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Foundation Wealth Management Review

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Foundation Wealth Management

Foundation Wealth Management, LLC (FWM) is a fee-only financial advisor firm that employs just three advisors to handle its more than $300 million in assets under management (AUM). Financial planning, investment management and individual retirement account (IRA) rollovers are the principal services of FWM. The firm is located in St. Louis, Missouri.

Foundation Wealth Management Background

Foundation Wealth Management president Pamela Hardin started the firm in 2003. Hardin remains the majority owner of Foundation to this day. The advisory staff at the firm have an average of more than 16 years in the financial services industry.

Two certified financial planners (CFP) are available through Foundation Wealth Management. Although this is a small amount of advisory certifications, it’s typical of a firm of its size.

What Types of Clients Does Foundation Wealth Management Accept?

More than nine out of every 10 Foundation Wealth Management clients are individuals either with or without a high net worth. Beyond these groups, the firm works with pension plans, profit-sharing plans and state/municipal government entities.

Foundation Wealth Management Minimum Account Size

In its SEC-filed Form ADV, Foundation Wealth Management states that it institutes a $5,000 minimum annual fee. Based on the firm’s fee schedule, this charge equates to a minimum investable asset requirement of $400,000.

Services Offered by Foundation Wealth Management

Foundation Wealth Management’s services are focused on financial planning and investment management. Here’s a detailed breakdown of everything that the firm has to offer:

  • Financial planning/consulting
    • Investment management analysis
    • Retirement planning
    • Financial independence analysis
    • Capital needs analysis
    • Education funding analysis
    • Cash management analysis
    • Income tax analysis
    • Estate planning and analysis
  • Investment management
    • Discretionary and non-discretionary services available
    • Investment portfolio customization based on:
      • Risk tolerance
      • Current financial situation
      • Ultimate financial goals
  • Women in Transition program
    • Financial and life planning for women
  • IRA rollovers to a Foundation-managed account

Foundation Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) is at the core of Foundation Wealth management’s standard investment strategy. MPT simply states that every increase in risk that an investor takes must be accompanied by a proportionate uptick in return potential. In other words, this theory seeks to help investors get the most out of their respective risk tolerances by ensuring that all decisions relating to your portfolio are risk-adjusted and well considered.

Bonds, stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, individual debt securities and options are the typical investment types utilized by Foundation’s advisors. In an effort to flesh out your portfolio, the firm may also recommend variable annuities and life insurance contracts for its clients.

Fees Under Foundation Wealth Management

The investment management services at Foundation Wealth Management come with a simple, asset-based fee schedule. These fees are tiered so that the higher your balance, the lower the rate you’ll pay. Foundation charges investment management fees on a quarterly basis, in advance, meaning the percentages below are actually split into four equal parts.

Investment Management Fees
Portfolio Value Annual Fee
Up to $1MM 1.25%
Next $1MM 1.00%
Next $1MM 0.75%
Over $3MM 0.50%

On the other hand, a fixed fee structure is used for financial planning and consulting through FWM. The firm offers no indication as to what these charges could look like, but they’re negotiable and will be agreed upon prior to the initiation of any services. This fee is divided into two halves: one that must be paid at the dawn of your advisory relationship and the other when your financial plan is completed.

Check out the table below to see how Foundation’s fees for its investment management services compare to those at similar financial advisor firms. Note that these fees are only estimates and actual costs may vary.

*Fee estimates only consider the maximum base fees for the services each firm provides. You may also pay manager fees and other fees, which can vary in amount. **All figures are based on median fee levels according to Bob Veres' 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey. The above estimates solely take into account AUM-only fees. Total costs will likely be higher due to additional expenses.
Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets Foundation Wealth Management Investment Management Fees National Median Advisory Fees**
$500K $6,250 $5,000
$1MM $12,500 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $40,000 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $65,000 $50,000

What to Watch Out For

In some situations, Foundation Wealth Management may advocate for you to rollover your assets in an IRA to an account managed by the firm for a fee. A conflict of interest arises from this, as an advisor may be inclined to recommend a rollover solely for the purpose of increasing the fee-only revenue of the firm. However, FWM and its advisory team are fiduciaries, which means that they are bound by law to act in the best interests of their clients under all circumstances.

Disclosures

Foundation Wealth Management has a clean legal and regulatory record.

Opening an Account With Foundation Wealth Management

Prior to stopping by Foundation Wealth Management in St. Louis, Missouri, you may want to call its office at (314) 726-6789 for an appointment. If this doesn’t work for you, the firm also provides an email form on its website that allows you to give your personal information so an advisor can reach out to you.

Where Is Foundation Wealth Management Located?

Prospective Foundation Wealth Management clients will find the firm situated in St. Louis, Missouri at 8000 Maryland Avenue, Suite 1165.

Tips to Improve Your Investments

  • Although the DIY approach to investing has increased in popularity over recent years, the services of a financial advisor can often be much more beneficial to the right person. 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.
  • Diversification is one of the golden rules of investing. This all-important principle states that you should have your assets invested as widely across the market as possible. Doing so will protect your money in the event of a market crash, as the overall success of your portfolio won’t be tied to a small group of securities.

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 cost of living in retirement there.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities. Using that calculation, we determined how many years $1 million would last in retirement in each major city.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors throughout the country. 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.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%, reflecting the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Finally, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would last in each of the cities in our study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research