Prestige Wealth Management Review
Prestige Wealth Management is a financial advisor firm with multiple offices in New Jersey. It was founded in 1994 but continues to be a relatively small operation, with just eight financial advisors on staff, fewer than 400 clients and about $356 million in assets under management (AUM). The firm serves multiple types of clients but most of its current clients are individual investors, the majority of whom are high-net-worth individuals.
You can receive a variety of financial planning services from Prestige Wealth Management, including some targeted directly at women and businesses. The firm also provides multiple types of investment management services.
Prestige Wealth Management Background
Roy Williams founded Prestige Wealth Management in 1994. He is the firm’s sole owner and serves as its president. Williams is also a chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and recently published his first book, which covers mistakes you should avoid in order to have a successful retirement.
Williams also owns the affiliated firm, The Pillar Strategies (officially Prestige Wealth Services Group, Inc.). This is a separate financial advisor firm that primarily handles client portfolios. The Pillar Strategies has just four financial advisors on staff and more than $65 million in AUM.
What Types of Clients Does Prestige Wealth Management Accept?
The majority of Prestige Wealth Management’s clients are individual investors, more than half of whom are high-net-worth individuals. However, the firm also works with business entities, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates and charitable organizations.
Prestige Wealth Management Minimum Account Sizes
There is generally no set account minimum required for you to receive asset management services from Prestige Wealth Management. There is one exception, though: You will need to make an investment of at least $5,000 if you want to participate in Prestige Virtual Portfolios, the firm’s automated investment program.
Services Offered by Prestige Wealth Management
Prestige Wealth Management provides a range of financial planning and investment services. The following list includes some of the common services that you can receive:
- Financial planning
- Cash flow analysis
- Tax planning
- Personalized CFO Services
- Trust and estate planning
- Retirement planning
- Social Security election timing
- Education planning
- Investment management
- Insurance management
In addition to its investment management services, the firm also offers an automated, online investing service called Prestige Virtual Portfolios. These portfolios are managed with a software that Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. provides to independent advisors. While your portfolio will be opened and held in a brokerage account with Charles Schwab, Prestige Wealth Management will manage your account. In many ways, this service operates like a robo-advisor.
The firm’s private vaulting services allow clients to electronically organize and store important financial planning documents. For example, you could store tax returns, insurance policies, estate planning documents and other legal documents.
Prestige Wealth Management also offers educational programs designed specifically for women. These programs are available both independently of and in conjunction with the firm’s other financial planning and investing services.
Prestige Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
When managing client portfolios, advisors at Prestige Wealth Management will primarily allocate assets among stocks, bonds, other fixed-income securities, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Advisors may also use separately managed accounts, independent managers and master limited partnerships (MLPs). The exact kind of investments used in a portfolio will depend on a client’s investment objectives.
To determine which investments are suitable for use, advisors utilize multiple methods of analysis. This could include fundamental analysis, technical analysis, charting and cyclical analysis. Fundamental analysis attempts to determine the intrinsic value of an asset, while technical analysis looks at the markets in order to find patterns in asset prices and investor behavior. Charting is a type of technical analysis that uses statistics to study trends in asset prices. Cyclical analysis considers the historical relationships between the price of an asset and market trends, with the goal of forecasting the direction of asset prices.
Advisors may also use multiple investing strategies. This could mean making long-term purchases (investments held for more than one year) or short-term purchases (investments held for less than one year). Advisors also execute some trades within 30 days of buying a security.
Portfolios managed through Prestige Virtual Portfolios will operate slightly differently than those managed through the firm’s traditional advisor services. The first step in opening an online portfolio is for the client to complete an online questionnaire. The goal is to determine the client’s investment objectives and risk tolerance. Based on the client’s answers, Prestige Wealth Management will recommend an appropriate investment strategy and asset allocation. There are four allocation options: aggressive, moderately aggressive, moderate and conservative. Portfolios typically hold some mix of cash and ETFs. To maintain a proper asset allocation, the portfolio will be regularly rebalanced.
Fees Under Prestige Wealth Management
Because Prestige Wealth Management offers more than one type of investment management, the advisor fees you pay will depend on which services you use.
