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First Eagle Investment Management Review

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First Eagle Investment Management

First Eagle Investment Management, LLC is a New York City-based investment management firm that currently has $119.7 billion in assets under management. The independent firm provides investment advisory services to a select number of individual and institutional clients. Its client base includes private investment funds, institutional accounts, high-net-worth individuals and financial advisors and their clients.

First Eagle Investment Management Background

First Eagle Investment Advisors has been a registered investment advisor since 1995. However, its origins date back to 1864 when the company was founded in Dresden as Arnhold Brothers. The company continued to grow, merging with S. Bleichroeder, and in 1937 it moved its headquarters to New York City. Previously known as Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Advisers, LLC, the firm was renamed to its current name, First Eagle Investment Management, in 2009.

First Eagle is an independent firm that's owned by the holding company, First Eagle Holdings, Inc. According to the company, its largest investors throughout its history have been the Arnhold family and key employees.

What Types of Clients Does First Eagle Investment Management Accept?

First Eagle Investment Management is only an option for individual investors who have a high net worth, which the SEC defines as an individual with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth that exceeds $1.5 million. In addition to high-net-worth individuals, First Eagle provides investment advisory services to mutual funds, private investment funds and institutional accounts. It's also the investment advisor to two registered investment companies, First Eagle Funds and First Eagle Variable Funds.

First Eagle does typically require account minimums, though these minimums depend on investment mandate and account type.

Services Offered by First Eagle Investment Management

First Eagle Investment Management provides investment advisory services, and it generally manages accounts on a discretionary basis. The company manages various types of portfolios, including equity, fixed income and multi-asset portfolios. It also manages various mutual funds and both launches and manages hedge funds.

First Eagle Investment Management Investment Philosophy

First Eagle says that its primary goal is to preserve capital while seeking attractive returns. The firm’s investment principles include “in-depth fundamental analysis, a flexible, benchmark-agnostic approach, a focus on absolute returns and the goal of providing our clients with a measure of capital preservation in market downturns.”

First Eagle believes that there's no "right way" to achieve certain investment goals, so it offers numerous strategies and funds that take a different approaches. The firm currently manages the following investment strategies:

  • Global value: invests in global equity markets
  • International value: invests in non-U.S. equity markets
  • International small cap value: invests in small cap companies
  • High yield: invests in high-yield, below-investment-grade instruments
  • Gold: invests securities related to gold or issuers engaged in the gold industry
  • U.S. value: invests primarily in domestic equity and debt instruments, as well as securities of non-U.S. issuers
  • Global income builder: invests primarily in common stocks of U.S. and foreign companies and fixed income

Thus, First Eagle's investment decisions depend on the particular investment strategy chosen, as well as any restrictions or guidelines implemented by the client.

Fees Under First Eagle Investment Management

For separate account management, First Eagle typically charges clients an annual asset-based fee. The firm provides the following annual rates for separate accounts:

Separate Account Type Annual Fee Rate
Global Value 0.75%
International Value 0.75%
International Small Cap Value
  • 1.15% on the first $10 million
  • 1.05% on $10 million to 25 million
  • 0.95% on more than $25 million
Gold 0.75%
U.S. Value 0.75%
High Yield 0.70%
Global Income Builder 0.75%

In certain cases, First Eagle may also charge a performance-based fee. This fee is based on a percentage of the profits, a percentage of the increase in net asset value or a percentage of the profits beyond an agreed upon benchmark. A client’s exact fee arrangement will be laid out in his or her written agreement with the firm.

In addition to the above fees, clients will also be responsible for reimbursing the firm for certain administrative, legal, accounting, compliance and operations services.  Clients will also pay transaction fees and other expenses.

What to Watch Out For

First Eagle Investment Management warns in its Form ADV that its services are "not intended to provide a complete investment program" and that it "assumes that investors will not invest all their assets" in one of its funds or accounts. It advises investors to further diversify their assets to decrease risk.

Additionally, First Eagle does have disclosures -- see more below.


First Eagle Investment Management has faced disciplinary actions. The most notable event over the last decade occurred in 2015, when the firm and its affiliated distributor, FEF Distributors, agreed to pay nearly $40 million to settle civil charges brought against it by the SEC. The SEC alleged that First Eagle had misused mutual fund assets to pay marketing and distribution costs. First Eagle settled the case without admitting or denying the allegations.

Opening an Account With First Eagle Investment Management

First Eagle makes it easy to apply for a new account. The application to open a new, non-retirement account is provided on the firm's website, under the tab “Documents and Forms.” Once filled out, the form must be wired or mailed to a regular mail address and an overnight address, both of which are provided on the application form. 

For questions about setting up an account, you can call Shareholder Services at 800-334-2143.

Where Is First Eagle Investment Management Located?

First Eagle Investment Management has its headquarters in New York. The office is located in midtown Manhattan on the Avenue of the Americas. The firm also has offices in London and Japan.

Tips for Choosing a Financial Advisor

  • Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Consider how much you have to invest. If you're just starting out and don't have a lot of money to invest, a robo-advisor might be a better option. Robo-advisors typically charge lower fees and require lower account minimums. These are the top 10 robo-advisors.

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