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Western Wealth Management Review

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Western Wealth Management, LLC

Western Wealth Management, LLC

Though recently established in 2016, Western Wealth Management (WWM) has already secured more than 7,700 client accounts. WWM is a fee-based firm with more than $1.4 billion in assets under management. The firm is a full-service financial advisor, offering wealth management and financial planning to clients in various financial situations. 

Though Western Wealth Management is not a broker-dealer itself, many of its investment advisors are registered with LPL, a broker-dealer. This means that the advisors can make investment recommendations and complete the transactions for you. As a result, you’ll be paying them a commission -- a conflict of interest explained in full below.

WWM has more than 4,000 individual clients, a small portion of which are considered high-net-worth. The firm also advises a number of institutional clients.

Western Wealth Management Background

WWM was founded in 2016. G.E. Buenning, who serves as the managing member, is the sole owner. 

Western Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Most of the clients at WWM are individuals. The vast majority of them are not classified as high-net-worth, though some are. There are also institutional clients at the firm, including pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.

The minimum account size at WWM depends on what program you take part in:

  • Guided Wealth Portfolios: $5,000
  • Model Wealth Portfolios: $10,000
  • Optimum Market Portfolios: $10,000
  • Manager Access Select: $50,000
  • Manager Access Network: $100,000
  • Personal Wealth Portfolios: $250,000

Services Offered by Western Wealth Management

WWM is a full-service financial advisor. It offers the following services:

  • Comprehensive portfolio management
  • Use of third-party managers
  • Financial planning
  • Consulting
  • Investment planning
  • Divorce planning
  • Retirement planning
  • 401(k) investment advice
  • Estate planning
  • Charitable planning
  • Education planning
  • Tax planning
  • Real estate analysis
  • Insurance analysis

Westerm Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

Advisors as WWM use charting, fundamental analysis, technical analysis and cyclical analysis to make investment decisions. Long-term purchases and short-term purchases may both be used, in addition to trading, short sales, margin transactions and option writing.

Possible investments include stocks, bonds, bond funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds.

WWM also offers a variety of programs through its partnership with LPL. The investment strategies of those programs is as follows:

  • Guided Wealth Portfolios: This is a robo-advisor solution that is enhanced by the use of live advisors. Clients using this will be invested in up to nine beta-focused ETFs.
  • Model Wealth Portfolios: The program is a professionally-manager mutual fund asset allocation strategy. Money is invested in various mutual funds.
  • Optimum Market Portfolios: Clients using this program have money invested in Optimum Funds Class I Shares.
  • Manager Access Select: In this option, client money is invested with the help of professional portfolio management firms. Advisors help clients select a portfolio manager,
  • Manager Access Network: This allows individual investors to access institutional asset managers. Money is invested in a variety of securities including equity, fixed-income, mutual funds, ETFs and speciality strategies.
  • Personal Wealth Portfolios: This is a fairly standard asset management program. Money is invested using asset-allocation model portfolios designed by LPL.

Western Wealth Management Fees

Fees for investment management are charged based on a percentage of assets under management.

For comprehensive wealth management, the annual fee will not exceed 3.00% of assets under management. The exact fee schedule will be determined based on the custodial platform and the client’s preferences.

If you are using one of the LPL programs, the maximum annual fees vary as follows:

  • Guided Wealth Portfolios: 1.40%
  • Model Wealth Portfolios: 2.50%
  • Optimum Market Portfolios: 2.50%
  • Manager Access Select: 3.00%
  • Manager Access Network: 3.00%
  • Personal Wealth Portfolios: 2.50%

Additionally, some advisors at the firm earn commissions for selling securities. This is a conflict of interest, but when acting as an advisor, the staff must act in the best interest of the clients.

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount. Fee amounts are based on maximum annual rate for comprehensive wealth management. 
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Western Wealth Management*
Your Assets Western Wealth Management Fee Amount
$500K $15,000
$1MM $30,000
$5MM $150,000
$10MM $300,000

What to Watch Out For

There have been no disciplinary disclosures for Western Wealth Management in the past 10 years. As noted above, advisors at the firm may also be registered broker-dealers and earn commissions for selling securities. This is a conflict of interest.

Though they must act in your best interest when serving as an advisor, these advisors have a financial interest in selling you securities that will earn them higher commissions, even if it is not the best choice for your situation. If you don’t want that potential conflict of interest, consider finding a fee-only financial advisor, who do not earn commissions.

Opening an Account With Western Wealth Management

WWM does not have a standard page on its website to inquire about creating an account. You can call the office at (720) 206-1390. You can also submit a question on their contact page here.

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

Tips for Investment

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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