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Meridian Wealth Management Review

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Meridian Wealth Management

Meridian Wealth Management, LLC is a fee-based financial advisor firm with more than $558 million in client assets under management (AUM) and 15 advisory employees on staff. Lexington, Kentucky is home to Meridian, though it also has one other location in Kentucky, along with one apiece in Virginia and Tennessee. Although portfolio management, financial planning and retirement plan consulting remain its most prominent offerings, Meridian offers management services to its affiliated advisors as well.

Meridian Wealth Management Background

Meridian Wealth Management has been in business since 2009 when firm  president Gregory Couch founded it. On average, the team at Meridian has worked in financial services or investment management for 14 years. Despite its array of financial advisors, Meridian employs just one certified financial planner (CFP).

What Types of Clients Does Meridian Wealth Management Accept?

The majority of Meridian Wealth Management’s client base is non-high-net-worth individuals, though it does have nearly 200 high-net-worth clients. Aside from these groups, Meridian also has advisory relationships with estates, trusts, corporations, charitable organizations, municipalities, pension plan participants and profit-sharing plan participants.

Meridian Wealth Management Minimum Account Size

New and existing clients of Meridian Wealth Management do not have to abide by any sort of minimum account size requirements.

Services Offered by Meridian Wealth Management

If you’re a client of Meridian Wealth Management, you’ll have a number of portfolio management, financial planning and retirement plan consulting services to choose from. Take a look over its offerings below:

  • Portfolio management
  • Financial planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Higher education funding
    • Stock option planning
    • Family business succession planning
    • Life, annuity and long-term care insurance planning
    • Cash flow planning
    • Budgeting advice
    • Recordkeeping services
    • Tax planning and management
  • Retirement plan consulting for participants
    • Included accounts:
      • Individual retirement accounts (IRAs)
      • 401(k)s
      • 403(b)s
      • Pension plans
      • Profit-sharing plans
    • Evaluation of your personal retirement objectives
    • Selection of investments
      • Stocks
      • Bonds
      • Mutual funds
    • Regular monitoring
    • Educational support

Meridian Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

At the core of Meridian Wealth Management’s investing ideology is a focus on the long-term financial health of clients. While this is not an uncommon approach, Meridian’s introduction of short-term investment purchases into this philosophy is a bit surprising. The answer for this is simple, though, as short-term investments can help fuel a portfolio’s liquidity. On top of this, there is money to be made when it comes to selecting trendy stocks that don’t necessarily fit into long-term plans.

Once you’ve communicated to your advisor your personal financial needs (risk tolerance, time horizon, goals), he or she will begin building your investment portfolio. All securities are selected on a case-by-case basis, but Meridian does have some favorites in equities, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), corporate bonds, municipal bonds and U.S. government securities. Following the disbursement of your funds into the market, the firm will begin monitoring your investments and completing rebalances as necessary.

Fees Under Meridian Wealth Management

Meridian Wealth Management charges for portfolio management services based on a percentage of assets under management.The annual fee is usually around 1.00%, with the exact rate negotiable based on the complexity of the account and the services provided. For Meridian’s portfolio management wrap fee program, rates range from 0.95% to 1.10% annually. Payments are either billed directly to clients, or, should a client authorize it, the firm will take fees directly from a portfolio’s balance.

Meridian charges an hourly fee for its financial planning and consulting services. Rates typically are around $250 an hour, though that can vary depending on what you need done and how long the firm estimates it will take. Prior to the beginning of a financial planning relationship, Meridian requires you to sign a written agreement, which will explicitly lay out the fees you’re agreeing to.

What to Watch Out For

As a fee-based firm, some of Meridian Wealth Management’s advisors earn commissions from the sale of insurance products to clients. This presents a conflict of interest, as an advisor may be more likely to recommend an insurance policy to you in an effort to receive more compensation. However, because Meridian is an SEC-registered firm, it abides by fiduciary duty, meaning it is legally bound to act in your best interests no matter what.

Look below to find out more about Meridian’s one disclosure listed on its official Form ADV.

Disclosures

The lone disclosure belonging to Meridian Wealth Management stems from an incident that occured in 2014. The state of Kentucky, where the firm is based, put forth this regulatory discipline. Kentucky alleged that throughout 2014, Meridian employed or was associated with an investment advisor representative who was unregistered. Because this was in violation of Kentucky state law, the firm was ordered to pay a $1,500 penalty. In June 2015, Meridian paid the fine, which resulted in the matter being resolved.

Opening an Account With Meridian Wealth Management

Those who want to work with Meridian Wealth Management should feel free to visit or call one of its locations in:

  • Lexington, Kentucky - (859) 543-4516
  • Hazard, Kentucky - (606) 487-0202
  • Nashville, Tennessee - (859) 543-4516
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia - (757) 271-5690

Where Is Meridian Wealth Management Located?

Meridian Wealth Management’s main office is in Lexington, Kentucky. But the firm actually has branches around the southeastern U.S., including ones in Hazard, Kentucky; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Nashville, Tennessee.

Tips for Retirement Planning

  • The SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool will pair you with as many as three fiduciary advisors in your area that have experience working with retirement planning clientele. There are many avenues to a financially successful retirement, and financial advisors can present these options so that you feel comfortable choosing the best possible route.
  • Saving for retirement can be such an difficult process, as it’s tough to distinguish exactly what you’ll need to live out your golden years the way you want to. SmartAsset’s retirement calculator looks to simplify this. To take advantage of this service, make sure you know your annual income, your monthly savings and what you expect to spend in retirement every year.

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 cost of living in retirement there.

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

Methodology SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities. Using that calculation, we determined how many years $1 million would last in retirement in each major city.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors throughout the country. 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.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%, reflecting the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Finally, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would last in each of the cities in our study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research