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Index Fund Advisors 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.

Headquartered in Irvine, California, Index Fund Advisors, Inc. (IFA) is a fee-only advisory firm offering a range of wealth management services to individual and institutional clients. The firm holds a spot on SmartAsset's list of the top financial advisor firms in Irvine. It has also won many different awards from entities like the Financial Times, Barron's, CNBC, and more.

Index Fund Advisors offers an extrememly robust selection of investing and financial planning content and tools. These include consistent articles and videos that highlight things happening in the market, as well as investing books and movies. But perhaps the most unique tool is the IFA mobile app for Apple and Android phones. Through the app, clients are able to check on their account's performance, contact a wealth advisor directly, read investing articles and more.

Index Fund Advisors Background

Founded by owner and president Mark T. Hebner, Index Fund Advisors has been providing investment advisory services since 1999. The firm is a registered investment advisor (RIA) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and it says it specializes in providing risk-appropriate, return-optimized, globally diversified and tax-managed investment management.

Of the advisors who work at this firm, there are certified financial planners (CFPs) and accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs).

Index Fund Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes 

Index Fund Advisors almost entirely serves individuals with and without a high net worth. However, the firm also works with a handful of endowments, retirement plans, trusts, estates and charitable organizations.

The firm generally requires new clients to have at least $100,000 in investable assets when opening an account. The firm may decide to waive this requirement, though.

Services Offered by Index Fund Advisors

Index Fund Advisors specializes in the following services:

  • Investment management
    • Risk-adjusted investment recommendations
    • Asset allocation planning
    • Quarterly performance reporting
    • Rebalances
  • Financial planning
    • Retirement planning
    • College planning
    • Charitable gift planning
    • Estate planning
    • Trust planning
    • Insurance planning
    • Tax planning
    • Accounting services
  • Pension consulting
    • Fiduciary services
    • Education, enrollment and advice for plan participants
    • Investment advice and management for plan sponsors

Index Fund Advisors Investment Philosophy

As its name makes clear, Index Fund Advisors tends to invest client assets in a collection of index funds. It has chosen this philosophy as a result of its belief that strategies that look to beat the market tend to be unsuccessful over the long term. The firm invests throughout global capital markets through index portfolios that it has designed. Each of these portfolios utilizes a different risk tolerance level in order to ensure that every client will find one that meets their needs.

Specific portfolio construction is based on the tenets of modern portfolio theory. As such, the firm will build your portfolio in a way that's designed to maximize returns for your specific risk tolerance. Many of the index funds your money is invested in will include fixed-income securities and real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Fees Under Index Fund Advisors

For its investment advisory services, IFA charges fees which are billed quarterly and payable in advance. Additional fees include transaction and/or brokerage fees and other custodial charges. Below, we’ve listed the firm’s fee schedule for investment advisory services:

Index Fund Advisors Fee Schedule
AUM Annual Fee
First $500,000 0.90%
Next $500,000 0.75%
Next $1,000,000 0.60%
Next $2,000,000 0.45%
Next $2,000,000 0.30%
Next $4,000,000 0.25%
Above $10,000,000 0.20%

For clarity, here's an estimate of what you'll pay for advisory services at Index Fund Advisors:

*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 Index Fund Advisors*
Your Assets Index Fund Advisors Fee Amount
$500K $4,500
$1MM $8,250
$5MM $26,250
$10MM $39,250

Should you take advantage of IFA's tax services, you'll adhere to a different fee schedule. This is highlighted by a fixed fee of anywhere from $200 to $5,000.

What to Watch Out For

Index Fund Advisors' SEC-filed Form ADV doesn’t list any legal or regulatory disclosures.

Opening an Account with Index Fund Advisors

The easiest way to become a client of Index Fund Advisors is to call the firm's Irvine, California headquarters at (949) 502-0050 and set up a meeting with an advisor. The firm also offers an online contact form, which you should fill out if you want an advisor to reach out to you.

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

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

  • There are many financial advisor firms to choose from, but the work can be done for you. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Before choosing an advisor, it's important to ask certain questions to ensure the best quality of service. It's useful to ask whether your advisor honors a fiduciary standard. This ensures that your advisor works in your best interest. You'll also want to ask whether you're advisor has a fee-based or fee-only fee structure. In doing so, you can learn how your advisor is compensated and also anticipate any potential conflicts of interest.

How Long $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.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We weighed potential expenditures for a prospective retiree with a  $1 million nest egg to assess how many years that fund would cover in retirement in America’s largest cities.

We 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 metro areas across the U.S.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a net annual return of 2% after inflation. 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.