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Sigma Financial 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.

Sigma Planning Corporation  also known as SPC  is a financial advisor firm located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of the University of Michigan.

The firm offers services such as financial planning, portfolio management, consulting services, educational workshops and more to a wide variety of both individual and institutional clients.

SPC Background

Founded in 1983, SPC is headquartered in Ann Arbor but has many locations throughout Michigan, as well as offices in Colorado, Kentucky, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana and elsewhere. Jerome Rydell is the principal owner of the firm through the The Jerome S. Rydell Revocable Living Trust and has served as the firm’s president since its creation.  

SPC Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

SPC advises the following types of clients:

  • Non-high-net-worth individuals
  • High-net worth individuals
  • Pension and profit-sharing plans
  • Charitable organizations
  • Corporations

For individual portfolio management services, SPC requires a minimum account size of $5,500 for its SIGMA Managed Accounts maintained at Fidelity but has the discretion to waive these minimums. There is no minimum asset amount required for retirement plan consulting services. Other minimums may be imposed on a client-by-client basis.

Services Offered by SPC

Sigma Financial Corporation offers various services to its clients, including financial planning services. In the way of consultation, it offers financial consulting as well as pension consulting services. Portfolio management services are available for individuals and institutional clients.

SPC generally offers portfolio management through the SIGMA Managed Account and does so on a discretionary basis, but clients can submit a written request to elect a non-discretionary arrangement. Beyond this, there is a charitable investment advisor program available for account holders with more than $250,000 in a donor-advised fund at Fidelity Charitable, as well as direct-at-fund programs for clients who are mainly interested in the funds of a particular mutual fund company. The firm also offers employer-sponsored retirement plans, financial planning services, consulting and pension consulting. 

SPC Investing Philosophy

Investment advisor representatives (IARs) who work with SPC may use one or more of the following approaches or strategies when providing investment advice:

  • Charting and technical analysis: This involves the gathering and processing of price and volume information for a particular security.
  • Fundamental analysis: This involves the analysis of individual companies and their industry groups.
  • Cyclical analysis: This is a kind of technical analysis that involves assessing recurring price patterns and trends based on business cycles.
  • Long-term purchases: This involves buying and holding a security for at least a year.
  • Short-term purchases: This involves buying and selling a security within a year.
  • Margin transactions: Securities transactions in which an investor borrows money to purchase a security, with the security acting as collateral on the loan.
  • Options trading/writing: Securities transactions that involve buying or selling an option.

According to SPC’s website, the firm lives by the motto “Financial Planning Today... for Financial Freedom Tomorrow!” and prides itself on its commitment to personal service, accomplishing these goals by centering several important principles and practices in its work. Among these important principles are appropriate asset allocation, consistent monitoring and disciplined rebalancing. The firm commits to full service and personal attention, professionalism, offering a range of investment choices and providing detailed performance reports to its clients.

Fees Under SPC

SPC charges wealth management fees based on the client’s assets under management (AUM). Below is the firm’s current blended fee schedule (these fees do not include transaction costs, brokerage commissions and other expenses):

Portfolio Value Default Fee
Up to $500,000 2.50%
$500,001 - $750,000 1.75%
$750,001 - $1,000,000 1.50%
Greater than $1,000,000 1.25%

Here is the estimated dollar amount you'd pay in advisory fees based on the size 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 at Sigma Financial Corporation*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount
$100K $2,500
$500K $12,500
$1MM $20,625
$5MM $70,625
$10MM $133,125

Fees are negotiated directly with clients and are paid quarterly in advance, based on the value of the account on the last day of the quarter. The firm’s fees will not exceed 2.5% for any amount under management. 

Financial planning and consulting fees are negotiable based on the time and effort required and how complex the services are. IARs may charge up to $300 per hour for these services, as well as an additional $50 per hour for office staff time. 

What to Watch Out For

SPC has five disclosures reported on the ADV form that was filed with the SEC. One of them from 2019 is attributed directly to the firm, in which it was fined $400,000 for allegedly failing to disclose conflicts of interest related to higher fees. 

Another thing to note: Advisors at SPC may also be brokers or insurance agents. In these non-advisor roles, they receive transaction-based fees, which can be a potential conflict of interest. That said, as an SEC-registered investment advisor, the firm is legally obligated to uphold its fiduciary duty and work in clients’ best interests at all times.

Opening an Account With SPC

To open an account with SPC, you can visit the firm’s website and fill out a contact form. You can also call if you prefer working over the phone.

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

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • 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.
  • Ask candidates what their median account size is. You don't want to be their smallest client -- or you probably won't get the attention you need. Alternately, you don't want to be the largest either. In that case, the advisor may not have the experience, know-how or resources to help your account grow. 

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