SA Stone Investment Advisors is a financial advisory firm based in Birmingham, Alabama, with billions in assets under management (AUM). With about 250+ advisors serving thousands of clients, the registered investment advisor (RIA) offers a range of advisory services through a fee-based fee structure.
SA Stone Investment Advisors Background
SA Stone specializes in investment advisory services, assisting a wide array of clients with portfolio management, pension consulting and financial planning advice since 2015. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of StoneX Group Inc., a publicly held financial holding company. The firm is also affiliated through common ownership with SA Stone Wealth Management Inc., an “introducing broker-dealer” and StoneX Financial Inc., a “clearing broker-dealer.”
SA Stone Investment Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
SA Stone’s client base consists of individuals and high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit sharing plans, corporations and other business entities, estates, trusts and charitable organizations.
Minimum account size requirements vary for different programs, accounts and investment models. Minimums generally range from $10,000 to $100,000.
Services Offered by SA Stone Investment Advisors
SA Stone provides several different advisory services, including:
- Portfolio management
- Financial planning
- Pension consulting
- Selection of other advisors
- Educational seminars/workshops
- Financial consulting
The firm offers both discretionary and non-discretionary asset management. If the client opts for discretionary management, their advisory will determine the proper asset allocation and manage the portfolio using one or all of the following options:
Advisor as Portfolio Manager: This service grants broad discretionary authority to the advisor to manage the client's assets by personally constructing and managing a securities portfolio; by using proprietary/third-party portfolio models; or by using some combination of the two.
SA Stone Select Portfolios: With the SSP Service, the client's financial advisor will select one or more of the firm's proprietary investment strategies or models.
SA Stone Select Managers: With this service, the client's financial advisor constructs and manages a securities portfolio by choosing and appointing asset managers to implement various investment strategies.
American Fund F2 Fund-Direct Platform: The client's financial advisor provides asset management and allocation services using individual mutual funds offered by the American Funds Service Company.
SA Stone Investment Advisors Investment Philosophy
SA Stone’s website says its mission is to supply its clients with world-class independent wealth management products and services. In honoring its mission, the firm utilizes a variety of sources when making investment decisions. This includes third-party analysis and models, corporate rating services, meetings with portfolio managers, proprietary analysis and models and more.
Fees Under SA Stone Investment Advisors
Management fees for asset management programs are determined between the advisor and client, but the firm imposes a set minimum management fee of $200 per year. Unified Managed Accounts (UMAs) require a $300 minimum annual management fee. The maximum annual management fee the firm can charge is 2.50% of AUM.
SA Stone charges fixed cost billing rates and hourly billing consulting fees for its financial planning and financial consulting services. For financial planning, the maximum fixed cost billing rate is $5,000 for clients with less than $10 million. The maximum fixed cost may be up to $10,000 for clients with more than $10 million. Financial consulting comes with a maximum fixed cost billing fee of $10,000. The maximum hourly rate for both services is $500 per hour.
Other expenses and fees incurred include internal fees/expenses of collective investment vehicles, transaction fees, mark-ups and custodial charges.
What to Watch Out For
SA Stone’s Form ADV lists one disclosure that occurred in 2018. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) found that the firm recommended mutual fund share classes that charged clients 12b-1 fees instead of recommending less expensive share classes of the same funds. The firm’s broker-dealer received the fees, and SA Stone failed to disclose conflicts of interest related to mutual fund share classes and the associated fees. The SEC also found the firm in violation of sections 206(2) and 207 of the Advisors Act.
The case was resolved through censure, restitution of $638,464.31 and interest of $48,909.70.
It's also important to note that as a fee-based firm, conflicts of interest may arise SA Stone advisors favor commission-based services or products over investments that may be more suitable to a client’s portfolio. Though the firm has a fiduciary duty to work in each client’s best interest, this is still important to keep in mind.
Opening an Account With SA Stone Investment Advisors
Interested in investing with SA Stone? The firm offers multiple options for getting in touch. Among them are its website’s contact form and the firm’s informational email. You can also set up an appointment with an advisor by calling (800) 589-2023.
Tips for Investing
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All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.