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Richard Bernstein 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.

Unlike most financial advisors, Richard Bernstein Advisors LLC takes a top-down macro approach to asset allocation.

Founder Richard Bernstein and other advisors at the firm can often be seen on business cable channels or quoted in publications like the Wall Street Journal. Over his long career, Bernstein has racked up a number of accolades, including Fortune magazine's "All-Star Analyst" and Institutional Investor's "All-America Research Team." He is the author of the seminal textbook "Style Investing — Unique Insight into Equity Management."

Richard Bernstein Advisors Background

Bernstein started his namesake firm in 2009 after serving as Chief Investment Strategist at Merrill Lynch & Co. Today, he is his own firm’s CEO, Chief Investment Officer and majority owner.

The firm employs nine advisors in total, which is a relatively small staff compared to firms with similar assets under their supervision. Six of these advisors have MBAs, seven are chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and two are certified investment management analysts (CIMAs).

Richard Bernstein Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Richard Bernstein works with non-high-net-worth individuals, as well as other investment companies and state or municipal governments, according to the firm’s Form ADV

Richard Bernstein Advisors imposes a minimum account size of $10 million for its direct separately managed accounts (SMAs). For wrap fee programs and institutional advisory services, minimums can vary depending on a number of different factors.

Services Offered by Richard Bernstein Advisors

Richard Bernstein Advisors provides clients with investment management services in a few different ways. One is through the aforementioned SMAs, either directly for individuals and clients or indirectly as subadvisor. It also provides investment strategies to several different wrap fee programs sponsored by other firms. 

The firm advises institutions as well, providing model portfolios to other investment advisors and acting as a sub-advisor to mutual funds and other open-ended investment companies.

Richard Bernstein Advisors Investment Philosophy

For many of Richard Bernstein Advisors' portfolios, the goal is to achieve a favorable return over the long term. The firm seeks to reach this goal through quantitative portfolio construction and a top-down analysis of broad, macroeconomic factors. This top-down approach prioritizes asset allocation planning based on various economic indicators, rather than individual security selection.

When it comes time to select individual securities, the firm uses quantitative models to help ensure proper exposure to certain markets. Additionally, the firm tends to invest in equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and more.

Fees Under Richard Bernstein Advisors

For clients utilizing RBA's SMA program, the firm charges up to a 1.25% annual fee that’s based on a percentage of AUM. The exact percentage that you'll pay will vary depending on the chosen investment strategy. The same fee arrangement applies to the firm's institutional investment management services. 

When it comes to the firm's wrap fee program services, the client will generally pay a quarterly fee to the program sponsor, who will then compensate Richard Bernstein Advisors. These fees are completely variable, with factors like account size, program type and program sponsor affecting the fee schedule clients will adhere to.

The firm may also charge a performance-based fee to certain clients.

Richard Bernstein Advisors Awards and Recognition

Over the years, Richard Bernstein has received a lot of recognition. Foremost, he is considered an expert on equity, style and asset allocation. He is also in the Institutional Investor's "Hall of Fame."

What to Watch Out For

Richard Bernstein Advisors had no disclosures of legal or regulatory action in its latest filings with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

As a fee-based firm, Richard Bernstein Advisors can receive performance-based fees. According to the firm's Form ADV, "Performance-based compensation arrangements create an incentive for RBA to recommend investments that may be riskier or more speculative than those that might be recommended under a different fee arrangement, such as a management fee only arrangement." That said, the firm is legally obligated by its fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of its clients.

Opening an Account With Richard Bernstein Advisors

If you’d like to work with Richard Bernstein Advisors, you can get in touch in a few different ways. You can either call the firm’s New York headquarters at (212) 692-4088, or you can send an email to

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

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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