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Kovack 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.

Kovack Advisors is a financial advisor firm based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, whose motto is "Independent. Strong. Supportive." Though the firm serves both individual and institutional clients, it focuses on the former. In total, the firm has billions of dollars in assets under management (AUM) and over 11,000 clients. 

This is a fee-based firm, which means it's advisors can receive compensation in the form of either client-paid fees or third-party commissions for things like insurance or securities. A fee-only firm, on the other hand, earns all income from client-paid fees.

Kovack Advisors Background

Founded in 2004 by former chairman Ronald Kovack and Brian Kovack, current president Chris Mills, the firm functions as a registered investment advisor (RIA) that also works with a network of independent advisors who are scattered throughout the country. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kovack Financial, LLC. Today, the firm is run by president Chris Mills and vice president for advisory services Melinda Wolfe.

Kovack Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Kovack Advisors serves non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, banks and thrift institutions, charitable organizations and corporations. However, individuals are far and away its most common client type.

Kovack has varying minimum account size requirements. These typically range from $10,000 to $100,000 depending on the services you use.

Services Offered by Kovack Advisors

Through its own advisors and network of investment advisor representatives (IARs), Kovack Advisors offers the following advisory services:

  • Financial planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Estate planning
    • Education funding
    • Business planning
    • Charitable gift planning
    • Long-term care planning
    • Survivor income needs
  • Investment portfolio management
    • Wrap fee programs
    • Available through third-party programs
    • Customizable portfolios

Kovack Advisors Investment Philosophy 

Kovack’s investment strategies include asset allocation, dollar-cost averaging, technical analysis, long-term purchases and short-term purchases. The firm says that, when employing these strategies, it considers each client’s investment objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon. 

The firm utilizes mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), U.S. stocks, foreign stock, investment-grade fixed-income securities, non-investment-grade fixed-income securities, tax-exempt municipal bonds, U.S. government and government agency securities, derivatives, real estate investment trusts and business development companies

Fees Under Kovack Advisors

For investment advisory services, Kovack typically charges an annual fee of up to 2.90% of assets. The firm also charges up to this rate for third-party asset manager services. For financial planning, Kovack charges up to $350 per hour. Generally speaking, fees are charged on a quarterly basis, in advance.

What to Watch Out For

Kovack Advisors has nine regulatory disclosures listed on its Form ADV, although only one is attributed directly to the firm itself. 

As mentioned earlier, certain Kovack advisors can earn commissions from the sale of investment products or insurance. Advisors may also generate additional fees from mutual funds. Both compensation arrangements can create a potential conflict of interest, but Kovack says it abides by a fiduciary obligation to protect each client’s best interests.

Opening an Account With Kovack Advisors 

If you’re interested in setting up an account with Kovack, you can visit the firm’s Florida office or you can call (954) 782-4771 to schedule an appointment.

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

Retirement Planning Tips for Beginners

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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