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Freestone Capital Management Review

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Freestone Capital Management LLC

In business since 1999, Freestone Capital Management, LLC (originally formed as a corporation) oversees nearly $4.7 billion in assets. The wealth manager is based in Seattle and has three offices in California - San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Sunnyvale - and one in Portland, Oregon. It currently ranks No. 2 on SmartAsset’s top financial advisors in Seattle list and No. 3 on SmartAsset’s list for Washington State.

In addition to a full suite of financial planning services, Freestone Capital offers both traditional and alternative asset management. The bulk of its clients are high-net-worth individuals and families. It also serves less wealthy individuals, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.

Freestone Capital Management Background

As company lore has it, Gary Fukuwara founded Freestone Capital with profits from being an early Amazon investor. A fly fisherman, he took the name of a kind of river that is good for his sport, a freestone river, for the firm. The idea was that just as rocks are free to roll downriver, so too would information be free to flow at the firm.

Fukuwara and his wife, Della, own 25% to 50% of the firm through entities they control. He manages the firm, along with Erik Morgan, a senior partner who has a small stake.

What Types of Clients Does Freestone Capital Management Accept?

As noted earlier, the firm primarily works with high-net-worth individuals and families. It also serves people who are less wealthy, plus pension and profit-sharing plans, financial institutions (including funds of funds), trusts, endowments, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities and third-party investment advisors. 

Also, in its capacity as investment manager to its private funds, Freestone Capital technically counts these private funds as clients.

Freestone Capital Management Minimum Account Sizes

Freestone Capital does not set minimum account sizes, though it says that it seeks clients who can invest at least $1 million in discretionary assets ($500,000 if referred through Schwab Advisor Network service). According to SEC data, minimums for its private funds range from $250,000 to $1 million.

Services Offered by Freestone Capital Management

Freestone Capital provides investment advisory services on either a discretionary or non-discretionary basis, including access to its private funds. It also offers: 

  • Financial planning
  • Tax planning
  • Estate and trust planning
  • Insurance (life and disability in Washington, Oregon, Michigan and Maryland)
  • College planning

Freestone Capital Management Investing Philosophy

The specific strategies of Freestone Capital’s private funds are outlined in each fund’s offering documents. With client portfolios, the firm generally seeks to help clients “stay wealthy” by keeping “a proper balance of risk and reward.” It typically takes long-term positions, but may also use short-term purchases, trading, concentrated positions, short sales and other techniques.

Advisors will recommend a combination of these investing strategies:

  • Global equity portfolios - utilize internally managed model equity and externally managed equity models 
  • Domestic fixed income portfolios - utilize internally managed and externally managed fixed income models 
  • Alternative investments - includes an internally managed model of “liquid alternative” mutual funds and the private funds 
  • On a case-by-case basis, the firm may create customized solutions for clients.

Fees Under Freestone Capital Management

Freestone Capital’s annual management fees vary, depending on the client, but will not exceed 1.5% of assets that it manages or advises. The minimum allowed is $4,000 for Charles Schwab-referred clients and $6,000 for everyone else. In some cases, clients may negotiate a performance-based fee rather than a management fee. 

The annual management fee for its private funds is generally 1%, plus a performance-based fee. Also, many private funds carry an additional asset-based fee of 0.10%.

Freestone Capital Management Awards and Recognition

In 2018, Barron’s named senior partner Erik Morgan as the No. 1 Advisor in Washington State. It also ranked him No. 20 on its 2017 list of Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors.

Financial Advisor ranked the firm No. 69 (out of 707) registered investment advisors in its 2018 survey of the country.

What to Watch Out For

While Freestone Capital’s investment advisory services are fee-based, the firm does sell insurance products. So advisors who are insurance agents may receive commissions in their separate capacities. 

Disclosures

Freestone Capital had no disclosures to report in its most recent SEC filings.

Opening an Account With Freestone Capital Management

To contact Freestone Capital, call (800) 990-3001 or the office nearest you:

  • Seattle - (206) 707-7300
  • Portland, OR - (503) 734-3234 
  • San Francisco - (415) 510-6850 
  • Santa Barbara, CA - (805) 845-8012 
  • Sunnyvale, CA - (415) 510-6850

Alternately, you can submit a request that the firm contact you at https://www.freestonecapital.com/locations.

Where Is Freestone Capital Management Located?

Freestone Capital has five locations: 

  • 701 Fifth Avenue, 74th Floor, Seattle, Washington 98104 (headquarters)
  • 1211 SW Fifth Avenue, Suite 2325, Portland, Oregon 97204
  • 205 East Carrillo Street, Suite 217, Santa Barbara, California 93101
  • 101 California Street, Suite 1825, San Francisco, California 94111
  • 640 W California Avenue, Suite 210, Sunnyvale, California 94086

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

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • Ask how prospective advisors get paid. Those whose only compensation is from the fees they charge you will likely have fewer conflicts of interests than those who also receive commissions. That said, if any advisors say they are a fiduciary, that means they will work in your best interests.
  • Use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool. Simply answer questions about your financial situation and preferences, and the program will match you with up to three suitable advisors in your area.

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.

Least
Most
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