Reviewed by SmartAsset as one of the top financial advisors in New York City and New York state, TAG Associates is a financial advisor firm with billions of dollars in assets under management (AUM). The firm offers services such as financial planning and portfolio management.
TAG Associates Background
When TAG Associates was formed in 1983, the idea of a multi-client family office and portfolio management services advisor was relatively new, but proved to be a useful concept with time. Its current staff includes some certified public accountants (CPAs), certified financial planners (CFP) and chartered financial analysts (CFA).
TAG is a registered investment advisor (RIA), a commodity trading advisor (CTA) and a commodity pool operator (CPO). David Basner acts as the CEO, Jonathan M. Bergman acts as president and Gary Fuhrman acts as chairman. The firm is principally owned by TAG Associates Holdings, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company owned by Basner and Fuhrman.
TAG Associates Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
TAG Associates provides investment management services and other financial advice and services primarily to high-net-worth individuals.
The firm also advises a few other types of clients:
- Pooled investment vehicles
- Pension and profit-sharing plans
The firm technically does not have a set minimum account size. However, the fact that it only works with high-net-worth individuals likely means it's relatively selective with potential clients.
Services Offered by TAG Associates
TAG manages assets on a discretionary and non-discretionary basis, meaning some clients grant advisors full control over the trades made within their accounts, while others must sign off on individual transactions.
The firm offers its clients either a comprehensive package of services under the label "Comprehensive Wealth Management" or services on a stand-alone basis under the label "Portfolio Management."
Comprehensive Wealth Management clients receive both portfolio management services as well as other non-investment financial management services. When it comes to Portfolio Management services, TAG serves as an overall portfolio manager, first evaluating a client's financial situation and needs, then planning investment goals and objectives and finally putting together an asset allocation strategy to implement and monitor.
In addition to offering a customized portfolio, TAG Associates considers alternative investments in its allocation approach, offering access to a wider range of investment opportunities (which can include, according to its website, hedge funds, private equity and real estate).
One of the most important aspects of the services that TAG Associates provides is its family office model, offering comprehensive support across a client's entire financial life in order to make money matters less complex. TAG family office professionals have backgrounds in tax, accounting and other related financial areas in order to take on a wider range of financial responsibilities for a client's family. Particular family office services include financial management, administrative services, tax planning, philanthropic giving, estate and trust services and consolidated reporting.
TAG Associates Investment Philosophy
When putting together investment strategies, the primary concern of TAG Associates is the preservation of capital. TAG currently uses a variety of resources to collect data and evaluate various investment products, including:
- Cloud-based software applications for statistical analysis and asset allocation
- Internal databases of qualitative and quantitative information
- Qualitative and quantitative information/data on mutual funds, ETFs, money market funds and indexes
- Money manager direct data vendors and online services
- Brokerage accounting/performance analysis software
- Access to financial and other news in real-time format
- Reports from global macro and independent investment strategy researchers
In general, TAG Associates serves as an overall portfolio manager. Once the firm reaches a consensus with the client, it makes its recommendations and reports no less than quarterly on the results of the portfolio, making any necessary changes.
The firm establishes investment goals for clients by consulting financial newspapers, magazines, research materials prepared by others, corporate rating services and the portfolio information data sources listed above. Where appropriate, it evaluates the expected performance of a particular security, sometimes engaging traditional third-party managers of stocks and/or bonds in order to implement strategies.
Occasionally, TAG recommends:
- Short-term purchases of securities
- Trading securities sold within 30 days
- Short sales - securities transactions in which the investor sells in anticipation of a price decline
- Margin transactions - securities transactions in which the investor borrows money to purchase a security, making the security collateral on the loan
- Option writing
Fees Under TAG Associates
TAG Associates has different fee arrangements for its comprehensive wealth management services and its porfolio management services. Fees may vary from the fee schedule and are subject to negotiation.
The firm charges an annual retainer for its comprehensive wealth management services, under which the client receives portfolio management, tax and/or financial advisory services. The fee for tax and/or advisory services is based on an analysis of how exhaustive and how complex the client's financial matters are. Comprehensive wealth management clients may also pay a fee that is based on a percentage of AUM for portfolio management services. In certain cases, the firm negotiates a fixed fee for all services. Each client's written agreement spells out how these fees will be charged.
With regard to the stand-alone portfolio management services, clients will pay fees based on a percentage of AUM. The fee schedule is as follows:
|TAG Associates Fee Schedule|
|AUM||Annual Fee Rate|
|First $10 Million||1.00%|
|Next $10 Million||0.75%|
|More than $20 Million||0.50%|
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 for Stand-Alone Portfolio Management at TAG Associates*|
|Your Assets||TAG Associates Fee Amounts|
The management fee is payable quarterly, during the quarter in which the fees are incurred. Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.
What to Watch Out For
Within the past 10 years, TAG Associates has not undergone any disciplinary or legal action deemed material to a client’s evaluation of its business integrity. You can view its latest Form ADV on the official website of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).
Opening an Account With TAG Associates
To open an account with TAG Associates, you can visit the firm's website or call (212) 275-1500.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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