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Northeast Planning Associates 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.

Northeast Planning Associates is a financial advisor firm with more than $233 million assets under management (AUM) and 67 investment advisors. The home office of Northeast Planning Associates, which has about 1,400 accounts, is in Bedford, New Hampshire. The firm offers services such as financial planning, portfolio managment and pension consulting.

Northeast Planning Associates Background

Northeast Planning Associates was founded in 1984 as an insurance agency and became a registered investment advisory in October 2004. The firm is owned by Edward C. Hiers, who is founder and CEO, and Benjamin Hiers, who is president.

Northeast Planning Associates Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Northeast Planning Associates, also known as NPA, advises the following types of clients:

  • Individuals
  • High-net-worth individuals
  • Trusts
  • Estates
  • Banks and thrift institutions
  • Retirement plans
  • Charitable organizations
  • Other corporations or businesses

In general, NPA does not impose a minimum account size. 

Services Offered by Northeast Planning Associates

Financial planning services from NPA usually involves a preliminary planning meeting with the client to understand their individual needs, circumstances and short- and long-term goals. Then the advisors will review this information, analyze it and deliver a written plan to the client that is designed to help them achieve these objectives. 

NPA will typically construct client portfolios using diversified mutual funds and ETFs and may also use individual stocks, bonds and other types of securities.

The firm also provides advisory services to retirement plan sponsors and their participants. These services may be offered on either a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. NPA also provides education services to the plan participants. It provides all of these offerings in its capacity as a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). 

While they are not obligated to use it, clients of NPA may receive an offer for access to a subscription-based wealth management software. This software would provide them with various financial management services, such as tracking of financial data, maintaining personal financial documentation and reporting across multiple financial institutions. 

Finally, in the way of wrap fee programs, the firm provides customized wealth advisory services to clients and includes a number of different fees (securities transaction fees together with investment advisory fees) in a single bundled fee structure. 

Northeast Planning Associates Investing Philosophy

This firm primarily uses fundamental analysis methods (which look at the health of a company), technical analysis (which looks at how a stock has performed historically) and other methods. 

NPA derives research and analysis from various sources, including financial media companies, third-party research materials, internet sources and review of company activities (including annual reports, prospectuses, press releases and research prepared by others). 

In general, NPA uses a long-term investment strategy for its clients, in accordance with the client's financial goals. Clients should of course be prepared to beath the potential risk of loss when determining any investment strategy; there is no guarantee that a client will meet their investment goals.

Fees Under Northeast Planning Associates

Financial planning fees at NPA are either fixed, hourly or in the form of an annual retainer. The firm does not accept advance payment of $1,200 or more for services expected to be delivered six months or more in advance. Fixed fees for these services usually do not exceed $25,000. Clients typically make an initial payment of up to 50% of the negotiated fee upon acceptance of the agreement and in advance of the services, with the remainder to be paid upon completion. Hourly fees range from $100 to $500 per hour, depending on the circumstances. Finally, the firm's annual retainer program may be offered and applied at the inception of the advisory relationship. Annual retainer fees are negotiated and agreed upon in advance on a case-by-case basis, but generally range between $500 and $25,000 annually.

Investment management fees, which are due at the end of the prior calendar quarter, range from 0.50% to 2.00% based on the size and complexity of the firm's relationship with the client and the overall services that they provide. For non-wrap fee programs, NPA's fee is separate from any relevant securities transaction and custody fees and other related costs; these expenses may be incurred by the client. Clients who receive investment advisory services from NPA pay fees quarterly in advance.

Retirement plan advisory services fees are paid quarterly in advance. They are based on the market value of AUM at the end of the prior calendar quarter. They may be a flat fee, or range from 0.25% to 1.25% (and may also be negotiable) based on the size and complexity of the firm's relationship with the client. 

The firm's wrap fee program includes a number of different fees (securities transaction fees and investment advisory fees) in a single bundled fee structure.

Finally, the subscription fee for wealth management software through NPA is paid monthly at the end of each month. The rate is up to $100 per month and is based on the specific features that the client uses as well as the firm's relationship with the client. Fees are negotiable at the sole discretion of the firm.

Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.

What to Watch Out For

Within the past 10 years, NPA has not undergone any disciplinary or legal action deemed material to a client’s evaluation of its business integrity. You can view its latest Form ADV on the official website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).  

NPA advisors may also be broker-dealers as registered representatives of LPL Financial, working in this capacity separately from their capacity as investment advisory representatives (IARs). Employees acting in these non-advisor roles generally receive transaction-based fees, which can be a potential conflict of interest. That said, as an SEC-registered investment advisor, the firm is legally obligated to uphold its fiduciary duty and work in clients’ best interests at all times.

Opening an Account With Northeast Planning Associates

To open an account with NPA, you can visit the firm's website or call (603) 471-0900.

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

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • Interview at least three advisors before choosing one. This ensures that you have enough context about fees and investment strategies to make an informed decision. To find more advisors in your area, use our interactive financial advisor matching tool. It links you with up to three local pros. 
  • Ask candidates whether they adhere to the fiduciary standard of putting clients’ interests first. Yes is the ideal answer, of course. But they may follow a lower standard of providing only suitable recommendations.

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