IHT Wealth Management Review - MagnifyMoney
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IHT Wealth Management Review

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IHT Wealth Management is a Chicago-based firm with many offices and affiliates located throughout the country. The full-service firm provides financial planning and wealth management services, primarily to individuals, including those who are high net worth individuals. Its team of over 160 advisors currently oversees more than $3.5 billion in assets under management (AUM).

The bottom line: IHT Wealth Management has several locations across the country and no investment minimums, making it readily accessible, though its fees are on the higher end.

  • Provides comprehensive financial planning services
  • Has many advisors on staff that are certified financial planners (CFPs) and/or chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPCs)
  • Offers four model portfolios

All information included in this profile is accurate as of February 25, 2022. For more information, please consult IHT Wealth Management’s website.

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Overview of IHT Wealth Management

Founded in 2014, IHT Wealth Management is a Chicago-based financial services firm that offers investment advice and money management services. It is principally owned by founder and president Steven J. Dudash, a former Merrill Lynch financial advisor. The firm has grown quickly since its founding, often by acquiring the firms of retiring advisors.

The firm has roughly 220 employees, more than 160 of whom serve as investment advisors. Many of the firm’s advisors hold designations such as CFP and CRPC. Its team of advisors includes around 200 registered representatives of broker-dealers and six licensed insurance agents.

A look at the founder of IHT Wealth Management

Steven Dudash began his career as a financial advisor in the 1990s, and founded IHT Wealth Management after his time at Merrill Lynch. He holds the CFP and CRPC designations.

Dudash has appeared on CNBC, Fox Business and Bloomberg, and written for Forbes, Investment News and Financial Advisor magazine. Additionally, he’s frequently quoted in publications such as The Wall Street Journal.

IHT Wealth Management’s pros

  • Highly accessible: A lack of a minimum account balance, along with its broad geographic footprint, means that there are few barriers to potential clients who want to work with the firm.
  • Personalized service: Advisors work with each client to take their individual financial picture, risk tolerance and timeline into account to create a customized portfolio for them or match them with one of the firm’s available model portfolios.
  • Credentialed advisors: Many of the advisors hold certifications, such as the CFP or CRPC designations. This means the advisors have undergone extensive training as well as continuing education.
  • Industry recognition: The firm has appeared on The Financial Times’ list of the top 300 RIAs. Additionally, its founder and president Steven Dudash was featured in Forbes’ list of the top 50 best in state wealth advisors for 2021.

IHT Wealth Management’s cons

  • Potential conflicts of interest: Some of the firm’s advisors are also licensed as insurance agents and/or representatives of broker-dealers. That means they may earn a commission for recommending certain investment and insurance products to you, which can create a potential conflict of interest.
  • Higher than average fees: While each advisor negotiates fees directly with their clients, the firm’s rate can go up to 3% of assets under management. This is a much higher than average rate. For context, the standard annual fee among investment advisory firms ranges from 0.50% to 1.25% That said, the firm’s highest rates may be tied to its wrap fee program, which means all fees are bundled into one all-inclusive cost, instead of separate fees being charged for trading and other costs.
  • Separate financial planning fees: Clients who want financial planning pay a separate fee of $250 to $500 per hour for those services. Some other firms include financial planning as part of their overall investment management fee. These hourly fees are also higher than the average rate of $100 to $400 per hour.

What types of clients does IHT Wealth Management serve?

The vast majority of the firm’s clients are non-high net worth individuals. (For reference, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines high net worth individuals as those with at least $750,000 in assets under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million.)

With no minimum account balance and a broad geographic footprint, the firm is primed to serve beginner investors who don’t have a lot of money, though it does also serve a large number of high net worth individuals.

Services offered by IHT Wealth Management

IHT Wealth Management works with clients to evaluate their portfolio and make personalized investment recommendations based on their holistic financial situation. The firm then executes the strategy on behalf of the client. Asset management services are offered on a discretionary basis, meaning that managers make all decisions to buy, sell or hold securities without having to consult with the client.

IHT Wealth Management also provides financial planning services, for a separate fee, to clients who request them.

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

  • Investment advisory services/portfolio management
  • Financial planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Estate and legacy planning
    • Charitable giving
    • Education planning
    • Tax planning
    • Cash flow analysis
    • Savings and emergency funds
    • Stock option analysis
    • IRA and 401(k) rollovers
    • 401(k) and pension plan review
    • Long-term care planning
    • Divorce planning
    • Selection of other advisors
    • Multi-generational family planning
  • Insurance planning and risk management
  • Employee benefit plan fiduciary services
  • Collaboration with clients’ lawyers, accountants, etc.

