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Wealthspire Advisors 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.

Formerly known as Sontag Advisory, Wealthspire Advisors is a large financial advisory firm with its headquarters located in Manhattan. This firm is fee-based and has a massive team of advisors on staff to manage a similarly large pool of client assets. Wealthspire works with thousands of both individual and institutional clients. The firm provides financial planning, portfolio management and other wealth management services to clients. The firm also holds a spot on our list of New York City's top financial advisors.

As a fee-based firm, some of the advisors at Wealthspire can earn commissions from the sale of financial products. On the other hand, a fee-only firm earns all of its compensation from client-paid fees.

Wealthspire Advisors Background

Wealthspire Advisors was founded in 1995, so it's been around for a while. It became an SEC-registered investment advisor the same year. The firm has been wholly owned by NFP Corp. since 2015. Founder Howard Sontag currently serves the firm’s chairman, while Mike LaMena is CEO and Eric Sontag is president and chief operating officer (COO).

The firm has a large team of advisors in its network, many of whom are financially certified. These include certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and more.

Wealthspire Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Wealthspire Advisors currently works with a wide range of clients, both individual and institutional. However, most of the firm's clients are the former. Of these individuals, about half have a high net worth. Institutional clients currently include pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses.

While Wealthspire doesn't have set minimum account sizes, it does recommend that clients certain amounts for specific programs. These recommendations vary from $100,000 up to $2 million.

Services Offered by Wealthspire Advisors

Wealthspire Advisors offers a wide range of services to clients through its network of advisors. Services may include one of or several of the following:

  • Investment management
    • Outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO)
    • Asset allocation planning
    • Risk management
  • Financial planning and consulting
    • Income and savings planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Tax planning
    • Trust and estate planning
    • Charitable gift planning
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • Tax reporting

Clients may also utilize more specific services, offered through individually managed accounts. These strategies and programs may include:

  • Wealthspire Advisors Wealth Management
  • Wealthspire Advisors Wealth Solutions
  • Wealthspire Pathways
  • Wealthspire Advisors Institutional

Advisors may also provide investment consulting services and provide access to unaffiliated private investment funds.

Wealthspire Advisors Investment Strategy

Specific investment strategies at Wealthspire Advisors vary significantly depending on the type of strategy you choose to use or the type of account you choose to open. Advisors work directly with clients to determine their overall financial situation, with regard to such information as a client's risk tolerance, liquidity needs, time horizon and more. Advisors can then figure out the best approach to managing the client's assets.

Advisors at Wealthspire look to achieve results in the medium to long term. They constantly monitor for new investment opportunities while simultaneously evaluating existing investments. The firm adheres to five main tenets when it comes to asset management:

  • Risk management
  • Using a modified Black-Litterman asset allocation model
  • Ongoing portfolio monitoring
  • Being mindful of fees and taxes
  • Minimizing investment turnover

Fees at Wealthspire Advisors

Wealthspire Advisors charges fees for asset management services based on an annual percentage of each client's total assets under management. There are five main fee schedules that the firm uses to determine specific client fees. Here's a breakdown of each:

Wealth Management and Wealth Solutions Fee Schedule
Value of Assets Annual Fee
First $2,000,000 1.20%
$2,000,000 - $5,000,000 0.87%
$5,000,000 - $10,000,000 0.75%
$10,000,000 - $25,000,000 0.50%
Above $25,000,000 0.40%

 

Institutional Fee Schedule (Less than $20MM in assets)
Value of Assets Annual Fee
First $5,000,000 0.75%
$5,000,000 - $10,000,000 0.50%
$10,000,000 - $20,000,000 0.35%

 

Institutional Fee Schedule (More than $20MM in assets)
Value of Assets Annual Fee
First $20,000,000 0.45%
$20,000,000 - $50,000,000 0.30%
Above $50,000,000 0.20%

 

Retirement Plan Management Service Fee Schedule
Value of Assets Annual Fee
First $3,000,000 0.50%
$3,000,000 - $10,000,000 0.30%
$10,000,000 - $20,000,000 0.25%
$20,000,000 - $30,000,000 0.20%
Above $30,000,000 0.10%

The Wealthspire Pathways program uses a flat-rate fee schedule. Wealthspire charges a 0.50% rate on all client assets invested in this program.

Wealthspire may also enter into fixed-fee arrangements with clients. These arrangements typically won't exceed 1.20% of assets annually. There is generally a minimum of $5,000 annually. Fixed fees for financial planning generally range from $2,500 to $10,000. The hourly fee tends to range from $100-$500 per hour.

What to Watch Out For

Wealthspire has no disclosures reported on its SEC-filed Form ADV. 

Some of the firm's advisors are also licensed as insurance agents or broker-dealer representatives. As a result, they may receive commissions from selling financial products to clients. This makes the firm fee-based. It also creates a potential conflict of interest, but the firm is still a fiduciary. This means that advisors are legally obligated to act in the best interests of clients at all times.

Opening an Account With Wealthspire Advisors

If you're interested in opening an account with Wealthspire, go online to the firm's website and submit a contact form. You can also call the firm over the phone at(212) 973-1200 or visit one of its various offices in person.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • The process of finding a financial advisor can be tough. Luckily, SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Ask prospective advisors if they have any accreditations. Certified financial planners (CFPs), for example, hold themselves to high standards and work as fiduciaries. This means they are obligated to provide advice solely in their clients’ best interests.

How Long $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
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We weighed potential expenditures for a prospective retiree with a  $1 million nest egg to assess how many years that fund would cover in retirement in America’s largest cities.

We 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 metro areas across the U.S.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a net annual return of 2% after inflation. 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.