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:
- Portfolio management
- Selection of other advisors
- Asset allocation 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.
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