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Financial Synergies Wealth Advisors 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.

Financial Synergies Wealth Advisor is a Houston-based financial advisor firm serving individuals and institutions on a fee-only basis. This means the company's compensation comes solely from the advisory fees that clients pay, not commissions for selling third-party products and services. 

The majority of clients at Financial Synergies are individuals. The firm markets its services to families and individuals, business owners, retirees, oil and gas professionals, as well as young professionals and physicians. 

Financial Synergies appeared on the Financial Times' 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers list in 2020. The list recognizes firms based on assets under management (AUM), AUM growth rate, years in existence, advanced industry credentials of the firm’s advisors, online accessibility and compliance records. 

Financial Synergies Wealth Advisors Background 

Financial Synergies was established in 1986 by firm president Michael Booker. While Booker remains the majority shareholder, Michael Minter, Heath Hightower and Brian Zschiesche are minority shareholders. 

Each of the firm’s financial advisors hold the certified financial planner (CFP) designation. But Financial Synergies’ advisor qualifications also include the chartered financial consultant (ChFC), certified fund specialist (CFS) and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) designations. 

Financial Synergies Wealth Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes 

Financial Synergies imposes a minimum account size requirement of $1 million for wealth management services, which include both portfolio management and financial planning. However, the minimum investment requirement for the firm's Pathway program is $150,000.

The firm works with individuals and high-net-worth individuals, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other businesses. 

Services Offered by Financial Synergies Wealth Advisors

Financial Synergies primarily offers both discretionary and non-discretionary portfolio management, as well as financial planning services. The firm can assist clients with a variety of financial needs including:

  • College education planning
  • Portfolio allocation
  • Cash flow
  • Budget and savings
  • Major purchases
  • Basic retirement projections

The firm also offers what it calls Advanced Retirement Planning, which may touch on:

  • Living expense projections
  • Assets and liabilities
  • Income and savings
  • Investments analysis
  • Portfolio allocation analysis
  • Portfolio distribution analysis
  • Taxes and inflation
  • Growth rates
  • Insurance needs 

Financial Synergies Wealth Advisors Investment Philosophy 

Financial Synergies strives to achieve long-term investment returns by diversifying across asset classes and by basing its investment recommendations on historical, observable market behaviors and price patterns, according to its website. 

The firm’s primary investment strategies are long-term purchases and asset allocation. Financial Synergies typically constructs client portfolios using no-load mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual equities, bonds, variable annuities, variable life insurance products and other investments. 

Fees Under Financial Synergies Wealth Advisors

Financial Synergies is primarily compensated through asset-based fees. The firm’s asset-based fees generally range from 0.75% to 1.50% of assets under management (AUM). Here's a range of what your fees may look like based on the size of your account:

*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 Financial Synergies Wealth Advisors*
Your Assets Financial Synergies Wealth Advisors Fee Amounts
$500K $3,750 - $7,500
$1MM $7,500 - $15,000
$5MM $37,500 - $75,000
$10MM $75,000 - $150,000

However, some clients may prefer to hold performance-based accounts. For these accounts, the firm may charge fees up to 20% of the client’s net profits earned per calendar quarter. The firm also offers “held away accounts” services for which it charges an annual fee. The exact fee isn't specified. 

What to Watch Out For 

The firm’s Form ADV doesn’t list any legal or regulatory disclosures. 

The firm’s side-by-side management of asset-based and performance-based accounts could create an incentive for advisors to favor accounts that generate higher fees, potentially neglecting the needs of other clients. However, the firm has a fiduciary obligation and it says it takes steps to educate its representatives about the responsibilities of a fiduciary.  

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

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How Long $1mm 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 We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

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%. 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