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Lighthouse Wealth Management Review

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Lighthouse Wealth Management

Lighthouse Wealth Management, LLC (LWM) is a fee-based financial advisor in New York, New York. The firm has just a one-person advisory staff that has nearly $9 million in assets under management (AUM).

Lighthouse Wealth Management Background

Lighthouse Wealth Management was established in 2008. Principal owner and managing member Richard Esposito founded the firm. Esposito has around 20 years of experience in the field of financial services.

Richard Esposito holds a trio of advisory certifications. He is a chartered financial consultant (ChFC), chartered life underwriter (CLU) and chartered healthcare consultant (ChHC).

What Types of Clients Does Lighthouse Wealth Management Accept?

Of the slightly more than 20 clients that subscribe to the services of Lighthouse Wealth Management, more than 15 of them are high-net-worth individuals. Non-high-net-worth individuals, estates, trusts, corporations, businesses and charitable organizations round out the remainder of the firm’s typical clientele.

Lighthouse Wealth Management Minimum Account Size

As a general requirement, Lighthouse Wealth Management prefers clients with at least $500,000 in investable assets. If the firm allows you to bypass this stipulation, you will be subject to a minimum annual fee of $5,000 instead.

Services Offered by Lighthouse Wealth Management

Lighthouse Wealth Management has a number of financial planning and investment advisory offerings under the umbrella of its wealth management services. Here is a detailed outline of what Lighthouse can do:

  • Financial planning
    • Budget planning
    • Family record and personal liability analysis
    • Financial goal determination
    • Income tax review and minimization
      • Inflation and investment considerations
    • Federal and state income tax return preparations
    • Spending analysis
    • Estate planning
    • Disability income analysis
    • End-of-life cash needs
    • Income requirements of surviving dependents
    • Retirement planning
    • Insurance review and risk management
    • Mortgage and debt refinancing analysis
    • Cash flow planning
    • Financial advice
  • Investment advisory services
    • Investment Policy Statement (IPS) development
    • Securities reviews
    • Client investment discretion
    • Portfolio rebalances
    • Outside manager selection
    • Cost-efficient investment liquidations as needed
    • Reporting

Lighthouse Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

The investment philosophy at Lighthouse Wealth Management begins with an analysis of various investment markets and the overall economy. Once the firm identifies which areas of the market have return upside, it will begin allocating your assets into specific investment types according to your risk tolerance. For the most part, LWM sticks to stocks, bonds, real estate, currencies and commodities.

Beyond the investments above, Lighthouse may sometimes advocate for clients to utilize certificates of deposit (CDs), Treasury Bills and more. This is done to help mitigate risk, but also to ensure that all of your assets are invested regardless of whether or not there are a suitable number of investments available in the eyes of LWM’s analysis.

Fees Under Lighthouse Wealth Management

Lighthouse Wealth Management uses both fixed fee and hourly fee schedules for its financial planning clients. Which you receive is dependent on how complex your financial planning needs are. The hourly fees are $300/hour for professional time and $75/hour for staff time. On the other hand, the fixed fee rates are listed below. You may have to pay part of your fixed fee at the start of your relationship with LWM.

Fixed Fees for Financial Planning
Client Assets Fixed Fee
$1MM - $20MM $3,000 - $15,000
$20MM - $50MM $15,000 - $30,000
Over $50MM $30,000 and up

Because the investment advisory services of Lighthouse Wealth Management have a long-term focus, their fee schedule is percentage-centric. While the table shows annual rates, you’ll be charged in fourths at the conclusion of each quarter. These fees are billed in arrears and are based on the market value of your assets for the previous quarter.

Investment Advisory Fees
Client Assets Annual Fee
$500,000 - $1,000,000 1.75%
$1,000,001 - $2,000,000 1.00%
Over $2,000,000 0.75%

Check out the table below to see how Lighthouse’ fees for its asset management services compare to those at similar financial advisor firms. Note that these fees are only estimates and actual costs may vary.

*Fee estimates only consider the maximum base fees for the services each firm provides. You may also pay manager fees and other fees, which can vary in amount.  **All figures are based on median fee levels according to Bob Veres' 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey. The above estimates solely take into account AUM-only fees. Total costs will likely be higher due to additional expenses.
Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets Lighthouse Wealth Management Investment Advisory Fees National Median Advisory Fees**
$500K $8,750 $5,000
$1MM $17,500 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $37,500 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $75,000 $50,000

What to Watch Out For

Richard Esposito, Lighthouse Wealth Management’s sole principal owner and financial advisor, holds licenses for life insurance and health insurance. Esposito may recommend the purchase of an insurance policy through the firm, so long as he believes this to be beneficial for the client. Because of the commissions associated with such a sale, a conflict of interest may arise. Lighthouse Wealth Management abides by fiduciary duty, though, meaning it is legally bound to act in your best interests.

New York is the only state in which Lighthouse Wealth Management is approved by the SEC to conduct advisory business. In other words, residents of states besides New York cannot become a client of the firm.

Disclosures

According to its Form ADV, Lighthouse Wealth Management has no legal or regulatory disclosures in its past.

Opening an Account With Lighthouse Wealth Management

If you’re looking to become a client of Lighthouse Wealth Management, call the firm at (212) 907-6583. Those that live in or near New York City can also visit Lighthouse in Manhattan.

Where Is Lighthouse Wealth Management Located?

Lighthouse Wealth Management’s office in New York City is on the 26th floor of the Chrysler Building at 405 Lexington Avenue.

Tips to Plan for Your Retirement

  • Instead of going the do-it-yourself route, a financial advisor can help you build a comprehensive and cohesive financial plan that gets you to retirement. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Mention retirement planning to people, and they’ll likely think of 401(k)s, IRAs and pensions. While this is part of the retirement equation, it’s important to have in mind what kind of annual retirement income you’ll need once you reach your golden years. The SmartAsset retirement calculator can give you a number to associate with this principle, which will make planning a whole lot easier.

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