Is Fisher Investments A Scam, Or Can I Trust It? 10 Best Alternatives Included

Fisher Investments is a firm that manages money and falls on SmartAsset’s list of the top ten financial advisors in the United States.

This money management firm’s headquarters is in Camas, Washington. The clients of Fisher Investments are beyond the border – across the U.S., Asia, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. In addition, over 175 large institutions and more than 68,000 private clients.

Though Fisher Investments has two significant issues, it holds a vast client base and works with charitable organizations, municipal government, pooled investment vehicles, other investment advisors, etc.

One is the lack of protection from UK investors and the overreliance on North America.

According to a few customers, it is an investment firm with horrible customer service and follow-up. Many even complain about its high fees and poor management. So here is a confusion raised: Is Fisher Investments A Scam, Or Can I Trust It? Do you wonder the same?

Let’s jump into the article to dig out background history, Fisher Investment Strategy, and Performance to determine whether it is legit or a scam.

We will discuss various aspects of this investment company step-by-step, and then, by considering that information, we will conclude its legitimation.

Fisher Investments Background

Ken Fisher established Fisher Investments in 1979; Fisher is a famous figure in the investment world who has written 11 books and penned his “Portfolio Strategy” column for over 30 years in Forbes Magazine.

In the investment advisory business, Fisher was named one of the 30 most influential figures by Investment Advisor Magazine for the last three decades. 

Since its founding nearly 40 years ago, Fisher Investments has been a fee-only private firm founded around forty years ago; this is why it is serving clients across the globe.

Fisher Investments Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Fisher Investments has a private client base, so it has high-net-worth individuals and works with less moneyed investors.

Corporations, public pension funds, retirement plans, endowments, foundations, governments, and investment companies are its client base.

Generally, Fisher Investments works with clients having a minimum of $500,000 in investable assets, but its WealthBuilder accounts require even a lower amount, $200,000.

These and all WealthBuilder accounts are subject to a higher fee rate of 1.50%, but the firm bears smaller account sizes at its tact. So investors with less money can also work with the firm’s financial advisors.

Services Offered by Fisher Investments

The services for private clients of Fisher Investments include annuity conversion, portfolio management, retirement planning, and financial planning.

The portfolio management services are split into three categories to maximize returns within risk parameters:

Equity Accounts

These accounts are mainly utilized by common stock and cash equivalents.

Blended Accounts

As the name indicates, a blend of stocks, fixed-income instruments, and cash is commonly used in this account.

Fixed income Accounts

These are primarily opted by cash and various fixed-income instruments.

Commonly, Fisher Investment covers High-net-worth clients, yet it comprises the most significant percentage of its client base.

This financial advisor is divided into four major businesses: Fisher Investments Private Client Group, Fisher Investments Institutional Group, Fisher Investments International Group, and Fisher Investments 401(k) Solutions Group.

Investment Philosophy

Fisher’s Investments firm prefers a flexible investment strategy, as it believes one strategy is always superior to others.

Therefore, the firm actively invests in responding to the markets and changing client portfolios as essential.

When building and managing client portfolios, Fisher Investment attaches to four paramount principles which help meet clients’ long-term objectives. It establishes a benchmark to serve as the framework, facilitating the portfolio, managing risk, and monitoring performance.

One of the firm’s principles is to employ a mixture of specific securities to balance reward versus risk.

The Investment Policy Committee of the firm tends to make investment decisions. The team concentrates first on asset allocation and takes a top-down approach.

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The firm acknowledges that asset allocation is portfolio performance’s basic driver.

Asset allocation is tailored based on personal factors: clients’ time horizons, cash flow needs, risk tolerances, and outside assets’ risk tolerances.

The asset allocation is followed by a sub-asset allocation that focuses on determining which countries or market sectors are likely to outperform.

How Do Fisher Investments Make Money?

Fisher Investments makes money by offering financial services to its clients. The company works with individuals, businesses, and organizations to provide personalized advice and investment services.

Fisher Investments’ primary income source is from advisory fees and other services for managing financial assets.

These fees are typically calculated as a percentage of the investment portfolio’s total value or from an hourly rate.

In addition, Fisher Investments also produces revenue through commission income on financial products they sell to their clients, such as stocks, bonds, funds, and insurance policies.

They might also receive compensation from third-party product providers like mutual funds or insurance companies when they place trades on behalf of their clients.

Finally, Fisher Investments also earns income through interest on cash deposits held on behalf of their clients.

By utilizing various revenue sources, Fisher Investments can make money in the business of financial services.

