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Sandhill Investment 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.

Sandhill Investment Management

Sandhill Investment Management is a financial advisory firm based in Buffalo, New York, specializing in portfolio management. While the firm provides private clients and institutions with access to three of its proprietary investment portfolios, advisors can also create balanced portfolios for their clients.

This fee-only firm, however, does not offer financial planning services for such areas as estate planning and retirement income strategies. If you're seeking this kind of advice, use our advisor matching tool. It recommends up to three advisors in your area who can meet these needs. 

Edwin "Tim" Johnston, founder and current managing partner of Sandhill Investment Management, has been featured in Barron’s. The outlet described Sandhill has "one the best stock-picking teams in the U.S."  

Sandhill Investment Management Background

Johnston founded Sandhill Investment Management in 2002. He is the biggest shareholder in the firm, while 10 others have smaller stakes in the business. 

The Sandhill team includes one certified public accountant (CPA), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified financial planners (CFPs), one accredited investment fiduciary analyst (AIFA), one certified exit planning advisor (CEPA) and a chartered financial consultant (ChFC).

Sandhill Investment Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Sandhill Investment Management works with individuals both above and below the high-net-worth threshold, businesses, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charities, foundations and endowments. The firm also serves other advisors through separately managed account wrap-fee programs.

The firm generally requires a minimum investment of $250,000 to engage in its proprietary portfolios. However, it may accept smaller investments under certain circumstances. 

Services Offered by Sandhill Investment Management 

Sandhill Investment Management specializes in portfolio management services. The firm offers discretionary investment advisory services, retirement plan rollover advice, third-party sub-advisory services, as well as a unified managed account program (UMA) that Sandhill provides model portfolios. 

When it comes to investment management, the firm’s advisors can build balanced portfolios utilizing the stocks and bonds found in the firm’s proprietary portfolios. Sandhill Investment Management’s advisors tailor the asset allocation of a balanced portfolio to the client’s risk tolerance. Additionally, the firm manages non-discretionary accounts for clients who retain authority over individual transactions.  

Sandhill Investment Management Investment Philosophy

Sandhill Investment Management has three proprietary portfolio strategies, each designed to meet a certain objective. Those three strategies are:

  • Concentrated Equity Alpha: This portfolio invests in approximately 30 large-cap franchise companies, seeks risk-adjusted returns and is designed for long-term, growth-oriented investors.  
  • Large-Cap Yield: This portfolio invests in approximately large-cap stocks that the firm deems to have strong management and earnings growth. The Large-Cap Yield strategy focuses on long-term capital appreciation. 
  • Corporate Bond: This portfolio invests in corporate bonds that mature within three to nine years, and aims for capital preservation and income. 

When evaluating securities, the firm primarily relies on fundamental analysis. This entails taking a deep dive into available information about the condition of a company it may invest in. The firm's advisors may explore factors such as cost of production advantage, supply constraints, brand awareness and other factors. 

Fees Under Sandhill Investment Management 

Sandhill Investment Management charges asset-based fees that vary based on the composition of your portfolio. These fees are: 

  • Equity-only accounts: 1.00% of assets under management (AUM)
  • Corporate bond-only accounts: 0.65% of AUM
  • Preferred equity-only accounts: 0.75% of AUM
  • Balanced accounts: 1.00% of AUM

Here's what your annual fees would look like depending on the size and type 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 for equity-only and balanced accounts at Sandhill Investment Management*
Your Assets Sandhill Investment Management Fee Amounts
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $50,000
$10MM $100,000


*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees for corporate bond-only accounts at Sandhill Investment Management*
Your Assets Sandhill Investment Management Fee Amounts
$500K $3,250 
$1MM $6,500 
$5MM $32,500 
$10MM $65,000 

The firm bills these fees quarterly in advance. The valuation of your account would be based on the closing prices of securities held in your account on the last day of the month prior to your quarterly billing. 

What to Watch Out For

Within the past 10 years, Sandhill Investment Management has not undergone any legal or disciplinary action that would be material to a potential client’s evaluation of the firm’s business. You can learn more about the firm’s current activities by accessing its Form ADV on the official website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). And unlike some fee-based firms, neither Sandhill Investment Management nor its advisors receive outside compensation for selling securities or insurance products, which would be a conflict of interest. 

Sandhill Investment Management focuses on portfolio management. So it doesn’t offer financial planning services like retirement planning, estate planning or life insurance policy analysis. 

Opening an Account With Sandhill Investment Management

To open an account with Sandhill Investment Management, visit the firm's website and click on the "Contact" tab. You can also call the firm directly at (716) 852-0279.

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • A financial advisor can help you make the right decisions with your money. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Before you select a financial advisor, be sure to ask these five questions. Remember that not all advisors uphold the same standards. They also don't have to have any training to call themselves advisors. 

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

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