Updated on Friday, October 9, 2020
Gerstein Fisher is a small investment advisory firm of 10 employees headquartered in New York City. The firm, which offers investment management and financial planning, is a part of Peopleâ€™s United Bank, a larger financial services company with banks and advisors across the Northeast.
The advisory arm of the company, Peopleâ€™s United Advisors, which Gerstein Fisher falls under, has over $9.1 billion in assets under management (AUM) and 145 employees on staff. Gerstein Fisher primarily serves individual investors and families but also offers its services to institutions and other investment advisors.
All information included in this profile is accurate as of October 9, 2020. For more information, please consult Gerstein Fisherâ€™s website.
|Assets under management: $9,116,996,322|
|Minimum investment: Varies by account type, starting at $2,000|
|Fee structure: A percentage of AUM, fixed fees, hourly charges|
|Headquarters:||565 Fifth Avenue, 27th Floor
New York, NY 10017-2478
(888) 796-2540 / (800) 473-1155
Gerstein Fisher was founded in 1993 by Gregg S. Fisher, the nephew of Ed Gerstein, who started a family-owned tax business in 1978. Fisher is known in the investing world as being one of the first investment managers to offer factor investing, an approach that uses quantitative data to tilt equity portfolios to target higher returns. In 2016, the firm was acquired by Peopleâ€™s Securities, Inc., a subsidiary of Peopleâ€™s United Bank, a diversified financial services company with about 400 retail locations in the Northeast.
Gerstein Fisher has 10 employees performing investment advisory functions in its New York City office. This is a small part of the larger team at Peopleâ€™s United Advisors, a subsidiary of Peopleâ€™s United Bank of which Gerstein Fisher is a part, which has 115 employees who perform investment advisory functions at offices around the Northeast, including the 10 Gerstein Fisher employees in New York.
Gerstein Fisherâ€™s clients include individuals, business entities, retirement and pension plans, trusts, estates and charitable organizations. The bulk of the firmâ€™s clients are individual investors with less than $750,000 of AUM (meaning theyâ€™re not high net worth individuals per the SECâ€™s definition). The firm does also work with high net worth individuals.
The firmâ€™s minimum investment of just $2,000 for its RealLifePortfoliosâ„˘ portfolios allows a broader range of investors to use its services. However, access to its investment advisory services requires a minimum investment of $500,000.
Clients of Gerstein Fisher are offered discretionary investment advisory services, meaning the advisor has the authority to make decisions about buying and selling securities on the clientâ€™s behalf. This service is offered through customized portfolios for private clients (investors with more than $500,000), or through RealLifePortfoliosâ„˘, the firmâ€™s robo-advisor option, for clients with between $2,000 and $500,000 to invest. Private clients have investment portfolios that are designed based on their financial situation and goals, while RealLifePortfoliosâ„˘ clients are assigned a set portfolio based on determined strategies.
The firm also offers financial planning and consulting services (for investment and non-investment related matters) on a negotiable, standalone basis. Additionally, Gerstein Fisher supports investor education through access to a number of financial education resources, such as videos, articles, webinars, events and market commentary.
Below is menu of the services offered by the firm:
The firm invests with a few core tenets in mind: global diversification, proactive tax management, smart portfolio structure, investor behavior and risk management. These tenets hold true for both private clients and clients using the firmâ€™s robo-advisor option, RealLifePortfoliosâ„˘.
Gerstein Fisher builds portfolios using a model-based, multi-factor approach, which is based on arbitrage pricing theory. This approach focuses on risk and behavioral factors for higher returns over the market index while keeping a broad market exposure. Plainly speaking, the firm looks to earn clients more money while keeping portfolios diversified.
While it will depend on a clientâ€™s time horizon, financial goals and risk tolerance, portfolios may include equities, fixed income, commodities and international investments.
Gerstein Fisher charges clients based on a percentage of AUM. The fee schedule below outlines the firmâ€™s rates, which are based on the amount of assets a client has under management and the type of account strategy used, with equity and balanced accounts charging higher fees than fixed income accounts.
The firm states that fees are negotiable and that certain clients may be subject to a different fee schedule than the one outlined below. In addition to investment management fees, clients are responsible for brokerage commissions, transaction fees, account maintenance and other fees.
|Gerstein Fisher Investment Advisory Services Fee Schedule|
|Assets Under Management||Equity and Balanced Account
Strategies: Annual Rate
|Fixed Income Account
Strategies: Annual Rate
|Additional amounts over $20,000,000||0.35%||0.25%|
Gerstein Fisher also offers a wrap free program for those with $25,000 or more in AUM. Wrap fee programs provide clients with one bundled fee for advisory and brokerage services. This fee is not inclusive of financial planning or consulting services and may or may not save a client money in aggregate fees. Below is the breakdown of the firmâ€™s wrap fee schedule.
|Gerstein Fisher Wrap Fee Schedule|
|Assets Under Management||Wrap Fee|
|All assets over $2,000,000||0.90%|
Clients who wish to engage the firmâ€™s financial planning or consulting services will pay a standalone fee, which ranges from $750 to $10,000 for fixed fee, or $200 to $500 on an hourly basis. A clientâ€™s rate will depend on the level and scope of services provided.
The larger company of which Gerstein Fisher is a part, Peopleâ€™s United Advisors, reports one disciplinary disclosure on its Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC. The incident relates to an advisory affiliate against whom a regulatory authority entered an order related to investment activity within the last decade. For more information, visit the firmâ€™s IAPD page.
To start a client relationship with Gerstein Fisher, you can call the office or schedule a meeting through the firmâ€™s contact page. The form asks your name and contact details as well as how much you have to invest.
New clients will work with an advisor to discuss their financial objectives and goals, risk tolerance and time horizon, which will inform their portfolioâ€™s investment management strategy. Private clients (those with more than $500,000 invested) will have access to the client advisory team, while RealLifePortfoliosâ„˘ clients can access their accounts through an online portal that offers monthly statements and performance details. Private clients also have access to this portal.
Gerstein Fisherâ€™s low management fees and low minimum account size may make it attractive to a broad range of investment management clients. However, with that broader appeal might come a downside: The firm doesnâ€™t offer the same types of services as wealth management companies that cater to the ultra high net worth crowd. For example, there isnâ€™t a family office or real estate or tax services on the menu of whatâ€™s offered.
While the firmâ€™s affiliation with Peopleâ€™s United Bank means it can offer more services and has financial backing beyond itself, clients may find themselves referred to services offered by the larger entity which may or may not result in referral fees for Gerstein Fisher. When searching for a financial advisor, itâ€™s always important to ask questions of the advisor to make sure you understand what services are being offered and what costs are involved.