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TAG Associates 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.

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: 

  • Trusts
  • Estates
  • 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
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $50,000
$10MM $100,000

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.

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • Interview at least three financial 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 whether they adhere to the fiduciary standard of putting clients’ interests first. Yes is the ideal answer, of course. But they may follow a lower standard of providing only suitable recommendations.

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