How IHT Wealth Management invests your money

The firm uses several types of analysis to choose investments for its clients’ portfolios based on research and data. The methods the firm uses include:

  • Optimization: This uses mathematical algorithms to determine your best asset allocation based on the market and the client’s risk tolerance.
  • Quantitative methods: This analysis of investments is based on historical, performance and earnings data.
  • Technical analysis: This involves charting price and volume data to identify price trends.
  • Computer models: These are used to estimate the future value of an investment based on various data assumptions.

The firm uses these strategies to create a portfolio for its clients, based on that client’s financial situation and goals. These portfolios may be based on one of IHT Wealth Management’s model portfolios, which range from conservative to more aggressive in terms of risk level, as outlined in the table below:

IHT Wealth Management Model Portfolios
Portfolio name Description
IHT Small Account Managed Model Portfolio Diversified portfolio of stocks, ETFs and mutual funds; aims for low turnover to provide adequate equity exposure for smaller accounts
IHT Traditional Taxable Managed Model Portfolio Balanced portfolio of growth and value equity securities and fixed income (no municipal bonds) focused on stable growth over the long term; may use foreign investments
IHT Taxable Tax Efficient Managed Model Portfolio Sector-based strategy intended to achieve long-term growth while taking advantage of long-term taxable gain treatment
IHT America Centric Managed Model Portfolio Domestic-focused balanced strategy designed to achieve stable growth through a U.S.-based focus

While the holdings of individual portfolios vary, they generally contain a diversified mix of investments, which the firm believes is key to creating the best outcome. In general, the firm strives to buy quality stocks that are not currently in favor.

Fees IHT Wealth Management charges for its services

For advisory services, clients pay IHT Wealth Management a percentage of their assets under management, with the annual rate ranging up to 3%. Those with smaller accounts may pay higher fees. In some cases, a flat fee may be charged instead. Advisors negotiate fees directly with clients, and may recommend both wrap-fee programs — meaning that clients won’t see additional charges for individual transactions within their account — and non-wrap fees programs.

For financial planning services, clients pay hourly fees, negotiated directly with advisors, that range from $250 to $500, depending on the complexity of the plan. Clients may pay a 50% deposit upfront for the plan, based on the estimated time necessary for completion.

Further, clients may incur investment-related costs that are separate from the advisory fees the firm charges. This may include fees and expenses charged by funds, separate account managers, private placement, pooled investment vehicles, broker-dealers and custodians retained by clients.

IHT Wealth Management disciplinary disclosures

IHT Wealth Management does not have any recent disciplinary disclosures on its record. All SEC- registered firms must report any disciplinary disclosures on their Form ADV, documents that they file with the SEC. Disclosures include any regulatory actions, criminal charges or legal development, such as liens or civil judgments, taken against the firm, its employees or its affiliates.

For more information on the firm, you can go to its Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) page.

IHT Wealth Management onboarding process

  1. Contact the firm: You can get in touch with IHT Wealth Management in the following ways:
    • Filling out this form on the firm’s website
    • Calling the main number at 855-295-2828
    • Emailing info@ihtwm.com
    • Reaching out to a specific advisor at the firm
  2. Get a portfolio recommendation: Advisors will look at your current portfolio and learn about your financial situation, and they will then use that information to recommend a portfolio that they believe will help you meet your goals.
  3. Receive a financial plan, if requested: On request, advisors will also create a financial plan for clients, which carries separate fees from the asset management service.
  4. Check in on a regular basis: Once your portfolio is set up, your advisor will check in at least quarterly to report on performance and recommend any changes based on the market or your personal situation.

Where IHT Wealth Management is located

IHT Wealth Management has 37 locations in total. The firm lists offices in the following states:

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Is IHT Wealth Management right for you?

Because it has experienced advisors on staff, no minimum account balance requirement and a fairly broad geographic footprint, IHT Wealth Management can serve the needs of a range of clients.

Keep in mind, however, that many of its advisors are also licensed insurance agents or dually registered as broker-dealers, so they may have personal financial incentives to make certain recommendations. Advisors negotiate their own fees directly with clients and these rates typically include transaction costs, but the firm’s fees may be higher than the industry average, especially for clients with smaller account balances.

Before choosing an advisor to work with, make sure to research multiple firms to ensure you 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.