Zhang Financial's Charles Zhang has gotten a lot of press — including a 2019 feature in Barron's — 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 top financial advisors for Portage and is on our list for Michigan.
Zhang Financial is a financial advisor firm where 9 financial advisors manage more than $3.2 billion in assets under management (AUM). They work with well over 1,000 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 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 and chief operating officer. 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 certification. The team includes nine certified financial planners (CFPs), six certified public accountants (CPAs), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs) one chartered financial consultant (ChFC), one certified divorce financial analyst (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), and more than 99% of its clients are individuals. 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 located in Michigan is typically $1 million. For anyone outside of Michigan, the minimum jumps to $2 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 which 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, 529 plans 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|
|$1MM to $2.5MM||1.00%|
|$2.5MM to $5MM||0.90%|
|$5MM to $10MM||0.80%|
|$10MM and up||Negotiable|
This chart shows what you'll pay at Zhang based on how much money you have invested.
|*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 Annual Fee Amount|
Financial planning services utilize a separate fee schedule. These clients are charged either a fixed fee from $250 to $20,000 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.
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 the right financial advisor for you doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors, 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.