Clients who use Prestige Virtual Portfolios can expect to pay fees according to the schedule in the following table. Note that clients must make a minimum investment of $5,000 in order to use this service.
|Prestige Virtual Portfolio Fee Schedule|
|Account Size (AUM)||Management Fee|
|Amounts from $5,000 up to $100,000||1.50%|
|Amounts in excess of $100,000 up to $150,000||1.45%|
|Amounts in excess of $150,000 up to $ 250,000||1.25%|
If you do not use the firm’s automated service, it’s possible that the firm will handle your account using a Unified Managed Account (UMA). This is a professionally managed, private investment account. With this service you can expect to pay a fee of 0.50% of your AUM. There is no set account minimum for these services.
The firm also offers financial planning and consulting services independently of investment management. These services may come with a fixed fee or the client may pay on an hourly basis. Fees are negotiable and depend on the scope of services required. Fixed fees generally range from $3,500 to $50,000, and hourly fees can be anywhere from $500 to $750 per hour.
Prestige Wealth Management may also refer you to its affiliated firm, The Pillar Strategies. This firm operates largely in the same way as Prestige Wealth Management and handles client investment accounts. In fact, advisors who work for Prestige Wealth Management could also work as advisors for The Pillar Strategies.
The Pillar Strategies offers investment management through a wrap fee program. The management fees you pay will depend on whether or not you take part in that program. In a wrap fee program, the firm bundles all of your investment and portfolio management costs into a single fee. Fees for the program range from 0.50% to 2.00% of your AUM. If you do not invest through a wrap fee program, you can expect to pay a fee between 0.45% and 1.95% of your AUM. This fee is slightly lower than the one for the wrap program, but you may need to pay additional brokerage fees or commissions for your investments.
The table below will give you an idea of how Prestige Wealth Management’s fees compare. The fee estimates are for investment management through the firm’s UMA program. According to the firm, this service comes with a management fee of 0.50% of AUM. The actual fee you pay may differ depending on the amount you invest and the exact services you use. Note that the fee estimates from other firms may also vary depending on multiple factors.
|Estimated Fee Comparison*|
|Your Assets||Prestige Wealth Management Unified Managed Account (UMA)**||National Median Advisory Fees***|
|$1MM||$5,000||$8,500 - $10,000|
|$5MM||$25,000||$25,000 - $32,500|
|*Fee estimates only consider the maximum base fees for the services each firm provides. You may also pay manager fees and other fees, which can vary in amount. **The firm states that this program comes with a management fee worth 0.50% of AUM, with no set account minimum. ***All figures are based on median fee levels according to Bob Veres' 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey. The above estimates solely take into account AUM-only fees. Total costs will likely be higher due to additional expenses.|
What to Watch Out For
Prestige Wealth Management and its advisors have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their clients. With that being said, there are some potential conflicts of interest that a client might like to know about.
First off, current and prospective clients should note that advisors at the firm may earn a commission for the sale of certain investments. Some advisors are also licensed insurance agents and may earn commissions from selling insurance products.
Also worth noting is that if for some reason the firm will not handle a client’s account, it may refer the client to The Pillar Strategies. This firm is affiliated with Prestige Wealth Management, as they are under common ownership and have advisors who work for both firms. The firms’ common owner may benefit from referring a client from one firm to the other.
The final potential conflict of interest to note relates to the firm’s agreement with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. The agreement states that Prestige Wealth Management will not pay a licensing fee for the use of Virtual Portfolios if it maintains $100 million in client assets in accounts at Charles Schwab but independent of Virtual Portfolios. This could provide an incentive for Prestige Wealth Management to advise clients to maintain their accounts with Charles Schwab.
Prestige Wealth Management has not been subject to any disciplinary actions in the past decade.
Opening an Account with Prestige Wealth Management
If you are interested in talking to an advisor or opening an account with Prestige Wealth Management, you will need to contact the firm. You can visit either of the firm’s two offices, email the firm or call. The firm provides its address, email address, phone number (including a toll free number) and fax number on its website at prestigewmg.com/contact. That page also has a contact form that you can use to ask specific questions.
Once you have opened an account, you can access and manage your investment portfolio via prestigewmg.com/p/my-account.
Where Is Prestige Wealth Management Located?
Prestige Wealth Management has two office locations in New Jersey. The firm’s main location is in Fleming, New Jersey, directly off of route 12 (NJ-12). There is also an office in Millburn. Both offices are open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can find the exact addresses and phone numbers for both offices at prestigewmg.com/contact.
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