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Gerber Kawasaki Review

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Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management

Taking its name from its two founders, Ross Gerber and Danilo Kawasaki, Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management is an independent advisory with offices in Santa Monica, California and San Francisco. You've likely heard of it from watching or reading CNN, CNBC, Fox Business News or Reuters, where Gerber is often commenting on the markets or being quoted. He’s also a contributing writer for Forbes.com.

The firm has nearly $2 billion in assets under management (AUM), all of which is managed is on a discretionary basis. You'll find Gerber Kawasaki on SmartAsset's short list of top financial advisors in Santa Monica.

Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management Background

Gerber Kawasaki launched in 2010, following the recent financial crisis. It offers two programs: one that targets young individuals and families (ages 25 to 45) and focuses on wealth building and one that targets older people and focuses on wealth management.

In addition to Gerber, who serves as CEO and president, and Kawasaki, who serves as COO and vice president, the firm is led by five managing partners: Zachary Bainter, Hatem Dhiab, Ben Dunbar, Matthew Iantosca and Ayal Shmilovich. With a focus on diversity, the team includes people who are fluent in Arabic, Chinese, French, Portugese, Russian and Spanish.  

Gerber and Kawasaki remain the principal owners of the firm. 

Gerber Kawasaki Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

The bulk of Gerber Kawasaki’s clients are individuals who are not uber wealthy. That said, it does have high-net-worth clients. It also serves pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, as well as corporations, other business entities and foreign investors.

The firm does not have a minimum investment requirement. It does, however, reserve the right to close accounts that it deems are too small for it to manage effectively.

Services Offered by Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management

As mentioned earlier, Gerber Kawasaki offers a program for people looking to build wealth and a program for people who need help managing their wealth. The asset level cut-off for the former is $250,000.

Additionally, the advisory offers financial planning services, selection of third-party money managers and pension consulting services.

Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management Investing Philosophy

The firm does not have one overarching investment philosophy. It is an active manager, though, and may engage in frequent trading to harvest tax losses (when an investment drops 15%) and to rebalance. Generally, it uses fundamental and technical analyses when evaluating investments. 

Fees Under Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management

As part of the wealth building program, the firm offers a free consultation and portfolio review. For a $250 one-time fee, it will then set up the investment accounts it recommends, including retirement accounts.

If you wish to continue with the firm and receive its standard investment management services, it will then monitor and rebalance your investments for an annual fee of 1.50% of your assets under management. For assets that exceed $250,000, the firm charges a management fee of 1%.

The fees follow this tiered schedule:

AUM Annual Fee
Under $250,000 1.50% 
Over $250,000 1.00% 

This chart shows you what you'll pay in asset management fees based on how much money you have at the firm:

*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 Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management*
Your Assets Gerber Kawasaki Fee Amounts
$500K $6,250
$1MM $11,250
$5MM $51,250
$10MM $101,250

The fee for financial planning is negotiable, but is generally $350 per hour. The advisory provides these time estimates for its different services:

  • Comprehensive financial planning - 10 hours
  • 401(k) review - 2 hours 
  • Portfolio makeover - 2 hours 
  • Education planning - 2 hours 
  • Insurance analysis - 2 hours 
  • Small business planning - 2 hours 
  • Financial check-up - 2 hours 
  • Financial education seminars and workshops - 1 hour

For recommending a third-party investment advisor, the firm will not charge a flat fee. Instead, it will receive a share of the advisor’s fee, which the advisor sets with clients.

What to Watch Out For

In the 10 years of its existence, Gerber Kawasaki has had no disciplinary events to report in its annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

One thing to note: advisors may also be brokers or insurance agents. These multiple roles may present conflicts of interest. When you receive any investment or insurance product recommendations, be sure you know what this advice is based on, as well as whether and how the advisor and firm may benefit from your following the recommendation. As a fiduciary, your advisor is obligated to tell you.

Opening an Account at Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management

Fill out the form on this page if you want to speak with someone at the firm about opening an account.

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

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor 

  • Want an advisor who only sells investment advice? Then what you need is what’s called a “fee-only” advisor. We can help you find one. SmartAsset’s free matching tool will connect you with up to three advisors in your area.
  • Ask prospective advisors what their median account size is. You don’t want to be their smallest account -- or the largest. In the first case, you may not get the attention you need. In the latter case, the advisor may not have the appropriate experience, know-how or resources.

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