Commonwealth Financial Network

CRD#8032
Investment Advisor Firm

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Overview

Commonwealth Financial Network is a financial advisor firm headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. It handles $85.2 billion in total assets throughout 388,288 customer accounts, making it one of the biggest financial advisory firms in the country by assets under management (AUM). It has a very large group of 3,350 employees, of which 2,400 are financial advisors. Commonwealth Financial Network does not act as a registered broker-dealer, signifying that the advisor cannot buy and sell securities for its own accounts as well as its customers' and instead is required to go through a broker-dealer company to do so. Securities are exchangable financial investments such as options, equities and bonds.

Commonwealth Financial Network administers 379,505 of the company's client assets on a discretionary basis. Discretionary management is a structure in which a portfolio manager makes buy and sell decisions for the client's account without needing the client's consent. The company also administers 8,783 non-discretionary accounts totaling $2.0 billion in assets. Commonwealth Financial Network supervises about $219,462 for each customer account. The average financial advisor at Commonwealth Financial Network administers around 162 client accounts.

Commonwealth Financial Network's main office is at 29 Sawyer Road, Waltham, Massachusetts 02453-3483. Commonwealth Financial Network is permitted to serve investors across 51 U.S. states and territories.

Assets Under Management

$85.2 billion

Number of Advisors

2,400

Disclosures

No

Office Location

29 Sawyer Road
Waltham, MA 02453-3483

Commonwealth Financial Network by the Numbers

Total Assets Under Management

$85.2 billion

National Average: $3.3 billion
Total Number of Employees

3,350

National Average: 31
Total Number of Accounts

388,288

National Average: 1,935
Average Account Size

$219.5 thousand

National Average: $1.7 million

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Products and Services

Commonwealth Financial Network provides a number of services, including financial planning services, portfolio management for individuals and small businesses, portfolio management for institutional clients, pension consulting services, selection of other advisers, publication of newsletters and educational seminars. In the last fiscal year, the company provided financial planning services to 11000 of its accounts. The company does sell products or offer services aside from investment advisory services to its clients. The firm also has a number of financial industry affiliations, including with a broker-dealer or securities dealer and insurance company or agency.

Core Advisor Services

  • Offered by 44% of firms

    Financial Planning Services

    This is the process of planning for your financial future, including for events such as retirement, your child's college education or estate succession.

  • Offered by 61% of firms

    Portfolio Management

    This is the selection and management of an investment mix and portfolio strategy for individuals and small businesses.

  • Find a firm that offers this service

    Market Timing Services

    This is the practice of attempting to make short-term profits on investments by buying low and selling high.

Other Services

  • Offered by 23% of firms

    Selection of Other Advisors

    This is the firm's assistance with choosing other advisors to work with who may have different specialties.

  • Offered by 4% of firms

    Publication of Periodicals

    This is the publication of various financial education materials.

  • Offered by 10% of firms

    Educational Seminars/Workshops

    This is the hosting of seminars or workshops to educate investors on financial concepts.

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Fee Structure

Financial advisory fees largely vary depending on the financial services offered. However, fees charged by the company can include the following fee structures: asset-based, hourly, fixed or commission-based. The firm does participate in a wrap fee program, in which the company offers a bundle of services for a single fee.

Available

  • Offered by 72% of firms

    Percentage of Assets

    Show Explanation

    This fee, which is the most common fee type charged by advisors for portfolio management, is based on the amount of assets you have under management. Also referred to as an asset-based fee, this fee typically ranges from 0.50%-2.00% of AUM annually. You'll typically pay a lower rate the more assets you have under management.

  • Offered by 35% of firms

    Hourly

    Show Explanation

    Like a lawyer, a financial advisor may charge you by the hour. This can be helpful if you are only looking for short-term or one-time advice. Rates typically range from $100-$300 per hour, depending on the complexity and level of services needed.

  • Offered by 2% of firms

    Commissions

    Show Explanation

    Occasionally, advisors earn commissions from selling financial products, such as securities or insurance policies, or making certain referrals or transactions. Advisors who earn commissions may be incentivized to make certain recommendations to clients in order to make a commission. Fee-only advisors do not earn commissions, while fee-based advisors may.

  • Offered by 39% of firms

    Fixed

    Show Explanation

    Fixed fees are a one-time, lump sum charged for a specific service, like the creation of a financial plan without subsequent implementation. This can be useful if you only need advice for one specific purpose, rather than a long-term advisor. Fixed fees usually range from $1,000 to $3,000.

Unavailable

  • Find one of the 17% of firms that offer this fee type

    Performance-based

    Show Explanation

    Advisors only earn performance-based fees if a portfolio outperforms a defined benchmark. This fee may be calculated in a number of ways but most commonly is charged as a percentage of investment profits. Performance-based fees may incentivize advisors to make riskier decisions in order to generate higher returns.

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    Subscription

    Show Explanation

    Firms generally charge this fee for educational materials provided, such as a monthly magazine. This can be useful if you want to learn about investing or financial management on your own.

  • Find one of the 12% of firms that offer this fee type

    Other

    Show Explanation

    Firms can sometimes charge customers using non-traditional fee structures. See this firm's Form ADV for more details.

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Types of Clients

The company manages money for a number of different investors. It provides services to retail investors, high net worth investors, pension plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities and corporations. Out of its 388,288 accounts, Commonwealth Financial Network's largest client group by number of accounts is retail investors, but it also serves 11,670 high-net-worth individuals. The SEC defines a high-net-worth individual as a person who has at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of more than $1.50 million or who counts as a "qualified purchaser" (a standard met by having at least $5 million in investments). Just 1% of its accounts are from outside of the U.S.

  • High-Net-Worth Individuals* - 3.01%
  • Other Individuals - 95.65%
  • Corporations - 1.28%
  • Charitable Organizations - 0.07%

* The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines a high-net-worth individual as someone who has at least $750,000 under management.

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Disclosures

Commonwealth Financial Network does not have any disclosures.

Please visit its Form ADV for more details.

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Financial Advisors at Commonwealth Financial Network

Fred Scheffner
Salt Lake City, UT
Brendan Stringer
Arlington, VA
Charles Carter
Phoenix, AZ
Karen Tupitza
Fairfax, VA
Avigail Curry
Anchorage, AK
Joanne Mungall
San Jose, CA
Brian Beaulieu
Camden, ME
Joseph Gugino
Waltham, MA
Brian Bean
Norfolk, VA

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This content was compiled from the SEC and FINRA