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Level Four Advisory Services Review

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Level Four Advisory Services

Level Four Advisory Services (also known as Level Four Wealth Management) is a fee-only financial advisor based in Plano, Texas that also has advisors in 17 other states. The firm manages nearly $3 billion in assets across 135 advisory employees. Level Four deals mostly with non-high-net-worth individuals and families, with services like asset management and financial planning at its core.

Level Four Advisory Services is part of the LPL Financial independent network of financial advisors and financial institutions. Beyond this, Level Four also provides investment advisory services to a number of other financial advisor firms throughout the U.S.

Level Four Advisory Services Background

Level Four Advisory Services opened its doors for business in 2005. Level Four Group, a financial services holding company, is the direct owner of Level Four Advisory Services. Furthermore, Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC ultimately owns Level Four Group.

Because of the impressive size of Level Four, the team of advisors at the firm boasts a wide range of advisory certifications. Most notably, this list includes 24 certified financial planners (CFP), 13 chartered life underwriters (CLU), nine chartered financial consultants (ChFC), eight chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPC), five certified public accountants (CPA), four accredited investment fiduciaries (AIF) and many more.

What Types of Clients Does Level Four Advisory Services Accept?

Nearly 95% of Level Four Advisory Services’ client base is made up of individuals without a high net worth. High-net-worth individuals, families, estates, trusts, pension plans, profit-sharing plans, businesses, charitable organizations and pooled investment vehicles flesh out the remainder of the firm’s typical clientele.

Level Four Advisory Services Minimum Account Size

If you subscribe to the Wealth Management, Participant Asset Management or Digital Advice programs at Level Four Advisory Services, there are no minimum account sizes. However, some accounts must abide by minimums such as these:

  • Proprietary investment strategies
  • Unified Managed Account program: $50,000
  • LPL Financial Sponsored Advisory Programs
    • Manager Access Select and Manager Access Network: $100,000
    • Model Wealth Portfolios: $25,000
    • Optimum Market Portfolios: $10,000
    • Personal Wealth Portfolios: $250,000
    • Guided Wealth Portfolios: $5,000

Services Offered by Level Four Advisory Services

Level Four Advisory Services has a fairly diverse selection of planning and management services, especially for individuals and businesses. Here’s an in-depth analysis of the firm’s offerings:

  • Comprehensive financial planning
    • Long-term focus
    • Investment planning
    • Tax planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Asset allocation planning
    • Risk management
      • Insurance planning
    • College fund planning
  • Asset management
    • Investment management
    • Continuous account monitoring
    • Proprietary investment portfolios
      • Equity portfolios
      • Risk-adjusted asset allocation portfolios
      • Digital Advisor
    • Separately managed accounts (SMAs)
  • LPL Financial Sponsored Advisory Programs
    • Manager Access Select and Manager Access Network
    • Model Wealth Portfolios
    • Optimum Market Portfolios
    • Personal Wealth Portfolios
    • Guided Wealth Portfolios
  • Business services
    • Business succession
    • Key employee retention strategies
    • Retirement plan services and consulting for sponsors and participants
      • 401(k)s
      • Pension plans
      • Profit-sharing plans
    • Tax and accounting optimization
    • Business owner protection
    • “Buy/Sell” agreements
    • Business valuations

Level Four Advisory Services Investment Philosophy

As you might expect, Level Four Advisory Services opens all client relationships with a process it calls “The Four Levels.” Here’s more information:

  • Level One: This step is all about organization, as it entails collecting all of your finances into a single place so it’s easy to review and monitor.
  • Level Two: Collaboration is the focus here. You and your advisor will have an open discussion about what your financial goals are and how you can attain them. This will also lead to the beginnings of your financial plan.
  • Level Three: The firm aptly titles this level “Plan,” as your financial plan will now come to fruition. Factors that are considered include taxes, health concerns, market volatility and more.
  • Level Four: In this final stage, you and your advisor will remain in constant communication with one another in order to reach consistent portfolio growth.

In an effort to meet the needs of every client, Level Four Advisory Services has built predetermined risk-adjusted portfolios. You’ll be able to select from these options: income with capital preservation, income with moderate growth, growth with income, growth and aggressive growth. Within these portfolios are investments like stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options and more.

Fees Under Level Four Advisory Services

The fee schedules at Level Four Advisory Services are dependent on the type of services that you’re using. For example, if you want a personalized financial plan, you will need to pay either an hourly or fixed fee. The firm does not release specific rates for the fixed fee, but the hourly fee will generally be beneath $300 an hour. Financial plan consulting services follow a similar structure, but they come with a full year of unlimited office meetings and phone calls.

The asset management fees below operate on a sliding scale, with the complexity of your services determining the exact rate that you’re given. Although these fees are shown in annual percentages, you’ll need to pay them quarterly, in advance.

Asset Management Fees
Program Name Maximum Annual Fee
Wealth Management Program 2.50%
Unified Managed Account Program 0.30% - 2.50%
Participant Asset Management Program 1.25%
Digital Advice Program
  • Directly-opened accounts: 0.25%
  • Accounts through a representative: 0.75%

One of three fee types is afforded to clients who utilize Level Four’s retirement plan services: a one-time fixed fee, an annual fixed fee or a percentage fee. Unfortunately the firm has not made visible what your fixed fees could look like. Its Form ADV does specify, though, that “at no time will (the firm) require payment of more than $1,200 in fees and more than six months in advance.” On the other hand, the percentage fee is capped at 2.50% annually.

Clients who choose to take advantage of the LPL Financial Sponsored Advisory Programs are subject to an entirely different fee schedule. These rates are divvied up by the program you’re enrolled in, and they go as follows:

Fees for LPL Financial Sponsored Advisory Programs
Program Name Maximum Annual Fee
Manager Access Select and Manager Access Network 3.00%
Model Wealth Portfolios 2.83%
Optimum Market Portfolios 2.50%
Personal Wealth Portfolios 2.50%
Guided Wealth Portfolios 1.35%

What to Watch Out For

Level Four Advisory Services is a fee-only firm, meaning it makes all of its money solely from the fees it charges clients. However, some of the firm’s employees are licensed insurance agents and registered representatives of broker-dealers. These titles indicate that the aforementioned advisors have the potential to earn additional compensation from the sale of insurance products and certain securities, respectively. Despite all of this, Level Four Advisory Services and its advisors are registered fiduciaries, so they are legally bound to act in your best financial interests at all times.

Disclosures

According to its SEC-filed Form ADV, Level Four Advisory Services has a clean legal and regulatory record.

Opening an Account With Level Four Advisory Services

The most direct ways to become a client of Level Four Advisory Services is either to stop by or call one of the firm’s locations in the state nearest you. If you visit Level Four’s website, though, you will also find a directory featuring the contact information for each of the firm’s advisors, along with two forms that ask for your information so an advisor can reach out to you.

Where Is Level Four Advisory Services Located?

Level Four Advisory Services is headquartered in Plano, Texas at 5850 Granite Parkway, Suite 270. If you don’t live in Texas, chances are the firm still employs advisors near you. In fact, you can find Level Four’s services in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia and Wyoming as well.

Tips to Improve Your Portfolio

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  • Risk tolerance can sometimes come across as an abstract idea that might not seem to have much real world relevance. By contrast, this couldn’t be any more important to the overall health of your investments. This is because risk tolerance dictates what your asset allocation will be. For help figuring this out, take a look at SmartAsset’s asset allocation calculator.

How Many Years $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.

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

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

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%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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