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Compass Wealth Management Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Compass Wealth Management, LLC is a small, fee-only financial advisor firm nestled in Concord, Massachusetts. Compass has no secondary branches, and it employs just one financial advisor to manage its client accounts. The firm serves institutional and individual investors, and most of its services are centered around financial planning and investment management.

Since this is a fee-only firm, all of its compensation comes from client-paid fees. On the flip side, fee-based firms earn compensation from both client-paid fees and third-party sales commissions.

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 over 25 years. Throughout his career, Boston Magazine has given him the Five Star Wealth Manager award multiple times.

Compass Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

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.

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 $3,000 to $10,000, depending on the nature of your needs.

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 $1,000,000 1.00%
Next $2,000,000 0.75%
Next $2,000,000 0.50%
Over $5,000,000 0.30%

 

Institutional Investment Management Fees
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
First $1,000,000 1.00%
Next $2,000,000 0.75%
Next $2,000,000 0.50%
Over $5,000,000 0.30%

 

Institutional Investment Consulting Fees
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
First $20,000,000 0.25%
Over $20,000,000 Negotiable

 

Retirement Plan Fiduciary Advisory Service Fees
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
First $20,000,000 0.25%
Over $20,000,000 Negotiable

For individual clients, the following table shows how much you can expect to pay in fees if you chose to work with Compass Wealth Management:

*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 Compass Wealth Management*
Your Assets Compass Wealth Management Fee Amounts
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $35,000
$10MM $50,000

What to Watch Out For

Compass Wealth Management has a clean legal and regulatory record, as its SEC-filed Form ADV has no disclosures on it.

Opening an Account With Compass Wealth Management

The best way to get in contact with Compass Wealth Management is by phone at (978) 254-7040. You can also visit the firm's offices in Concord.

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

Investing Tips for Newbies

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  • If you’re new to investing, it can be hard to predict how your investments will perform over time. Achieving the right level of return, after all, is key to making your financial goals a reality. There is an industry trick that can help you figure this out though, and it’s called the rule of 72.

How Long $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.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We weighed potential expenditures for a prospective retiree with a  $1 million nest egg to assess how many years that fund would cover in retirement in America’s largest cities.

We 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 metro areas across the U.S.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a net annual return of 2% after inflation. 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.