Forum Financial Management, Inc. is a financial advisor firm based in Lombard, which is roughly 20 miles west of Chicago.
The firm manages billions of dollars in client assets. It offers both financial planning and wealth management services for individual and institutional clients.
This is a fee-based firm. That means that some of the advisors that work here can earn commissions when they sell certain insurance products or securities to clients. This is much different from a fee-only firm, which avoids these potential conflicts of interest by receiving compensation solely from client-paid fees.
Forum Financial Management Background
Forum Financial Management first opened its doors in 2002. The firm is under the ownership of a few partners.
The firm employs many advisors, most of whom hold additional advisory certifications. Specifically, there are certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), certified public accountants (CPAs), chartered financial consultants (ChFCs) and chartered life underwriters (CLUs).
Forum Financial Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Forum Financial Management works with non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations and other investment advisors as clients. Non-high-net-worth individuals far outnumber each of the other groups.
The firm generally requires at least $25,000 in investable assets to open an account. However, it may decide to waive this minimum at its discretion.
Services Offered by Forum Financial Management
Forum Financial Management provides three categories of portfolio management services:
- Active bond management
- Risk-managed equity management
- Personalized balanced portfolios
The first two services focus exclusively on fixed-income and equity securities, respectively. The third option is for clients who are looking for a portfolio that encompasses both types of security. Additionally, the firm provides management via several wrap fee and model account programs, sponsored by outside firms.
Under certain circumstances, the firm may provide financial planning services like retirement planning, risk management, asset allocation planning, income tax planning, business succession planning, estate planning and more.
Forum Financial Management Investment Philosophy
First and foremost, Forum Financial Management focuses on modern portfolio theory (MPT) when creating clients' investment portfolios. Guided by the fundamentals of MPT, your advisor will look to maximize your projected returns based on the risk tolerance you indicate at the outset of your advisory relationship with the firm.
While the approach above is focused on building customized portfolios, the firm also provides a number of model portfolios. Depending on whether you're risk-averse or more open to high-risk, high-reward investments, the firm will assign you a specific model portfolio. For example, a risk-averse investor might have a portfolio that includes a large number of fixed-income investments, whereas the riskier investor might prefer stocks. Here's a short breakdown of each model portfolio available at Forum Financial:
- Income: 0% to 30% equities and 70% to 100% fixed-income
- Income and Growth: 40% equities and 60% fixed-income
- Growth and Income: 50% equities and 50% fixed-income
- Growth: 60% to 70% equities and 30% to 40% fixed-income
- Aggressive Growth: 80% to 100% equities and 0% to 20% fixed-income
Fees Under Forum Financial Management
Forum Financial Management charges an asset-based fee for its portfolio management service. The exact rate you'll be charged will vary depending on the size of your account. On occasion, a fixed fee may be used instead of these asset-based charges.
|Portfolio Management Fee Schedule|
|AUM||Annual Fee Rate|
|Up to $999,999||1.20%|
|$1,000,000 - $1,999,999||1.00%|
|$2,000,000 - $4,999,999||0.80%|
Here's a breakdown of about what you can expect to pay for portfolio management services at Forum Financial:
|*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 Forum Financial Management*|
|Your Assets||Forum Financial Management Fee Amounts|
In order to gain access to Forum Financial's financial planning services, you'll need to be an investment client of the firm. Therefore, if you take advantage of these offerings, you won't be on the hook for any related charges.
What to Watch Out For
Forum Financial Management's Form ADV shows no legal or regulatory disclosures on its record.
Forum Financial Management's income structure is fee-based, meaning some advisors at the firm have the ability to earn commissions for selling certain securities or insurance products to clients. This incentives inherent in this arrangement represent a potential conflict of interest. However, Forum Financial Management abides by fiduciary duty, legally binding it to always act in clients' best interests.
Opening an Account With Forum Financial Management
If you’re interested in starting a client-advisor relationship with this firm, you can reach out in a couple of different ways. You can try calling the firm’s headquarters at (630) 873-8520, or you can visit the firm’s website and fill out a form with your name, contact info and a brief message describing what services you're seeking.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Tips for Managing Your Investments
- Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- In order to accurately plan your financial future, you should calculate what kind of returns you’ll need from an investment portfolio to reach your goals. There are a few ways to do this, including SmartAsset’s investment calculator or the rule of 72.