Fisher Investments Reviews 2021: Is it Good for You?
Fisher Investments is a multinational money management company that has its headquarters in Camas, Washington. It is considered to be one of the best financial advisors in America. This fee-only financial advisor currently has over $120 billion in assets under management (AUM). The company is split into four major businesses: Fisher Investments Institutional Group, Fisher Investments Private Client Group, Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions Group and Fisher Investments International Group. Fisher Investments has a wide client base spread across the USA, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The firm serves over 68,000 private clients and 175 large institutions. Fisher Investments generally require an account minimum of $500,000. However, people who sign up for the WealthBuilder accounts can start with an account minimum of just $200,000. This allows investors with relatively lower income to work with the Fisher Investments’ top financial advisors. Fisher Investments also works with pooled investment vehicles, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities and other investment advisors. Let’s find out more about Fisher Investments.
Fisher Investments: All You Need to Know
When was Fisher Investments established?
Fisher Investments was established by Ken Fisher in 1979. He was a prominent figure in the world of investment before establishing the firm. Fisher penned his “Portfolio Strategy” column for Forbes magazine for over 30 years and has written 11 books. Ken Fisher was named one of the 30 most influential figures of investment advisory over the last 30 years by Investment Advisor Magazine. Ken Fisher currently holds the position of the firm’s executive chairman and co-chief investment officer. For over four decades, Fisher Investments has served numerous clients across the world and it has operated as a privately held, fee-only firm.
What types of clients does Fisher Investments serve and what are the minimum account sizes?
As mentioned previously, Fisher Investments’ private client base is mostly high-net-worth individuals. Fisher Investments also works with corporations, retirement plans, public and multi-employer pension funds, foundations, endowments, governments and investment companies. The firm also works with lower income investors.
Fisher Investments generally works with clients who have at least $500,000 in investable assets, though its WealthBuilder accounts, which are approved on a case-by-case basis, require a much lower minimum of $200,000. Additionally, the firm accepts smaller account sizes at its discretion, though these accounts – as well as all WealthBuilder accounts – will be subject to a higher fee rate of 1.50%.
What are the different services offered by Fisher Investments?
Fisher Investments provides these services for its clients: portfolio management, annuity conversion, financial planning and retirement planning. The portfolio management services of Fisher Investments are divided into three separate categories:
- Equity accounts: mainly use common stock and cash equivalents
- Fixed income accounts: mainly use various fixed income instruments and cash
- Blended accounts: use a combination of stocks, fixed income instruments and cash
Fisher Investments’ institutional services include institutional investing and 401(k) solutions for businesses.
Fisher Investments believes in having a flexible investment strategy, as the firm thinks that no one investment strategy is always superior. Thus, the firm takes an active approach to investing so it can respond to the markets and make changes to client portfolios as necessary. The firm will also determine appropriate investment strategies based on projected market conditions, using a framework called The Four Market Conditions.
When it comes to building and managing its clients’ portfolios, Fisher Investments has four fundamental principles:
- It selects a benchmark, which then serves as the framework for constructing the portfolio, managing risk and monitoring performance.
- The firm then analyzes the benchmark’s components and assigns expected risk and return.
- The firm’s third principle is to use a combination of dissimilar securities to balance risk versus reward.
- Lastly, the firm vows to always remember it could be wrong, so it sticks to the three aforementioned principles.
The investment decisions of Fisher Investments are mainly governed by the Investment Policy Committee. The team takes a top-down approach, focusing first on asset allocation. The firm believes that asset allocation is the primary driver of portfolio performance. Asset allocations are customized according to various personal factors, including clients’ time horizons, risk tolerances, cash flow needs and outside assets. That step is followed by sub-asset allocation, which focuses on deciding which countries or market-sectors are likely to outperform. From there, the firm selects specific securities.
What fees does Fisher Investments charge?
Fisher Investments typically bills its private clients based on a percentage of assets under management. WealthBuilder accounts, as well as any accounts that are below the $500,000 threshold, will be billed at an annual rate of 1.50%. Otherwise, clients are charged on a tiered schedule based on the amount of assets under management and the type of account
Fisher Investments Awards and Recognition
Fisher Investments has been recognized by a number of industry publications in recent years. In 2017, the firm was ranked No. 2 on InvestmentNews’ list of the top 10 U.S.-based, fee-only registered investment advisors; the list is ranked according to AUM. For the last four consecutive years, it’s been named among the top 300 financial advisors by Financial Times, which evaluates firms based on their AUM, AUM growth, industry certifications, online accessibility and other factors. In 2016, Fisher Investments was ranked No. 164 on the Pensions & Investments / Towers Watson list of the world’s 500 largest money managers.
In more specific categories, Fisher Investments was named one of 2017’s top retirement advisors by Financial Times, which graded firms managing defined contribution plans based on their AUMs, industry certifications, experience and more. It also landed a spot on the National Association of Plan Advisors’ 2017 list of the top defined contribution advisor firms; that list was ranked by assets under management in defined contribution plans.
What to Watch Out for
In its most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Fisher Investments did not report any disclosures of legal or regulatory action.
One thing worth noting: since Fisher Investments is privately owned and isn’t part of a larger institution like many other huge wealth management firms, it doesn’t offer access to services like banking or trusts as part of its package.
How can you open an account with Fisher Investments?
When you visit the website of Fisher Investments, you will find that the firm offers two ways for prospective clients to get in touch: a dedicated phone number for new clients and a contact form. Once the prospective clients are on the form, they have the option to send a message or request an appointment with an investment advisor. Fisher Investments firms’ location can also be found on the website and people can use it to find a nearby office.
Every private client of Fisher Investments gets a dedicated investment counselor. The firm provides clients with quarterly statements and written reviews from the Investment Policy Committee. Fisher Investments also releases two videos every year which provide the firm’s outlook in great detail.
So that was our review of Fisher Investments. If you were thinking about availing its services for investing your money, you will hopefully have a clearer idea of the firm, helping you make an easier decision.