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Richard P. Slaughter Associates Review

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by Nina Semczuk Updated
Richard P. Slaughter Associates

Richard P. Slaughter Associates is a financial advisor firm that offers wealth management, asset management and financial planning for business owners, business professionals and the sudden wealthy. You need at least $500,000 to open an account with this Austin- and Dallas-based firm. The company is a family affair with three Slaughters on the staff of 14.

Who Should Use Slaughter Associates?  

Texas-based individuals are the first criteria for this company. It’s usually typical to visit your advisor at least once a year, so being within traveling distance to Austin or Dallas is likely necessary to work with this firm. After that, the company is ideal for those who are newly wealthy or a business owner or professional. Slaughter Associates specializes in those three categories and has depth of experience serving those needs. 

You’re required to have at least $500,000 to open an account. And, unlike most of the Austin competition, Slaughter Associates offers both discretionary and non-discretionary accounts. That means either hands-off investing, where your money is managed for you, or, a more involved approach if you wish.  

The company helps families as well as individuals develop strategies to achieve financial goals. If you want a long-term relationship aimed at building savings and retirement strategies, Slaughter Associates might be right for you. Wealth managers at the company use a four-part process to create a customized strategy for your financial situation.  

The company has a medium-sized team and a large number of certified financial planners on staff. 

What You’ll Pay in Fees

Slaughter Associates charges fees that are average for Austin-based wealth managers. The annual fee is a percentage of your assets under management. The fees are lower as your account value grows. It’s also calculated cumulatively. For example, if your portfolio’s value is $5 million, the first $1 million is 1.25%, the next 1% and the next three at 0.75% which adds together to $45,000. You’ll pay that fee quarterly, rather than annually. This means you’re billed four times a year based on the current value of your portfolio. 

Slaughter Associates offers two types of accounts: discretionary and non-discretionary. Each has its own fee structure. Discretionary accounts are managed (your assets traded on your behalf) directly without your involvement. Non-discretionary means you’re more involved with how your money is invested.  

In addition to the base percentage, 0.25% is collected on the first quarterly billing to cover financial planning services. However, the fee is refunded after 12 months if you’re still with the company and haven’t terminated the advisory agreement. This differs from most Austin firms we’ve profiled. Usually, financial planning services are billed hourly and are not refundable. 

You’re also responsible for paying brokerage fees. This means when securities are traded on your behalf, you will pay transaction fees and any associated fees, such as for an ETF or mutual fund.  

What to Watch out for With Slaughter Associates 

There aren’t any glaring detractors to watch out for with this company. No advisor has a disclosure, the company doesn’t have any bad press or reviews and the fees charged are in the range of similar firms. The company is medium-sized with plenty of employees with advanced degrees and certifications.  

That said, the company is fee-based rather than fee-only. This means that the company might make money from selling you insurance or other products. Fee-only means that the only money that your advisor makes is based on the assets under management fee.  

Slaughter Associates: What to Know  

Slaughter Associates has 14 team members with about nine working in an advisor capacity. The firm is medium-sized compared to the rest of our top 10 Austin advisors. That means it’s small enough that you can probably get to know everyone, but large enough that there are specialty team members. For example, the staff includes a communications and education specialist.  

While the team does include seven certified financial planners (CFPs), there are no certified public accountants (CPAs). Not every firm has one, but it does help for tax and accounting expertise. 

Slaughter Associates is owned by Brooks Slaughter, the CEO, Barbara Slaughter, the secretary, Kirsten Slaughter, corporate vice president and Darby Armont, vice president. This is one of the only Austin firms we profiled with three women among the owners.  

Key Personnel  

Brooks Slaughter is the CEO and president of the company, a place he’s worked at since 1993. Slaughter is a certified financial planner (CFP) and has his MBA from University of Houston at Clear Lake.  

Darby Armont is the company’s vice president and acts as the lead for the financial planning and client service teams. She also is a CFP and holds an MBA from University of Texas at Austin. Armont joined the firm in 2001.  

Awards and Recognitions 

The Austin Business Journal recognized Austin Asset as one of the best places to work in 2017 (in the micro-size category). 

