Howard Capital Management is a fee-only registered investment advisor (RIA) based in Roswell, Georgia. Its financial advisors build portfolios using the firm’s proprietary stop-loss tool designed to take emotions out of investing while reducing downside risk.
The firm currently has more than $1.36 billion in assets under management (AUM).
Howard Capital Management Background
Ronald Vance Howard founded the firm in 1999, following the creation of Chartered Financial Services, Inc. in 1992. He was also co-publisher of The Savvy Investor and the SI Intermediate-term Trader newsletter, which had subscribers in more than 25 countries.
Today, he leads an executive team with a combined industry experience of more than 80 years.
Howard Capital Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Howard Capital Management serves individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities. To open an advisory account with the firm, you’d need a minimum balance of $2,500, though Howard Capital Management may reduce or waive this minimum at its discretion.
Services Offered by Howard Capital Management
This RIA provides individuals with various wealth planning and portfolio management services through its different divisions. You can reach out to Howard Capital Management directly, but the company primarily offers portfolio management services to accounts referred to it by unaffiliated broker-dealers.
If you reach out directly, Howard Capital Management can work with you and manage a separately managed account (SMA) on your behalf. Depending on your financial profile, your portfolio may invest in such securities as mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which offer exposure to various industry sectors for diversification purposes.
The firm may also invest your assets in shares of HCM Funds, a family of mutual funds that Howard Capital Management provides investment advisory services to.
Self-Directed Brokerage Window
Some retirement plan providers may allow individuals to access funds outside the plan menu through a self-directed brokerage window (SDBA) with Howard Capital Management. This platform may provide access to a wider investment universe of stocks, bonds, mutual funds and more. Contact your plan provider to see if you qualify.
Thrift Savings Plans
Howard Capital Management also helps federal employees establish asset allocations and investment selections for their thrift savings plans (TSP).
Howard Capital Management Investment Philosophy
When managing client accounts, Howard Capital Management generally aims to invest in equities during rising bull markets and switch focus to money market or short-term bonds during sluggish bear markets. It uses its proprietary HCM-BuyLine tool to help it determine such trends. The tool, which the firm describes as a “non-emotional , mechanical and repeatable system [that] helps takes the guesswork out of HCM investment decisions,” is based on a proprietary calculation of the strength of the market based on the ratio of new highs to new lows on Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange.
Fees Under Howard Capital Management
For portfolio management, Howard Capital Management charges annual fees based on percentage of assets under management. The firm doesn’t publish its fee schedule, but notes that this percentage won’t exceed 2.2%. These fees are billed monthly in advance and are based on the market value of your account at the closing of the last business day of the previous month.
These advisory fees are separate from other charges your account may face, such as brokerage transaction fees, custodian costs and expenses associated with the funds you may be invested in.
Fees for TSP Optimizer and SDBW vary based on the extent of your relationship with the firm.
What to Watch Out For
Howard Capital Management provides advisory services to the HCM Funds, which it may recommend to clients. This, of course, presents a potential conflict of interest. That said, as a fiduciary, Howard Capital Management is legally obligated to make recommendations solely in the best interests of its clients.
In addition, you should be aware that Howard Capital Management does not offer individual financial planning services. It also doesn't prepare estate planning documents or tax returns.
Howard Capital Management does not have any legal or disciplinary matters to disclose that may be material to a potential client’s evaluation of the firm’s business. For its latest disclosures, you can access the firm’s Form ADV on the Securities and Exchange Commission's Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website.
Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor
- Don’t just go with the first advisor you encounter. To make this important decision with confidence and enough information, you should interview at least three advisors. To help you find suitable ones, use SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool. It recommends up to three advisors in your area depending on your needs and preferences.
- Ask prospective advisors if they adhere to a fiduciary standard. Some do only some of the time. If they're also brokers or insurance agents, they likely follow other standards when wearing those hats. Here are five questions to ask when choosing a financial advisor.
All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.