Fees Under Fisher Investments

Typically, Fisher Investments bills its clients based on an undermanagement percentage. Any account under the $500,000 threshold will be charged 1.5% annually.

Clients are also bullied on a tiered schedule depending on the type of account and amount of assets under management:

Equity And Blended Account
Amount Of AssetsAnnual Management Fees
First $1 million1.25%
Next $4 million1.125%
Additional amounts over $5 million1.00%

Below is the approximate amount you would pay in advisory fees, depending on your account size.

However, this expected fee doesn’t include custodial, third-party manager, brokerage, etc.; these prices can vary!

Your AssetsAnnual Fee Amount
$1MM$12,500
$5MM$57,500
$10MM$107,500
Income Only Accounts (above $5 million)
Amount of AssetsAnnual Management Fee
First $5 million0.75%
Next $10 million0.50%
Next $10 million0.43%
Next $10 million0.38%
Next $10 million0.33%
Next $45 million0.28%

Fisher Investments Awards and Recognition

In recent years, Fisher Investments has been identified by several industry publications. In 2017, in InvestmentNews’ list of the top 10 U.S.-based, this investment firm was ranked No. 2 in the fee-only registered investment advisors.

For the past four years, Financial Times has been back-to-back named among the top 300 financial advisors.

The evaluation is based on their online accessibility, industry certifications, AUM, growth, and other factors.

In 2016, in the Pensions & Investments list of the global 500 extensive money managers, Fisher Investments was proudly ranked No. 164.

Specifically, Financial Times ranked Fisher Investments as one of 2017’s top retirement advisors. It also owned space on the National Association of Plan Advisors’ 2017 list, including the top defined contribution advisor firms.

What to Watch Out for

In the most recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fisher Investments didn’t announce disclosures of regulatory or legal action.

One noticeable thigh is that Fisher Investments isn’t part of a larger institution (as it is privately owned), so it doesn’t offer access to services like trusts or banking as part of its package.

Weigh Out The Pros And Cons

These pros and cons are filtered from audience reviews.

Pros

Well-spoken promise makers

Lots of nice books to read before bedtime

Uses established broker platforms such as TD in the Advisor client role.

Pretty bulletins and charts.

Slick presentations

Cons

They lie to your new brokerage firm for so long

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Do not manage the account well

Outrageously high fees

Often, makes Bad Investment Decisions

Horrible customer service and follow-ups

Poor personal management, grab customers and forget.

A “set it” and “forget it” scam. No strategy!

Fees seem high for observed returns.

Is Fisher Investments A Scam, Or Can I Trust It: Final Opinion

As discussed, in recent years, several industry publications acknowledged Fisher Investments. In 2017, it stood as the No. 2 on InvestmentNews’ list of fee-only registered investment advisors.

Moreover, it has also been seen that Forbes and Ken Fisher’s public stock picks surpassed the broad U.S. stock industry by an average of 4.2% annually, but performance may be waning.

For the last seven years, the Financial Times has stipulated Fisher Investments as a leading investment advisor.

The firm has also won many awards for its performance and size. The other way around, scammers often mix false information with correct registered details of the firm, which affects the firm’s reputation.

So this entire discussion, success, and prizes prove that Fisher Inverters is legit. However, some clients have encountered worse experiences, but various backgrounds could be behind this cause.

