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Marks Group Wealth Management 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.

Marks Group Wealth Management, Inc.

For a firm with a staff of just eight advisors, Marks Group Wealth Management, Inc. has a sizable almost $1.1 billion in assets under management (AUM). Based in Minnetonka, Minnesota, the fee-only financial advisor is on our list for top advisors in that city. The firm mostly works with individuals, though its financial planning, investment management and wealth management services are available to institutional clients as well.

Marks Group Wealth Management Background

Chief Investment Officer Bennett Marks founded Marks Wealth Management (MGWM) back in 2008. Today, the firm’s principal owners are both Bennett Marks and President John Feste. On average, the team at Marks Group has spent 17 years in the financial services industry. The firm employs four certified financial planners (CFPs) and one chartered financial analyst (CFA).

Marks Group Wealth Management has received significant recognition for its services. In fact, Forbes named the firm one of the top 250 wealth advisors in the U.S. for 2017. On top of this, Barron’s has included MGWM in its list of the top 1,200 financial advisors in the U.S. from 2010 to 2018.

Marks Group Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Though its website says its services are best suited for people with assets of at least $1 million, individuals who do not have high net worths outnumbers those who do 366 to 199. The firm also works with businesses, estates, trusts, pension plans, profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.

In order to become a client of Marks Group Wealth Management, you’ll need to have at least $500,000 ready to invest. Though at its discretion, the practice may waive or reduce this minimum.

Services Offered by Marks Group Wealth Management

Marks Group Wealth Management has no shortage of financial planning, investment management and wealth management services available for its client base. Here’s a detailed list of each of its offerings:

  • Financial planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Investment planning
    • Estate planning
    • Philanthropic gift planning
    • Insurance planning
    • Risk management
    • Tax planning and minimization
    • Cash flow management
    • Institutional financial planning
      • Consulting services
      • Long-term strategic planning
      • Investment policy statement (IPS) development
      • Consolidated performance reporting
  • Investment/Wealth management
    • Both discretionary and non-discretionary services
    • Personalized investment planning
    • Asset allocation planning across:
      • Mutual funds
      • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
      • Individual debt and equity securities
      • Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
      • Master limited partnerships (MLPs)
    • Customizable investment restrictions
  • Wrap-fee program

Marks Group Wealth Management Investing Philosophy

In order to execute its strongest investment strategies in a speedy manner, Marks Group Wealth Management developed six distinct portfolio models. Some focus on fixed-income securities, whereas others stick to a large percentage of stocks. Check out this breakdown of each model:

  • Core Equity: Built around 50 to 75 equally weighted mid- to large-cap stocks that are high quality, but currently undervalued. Looks to shrink volatility as much as possible.
  • International Equity ETF: Exclusively uses national ETFs through a combination of around 30 developed and emerging countries.
  • Tactical Equity: Usually holds a multitude of U.S. common stocks, foreign stocks, ETFs, REITs, mutual funds and American depositary receipts. Incurs higher trading costs due to more short-term investments.
  • Fixed-Income: Consists of open-end and closed-end mutual funds, individual issues and ETFs to provide steady growth.
  • Equity Income: Focused on consistent income and long-term capital appreciation through REITs, MLPs, ETFs, stocks and mutual funds. Number of securities normally resides around 20.
  • Mutual Fund: Seeks to diversify by utilizing many open-end mutual funds. Asset allocations can be growth- or balance-centric.

Once your assets are invested in the market, Marks Group’s work is not done. The firm makes it a point to continuously monitor its client portfolios to ensure that the original plans are working. In the event that returns cause your portfolio to fall out of its designed asset allocation, your advisor may recommend rebalancing your investments.

Fees Under Marks Group Wealth Management

Every set of services at Marks Group Wealth Management adheres to its own separate fee schedule. MGWM provides financial planning and consulting services on a one-time basis, leading it to charge a fixed fee as opposed to a recurring one. This charge could range anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000 based on “the level and scope of the services” required, according to the firm’s Form ADV. All charges are disclosed to you prior to the opening of your account.

On the other hand, because Marks Group’s investment and wealth management services are ongoing, you’ll need to pay an annual fee ranging from 0.15% to 2.00% of assets under management (AUM), based on the services the firm provides. This rate is divided into quarterly payments, and you must pay them in advance. 

With such a wide range, it's hard to say whether MGWM's fees are high or low. According to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box, the average investment advisory fee is 0.95% of AUM. Learn more about advisors' typical costs here

MGWM’s wrap-fee program follows an identical fee structure, although it includes financial planning in its set of services.

Marks Group Wealth Management Fees
Program/Service Fees
Investment/Wealth management 0.15% - 2.00% annual fee
Financial planning and consulting $10,000 - $100,000 fixed fee
MGWM Wrap-Fee Program 0.15% - 2.00% annual fee

What to Watch Out For

Marks Group Wealth Management has a clean legal and regulatory record according to its SEC-filed Form ADV. Also, at this fee-only firm, advisors' compensation comes only from client fees. They do not receive transaction-based fees, which can potentially pose conflicts of interest.

Opening an Account With Marks Group Wealth Management

The best way to contact Marks Group Wealth Management is to call (952) 582-6100. If you’d rather have one of MGWM’s advisors reach out to you, visit the firm’s website and fill out the contact form with your full name, email address and a short description of the services you anticipate you’ll need.

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

Tips for Starting Your Investment Journey

  • Finding the right financial advisor for you 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.
  • Although fairly new to the market, robo-advisors can get you investing for a much smaller fee than a typical financial advisor. These financial tools use a plethora of algorithms and specific investment strategies to customize your portfolio to your personal risk tolerance, time horizon and liquidity needs.

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