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Per Stirling Capital Management Review

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Per Stirling Capital Management, LLC

Per Stirling Capital Management, LLC

Per Stirling Capital Management, LLC only takes on clients with $250,000 or more in assets. The financial advisor serves both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as corporations. 

Per Stirling Capital Background 

Formed in 2009, Per Stirling has grown to two offices, both located in the Austin, Texas, area. John Per O’Sullivan and Robert Stirling Phipps III founded Per Stirling in 2009, and serve as the managing director and director of the company, respectively.

The advisory team holds multiple certifications, including the certified financial planner (CFP) certified public accountant (CPA) designations. 

In addition to serving as advisors, some of the staff are dual-registered with B.B. Graham & Company as broker-dealers. This means these advisors can accept commissions for products sold through that company. Some advisors can also sell insurance products for commissions. The firm does abide by fiduciary duty, though, legally binding it to act in clients' best interests.

Per Stirling Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes 

As stated earlier, Per Sterling manages assets for individuals with and without high net worth, as well as corporations.

Clients who don’t meet the portfolio minimum of $250,000 might consider other alternatives such as a robo-advisor and simple investing. However, it is worth noting that many competing advisors have higher minimums so it might make sense to hold off on engaging until you’re well above requirement. 

The firm operates in a format unlike most other competing firms, in that your advisor is an independent contractor who works for Per Stirling. That means you’re mainly served by your one advisor, not a team.  

The Per Stirling's guiding investment strategy is to create “excess alpha.” This means seeking a high performance for your portfolio. The company tries to get you long-term returns that are higher than expected with given risk. While that’s usually the goal for every financial advisor firm, Per Stirling clearly states it as its philosophy, which means it’s at the forefront of your advisor’s mindset.  

Per Stirling Investment Philosophy  

Per Stirling’s independent contractor model translates to each advisor having his or her own investment philosophy. However, the firm still has an overarching mission. “Excess alpha” is what the firm calls it. It means the company tries to get high risk-adjusted returns, i.e. long-term returns that are higher than expected when considering the amount of risk in the portfolio.  

Another tenet of the firm is proactive adjustment of portfolio risk. Your advisor will consider the market environment future projection when while managing your portfolio. This means your allocations will change based on research and anticipation of change.  

Per Stirling uses fundamental, technical and statistical analysis as well as economic research to decide which securities to invest in. Most assets are invested in no-load mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.  

Per Stirling Capital Management Fees: A Closer Look  

Clients engaging in investment management services are charged an annual maximum fee of 2% that is based on a percentage of assets under management.

Per Stirling Capital Management Portfolio Styles 

Your portfolio is custom built based on your objectives. This could be capital preservation, cash flow or long-term growth — it’s up to you. Your advisor will construct your portfolio to reflect your desired outcomes. That means, the portfolio style varies depending on what you choose as most important. 

In addition to custom-designed portfolios, Per Stirling also offers separately managed accounts. These are the firm’s signature proprietary growth portfolios and are managed by the firm’s two directors (and co-founders). If you choose to invest in a separately managed account program, you’ll pay an additional management fee of 0.5%. 

The three portfolios are: 

  • Core growth
  • Conservative growth
  • Growth portfolio

The first two portfolios, core growth and conservative growth, aim to maintain an optimal allocation between stocks, bonds real estate, cash and other asset classes. The approach for these is dynamic and asset allocation-based. The management uses economic research, and fundamental and statistical analysis for this portfolio.  

For the growth portfolio, the management team concentrates allocations where there is compelling investment opportunities. Fundamental and technical analysis is used for managing this portfolio.  

What to Watch out for With Per Stirling 

Pere Sterling has two disclosures reported on its 2021 Form ADV.

Of course, as with any business, there are a few potential downsides of working with Per Stirling. For starters, there isn’t a standardized fee schedule. What this means is that within the firm itself, you’ll find that advisors charge different management fees. This could be beneficial, if you find that you’re paying less than average, but overall, it’s not as transparent as it could be. 

Some of the advisors are dual-registered with a broker-dealer. This means they could stand to earn a commission for selling you an insurance product like an annuity. However, the firm is obligated by the SEC to always act in clients' best interests.  

Another potential downside is that financial planning services are not included within your management fee. This is the case with about half of the Austin firms profiled, so it’s not unusual, but something to consider if you’re comparing prices and services. Once again, the firm doesn’t give hard numbers for fees, so if you’re interested in financial planning services, you may want to speak to several advisors before you commit to the firm.

Opening an Account With Per Stirling 

To get started as a client at Per Stirling, you can call (512) 628-2300 or fill out a contact form on the company’s website.  

The firm will help you decide whether you want portfolio management as a separately managed account or more holistic wealth management services. Financial planning services include: 

  • Retirement planning
  • Investment management
  • Insurance planning
  • Estate planning
  • Asset protection strategies
  • College funding strategies 

Tips for Financial Planning

  • Financial planning can be difficult and overwhelming. You want to make sure you have the best plan in place with as little hassle as possible, which is something a financial advisor can help with. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs 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.
  • Investing with a goal in mind is often confusing. It can be tough to know how much to invest in order to meet your goals. Use SmartAsset’s investment calculator to help you reach your goals. Know how much you’re starting with, how fast you want to grow, and how long you want to invest, and the calculator will have you well on your way to reaching your financial goals.

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.

Least
Most
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