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First Ascent’s Householding Policy Makes Flat-Fee Asset Management A Reality

Press Release

November 2, 2016
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The householding policy continues First Ascent’s “road-less-traveled” effort to jettison the industry’s traditional pricing model.

DENVER, Nov. 02, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — First Ascent Asset Management, a portfolio strategist serving financial advisors, announced a householding policy that offers flat-fee pricing to clients with multiple accounts.

The householding policy continues First Ascent’s “road-less-traveled” effort to jettison the industry’s traditional pricing model, which charges clients a percentage of assets under management, in favor of what firm founder, Scott MacKillop, calls “a more rational and client-friendly approach.”

Earlier this year, First Ascent unveiled its unique capped-fee schedule. Under that schedule, clients pay .50% for First Ascent’s services until the account reaches $300,000. The fee is then capped at $1,500 and does not increase no matter how large the account becomes. So a $300,000 account and a $3 million account pay the same flat fee—$1,500 annually.

Under its new householding policy, First Ascent bills the largest account in a household using its regular capped fee schedule, but manages additional accounts within the household for a flat fee of $400 per account. This amount coincides with First Ascent’s minimum fee.

“We think our household pricing is a breakthrough that makes quality asset management services, provided by experienced investment professionals, available to everyone at an affordable price,” says MacKillop.

First Ascent’s household pricing works like this. A husband and wife have four accounts: a $1,000,000 taxable account, a $500,000 IRA, a $300,000 SEP IRA and a $200,000 Roth IRA. The taxable account would be billed under First Ascent’s regular fee schedule, since it is the largest account. That account is over $300,000, so it would be charged a flat annual fee of $1,500. The other three accounts would be charged a flat annual fee of $400. The total fee for managing the household’s $2 million would be $2,700—the equivalent of 14 basis points.

“When you consider our low fees together with low internal expense ratios – about 13 basis points – in our portfolios, the benefit to clients is even greater,” says MacKillop.

“In a world where there is increased scrutiny of fees and advisors are being held to high standards of conduct and accountability, we think this is a compelling offer,” he added. “Our approach gives advisors the opportunity to offer clients a concrete benefit every year without impacting their own fees. This is a true win-win.”

About First Ascent Asset Management

First Ascent provides outsourced portfolio management services to financial advisors and their clients. The firm works directly with registered investment advisors (RIAs) and advisors affiliated with independent broker-dealers. Its portfolios are also available for distribution through “fund strategist” platforms. The firm’s founder, Scott MacKillop, is a 40-year veteran of the financial services industry and has been providing portfolio management services to independent advisors for over 25 years. First Ascent has both an internal investment group and an independent, outside investment committee to bring an added level of objectivity and fresh perspectives. Collectively, the team has over 200 years of experience.