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The Pacific Financial Group Review

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The Pacific Financial Group, Inc.

The Pacific Financial Group is a financial advisor firm based out of Bellevue, Washington that boasts a staff of 26 financial advisors that oversee $2.5 billion in client assets. The firm works with several types of clients, including individuals, businesses, pension plans and charities. Portfolio management and financial planning are the focuses of the firm.

The Pacific Financial Group is fee-based. This means that, in addition to earning fees from clients, some advisors here may earn commissions for overseeing certain securities transactions. This is different from a fee-only firm, which avoids potential conflicts of interest by only earning income from the fees that clients pay.

The Pacific Financial Group Background

The Pacific Financial Group was created in 1984 by James McClendon. Today, the firm uniquely has two co-CEOs leading it: Megan P. Meade and Nicholas B. Scalzo. This duo, along with McClendon and managing member Gaetan Scalzo, have ownership stakes in The Pacific Holdings Group, LLC, of which the firm is a wholly owned subsidiary.

The Pacific Financial Group employs 26 advisors. Across this team, you'll find one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one chartered life underwriter (CLU), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).

The Pacific Financial Group Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

When it comes to individual clients, The Pacific Financial Group only works with those below the high-net-worth threshold. Although these clients represent over 90% of the firm's client base, it also manages money for corporations, charitable organizations and pensions and other retirement plans.

The firm has variable minimum account size requirements that depend on the services you're receiving. These range from no minimum at all to as much as $100,000. The firm reserves the right to waive these minimums.

Services Offered by The Pacific Financial Group

The Pacific Financial Group offers a range of different investment management services. With the firm's Managed Strategist Program, clients receive portfolios consisting solely of RiskPro funds, which are managed by an affiliate of the firm, Pacific Financial Group. With these, clients can choose between five different portfolios that vary in terms of risk tolerance.

Additionally, the firm provides several separately managed accounts (SMAs): Equity, Balanced, Income-Cash Yield, Equity Tax Managed and Balanced Tax Managed. Clients can also take part in the firm's EPIC program, which provides access to institutional money managers. Finally, the firm can also manage certain retirement accounts and variable annuity sub-accounts.

The Pacific Financial Group Investment Philosophy

When analyzing potential investments for clients' portfolios, The Pacific Financial Group relies on its own proprietary method of analysis it calls Rational Analysis™. Rational Analysis is a specialized blend of three common types of analysis: fundamental, technical and quantitative. Fundamental analysis is the process that attempts to gauge a security's intrinsic value, while the other two use mathematical models to analyze historical price data to attempt to forecast future prices.

In addition to these processes, the firm also uses a proprietary risk management software called "RiskPro®" that's developed by one of the firm's affiliates. This program takes a client's answers to a risk tolerance questionnaire and attempts to forecast the kinds of returns they could earn.

Fees Under The Pacific Financial Group

The Pacific Financial Group typically charges its clients a percentage-based fee to have their assets managed by the firm. These rates will vary depending on the program in which you participate. However, clients of the Managed Strategist Program do not pay additional advisory fees.

For SMA services, as well as the management of retirement and annuity accounts, clients will pay a fee to both the firm and any intermediary that initially referred them to the firm. These fees go as follows:

Pacific Financial Group Investment Management Fees
Assets Under Management Fee Rates
Up to $500,000 1.00%
$500,001 - $3,000,000 0.75%
$3,000,001 - $5,000,000 0.50%
$5,000,001 - $10,000,000 0.40%
Above $10,000,000 Negotiable

Clients in the EPIC program typically pay an annual program fee of 0.45%.

What to Watch Out For

As a fee-based firm, The Pacific Financial Group employs some advisors that have an opportunity to earn commissions and other forms of compensation from the sale of specific investment products or securities. This creates the potential for a conflict of interest. However, The Pacific Financial Group is still a fiduciary, which means it's legally obligated to act in the best interests of its clients at all times.


The Pacific Financial Group doesn't have any disclosures on its Form ADV.

Opening an Account With The Pacific Financial Group

If you're interested in becoming a client of The Pacific Financial Group, try calling the firm at (425) 451-7722. Alternatively, you can stop by the firm’s website and fill out its contact form so an advisor can reach out to you personally.

Retirement Planning Tips

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  • When you’re planning out your income for retirement, don’t forget to account for Social Security payments. Although Social Security won’t be enough to retire on, it can be a valuable addition to your existing retirement funds. To find out how much you’re in line to receive, stop by SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator.

How Many Years $1 Million 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 To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

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%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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