Zhang Financial's Charles Zhang has gotten a lot of press because of his background. Born in Shanghai, Zhang came to America without many connections and built a highly successful business in a part of the country not many people would think to put down roots — Portage, Michigan. Zhang Financial leads SmartAsset's list of the top financial advisors in Portage, and is also on our list of the top financial advisors in Michigan.
Zhang Financial is one of the largest financial advisor firms in Michigan, as it boasts billions in assets under management (AUM). It works with over 1,500 individual and institutional clients, providing customizable investment portfolio management and a wide range of financial planning services. This is a fee-only firm, as all of its compensation comes from client fees. This means that Zhang Financial avoids the conflicts of interest that can be found at a fee-based firm, which may receive commissions from certain transactions.
Zhang Financial Background
Charles and Lynn Zhang founded Zhang Financial in 2012. Today, Charles Zhang acts as the firm’s CEO and Lynn Zhang holds two positions: chief compliance officer (CCO) and chief operating officer (COO). Since 2013, Charles Zhang has been ranked as the top financial advisor in Michigan, according to Barron’s. Barron’s also rated Lynn Zhang as the top female financial advisor in Michigan in 2014.
The firm's advisors and leadership hold a multitude of certifications. The team's earned certifications include certified financial planners (CFPs), certified public accountants (CPAs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), certified divorce financial analysts (CDFA) and one chartered life underwriter (CLU).
Zhang Financial Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Zhang Financial mainly manages the assets of individuals (both with and without a high net worth). However, the firm also works with pension plans, profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and a few municipal governments.
At Zhang, the minimum account size for clients is typically $1 million. However, these minimums are not set in stone, as Zhang Financial may choose to take on clients who don’t meet them at its discretion.
Services Offered by Zhang Financial
Zhang Financial’s premier service is fee-only portfolio management. The company provides discretionary services via a wrap fee program. There are also plenty of financial planning services to choose from, such as:
- Financial position analysis
- Protection planning
- Investment planning
- Tax planning
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Employee stock option planning
- College planning
Zhang Financial Investment Philosophy
Zhang Financial’s advisors use several investment analysis techniques when selecting securities for its clients’ portfolios. The firm is intently focused on low-cost and disciplined investing. It has access to plenty of asset classes that it uses to craft individual portfolios that meet the risk tolerance, time horizon and income needs of each client.
In order to adequately diversify, the firm invests in a range of asset classes and market sectors. Zhang Financial may invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), no-load mutual funds, annuities, certificates, stocks, bonds and other more specific portfolio management programs.
Fees Under Zhang Financial
Zhang Financial charges clients an annual fee based on the total amount of AUM they have across all of their accounts. The fee schedule below is for discretionary wrap fee accounts, as all of Zhang’s current accounts adhere to this structure. Zhang Financial reserves the right to amend this fee schedule based on client negotiation. Unlike at some other firms, the rates at Zhang are flat — if you are in a certain tier, all of your money is charged the rate for that tier.
|Investment Management Fee Schedule|
|$1,000,000 to $2,500,000||1%|
|$2,500,000 to $5,000,000||0.9%|
|$5,000,000 to $10,000,000||0.8%|
|$10,000,000 and up||Negotiable|
This table shows what you'll pay at Zhang based on how much money you have invested with the firm:
|*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.|
|Estimated Investment Management Fees at Zhang Financial*|
|Your Assets||Zhang Financial Fee Amount|
|$500K||Does not meet minimum|
Financial planning services utilize a separate fee schedule. These clients are charged either a fixed fee from $250 to $10,000 or an hourly fee between $100 and $500. These rates vary depending on the specifics of the client’s financial situation.
What To Watch Out For
Opening an Account With Zhang Financial
To open an account with Zhang Financial, you can go online to its website and submit a form, or call (888) 777-0126. You can also visit an advisor at any one of its six offices. Outside of Portage, the firm has offices in Battle Creek, Ada, Ann Arbor, Troy and Naples, Florida.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Tips for Your Investment Portfolio
- Before you invest your hard-earned money in the market, a financial advisor might be worth looking into. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. 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.
- Wondering if you have enough money saved for retirement? Check out our retirement savings calculator to see if you're on pace, and don't forget to take Social Security payments into account.