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Vista Wealth Management Review

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Vista Wealth Management

Vista Wealth Management is a financial advisor firm headquartered in Palo Alto, California, that has roughly $1.7 billion in assets under management. The firm works mostly with individuals and high-net-worth individuals, but it also advises corporations, charitable organizations and other entities. The firm has a relatively high minimum account size at $2 million.

Vista Wealth Management was founded in 1999, and it has since grown to have five offices and more than 500 clients. Through an evidence-based approach to long-term investing, the firm offers both investment advisory services and financial planning services to its clients.

Vista Wealth Management Background

Vista Wealth Management was founded in 1999. Co-founder and CEO Michael Spector brought his years of experience in personal finance to create a firm that gets 100% of its revenue from clients so that the interests of firm are always aligned with those of the client. The fee-only firm has 25 advisors on staff, more than 500 clients and around $1.7 billion in assets under management.

What Types of Clients Does Vista Wealth Management Accept?

Vista Wealth Management’s clients include individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations. The firm has around 540 clients, the vast majority of whom are individuals and high-net-worth individuals.

Vista Wealth Management Minimum Account Sizes

Vista Wealth Management generally imposes a minimum account size of $2 million for investment management services. Multiple accounts for the same client may be aggregated to meet the minimum account value.

Services Offered by Vista Wealth Management

Vista Wealth Management offers a range of services to its clients under the two broad umbrellas of investment advisory services and financial planning. They are as follows:

  • Investment advisory services
    • Asset allocation
    • Asset location
    • Concentrated positions
    • Investment execution
    • Tax loss harvesting
    • Rebalancing
  • Financial Planning
    • Tax planning
    • Estate and gift planning
    • Debt management
    • Risk management
    • Budgeting
    • Charitable planning

Vista Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

When it comes to analyzing securities, Vista Wealth Management relies on trend analysis, historical data and price data in order to determine securities that are being undervalued. The firm looks to select securities and investment products that the market is undervaluing, then build diversified portfolios across several asset classes.

The firm may use a long-term purchase strategy, a short-term purchase strategy, a trading strategy or a mix of the three, depending on the risk tolerance and financial preferences of the specific client.

Fees Under Vista Wealth Management

For investment advisory fees, Vista Wealth Management charges fees according to this schedule:

Account Size Fee Rate
First $3,000,000 0.95%
Next $2,000,000 0.80%
Next $5,000,000 0.60%
Next $10,000,000 0.50%
Next $10,000,000 0.40%
Above $30,000,000 0.30%

These fees are billed quarterly and in advance. The firm institutes a minimum annual fee of $19,000.

For stand-alone financial planning and consulting, the firm charges an hourly fee, which can range from $250 to $500 per hour depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of your situation, your existing relationship with the firm and the size of your account.

The below table shows how Vista Wealth Management's fees for its investment advisory services compare to the national median. Remember that these are only estimates and actual fees may vary.

Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets Vista Wealth Management National Median Advisory Fees**
$500K $4,750 $5,000
$1MM $9,500 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $44,500 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $74,500 $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.

What to Watch Out For

Vista Wealth Management is a participant in the Schwab Advisor Network®, meaning it pays Charles Schwab in order to receive client referrals, and it must also pay a fee if a client referred by Charles Schwab chooses not to maintain a custody account with Charles Schwab. Therefore, Vista has an incentive to recommend maintaining a custody account with Charles Schwab to its referred clients. This incentive creates a potential conflict of interest, which Vista will disclose before entering into any sort of relationship. Vista Wealth Management is bound by fiduciary duty though, which means that it is legally obligated to act in its clients' best interests in all matters.


Vista Wealth Management does not have any disclosures.

Opening an Account With Vista Wealth Management

You can get in touch with Vista Wealth Management by filling out the contact form provided on its website. The form requests your first and last name, email address, phone number and a brief message or question. If you’d prefer to call the firm, the phone number is (650) 252-0550.

Where is Vista Wealth Management Located?

Vista Wealth Management has five offices, three in the Bay Area, one in Santa Monica, California and one in Scottsdale, Arizona. Its headquarters are located in Palo Alto, California, on Cambridge Avenue in the Evergreen Park neighborhood.

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

  • Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • If you want to be sure you’re on track to maintain your lifestyle after you’re done working, our retirement calculator can help you. When you enter your information, the calculator will tell you what you need to save to live the life you want in retirement.
  • If can't quite meet the account minimums of many traditional advisors, you may want to look into a robo-advisor. Robo-advisors often have lower minimums and fees, but can still help you reach your investment and retirement goals.

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