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UBS Wealth Management 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.

UBS Wealth Management (also known as UBS Financial Services, Inc.) offers a multitude of financial services. The Swiss bank’s wealth management arm has an option for nearly anyone who is looking for financial advice, with minimum investment levels for some types of accounts as low as $5,000 and as high as $25 million for others.

Its clients run the gamut from individuals to corporations, charities, pension funds and even other banks. UBS Wealth Management has offices and financial advisors in nearly every major U.S. city, as well as many small and mid-sized cities, so those searching for a personal touch should be able to sit down with a UBS advisor in their area.

UBS Wealth Management Client Types and Account Minimums

Whether you are a new investor who is looking to build your wealth or a high-net-worth individual seeking a higher return on your investments, UBS Wealth Management may have a program that makes sense for you.

UBS offers multiple discretionary and non-discretionary programs, with minimum account sizes as low as $5,000. Each program has numerous possible strategies to choose from, and asset classes ranging from equities to municipal bonds to real estate investment trusts.inim

Smaller investors who want to open an account with UBS Wealth Management have a number of options. They can put their money into a UBS Advice Portfolio, where minimum account size can be as low as $5,000. The managed portfolio program is a discretionary program, which means that your financial manager has full discretion to make investment decisions as he or she sees fit.

Another option is the Avisor Allocation Program. Similar to UBS Managed Portfolio, this is a discretionary program. However, it has a higher minimum account size at $25,000.

UBS also offers a number of non-discretionary programs, in which the client makes all decisions. These include PACE Select, which has a minimum account size of $10,000, and UBS Strategic Advisor, which has a minimum account size of $25,000. PACE is a mutual-fund-only program, so investments made through a PACE account are restricted to mutual funds. UBS Strategic Advisor is more flexible, allowing for investments in equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), fixed-income securities and other asset classes.

 

Fees Under UBS Wealth Management

The amount UBS Wealth Management’s clients pay in fees depends on the amount of money they have invested, as well as the investment strategy they are pursuing. Fees are generally payable on a quarterly basis. Most programs do not have a minimum annual fee.

For most UBS investment programs, the maximum annual fee is 2.50% of assets under management. This maximum rate applies to both the UBS Managed Portfolio Program and to UBS non-discretionary programs.

Other programs may have higher or lower annual rates, however. The UBS Advice Portfolio Program, for instance, has a maximum annual fee of 1.25% of assets.

The table below shows how UBS’ maximum annual fees compare to the national average. Keep in mind that these fees are estimates. Your actual fees will depend upon the vagaries of your specific account.

Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets UBS Wealth Management Managed Portfolio Program National Median Advisory Fees**
$500K $12,500 $5,000
$1MM $25,000 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $125,000 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $250,000 $50,000
*Fee estimates only consider the maximum base fees for the services each firm provides. You may also pay manager fees and other fees, which can vary in amount.  **All figures are based on median fee levels according to Bob Veres' 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey. The above estimates solely take into account AUM-only fees. Total costs will likely be higher due to additional expenses.


Hiring a Third-Party Manager Through UBS

UBS also works with its clients to find third-party managers, with UBS serving as a matchmaker and consultant. One of these programs, ACCESS, gives UBS authority to hire a manager directly, while in the other, Managed Accounts Consulting, the client contracts directly with the manager, and UBS provides performance reports on your account.

For the latter, the relationship is directly between you and your financial advisor. That means that fees are negotiated between you and the advisor. In addition to the fees you pay UBS for arranging the relationship, you may end up with a higher total fee through this program, upward of 3% in some cases.

What to Watch out For

UBS is a large, multinational bank, with offices around the globe. This means that UBS financial advisors have access to a broad range of tools and research. On the other hand, it also means that UBS financial advisors may not have the flexibility of advisors at smaller firms to customize certain types of accounts. Therefore it’s important to make sure you understand the rules and limits of any particular program before signing up.

UBS has just over 600 disclosures reported on its Form ADV in 2023. The SEC requires firms to file this paperwork. Here you can find information on a firm's available services, fee structure and client base. This is also where you can check to see if a firm has any disclosures

Investment Philosophy

UBS does not favor a single investment philosophy, instead it offers its clients access to a broad range of philosophies and strategies. Strategic investment choices with UBS include:

  • Growth
  • Value
  • Income
  • Tactical asset allocation
  • Municipals
  • Contrarian
  • Long and short investing
  • Real estate investment trusts

Some financial advisors at UBS may incorporate their own investment philosophy into the advice they provide, so make sure to discuss investment approaches with your financial advisor. 

Opening an Account With UBS Wealth Management

There are a number of ways to open an investment account through UBS. If you would like to meet with someone face-to-face contacting your local UBS branch office or UBS-affiliated financial advisor is your best bet. UBS also has a tool on its website that can help you locate an advisor by city or name.

Or, you can simply enter your own contact information and optional information about the services you are looking for and UBS will select a financial advisor to get in touch with you.

Before opening an account with UBS, you will need to complete an Advisory Relationship Agreement and Application. This agreement covers all possible types of accounts that a client can open with UBS Wealth Management, so some of the information contained within them may be superfluous to any individual investor. However, this enables UBS to open additional accounts for you in the future without needing to complete replicate paperwork.

Tips for Choosing 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 questions. You should consider multiple advisors before settling on one, and you should ask each of these advisors a number of questions. Ask an advisor to give you a full explanation of how his or her fee structure and approach to investing.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

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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.