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YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors Review

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YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors

YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors calls Corte Madera, California home. The fee-based financial advisor firm’s four-person advisory team oversees nearly $263 million in assets under management (AUM). YellowBrickRoad primarily provides financial planning, investment management and advisory consulting services to individual investors. 

YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors Background

YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors was founded in 2003 by CEO John Ohmer, who remains the firm’s principal owner. The firm has been registered with the  U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) since 2011. YellowBrickRoad’s team includes two certified financial planners (CFP).

What Types of Clients Does YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors Accept?

Individuals with and without a high net worth make up the entirety of YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors’ client base. However, the firm also is capable of serving estates, trusts and charitable organizations.

YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors Minimum Account Size

There is no minimum level of investable assets required to work with YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors. This makes the firm accessible to both new and experienced investors.

Services Offered By YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors

YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors divides its services into six categories: financial planning, investment management, retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning and consultation services. Each of these categories contains more specific services:

  • Financial planning
    • Cash flow management
    • Cash reserves
    • Asset and liability management advice
    • Mortgage review
  • Investment management
    • Financial goal-based planning
    • Retirement income planning
    • Education fund planning
    • Investment account management
  • Retirement planning
    • Income, expense and wealth accumulation analysis
    • Retirement objective review
  • Tax planning
    • Tax minimization
    • Collaboration with clients’ tax professionals
  • Estate planning
    • Current plan review
    • Tax-efficient planning
    • Estate extraneous cost reduction
    • Collaboration with estate planning attorneys
  • Consultation services
    • Advice for 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, profit-sharing plans and other retirement accounts

YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors Investment Philosophy

YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors uses the core and satellite asset allocation investment strategy to formulate its client portfolios. This strategy divides investments into two different but complementary portions. The core strategy is the safer of the two strategies, as it encourages investing in active and passively managed mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETF), exchange-traded notes (ETN) and alternative investments. These types of investments are associated with long-term, reliable growth.  The satellite strategy, on the other hand, utilizes long and short ETFs, including leveraged ETFs. These are slightly riskier investments that have a greater potential to deliver higher returns.

To ensure your portfolio isn’t reliant on any one area of the market, YellowBrickRoad emphasizes diversification. The firm diversifies client portfolios on a global scale, rather than simply sticking to U.S. investments.

Fees Under YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors

YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors charges clients on a by-service basis, meaning clients’ fees will vary depending on the services they receive. For financial planning and consultation services, the firm may charge clients a fixed fee, an hourly fee or both. YellowBrickRoad provides quotes before any services are rendered for which it charges hourly and/or fixed fees. If its estimate is inaccurate, your advisor will contact you for approval to continue providing his or her services.

The firm charges an asset-based fee for asset management and assets under advisement services. The firm’s fee schedule lists annual rates, but clients are charged at the beginning of each quarter. Your rate is based on  the size of your account on the final day of the last quarter.

Financial Planning and Consultation Services Fees
Service Fee Rate
Comprehensive financial review $1,950 - $2,500 fixed fee
Comprehensive planning $3,450 - $5,000 fixed fee
Financial independence comprehensive planning $3,850 - $5,000 fixed fee
Advanced comprehensive planning $15,000 - $30,000 fixed fee
Personal CFO associate service $325 per hour
Personal CFO service $475 per hour
Principal CFO service $650 per hour

 

Fees for Assets Under Advisement and Asset Management Services
Account Value Annual Fee
Under $100,000 1.35%
$100,001 - $500,000 1.25%
$500,001 - $1,250,000 1.15%
$1,250,001 - $2,000,000 1.10%
$2,000,001 - $4,500,000 1.00%
$4,500,001 - $7,500,000 0.90%
$7,500,001 - $10,000,000 0.80%
Over $10,000,000 0.70%

In addition to the above charges, YellowBrickRoad charges performance-based fees for some of its client accounts. The more your account grows over a certain time period, the higher these fees will be.

Check out the table below to see how YellowBrickRoad’s fees for its asset management services compare. Note that these fees are only estimates and actual costs may vary.

*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.
Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors Asset Management Services National Median Advisory Fees**
$500K $6,350 $5,000
$1MM $12,100 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $52,725 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $95,225 $50,000

What to Watch Out For

Any time a firm is fee-based, it’s important to understand how its advisors are compensated, as this designation means the firm earns money from sources other than the fees its clients pay. In the case of YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors, some its employees are licensed insurance agents who can earn commissions from the sale of policies to clients. On top of this, the firm may charge performance-based charges for select accounts. This can incentivize advisors to make riskier decisions in the hopes of higher returns as they’re being compensated based on portfolio performance.

To help mitigate these conflicts of interest, YellowBrickRoad states in its Form ADV that “clients are free to select any broker/dealer and/or insurance agent to implement (an) advisor’s recommendations.” On top of this, the firm is a fiduciary, so it is legally bound to act in your best interest under all circumstances.

Disclosures

YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors has no disclosures or legal issues in its past.

Opening an Account With YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors

Prospective clients have three avenues of communication with the firm. If you want to directly contact an advisor, you can reach YellowBrickRoad over the phone at (415) 346-2221 or through email via ClientServices@ybrfa.com.

Another option is to go to the firm’s website, where you’ll find a contact page. You can leave your name, phone number, email address and a short message describing the services you need. Once the firm receives it, an advisor will get in touch with you regarding specific next steps.

Where Is YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors Located?

YellowBrickRoad Financial Advisors has just one office location in Corte Madera, California. The office is located right off of highway US-101 at 770 Tamalpais Drive, Suite 206.

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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.

Least
Most
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