Brooks Slaughter and Darby Armont were named  5 Star Wealth Managers by Texas Monthly. Slaughter was also named a Top 100 Advisor by Investment Advisor Magazine. 

Brokerage Relationships 

In most cases, advisors will recommend certain brokerages because they have established relationships with them. Slaughter Associates recommends Schwab and TD Ameritrade. While the company is not formally affiliated with either, it does receive account data feeds from those firms. Those feeds help advisors monitor and manage client accounts.  

Disclosures  

Advisors at Slaughter Associates have not incurred a disclosure or disciplinary action.  

Richard P. Slaughter Investment Philosophy  

To start, Slaughter Associates invests with a long-term horizon in mind. That means that the company recommends only committing funds that can be invested for three to five years. The company believes in diversification and different asset classes to spread volatility and risk.  

For analysis, Slaughter Associates uses fundamental and technical analysis when deciding how to invest your portfolio. Fundamental analysis looks at company financials and operations focusing on variables directly related to the company rather than the market at large. For technical analysis, researches use past trends to predict future trends. 

The company has four tenets for asset management: 

  • Adjust through changing market environments. 
  • Adapt to your individual requirements for assets.
  • Fully diversify across asset classes, sectors and styles.
  • Combine multiple investment strategies for a complete diversification strategy. 

The overarching philosophy is to: invest with a purpose, risk mitigation, market navigation and cash-flow management. These factors are what your advisor considers before investing your assets. The goal is to manage risk but provide maximum growth potential.  

Richard P. Slaughter Portfolio Styles 

Your portfolio will mainly be invested in stocks, bonds, active and passive no-load funds, alternative strategies and limited partnerships. The company offers both discretionary and non-discretionary asset management, which means you can choose how involved you want to be in the day-to-day management of your investments. 

The company uses the following strategies for managing your portfolio: 

  • Long-term purchases
  • Short-term purchases
  • Short sales
  • Margin transactions
  • Options writing 

Each of these comes with its own degree of risk. To determine how your particular portfolio is invested, your advisor will use the strategy you developed together in your initial meetings. Portfolios are personalized and can be adjusted based on your financial objectives.  

Starting an Account With Slaughter Associates 

You can call (512-918-0000), email (invest@slaughterinvest.com) or fill out a contact form to set up an appointment or phone meeting  with the firm. Once you decide to become a client, you’ll start working with the team to develop your wealth management plan. 

Slaughter Associates uses a four-step process for wealth management. The first step is discover. You’ll discuss your financial situation and your goals for the future. This conversation will familiarize you with Slaughter’s team and they’ll get a chance to find out what’s most important to you.  

The next phase is financial planning. You’ll be presented with a variety of financial scenarios that include factors such as your retirement date, cash flow and budgetary needs and lifestyle requirements. You’ll learn about techniques for wealth efficiency and strategies for using financial resources to meet your goals. 

After your strategy is in place, the next phase is asset management. This is your portfolio management: the selection, allocation and monitoring of your assets and ensuring that it aligns with your goals. 

The final step is an ongoing process: it’s support. Your team will continue to provide education and information about economic trends and what the impact may be for you. The team will provide advice for other financial matters and they’ll work with your CPA and estate attorney to share documents and information. 

What Types of Clients Does Slaughter Associates Accept?  

The firm states prominently on its website that it has “expertise in working with those who are new to the responsibilities that come with wealth and those with established wealth through a professional career or business ownership.” With that in mind, the company accepts the following types of clients: 

  • Individuals and high-net-worth individuals
  • Pension and profit sharing plans
  • Trusts
  • Estates
  • Charitable organizations
  • Nonprofits and endowments
  • Corporations and other businesses  

Where Is Slaughter Associates Located? 

Slaughter Associates is a Texas-based firm and has offices in Austin as well as Dallas. The Austin office is located northeast of the city in the Anderson mill area, closer to Round Rock than downtown Austin. The Dallas office is located up north near Plano. 

How Many Years $1 Million 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 cost of living in retirement there.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities. Using that calculation, we determined how many years $1 million would last in retirement in each major city.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors throughout the country. 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.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%, reflecting the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Finally, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would last in each of the cities in our study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research