Steward Partners Investment Advisory is a financial advisory firm with billions in assets under management (AUM). While its website says the firm is headquartered in Washington, D.C., its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) provide New York as its main office. This fee-based practice has 27 offices across the country.
The firm offers services like portfolio management, financial planning, private banking, business solutions and pension consulting. As a fee-based firm, there could be a potential conflict of interest since the advisors can earn commissions for the sale of certain securities. However, the firm is bound by a strict fiduciary duty, meaning it must put the needs of each client first.
Steward Partners Background
Steward Partners Investment Advisory was founded in 2016 by Jim Gold. Prior to starting the firm, Gold worked at Smith Barney for 18 years. Today, he serves as the company's CEO and as a member of the board.
The firm is employee-owned through Steward Partners Management Holdings, LLC. Several advisors have various professional designations, including certified public accountants (CPAs), certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs) and chartered financial analysts (CFAs), among others.
In 2021, the firm bought out Umpqua Investments, Inc. Umpqua became a wholly owned subsidiary of Steward Partners Holdings, LLC and changed its name to Steward Partners Investment Solutions, LLC.
Steward Partners Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Steward Partners advises the following types of clients:
- Individuals (including high-net-worth individuals)
- Pension and profit-sharing plans
- Charitable organizations
- Other business entities
Account minimums at Steward Partners vary depending on the account type.
Services Offered by Steward Partners
Steward Partners offers portfolio management on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. It offers these services through several programs, including separately managed accounts (SMAs) that are managed by third-party advisors; the Freedom program, which invests in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Freedom UMAs, which invest in mutual funds, ETFs or using third-party managers; wrap fee programs sponsored by other investment companies; model portfolios managed by outside advisors and a program that uses external managers.
The firm also offers financial planning services, consulting and pension consulting.
Steward Partners Investment Philosophy
Steward Partners understands that investment strategies should be dynamic and shift along with changes in clients’ lives and lifestyles. The firm feels that diversification is of utmost importance when considering what it can offer its clients.
According to the Steward Partners Investment Advisory website, diversification in asset allocation is designed to reduce the inherent risk of investing. The firm, therefore, offers an extensive set of options for investment. Some of these options are banking and lending strategies, wealth planning and insurance planning.
Fees Under Steward Partners
Clients at Steward Partners will pay fees based on the amount of their assets under management (AUM). The annual fee for portfolio management services varies depending on the advisor, the type of services provided and the level of administration required by the client.
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 3% on an annualized basis. Furthermore, the firm does not charge a fee in excess of $1,200 six months or more in advance. Financial planning fees are negotiable and generally payable in advance of services rendered.
Learn more about advisors' typical costs here
What to Watch Out For
Steward Partners reported no legal or regulatory action in its latest SEC filings.
Advisors at Steward Partners may also be broker-dealer representatives or insurance agents. In these roles, they can 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 Steward Partners
To open an account with Steward Partners, you can visit the firm’s website and fill out a contact form or call (212) 364-0364.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Financial Advisor Tips
- Interview at least three advisors before choosing one. This ensures that you have enough context about fees and investment strategies to make an informed decision. 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.