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Pillar Wealth Management 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.

Pillar Wealth Management (PWM) is a fee-only private wealth management firm based in Walnut Creek, California. The financial advisor exclusively serves individuals and high-net-worth individuals, providing portfolio management and financial planning. 

The firm’s co-founders Haitham E. Ashoo and Christopher G. Snyder are the authors of an e-book called “The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Financial Advisor for Investors from $3 to $70 Million in Liquid Assets.” They have also published the following books and whitepapers: Exiting Strategies: The CEO’s Seven Critical Steps To Cashing-Out of A Business, Managing and Preserving Wealth; Beyond Wealth: Finding The Balance Between Wealth and Happiness; and Intelligent Investing: Making Smart Investing Decisions In Today’s Volatile Market.

Pillar Wealth Management Background 

Owned by Ashoo and Snyder, PWM has been in business since 2008. Ashoo and Snyder are the firm’s only advisors and offer more than 60 years of wealth management experience combined, according to the firm’s website.

Pillar Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes 

PWM only serves individuals and high-net-worth individuals. The firm has a minimum account size requirement of $5 million and an annual minimum fee requirement of $15,000.

If you cannot meet these minimum requirements to work with PWM, consider using SmartAsset's free tool to find a financial advisor in your area that meets your needs. 

Services Offered by Pillar Wealth Management

PWM clients have access to the following advisory services:

  • Portfolio management
    • Investment strategy
    • Asset selection
    • Regular portfolio monitoring
    • Asset allocation 
    • Risk tolerance 
  • Financial planning
    • Investment planning 
    • Life insurance 
    • Retirement planning
    • Real estate
    • College planning
    • Debt/credit planning 
  • Consulting
    • Business planning
    • Retirement planning

Pillar Wealth Management Investment Philosophy 

PWM's investment approach is built on several principals. First, the firm strives to assist clients in achieving their life goals. Next, Pillar bases its investing philosophy on providing low turnover, tax efficient and diversified institutional-style investments. Portfolios are customized to meet the indidivual needs of clients. Portfolios are also allocated and rebalanced with special attention paid to costs, tax ramifications and asset protection. Lastly, the firm believes that market timing and stock selection are "failed investment strategies," according to Pillar's website. 

PWM’s securities analysis methods include charting, cyclical and fundamental analysis. The firm’s investment strategies consist of long- and short-term trading and margin transactions. 

The firm says it offers advice and/or money management to mutual funds, equities, bonds, fixed income, debt securities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), real estate, hedge funds, third-party money managers, real estate investment trusts (REITs), insurance products, private placements and government securities. 

Fees Under Pillar Wealth Management

Negotiated fees between Pillar Wealth Management and the client will supersede Pillar Wealth Management’s existing fee structure. 

PWM’s investment advisory fees range from 0.27% to 1.06% of AUM with an annual minimum fee of $15,000. Here's a range of advisory fees that you may pay based on the size of your account:

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Pillar Wealth Management*
Your Assets Pillar Wealth Management Fee Amounts
$500K $1,350 - $5,300
$1MM $2,700 - $10,600
$5MM $13,500 - $53,000
$10MM $27,000 - $106,000

What to Watch Out For 

PWM only has one disclosure on its Form ADV. In 2016, the firm paid a fine of $5,750 for allegedly failing to file annual notices with the commissioner of business oversight for the state of California, and for failing to pay annual notice filing fees. 

Also, PWM’s minimum account size requirement of $5 million and minimum annual fee of $15,000 may not be financially suitable for all looking to work with an investment firm. 

However, as a fee-only firm, PWM is compensated solely by the advisory fees that clients pay, not commissions for selling third-party products and services. This means PWM advisors don't have a conflict on interest between advising their clients and recommending products to generate a commission. 

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

Tips on Saving for Retirement

  • Finding a qualified financial advisor 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.
  • As you narrow down your results, you’ll want to carefully consider each advisor’s profile before making a final decision. Things like industry credentials, disclosures, advisory services, fee structure and management fees are all worth considering.  

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