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McDonald Partners 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.

McDonald Partners, LLC is a financial advisor firm in Cleveland, Ohio. Clients will have access to a number of investment management, financial planning and retirement plan consulting services.

McDonald Partners is classified as a fee-based firm, as some of its advisors can earn commissions from insurance sales on top of customary client fees. This is different from a fee-only firm, which avoids conflicts of interest by only receiving income from fees charged directly to clients.

McDonald Partners Background

McDonald Partners’ CEO and president Thomas McDonald founded the firm in 2005 and still owns it to this day. McDonald has been employed in the financial services industry for more than 20 years and previously worked for KeyBank and Wayne Hummer Investments.

The advisory staff at this firm includes three certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs).

The firm has a few wealth management groups that are legally separate companies, but their employees are registered representatives of McDonald Partners. These include Mansour Wealth Management, the Park Edge Group, CapTrust Financial Advisors, the Lowrie Wealth Management Group and Pareto Wealth Management.

McDonald Partners Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

McDonald Partners is a bona fide individual-centric firm -- nearly all of it's clients are individuals (either with or without a high net worth). Other clients of the firm include businesses, charitable organizations, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans and foundations.

McDonald Partners generally requires a minimum account size of $25,000 to participate in either of its Flex Account or RBC Advisors wrap fee programs. To receive investment management through the Hegarty Asset Management program, though, you’ll need at least $250,000 in investable assets, although exceptions are granted at the discretion of Bill Hegarty (the portfolio manager). 

Services Offered by McDonald Partners

McDonald Partners provides investment management and financial planning services, among other offerings. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Individual portfolio management
    • Hegarty Asset Management: a proprietary asset management program operating as a division of McDonald Partners and specializing in large-cap equity investing.
  • Investment wrap fee programs
  • Financial planning
    • Educational fund planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Risk management
    • Estate planning
    • Business succession planning
    • Business planning
    • Corporate retirement planning
    • Insurance planning

McDonald Partners Investment Philosophy

McDonald Partners’ investment strategy relies on a combination of fundamental analysis, technical analysis, cyclical analysis and mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) analysis.

  • Fundamental analysis: This attempts to measure the intrinsic value of a security by examining overall economic factors as well as financial documents pertaining to the security.
  • Technical analysis: This involves studying past market movements in an attempt to predict future activity.
  • Cyclical analysis: This is the practice of analyzing security prices in the context of larger economic cycles.
  • Mutual fund/ETF analysis: This studies fund managers’ past performance to try and understand if they have demonstrated an ability to achieve success over time and in different economic conditions.

Fees Under McDonald Partners

Like most financial advisor firms, McDonald Partners charges fees as a percentage of each client’s overall AUM. Although the firm has implemented the fee schedules below, it is willing to negotiate rates under certain circumstances.

Fixed-Income Only Accounts
Assets Under Management Fee Rate
First $500,000 1.75%
Next $550,000 1.25%
Next $1,000,000 1.00%
Above $2,000,000 0.75% 


Equity/Balanced Accounts
Assets Under Management Fee Rate
First $500,000 3.00%
Next $550,000 2.50%
Next $1,000,000 2.00%
Above $2,000,000 1.50%

What to Watch Out For

McDonald Partners is a fee-based firm. This is because certain advisors here are licensed insurance agents and may earn commissions for selling insurance products. While this arrangement represents a conflict of interest, McDonald Partners abides by fiduciary duty at all times, legally binding it to act in your best interest.

McDonald Partners has four disclosures listed on its Form ADV, the most recent record in 2021. These involve failing to properly register a branch and its representatives in the state of Arkansas; violating Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules in regard to two separate contingent offers of securities; and failing to report certain municipal securities transactions to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's (MSRB) real-time reporting system.

Opening an Account With McDonald Partners

To start the process of opening an account with McDonald Partners, you can give the firm a call at (216) 912-0567. You can also visit the firm’s website and fill out the contact form with your name, email address and a brief message.

Tips for Retirement Planning

  • Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • When putting together a retirement income plan, don’t forget to take Social Security payments into account! If you don’t know what you’re in line to receive, check out SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator.

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