Review of Altium Wealth Management

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Updated on Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Altium Wealth Management is a relatively small financial advisory firm offering customized wealth management and financial planning services. It employs 19 investment advisors in its single office in Purchase, N.Y., and it works primarily with individuals who can invest at least $1 million. The firm currently oversees about $1.2 billion in assets under management (AUM).

All information included in this profile is accurate as of March 3, 2020. For more information, please consult Altium Wealth Management’s website.

Assets under management: $1,202,940,722
Minimum investment: $1 million
Fee structure: Percentage of AUM; hourly fees for financial planning and consulting
Headquarters:2500 Westchester Avenue, Suite 210
Purchase, NY 10577
www.altiumwealth.com
877-780-0074

Overview of Altium Wealth Management

Founded in 2010 in an effort to create a client-centric firm that differed from the traditional industry model, Altium Wealth Management provides both wealth management and financial planning services. The fast-growing firm currently has 44 employees, including 19 that serve as investment advisors.

The firm is owned by its seven managing directors, four of whom are certified financial planners (CFP), a designation that requires rigorous training and testing and adherence to strict ethical guidelines. Many of Altium’s managing directors have been with the firm since it launched.

What types of clients does Altium Wealth Management serve?

Altium Wealth Management works primarily with individuals and high net worth individuals, who the SEC defines as those with at least $750,000 in AUM or a net worth of at least $1.5 million.

Altium typically requires a minimum account balance of $1 million, but it occasionally works with those who have less money to invest. Sometimes, it aggregates the accounts of family members in order to reach the $1 million threshold.

In addition to individual investors, the firm also provides services to a handful of charitable organizations and college endowments.

Services offered by Altium Wealth Management

Altium Wealth Management specializes in providing wealth management and financial planning services to individual investors. Wealth management services are offered on a discretionary basis, meaning that Altium Wealth Management advisors can make trades on behalf of their clients.

Clients can take advantage of the firm’s financial planning services on a one-time basis, but they’re typically offered as part of an ongoing wealth management relationship.

Here is a full list of services offered by the firm:

  • Investment and wealth management services
  • Financial planning
    • Business planning
    • Cash flow forecasting
    • Trust and estate planning
    • Financial reporting
    • Investment consulting
    • Fixed income support services
    • Retirement planning
    • Risk management
    • Charitable giving
    • Insurance planning
    • Family governance
  • Retirement plan consulting services

How Altium Wealth Management invests your money

Altium Wealth Management works with each client to create a unique investment plan and portfolio tailored to their financial situation, goals and risk tolerance. The firm’s investment committee researches investment options and uses a proprietary scorecard to rate potential investments. The method allows the firm to analyze each investment quantitatively, looking at fees, performance, risk, manager experience and other factors, and then compare it to relevant benchmarks.

Based on 10- to 15-year capital markets assumptions (unless a client’s needs mandate otherwise), portfolios typically are comprised of a diverse blend of investments including stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds. The firm may also invest clients’ money with independent managers or private investment vehicles, such as hedge funds or private equity funds.

When appropriate, Altium may also use a fixed-income strategy, for which it charges an additional fee (see more below).

Fees Altium Wealth Management charges for its services

For investment advisory services, Altium Wealth Management charges a fee based on a percentage of their assets under management. Rates are negotiable but many clients pay based on the following rates:

Assets under managementAnnual fee
First $1 million1.25%
Next $4 million0.75%
Next $5 million0.50%
Any funds over $10 million0.25%

Investors whose portfolio includes a fixed-income strategy pay an additional 0.20% on those assets. Clients may also owe additional fees to cover third-party charges for transactions made on their behalf with other financial institutions, such as broker-dealers, custodians or banks.

For financial planning services, clients pay either a fixed or hourly fee that depends on the scope and complexity of the services provided. While rates are negotiable, the typical range for one-time, project-based services is a fixed fee of $5,000 to $25,000 or an hourly rate of $150 to $750 per hour. For ongoing financial planning, fees are also negotiable and range from $2,000 to $25,000 per year.

Altium Wealth Management’s highlights

  • Industry recognition: Altium Wealth Management has received numerous industry awards. In 2019, it was included on RIA Channel’s list of the Top 100 Wealth Managers and CityWire RIA’s Future 50 RIAs, a list of “the leaders in the highly competitive and growing industry.”
  • Customized investment approach: The firm designs individualized portfolios for each client based on their specific needs, rather than lumping them into model portfolios. Each portfolio reflects the client’s financial situation, time horizon and risk tolerance.
  • No disciplinary disclosures: Altium Wealth Management has a clean regulatory record (see more below.)

Altium Wealth Management’s downsides

  • High account minimum: The firm’s $1 million minimum account balance requirement excludes many potential clients. That said, Altium Wealth Management sometimes accepts smaller portfolios, and it currently has more than 500 clients who are not considered high-net worth individuals.
  • Potential conflicts of interest: Some Altium Wealth Management advisors are also licensed insurance agents — that means they may earn a commission for recommending certain insurance products to you, which can create a potential conflict of interest.
  • Higher than average fees: Altium Wealth Management charges 1.25% of assets under management for the first $1 million in a portfolio, slightly higher than the industry average of 1.17%, according to RIA in a Box. While Altium’s rates do decrease as the account balance grows, the first $1 million will remain subject to that higher rate.

Altium Wealth Management disciplinary disclosures

Altium Wealth Management does not have any disciplinary disclosures on its record. Investment advisors who face disciplinary action, including criminal charges, regulatory infractions or civil actions, must report those incidents on the Form ADV that they file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Altium Wealth Management onboarding process

Clients interested in working with Altium Wealth Management can call the firm at 877-780-0074 or email [email protected]. A client’s relationship with the firm starts with an initial planning meeting in which the clients discuss their financial goals and risk tolerance with their advisor. They then work with the advisor to create an Investment Policy Statement summarizing those goals and objectives and outlining a strategy to achieve them.

Next, the firm creates an asset allocation strategy based on that policy statement and builds a portfolio that executes that strategy. The firm continues to monitor and manage the portfolio, checking in with the client at least once a year. Clients also get access to a digital platform that lets them see their finances from a holistic perspective.

Clients who want full financial planning services in addition to wealth management can request them for an additional fee.

The bottom line: Is Altium Wealth Management right for you?

Altium Wealth Management could be a good choice if you can invest at least $1 million and are looking for personalized investment services. The firm only has one office, in Purchase, N.Y., so it may be best suited to clients who live in the region. However, it is registered to serve investors in other states; consult Altium to find out its availability in your location.

Investors who have a smaller account balance or live in other parts of the country where Altium is not registered might be better suited to work with a different firm. Additionally, potential clients should be aware that some Altium Wealth Management advisors are also insurance agents, which could create a conflict of interest when they recommend products. As with any financial service, it’s important to do your research and compare your options to ensure you find the right fit for your situation.

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