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Harbor Financial Services 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.

Harbor Financial Services is both a registered broker-dealer and a registered investment advisor (RIA). The financial advisor says on its website that it believes in creating financial plans that help each client focus on their lifestyles.

This fee-based firm’s compensation arrangements primarily include asset-based fees, hourly fees and fixed fees, but it also charges commissions for certain products.

The firm's network of investment advisor representatives (IARs) around the country work with both inidividual and institutional clients.

Harbor Financial Services Background

Harbor Financial has been providing investment advisory and brokerage services since 2006. The firm says on its brochure that it offers ongoing consultative investment management and services through investment advisory, portfolio management and consulting services. 

Harbor Financial is owned and controlled by Level Four Group, LLC. The firm also holds membership with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Harbor Financial Services Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Harbor Financial advises individuals, high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, foundations, endowments, corporations and other business entities. 

The firm generally requires a minimum of $25,000 for its accounts. 

Services Offered by Harbor Financial Services

Harbor Financial provides the following services:

  • Portfolio management
    • Representative advised account programs
    • Wrap fee programs
  • Financial planning
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
    • Separately managed accounts (SMAs)
    • Sub-advisory managed accounts
  • Educational seminars and workshops

Harbor Financial Services Investment Philosophy 

Harbor Financial generally evaluates securities and makes investment recommendations through fundamental analysis and technical analysis. The firm’s investment strategies also consist of long-term purchases, short-term purchases, short sales, margin transactions, option writing and option trading.

Asset types the firm invests in include exchange-traded equity securities, non-exchange-traded equity securities, U.S. state and local bonds, securities issued by registered investment companies, securities issued by pooled investment vehicles, cash and cash equivalents.

Fees Under Harbor Financial Services

Harbor Financial primarily charges asset-based fees for its advisory services, but the firm also earns compensation from hourly fees and commissions. You may negotiate fees with your IAR. Rates may vary based on the nature and size of your account, the level and type of advisory services being provided, and other factors. 

Wrap fees for Harbor Financial Services' ICA Platform Representative Advised Account will not exceed 2.15%. Wrap fees for the firm's ICA Platform Sub-Advisor Managed Account will not exceed 2.50%.

What to Watch Out For

Harbor Financial only has one disclosure listed on its Form ADV.  In 2012, the firm was found to have made unfair and unreasonable commission charges on certain securities. The case was settled with a $5,000 fine, a censure order and more than $19,000 in restitution being paid.

Prospective investors should also consider that Harbor Financial operates both as a broker-dealer and an investment advisor. Certain advisors can earn commissions that are in addition to compensation received from advisory fees. This can create a conflict of interest and cause advisors to favor commissioned products, but the firm says it honors a fiduciary duty.

Opening an Account with Harbor Financial Services

You can set up an account with Harbor Financial by visiting the firm’s Alabama office, or you can contact a financial advisor at (251) 650-0840. 

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

Retirement Planning Tips for Beginners

  • It’s important to establish a retirement plan before you reach retirement age. If you’re looking for a better idea of how much you’ll need in your later years, our retirement calculator can help.
  • Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be difficult. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool connects you with up to three advisors in your area.

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