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Dunham And Associates 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.

Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel offers advisory services to both financial advisors and individual clients. Dunham is a fee-based and privately held investment firm headquartered in San Diego. The full-service firm has a small staff of advisors managing billions of dollars in assets under management (AUM). Specializing in financial and trust services, Dunham has more than 8,000 clients.

Dunham & Associates Background 

Dunham was founded in 1985 by firm chairman and CEO Jeffrey Dunham. The private wealth management firm is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as both an investment advisor and broker-dealer. Dunham is also the wholly owned subsidiary of Dunham & Associates Holdings, Inc., which in turn owns Dunham Trust Company. Dunham Trust is a Nevada-based affiliate that provides trust services.

Dunham & Associates Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes 

Dunham’s clients include non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, registered investment companies, charitable organizations, pension plans, corporations and private funds. 

The firm’s minimum account size requirements vary for different accounts. For separately managed accounts (SMAs), the minimums for qualified and non-qualified retirement accounts range from $500,000 to $1,000,000. Wrap fee accounts require minimum investments of $5,000 to $100,000 and the Dunham private funds call for $2,000 to $100,000 as a minimum.

Services Offered by Dunham & Associates

Dunham & Associates offers the following advisory services:

Dunham & Associates Investment Philosophy

Dunham believes in using a long-term investing approach, and portfolio diversification through asset allocation is one of the firm’s key investment strategies, according to the firm's brochure. The firm also believes client fees should be aligned with returns measured against applicable benchmarks. 

Dunham says its investment process relies on asset class risk-frontier research and global, fundamental macroeconomic data. For SMAs, the firm uses an exchange-traded fund (ETF) asset allocation strategy that strives to achieve returns by investing in ETFs. This strategy relies on four different asset classes, U.S. equity securities, alternative/hybrid securities, fixed-income securities and non-U.S. equity securities.  

Fees Under Dunham & Associates

Dunham offers sub-advised mutual funds (the Dunham Funds), and it sponsors the following two wrap programs: the Standard Asset Allocation Program and the Custom Asset Allocation Program. For the Dunham Funds, the investment advisory fees are specified in the funds’ prospectuses. Fees for the firm’s wrap programs generally amount to 0.25% of the average daily net asset value of a client’s account, according to Dunham’s wrap fee brochure. When it comes to SMA advisory services, fees for these range from 0.25% to 2.00%.

Dunham’s Custom Asset Allocation Program offers a performance-based fee structure. Other expenses clients may incur include 12b-1 fees, administrative fees, custodial fees, transfer agent fees and state registration fees.

Awards and Recognition

In 2021, Dunham won the Refinitiv Lipper Fund Award for Best Real Estate Fund over a three-year period.

What to Watch Out For 

Dunham & Associates doesn’t have any disclosures on its SEC record.

Dunham may receive performance-based fees from wrap accounts, and the firm may also recommend the purchase or sale of certain investment products, creating a potential conflict of interest. However, the firm has a fiduciary duty to act in clients' best interests.

Opening an Account With Dunham & Associates

You can set up an appointment with an advisor by visiting Dunham's San Diego office, or you can contact the firm at (858) 964-0500.

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

Savings Tips for Beginners

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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.