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GW & Wade 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.

GW & Wade is a fee-based advisory firm that currently has billions in assets under management (AUM). As a fee-based firm, some advisors earn compensation both from the advisory services provided to clients and commissions for selling financial products. 

The financial advisor’s staff of advisors includes professionals with the certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and enrolled agent (EA) designations.

The firm's website says it offers a unique approach to tax planning and that its advisors counsel clients on tax topics and prepare their year-end tax returns. 

GW & Wade Background

GW & Wade has been a registered investment advisor (RIA) since 1986. In 2007, the firm became an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of Focus Financial Partners, LLC.

While based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, GW & Wade also has offices in Palo Alto, California; Reston, Virginia; and Neeham, Massachusetts. The firm manages clients in both the U.S. and several other countries. 

GW & Wade Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

This firm serves individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, foundations,  municipalities, corporations and other business entities.

GW & Wade doesn’t have a minimum account size requirement. 

Services Offered by GW & Wade 

GW & Wade specializes in the following advisory services:

  • Portfolio management
  • Financial planning
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters
  • Educational seminars/workshops
  • Income tax preparation
  • Estate administration and consulting services
  • Facilitating credit and cash management solutions

GW & Wade Investment Philosophy 

GW & Wade says it assesses each client’s long-term goals, risk tolerance and financial resources before creating a customized portfolio allocation plan. The firm also aims to construct long-term-focused diversified portfolios. In determining the effectiveness of investment strategies, the firm measures performance and risk-based expenses and statistics. 

GW & Wade primarily invests client assets in mutual funds but the firm may also invest in actively- or passively-managed exchange-traded funds that track indices of securities. The firm may also invest in individual equities and fixed-income securities. From time to time, advisors may rely on options or third-party separate account managers 

Fees Under GW & Wade

GW & Wade offers the following fee schedule for its standard asset management services:

GW & Wade Standard Asset Management Fee Schedule
Amount of assets Annual fee
First $750,000 1.70%
Next $250,000 1.45%
Next $1.5 million 1.20%
Next $2.5 million 1.00%
Above $5 million 0.70%

Here's a look at how much you can expect to pay in fees based on how much money you have under the firm's management:

*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 GW & Wade*
Your Assets GW & Wade Fee Amount
$500K $8,500
$1MM $16,375
$5MM $59,375
$10MM $94,375

What to Watch Out For

This firm has two regulatory action disclosures on its Form ADV. Most recently, in 2018, the firm paid a $50,000 fine for allegedly failing to make sure its advisors complied with Massachusetts registration requirements. The matter was also resolved through a cease and desist order, according to the firm's Form ADV. 

Another thing worth noting about GW & Wade is that certain advisors can earn additional compensation from commissions and 12b-1 fees. This can create a conflict of interest if advisors push such products for personal gain even when they are not in the best interest of their clients. GW & Wade says it honors a fiduciary duty, but clients should keep these compensation arrangements in mind. Also keep in mind that when the firm's affiliated broker-dealer – GW & Wade Asset Management – receives a 12b-1 fee from an advisory client, the firm credits the client's account in the amount of the fee.

Opening an Account with GW & Wade

You can set up an account with GW & Wade by visiting any of the firm’s offices. You can also contact an advisor at (781) 239-1188.

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

Investing Tips for Beginners

  • Before you begin investing, it’s wise to familiarize yourself with the different types of investments and investment platforms. Consider reading our guide on investing for beginners.
  • A financial advisor can help you start your investing journey. 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.

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.

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