Altfest Personal Wealth Management is a small investment management firm based in New York. The firm typically only accepts clients with a minimum investment of $1 million. For these high net worth clients, this firm provides customized investment portfolios with comprehensive financial planning services.
The bottom line: Altfest Personal Wealth Management is a small New York-based firm that mostly caters to high net worth individuals, although there are exceptions.
|Assets under management: $1,500,253,342|
|Minimum investment: Generally $1 million|
|Individual investor to advisor ratio: 41:1|
|Fee structure: A percentage of AUM, hourly charges, fixed fees|
|Headquarters: 445 Park Avenue, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10022
All information included in this profile is accurate as of February 24, 2022. For more information, please consult Altfest Personal Wealth Management’s website.
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Altfest Personal Wealth Management, launched in 1983, specializes in creating customized, actively managed investment portfolios for high net worth clients. The firm also provides financial planning services.
The New York-based firm is small, with just under 40 employees, around 16 of whom perform investment advisory functions. It is majority owned by its founder, Dr. Lewis Altfest, who runs the organization along with his wife, Dr. Karen Altfest, the firm’s executive vice president, and their son, Andrew Altfest, the firm’s president. All three members of the Altfest family are certified financial planners (CFPs), as are a number of other firm employees.
Dr. Lewis Altfest is the founder of Altfest Personal Wealth Management. In addition to being the majority owner of the firm, Altfest acts as CEO.
Both Lewis and his wife Karen, the firm’s executive vice president, hold Ph.Ds. Additionally, Lewis is an associate professor of finance at Pace University. Both the firm and the Altfest family have won numerous awards for their performance, and Lewis and Karen are both regular contributors to financial news programs and publications.
Well over half of the firm’s clients are high net worth individuals. To work with Altfest, a client usually needs a portfolio of at least $1 million. However, Altfest notes that it does make some exceptions to this account minimum.
Altfest specializes in investment management and financial planning. Most of the firm’s investment accounts are run on a discretionary basis, meaning that advisors can make trades on behalf of the client. The firm does have a few nondiscretionary accounts, where the client must approve all trades themselves.
If a client only wants a few investment recommendations, rather than the management of their entire portfolio, the firm can provide this service as well.
Altfest also offers comprehensive financial planning, as many of its advisors hold the CFP designation, a professional certification for financial planners. The firm’s financial planning services include the creation of a detailed financial plan outlining the necessary steps to achieve their goals and objectives. The plan can address specific areas, such as college savings, estate planning and debt management.
More specifically, Altfest’s services include:
The firm builds unique, customized portfolios for each client based on their time horizon, risk tolerance, income level and long-term goals.
As part of this analysis, the firm follows a system called Total Portfolio Management. Rather than only looking at a client’s investment history, the firm also gets to know their entire financial plan, including income, debts, spending requirements and future earnings potential. The firm uses this information to focus on asset allocation and diversification, and ultimately create a portfolio that maximizes tax benefits.
Portfolios generally are composed of the following investment types:
Altfest follows an active investment approach, meaning the firm is regularly trading in an attempt to earn above-average portfolio returns for its clients.
For portfolio management services, Altfest charges a fee based on a percentage of assets under management, with the rate ranging from 0.50% to 1.00%, depending on the size of the client’s portfolio. Altfest does not charge trading commissions or performance-based fees.
|Fee Schedule for Altfest Personal Wealth Management|
|Portfolio Size||Annual Asset-Based Fee|
|First $3 million*||1.00%|
|Between $3,000,001 and $6,000,000||0.75%|
|*If a portfolio falls below $2 million in value at the end of the quarter, the firm will assess an additional 0.10% fee on top of the asset-based fee listed above.|
For “young professional” clients who don’t meet the firm’s portfolio minimums, Altfest charges the following fee schedule:
This rate includes cash flow analysis, investment analysis, investment management and 401(k) recommendations. Clients who want additional financial planning services will be billed at a rate of $250 per hour.
If a client only wants standalone investment recommendations, the firm charges either an hourly fee ranging from $500 to $800 or a fixed fee of at least $3,500 for specific investment recommendation requests.
Additionally, some of the investments included in Altfest’s portfolio recommendations may carry additional fees. Clients are responsible for covering these costs in addition to the fees they pay the firm, though the money won’t go to the firm.
Altfest reports that it has faced no disciplinary incidents over the past 10 years. Whenever a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered firm or its employees or affiliates face disciplinary action — including a criminal charge, a regulatory infraction or a civil lawsuit — the firm is required to report that incident in its Form ADV, paperwork filed with the SEC.
For more information on Altfest, go to its Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.
The firm has just one location, in New York City.
If you’re a high net worth individual or young professional who wants personalized investment recommendations combined with financial planning, Altfest Personal Wealth Management could be a good choice. Since Altfest Personal Wealth Management only has one location in New York City, however, the firm might be a better choice if you live in the Northeast rather than other parts of the country.
On the other hand, Altfest Personal Wealth Management’s comprehensive services do not come cheap. The firm’s fees are on the higher side, with fee breaks not coming until the $3 million mark, and you’d need at least $1 million to open an account (unless Altfest waives the minimum). To ensure you choose an advisor who suits your needs and cost parameters, be sure to research multiple firms to find the right advisor for you.
The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.