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Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services Review

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Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services, LLC

Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services (WEAS) is a Plymouth, Minnesota-based financial advisor firm with $8.4 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm's client base is mainly comprised of individuals, and it has 323 on-staff financial advisors. WEAS offers a variety of financial services, from financial planning to investment management and portfolio rebalances.

As a fee-based operation, some of the advisors at this firm can earn commissions from the sale of certain investment and insurance products. While this can represent a conflict of interest the firm abides by fiduciary duty to act in its clients' best interests. 

Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services Background

Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services was established back in 2001. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wealth Enhancement Group, LLC, or WEG. In turn, WEG is under the ownership of various WEAS employees. The firm's leadership team includes CEO Jeff Dekko, director of investments Chris Haarstick, chief compliance officer (CCO) Mike Stefano and chief financial officer (CFO) Kelly Windorski.

The firm's advisors hold a number of certifications, such as certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), accredited estate planner (AEP), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), certified public accountant (CPA), retirement income certified professional (RICP) and more.

Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services works primarily with individual clients. In fact, about 85% of the firm's 13,000-member client base consists of individuals below the high-net-worth threshold. Other than these clients, the firm maintains advisory relationships with high-net-worth individuals and charitable organizations. 

Prospective clients of WEAS need to abide by the firm's minimum investment requirements. These vary on a program to program basis. The firm reserves the right to waive these minimums at their discretion.

  • Investment management services: $25,000
  • WEAS Core Program: $30,000 - $250,000
  • WEAS Select: $50,000
  • WEAS ACCESS Program: $100,000

Services Offered by Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services

Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services offers a wide range of financial services that include:

  • Financial planning
    • Risk management
    • Tax planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Insurance planning
  • Third-party money management
  • Investment management
    • Portfolio rebalances
    • Security analysis
  • Retirement plan consulting

WEAS tailors its financial planning and investment management advice to the individual needs of clients. This involves doing a deep dive into each client's time horizon, risk tolerance and ultimate financial goals. It also offers the following investment programs that each use distinct investment philosophies:

  • WEAS Core Program
  • WEAS Select Program
  • WEAS Managed ETF Program (MEP)
  • WEAS Access Program
  • Tax-Advantaged Asset Location Program (TAALP)
  • SWM/SWM II Program (through LPL Financial)

Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services Investment Philosophy

With a multitude of investment programs to choose from, this firm pursues several different investment philosophies. These approaches vary not only in their security selection, but also in terms of their respective risk tolerances and liquidity levels.

However, there are some constants across the firm's programs. WEAS abides by modern portfolio theory (MPT), which seeks to maximize returns for a specific risk tolerance. Through this use of MPT, the firm looks to strategically allocate assets in the interest of creating a diversified and optimized portfolio. To achieve this diversification, the firm mostly invests in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and individual stocks.

Fees Under Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services

Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services charges clients a range of different fees that largely depend on the types of services they subscribe to. These fees are negotiable and vary based on the complexity of the services that are needed. The firm does state, though, that advisory fees will never exceed 2.00% annually.

Retirement planning services feature fees that can range as high as 1.00% of your AUM or $600 per hour. General financial planning services will typically run you a fixed fee of up to $25,000. Fees are due on either a monthly or quarterly basis.

What to Watch Out For

As a fee-based firm, certain members of Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services' staff have an opportunity to earn commissions from the sale of insurance or investment products to clients. While this has the potential to cause a conflict of interest, the firm is a fiduciary and is therefore legally obligated to act in clients' best interests at all times.

Disclosures

Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services' legal and regulatory record is completely devoid of any disclosures.

Opening an Account With Wealth Enhancement Advisory Services

If you're interested in opening an account with WEAS, visit its website and request a meeting with an advisor. You can also call the firm at (800) 492-1222 if you prefer working over the phone.

Tips for Financial Planning

  • When putting together your own financial plan, it can be helpful to work with a financial advisor who can analyze your situation and goals and put together a plan that works for you. Luckily, finding the right 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 your primary goal is to save for retirement, a good first step is to see whether you're currently on pace for a secure retirement. To start, use our retirement calculator to see where you stand.

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.

Least
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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