Western International Securities, Inc. (WIS) is a financial advisor firm located in Pasadena, California. The firm works with financial advisors, providing them with various investment and financial planning services that they, in turn, use with their own client base. These advisors, which are referred to as investment advisory representatives (IARs), maintain advisory relationships with individuals, retirement plans, trusts and more.
WIS a fee-based firm; this means that, in addition to client fees, some of its advisors can also earn commissions from the sale of securities. That's different from a fee-only firm, which earns all of its compensation from advisory fees.
Western International Securities Background
Western International Securities was founded in 1995 and is currently under the ownership of Concept Brokerage Holding Corp. The CEO of the firm is Donald Bizub and Brad Kaiser acts as the firm's chief compliance officer (CCO). WIS has offices and advisors located throughout the country, though its main place of business is in Pasadena, California.
Kaiser is a chartered financial consultant (ChFC), and the firm's network of IARs holds a wide variety of financial certifications.
Western International Securities Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Through its IARs, Western International Securities offers services to individuals with and without a high net worth, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charities and businesses. Currently, however, the firm's Form ADV only lists individual clients.
For a client to take advantage of WIS' services, they'll need at least $25,000 in investable assets. The firm may waive this minimum at its discretion. When that minimum is waived, those clients with account sizes less than the typical minimum usually pay a higher percentage rate on their annual fees than other clients who have a greater amount of assets under management with the firm.
Services Offered by Western International Securities
WIS' IARs provide investment and wealth management services to clients, along with comprehensive and personalized financial planning. Through a series of ongoing interviews and consultations with clients, advisors look to determine financial objectives, identify financial problems and help with cash flow management, tax planning, insurance planning, education planning, retirement planning, estate planning and more.
This firm also offers investment programs sponsored by outside clearing agents. These include the "Managed 360" program, the "Managed Account Solutions" program and sub-advisory services. The firm also has a number of agreements that determine the relationship with each client. These include:
- Financial planning
- Strategic tax planning
- Retirement planning
- Investment planning
- Investment advisory service
- Comprehensive wealth and investment advice
- One-time limited investment advisory service
- Hourly planning engagements
- Case-by-case financial planning services based on the client's needs
Western International Securities Investment Philosophy
Western International Securities looks to tailor investment and financial planning strategies to the individual needs of each client. This is done in relation to their risk tolerance, liquidity needs, time horizon and other pertinent factors. While assets are typically managed on a discretionary basis, clients can place reasonable restrictions on how their assets are managed.
When evaluating investments for client portfolios, WIS typically uses fundamental, technical, charting and cyclical methods of analysis. The majority of the research materials used by the firm are from publically available sources, like newspapers and other financial publications. Advisors typically focus on strategic and tactical asset allocation methods, as well as long- and short-term purchases, trading, short sales, margin transactions and option writing.
Advisors may use a wide range of investments depending on the client's personal needs. However, the firm commonly invests in stocks, bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs), municipal bonds, options, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and limited partnerships.
Fees Under Western International Securities
There are no standard fee schedules at Western International Securities. This is because all fees for wealth management and financial planning services at WIS are negotiable. They may be charged on an hourly basis, as a flat rate or as a percentage of AUM.
Financial planning fees will not exceed $250 per hour. Investment management fees are billed quarterly or monthly, either in arrears or in advance, and they will not exceed 3% of a client's AUM.
What to Watch Out For
Western International Securities has several disclosures listed on its Form ADV. They relate to several different violations, such as failing to maintain proper amounts of net capital, failing to report ownership changes, improperly storing electronic communications and failing to report earned commissions. As a result, the firm has had to pay multiple fines and submit to censure on various occasions.
As a fee-based firm, some advisors at WIS have the opportunity to earn commissions from the sale of securities to clients. This represents a potential conflict of interest, as the firm may have an incentive to recommend certain transactions. Despite this situation, the firm is a fiduciary and is legally bound to act in the best interests of clients at all times.
Opening an Account With Western International Securities
If you're interested in opening an account with WIS, you can go online to its website and submit a form. There is also an option to find an advisor in your area on its website.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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