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Fragasso Financial 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.

Fragasso Financial Advisors is one of SmartAsset's top financial advisors in Pittsburgh. The firm offers services such as financial planning and portfolio managment. It features a diverse client base that consists of both individuals with and without a high net worth, trusts, businesses and more.

As a fee-based firm, certain advisors at Fragasso may have the ability to receive third-party compensation in addition to client fees. A fee-only firm, on the other hand, receives only client-paid fees.

Fragasso Financial Advisors Background

Fragasso Financial Advisors (sometimes known as FFA) is the DBA ("doing business as") name of the Fragasso Group, which became registered as an investment advisor in 1996. Robert Fragasso started out as a sole practitioner in 1972, formed the Fragasso Group in 1979 and moved to an independent broker-dealer and investment advisor in 1996. The Fragasso Group began operating under "FFA" in 2007. It changed its legal name to Fragasso Financial Advisors, Inc. in 2016.

Fragasso Financial Advisors is independent and employee-owned. It's owned by Robert Fragasso and the Fragasso Financial Advisors, Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Trust.

Fragasso Financial Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Fragasso Financial Advisors advises the following types of clients:

  • Non-high-net-worth individuals
  • High-net-worth individuals
  • Trusts
  • Corporations
  • Retirement plan sponsors
  • Municipal pension plans
  • Charitable institutions
  • Foundations and endowments

As a general rule, individual clients of Fragasso Financial Advisors must have a minimum of $250,000 of investable assets for the household. Certain advisors may make exceptions at the sole discretion of the firm.

Services Offered by Fragasso Financial Advisors

Offerings from Fragasso Financial Advisors include asset management services, retirement plan consulting services, corporate planning and educational services, retirement asset advisory services, retirement asset modeling services and investment account advisory services. 

With regard to asset management services, the firm offers discretionary services after understanding the client's personal financial situation, goals and risk. Advisors will use a variety of investment types, including (but not limited to) institutional no-load and load-waived mutual funds, ETFs, variable annuity subaccounts, alternative investments, individual stocks and options.

With regard to retirement plan consulting services, the firm offers these services to retirement plan sponsors in various areas, including investment policy statement, service provider liaison, investment monitoring, performance reports, education services to plan sponsor or participant, particpant enrollment, vendor analysis and fee assessment. 

In terms of corporate planning and educational services, there are three levels of service depending on the seniority of the employee: executive officers and senior managers, executive and managers as well as general workforce employees.

With regards to investment account advisory services, the firm offer assessment, recommendations and monitoring of a client's investments for non-retirement investment accounts that are held outside of the FFA's purview. 

Fragasso Financial Advisors Investing Philosophy

For investment advisory services, Fragasso Financial Advisors the portfolio management department creates portfolios using a diversified global asset allocation strategy driven by each client's specific goals. The firm generally uses investment vehicles such as mutual funds, ETFs, variable annuity subaccounts, alternative investments, individual stocks and options. 

The firm uses a fundamental approach for analyzing investment opportunities for these accounts and considers the overall economy (both domestic and global) when selecting specific investments and making asset allocations. It uses various sources to collect data and make analyses, including financial newspapers and magazines, economic and market research materials prepared by others, conference calls hosted by mutual funds, corporate rating services, annual reports, prospectuses and company press releases.

Fees Under Fragasso Financial Advisors

Fragasso Financial Advisors discloses the exact amount of advisory fees in its written agreement with the client. The firm will not require payment of more than $1,200 in fees more than six months in advance. Advisory fees are based on a percentage of the market value of each client's AUM. Fees are negotiable at the discretion of the firm. The tiered fee schedule is below:

Fragasso Financial Advisors Fee Schedule
AUM Annual Fee
First $500,000 1.25%
$500,001 - $1,000,000 1.00%
$1,000,001 - $5,000,000 0.75%
$5,000,001 - $10,000,000 0.50%
$10,000,001 and up 0.45%

Below is the estimated dollar amount you'd pay in advisory fees at Fragasso, 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 Fragasso Financial Advisors*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount Charged on All AUM
$500K $6,250
$1MM $11,250
$5MM $41,250
$10MM $66,250

With regard to corporate planning and educational services, Fragasso Financial Advisors fees are not negotiable. For the executive officers and senior managers level, the fee is $7,500 per executive or manager in the first year and $2,500 per year thereafter. For the executives and managers level, fees are $525 per attendee per workshop (with a five-person minimum required). Finally, for the general workforce employees level, the cost is a $750 flat fee per 1.5-hour seminar and a $375 flat fee per 45-minute seminar.

For retirement asset modeling services, the fee schedule is a flat dollar figure based on the scope of the services involved. The ranges are as follows: $100 for 0-5 investment choices in the retirement plan, $250 for 6-10 investment choices in the retirement plan and $450 for 11 or more investment choices in the retirement plan.

Fragasso Financial Advisors Awards and Recognition

Fragasso Financial Advisors has received many awards for its work, including the following: 

  • Barron's Top Independent Advisors - Ranked No. 1 in Western Pennsylvania, 2020
  • Investment News' Best Place to Work for Financial Advisors - Ranked No. 15 in the U.S., May 2020
  • Investment News' Best Place to Work for Financial Advisors - Ranked No. 65 in the U.S., April 2019
  • Barron's America's Top 1,200 Indpendent Advisors - Ranked No. 1 in Western Pennsylvania, March 2020

What to Watch Out For

Fragasso Financial Advisors does not have any legal or regulatory disclosures present on its SEC-filed Form ADV.  

It's important to note that certain advisors here may also be broker-dealer representatives. Employees acting in these roles generally receive transaction-based commissions, which could be a potential conflict of interest. That said, as an SEC-registered investment advisor, the firm is legally obligated to uphold its fiduciary duty and work in clients’ best interests at all times.

Opening an Account With Fragasso Financial Advisors

To open an account with Fragasso Financial Advisors, you can visit the firm's website or call (412) 227-3200.

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

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • When you're choosing a financial advisor, it's important to get a variety of potential choices. SmartAsset's free financial advisor matching tool can make this search process much easier as it can pair you with up to three advisors in you area. Get started now.
  • Ask candidates whether they adhere to the fiduciary standard of putting clients’ interests first. Yes is the ideal answer, of course. But they may follow a lower standard of providing only suitable recommendations.

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.

Least
Most
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