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Northwest Financial Advisors 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.

Northwest Financial Advisors, LLC is a financial advisor firm headquartered in Herndon, Virginia, which is just outside of Washington, D.C. Northwest makes an appearance on our list of the top financial advisory firms in Herndon, currently occupying the top spot. This firm has about $1.25 billion in client assets under management (AUM), which belongs to a variety of clients, most of which are individuals. The firm's services include financial planning and investment management through a few different programs.

As a fee-based firm, certain advisors at Northwest can earn commissions from securities or insurance sales. This differs from a fee-only firm, which is one that doesn't accept any sales commissions.

Northwest Financial Advisors Background

Northwest Financial Advisors can trace its roots back to 2013. The firm is wholly owned by NW Capital Management, LLC, which in turn is owned by Northwest Federal Credit Union. Kevin Fisher currently serves as the firm’s president and CEO. Northwest has several offices located mainly in Virginia, with one office in Rockville, Maryland.

The firm employs several financially certified individuals. These include certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), chartered advisors in senior living (CASLs), accredited asset management specialists (AAMSs) and more.

Northwest Financial Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Northwest Financial Advisors mainly works with individual clients, which number over 2,300. Of these clients, the vast majority have less than a high net worth. When it comes to institutional clients, the firm works with a small number of pensions, profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses.

Northwest Financial Advisors does not have a set minimum account size requirement. However, some of the programs that it uses through LPL Financial may carry their own minimums.

Services Offered by Northwest Financial Advisors

Northwest Financial Advisors provides clients with financial planning, portfolio management and some retirement plan services. When it comes to investment management, the firm grants clients access to a number of different model portfolios and programs, which are made available through LPL. Each of these programs involves a different style of money management, including varying investments preferences and strategies.

  • Strategic Wealth Management Program (SWM)
  • Strategic Wealth Management Program II (SWM II)
  • Optimum Market Portfolios Program (OMP)
  • Model Wealth Portfolios Program (MWP)
  • Manager Access Select Program
  • Guided Wealth Portfolios (GWP)

Financial planning services at Northwest may cover a wide range of topics, such as insurance planning, retirement planning, estate planning, charitable giving and more.

Northwest Financial Advisors Investment Philosophy

Northwest Financial Advisors provides tailored investment management services to clients. While programs and model portfolios may have predetermined management styles, advisors take into account the needs and objectives of clients in order to properly decide how to invest their assets and which programs to use. Advisors also look at more specific factors, like a client's tolerance for risk, time horizon, liquidity needs and more.

Advisors at the firm generally adhere to a long-term investment philosophy, looking to select investments that will perform well in the long run rather than trying to time the market. They may use a multitude of investments and many of the specific aspects of a client's investment plan depend on the program they're invested in.

Fees Under Northwest Financial Advisors

Northwest Financial Advisors charges fees for investment management based on a percentage of each client's total AUM. Specific fee schedules vary based upon the program that each client is taking advantage of. However, final fees are subject to negotiation between the firm and the client.

SWM, SWM II, MWP, OMP and Manager Access Select Fee Schedule
Portfolio Value Base Fee
$0 - $100K 1.50%
$100K - $500K 1.25%
$500K+ 1.00%

Guided Wealth Portfolios (GWP) charges an annual fee through LPL Financial of 0.35%, while Northwest charges a fee of up to 0.85%. The fee schedules for other programs not listed above are negotiable.

Financial planning is charged on a flat fee basis. These fees tend to range from $750 to $5,000 in total. Plan sponsors looking to take advantage of Northwest's retirement plan services will be charged a maximum annual fee of 1.25%.

What to Watch Out For

Northwest Financial Advisors does not list any legal or regulatory disclosures on its Form ADV.

It's important to note that Northwest is a fee-based firm. This means that many of its advisors, through their roles as broker-dealer representatives or insurance agents, can receive commissions for securities and insurance sales, respectively. While this represents a potential conflict of interest, the firm abides by fiduciary duty, legally binding it to act in clients' best interests.

Opening an Account With Northwest Financial Advisors

Those interested in opening an account with Northwest Financial Advisors have a few options. You can either call the firm at (703) 810-1072 or visit at any one of its offices located in Virginia and Maryland.

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

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

  • Investing is about more than just making money. It's about building a portfolio that properly allocates your assets across investments that fit your long-term financial plans and risk tolerance. Finding a financial advisor who can help you with this 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, get started now.
  • A major consideration when making investments is how taxes will affect your returns. Try using SmartAsset's capital gains tax calculator to figure out what you might owe at tax time.

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