the previous quarter.

Fees for Individual/Family Wealth Management Solutions
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
First $1MM 1.00%
Next $2MM 0.75%
Next $2MM 0.50%
Over $5MM 0.30%


Institutional Investment Management Fees
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
First $1MM 1.00%
Next $2MM 0.75%
Next $2MM 0.50%
Over $5MM 0.30%


Institutional Investment Consulting Fees
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
First $20MM 0.25%
Over $20MM negotiable


Retirement Plan Fiduciary Advisory Service Fees
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
First $20MM 0.25%
Over $20MM negotiable

Check out the table below to see how Compass’ fees for its individual and family wealth management services compare. Note that these fees are only estimates and actual costs may vary.

*Fee estimates only consider the maximum base fees for the services each firm provides. You may also pay manager fees and other fees, which can vary in amount.  **All figures are based on median fee levels according to Bob Veres' 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey. The above estimates solely take into account AUM-only fees. Total costs will likely be higher due to additional expenses.
Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets Compass Wealth Management Individual/Family Wealth Management National Median Advisory Fees**
$500K $5,000 $5,000
$1MM $10,000 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $35,000 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $50,000 $50,000

What to Watch Out For

Compass Wealth Management is a smaller firm, which means that it simply doesn’t have same level of resources as larger financial advisor firms like Charles Schwab and Merrill Lynch. Compounding this, the firm has just one advisor on staff, which could detract from the firm’s ability to provide personal attention to each of its clients. Prospective clients should take these factors into account when deciding whether Compass will suit their needs.


Compass Wealth Management has a clean legal and disciplinary record, with no disclosures listed on its Form ADV.

Opening an Account With Compass Wealth Management

The best way to get in contact with Compass Wealth Management is either by email or phone. You can reach the firm at (978) 254-7040, or send an email to info@compassinvest.com.

Where Is Compass Wealth Management Located?

Compass Wealth Management’s sole office is located in Concord, Massachusetts. The office is right off of Route 2 at 290 Baker Avenue, Suite N101. The firm’s hours vary though, so call ahead before you stop by.

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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