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JW Cole 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.

JW Cole Advisors (JWCA) is a registered investment advisor firm located in Tampa, Florida, that conducts its advisory business through a network of hundreds of investment advsor representatives (IARs). Through these independent advisors, the fee-based firm works with both individual and institutional clients around the country. 

JW Cole Advisors Background 

JWCA was founded in 2000 by John Carlson. Carlson also serves as the firm’s president, chief executive officer (CEO) and chief financial officer (CFO). JWCA chiefly offers investment advisory services, while its affiliated, independent broker-dealer, JW Cole Financial, Inc., provides securities, investment products and insurance services to independent advisors. National Financial Services, LLC (NFS) serves as JWCA’s clearing firm for its brokerage business.  

JW Cole Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes 

JWCA serves individuals and high-net-worth individuals, partnerships, trusts, estates, pension and profit-sharing plans, charities, corporations and other entities. The firm’s minimum account sizes generally range from $10,000 to $100,000. 

Services Offered by JW Cole Advisors

JWCA specializes in the following advisory services:

  • Portfolio management: JW Cole Advisors offers four types of managed programs: 
    • Traditional and Signature Advisory Account Programs: IARs directly manage client accounts according to their financial profile and investment objectives. 
    • Asset-based Advisory Account Program: Wrap fee program with one, all-inclusive fee that covers advisory services, custodial and transactional fees. IARs tailor their investment advice to a client's financial profile and investment objectives. 
    • Managed Account Solutions Program: Allows an IAR to manage a client's investment advisory portfolio by using a third-party advisory service. 
    • JWCA AMP Program: Automated online program that uses a simple question-based process to access risk tolerance and build a client's porfolio. 
  • Financial planning
  • Selection of other advisors, including private fund managers
  • Variable Annuity sub-account management

JW Cole Advisors Investment Philosophy

Among the firm’s top securities evaluation methods are fundamental analysis and technical analysis. JWCA may invest a variety of public and private securities, including equities, corporate debt, government obligations, municipal securities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), unit investment trusts, mutual funds, annuities and insurance products and other investment instruments.

After determining a client’s circumstances, investment objectives and needs, JWCA employs one or more of the following strategies: long- and short-term purchases, trading, margin transactions and option transactions. 

Fees Under JW Cole Advisors 

JWCA charges an asset-based fees through a tiered schedule for the Traditional and Signature Advisory Account Programs, Asset-Based Advisory Account Program and Managed Account Solutions Program. Asset-based fees follow this schedule:

Amount of assets Management fee
First $250K 2.65%
$250,001-$500K 2.45%
$500,001 - $1MM 1.75%
$1,000,001 - $2MM 1.50%
Above $2MM Negotiable 

Here's how much you may pay in management fees based on the size of your account:

*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 JW Cole Advisors*
Your Assets JW Cole Advisors Fee Amounts
$500K $12,750
$1MM $21,500
$5MM Negotiable
$10MM Negotiable

The firm may also charge a flat rate or by the hour for financial planning and consulting services. Hourly rates may range up to $350 per hour. Clients who work with third-party investment advisors will incur management fees that cover the advisor, JWCA, platform provider and transaction costs. For variable annuity sub-accounts, advisors charge up to 2.00% of AUM. 

Meanwhile, the firm charges the following rates for its wrap fee program:

Assets Under Management Wrap Fee
First $250K 2.95%
$250,001 - $500K 2.71%
$500,001 - $1MM 2.00%
$1,000,001 - $2MM 1.74%
Above $2MM Negotiable

What to Watch Out For 

JWCA’s Form ADV reports one regulatory action, which involved one or more of its advisory affiliates. The disclosure doesn’t provide details about the event. 

The majority of the firm's IARs are dually registered as representatives of JW Cole Financial and may also be licensed insurance agents. When recommending or selling insurance or investment products, advisors can earn commission-based compensation in addition to the firm’s asset-based management fees. This creates potential conflicts of interest. That said, the firm has a fiduciary duty to put clients' interests first, and it says it requires its representatives to disclose all conflicts of interest. 

Opening an Account With JW Cole Advisors

To contact the firm, call the firm’s principal office at (813) 935-6776 to set up an appointment.

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

Tips for Saving for Retirement 

  • It’s never too soon to begin saving for retirement. In fact, the earlier you start, the more money you’ll likely have for your post-employment years. But exactly how much money do you need to retire? Our retirement calculator can help. 
  • Financial professionals can be instrumental in helping you reach your short- and long-term savings goals. If you’d like help finding an advisor near you, SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service connects you with up to three local advisors based on your preferences.

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