10 Best Alternatives to Fisher Investments

  1. Charles Schwab: Charles Schwab offers personalized financial solutions tailored to meet your needs. They offer investment advice and planning and a wide range of options for stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
  2. TIAA: TIAA offers a full range of services advice and services, including investing in stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), alternative investments, and more. They also provide pension plans for both current and former employees.
  3. JP Morgan: JPMorgan Asset Management offers a wide range of diversified investment products for individual investors or institutions looking to access global markets. This includes stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and more.
  4. Goldman Sachs: Goldman Sachs provides wealth management solutions for wealthy individuals by leveraging its expertise in capital markets and investing strategies. Goldman Sachs offers various products, from stocks to fixed-income investments and alternatives like hedge funds and private equity opportunities.
  5. Merrill Lynch: Merrill Lynch is one of the largest brokerage firms in the U.S., offering access to global markets with financial solutions designed to meet individual investors’ goals across different risk tolerance and time horizons. The firm offers traditional investments like stocks and bonds and complex derivatives such as futures contracts or trading strategies.
  6. Edward Jones: Edward Jones is one of the oldest financial service firms in the U.S. that specializes in providing tailored portfolio management advice ideal for individual clients looking to build long-term wealth over short-term gains while maintaining high standards of ethics during their relationship with them.
  7. Vanguard: Vanguard is a significant investment company that organizes its own proprietary mutual fund offerings, which independent financial advisors highly rate due to its low-cost structure. Thus making it an ideal choice for cost-conscious investors who still want access to quality research-backed insights about broader market trends.
  8. Fidelity Investments: Fidelity Investments, another major player in the retail investor space, provides access to thousands of no-load mutual funds, various features and tools to facilitate better decision-making, and an extensive lineup of retirement accounts.
  9. UBS Wealth Management: UBS Wealth Management provides advice on an array of areas from traditional asset classes like equities. Fixed income, cash deposits, etc., providing optimal portfolio diversification via innovative approach specializing in tailor-made investment portfolios based on their client’s preferences.
  10. Bank Of America Investment Services: Bank Of America Investment Services provides cutting-edge products and services across all asset classes and reliable Customer Support throughout their client’s entire investing journey. Boris’s team comprised dedicated professionals that put their client’s needs first while delivering value beyond just returns on investments due to their holistic approach toward client servicing.
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What is the Average Return on Fisher Investments?

Fisher Investments is an investment management company founded by Ken Fisher in 1979. The company provides clients with financial services such as retirement planning and asset allocation.

According to Fisher Investments, the average return for their managed portfolios is between 8% and 12% annually. This rate of return has been consistent over time, although it may vary depending on market conditions.

10 Problem With Fisher Investments

1. Lack of transparency: Fisher Investments has been known to be tight-lipped when disclosing information about its investment strategies. This lack of transparency makes it difficult to clarify how the company manages funds.

2. High fees: Fisher Investments charges higher fees than other financial advisors, which can erode potential returns over time.

3. Limited options: Fisher Investments does not offer a wide range of investment products for clients to choose from, meaning that some investors may be limited in their choices.

4. Poor customer service: Customers have reported poor customer service from Fisher Investment representatives, who can make it difficult to know if your investments are being managed adequately

5. Rigid guidelines: Once investors become clients of Fisher Investments, they must abide by strict guidelines and agree to specific terms and conditions that may not align with their personal goals or objectives.

6. Little customization: Despite its high fees, Fisher Investment’s services are often “one size fits all,” meaning they do not offer much customization or individualized advice tailored to an investor’s needs or goals.

7. Conflicting interests: Because Ken Fisher owns 80% of the company, there can sometimes be a conflict of interest between what is best for him financially and what is best for his client’s investments.

8. Aggressive tactics: Some customers have reported that salespeople employed by the company use high-pressure tactics such as “cold calling” and making unrealistic promises to obtain new business.

9. Limited access: Clients cannot access accounts online or speak directly with portfolio managers without paying additional fees.

10. No guarantee of returns: Despite their promises, there is no guarantee that clients will receive the expected return on their investments due to market volatility and other factors.

What Does an Investment Counselor Do at Fisher Investments?

Investment counselors at Fisher Investments serve various roles, from helping clients build personalized portfolios to providing ongoing financial advice.

Investment counselors also assist with account set-up and transfers and provide market insights and research.

They are knowledgeable about global markets and regulatory issues, so they can guide clients in making informed decisions that align with their individual goals.

Investment counselors work closely with clients to customize their portfolio strategies, utilizing the latest technology and research tools.

They can provide insight into investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, alternative investments, and retirement accounts.

Furthermore, investment counselors consider the client’s risk tolerance when recommending investments that match their desired return objectives.

They also proactively monitor investments for changes in market conditions or personal circumstances that may require additional attention or adjustments.

Overall, investment counselors at Fisher Investments provide comprehensive services to meet all client needs.

With their guidance and expertise, clients can make sound financial decisions for the long-term success of their portfolios.

Our Summary

Fisher Investment stands in the list of the Largest Money Managers, and due to its performance, the firm has one outstanding rank and awards.

In 2021, among the 5000 money managers, Fisher Investments was ranked #133 on the list of Pensions and Investments.

The performance and working philosophy show that you can trust Fisher Investment. Still, there are also many negative reviews about management and overpricing, but there is no evidence of how honest these reviews are.

There are also a few risks associated with Fishers Investments, one of them is its over-dependency on North America, and the second is the absence of protection for UK investors. With the heavy dependence of Freshers Investors on one asset class/global sector, we suppose this is a genuine threat for Fisher clients.

But whatever the scenario is, in the end, the decision is yours!