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Mariner Wealth Advisors Review

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Mariner Wealth Advisors

Mariner Wealth Advisors

For four years running (2016 to 2019), Mariner Wealth Advisors (MWA) has ranked in the top four of Barron's list of "Top RIA Firms." Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, the firm operates 226 branches and employs 305 advisors. Together, they manage more than $29 billion in assets. Cllients are primarily individuals, roughly a quarter of whom have high net worths.

Mariner Wealth Advisors Background

MWA was founded in 2006. It is wholly owned by Mariner Wealth Advisors, LLC. The majority owner of the parent company is the Bicknell Family Holding Company LLC. The elected manager of BFHC is Martin Bicknell, who is also the CEO and president of Mariner Wealth Advisors, LLC.

The firm offers a variety of advisory services and managed accounts. The firm itself is not a broker-dealer but it is affiliated with MSEC, LLC, a broker-dealer. Many of the advisors at the firm are also registered with the broker-dealer and may earn commissions for selling securities. This is a potential conflict of interest, explained in full below.

Mariner Wealth Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Most of MWA’s clients are individuals. There are more than 14,000 non-high-net-worth clients and more than 5,700 high-net-worth accounts. Institutional clients at the firm include pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities, insurance companies and corporations. 

The minimum account size at MWA depends on the services you use. The minimum investment to use the Institutional Intelligent Portfolios program is $5,000, with a minimum of $50,000 for the tax-loss harvesting feature. The minimum for private equity, alternatives and direct investment funds sponsored my MWA is $100,000.

Services Offered by Mariner Wealth Advisors

A variety of services are available at MWA, including:

  • Investment advisory services
  • Third-party managers
  • Managed accounts
  • Financial planning
  • Consulting
  • Estate planning
  • Insurance planning
  • Education savings
  • Tax consulting
  • Retirement plan consulting
  • Institutional Intelligent Portfolios

Investment Philosophy

Advisors at MWA build portfolios based on a client’s individual objectives, risk tolerances and constraints. 

A mix of assets will be used in each portfolio, including: 

Both passive and active management strategies are used by MWA advisors. Options, equities and fixed income strategies are available.

Fees Under Mariner Wealth Advisors

Fees at MWA depend on which service or program you use.

Fees for investment advisor services are based on a percentage of assets under management and top off at 2.50%. For comparison's sake, the industry average fee for investment management is 0.95%, according to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box.

For financial planning, fees can be billed on a fixed fee basis, as an hourly fee or as a percentage of assets of up to 0.25% annually. The fee structure will depend on the level and scope of the services provided. 

Tax compliance and consulting as a stand-alone service is billed either as a fixed fee, an hourly fee or an annual percentage of up to 0.25%. Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.

What to Watch Out For

Mariner Wealth Advisors reported no disclosures of legal or regulatory action in its most recent filings with the Securities and Exchagnge Commission

One thing to note: Some advisors at the firm may also work as brokers and/or licensed insurance agents. In these non-advisor capacities, they earn commissions and transaction-based fees, which can pose potential conflicts of interest. That said, when acting as an advisor, they are legally bound by their fiduciary duty and must act in the client’s best interest.

Opening an Account With Mariner Wealth Advisors

To open an account with MWA, the best option is to fill out the contact form on the firm’s website. You can also call the main office line at (913) 904-5700.

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

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • Use SmartAsset’s free matching tool. It will connect you with up to three advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Ask prospective advisors what happens to your account if the advisor becomes seriously sick or incapacitated. It's important that there is a contingency plan to cover client services — and that you know what it is and that you are comfortable with it. If your advisor is an owner or managing member, particularly at a small firm, you should know who else has banking and trading authority and if there is a succession plan in the event your advisor suddenly dies or leaves the firm.

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