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Arvest Wealth Management Review

Arvest

This has been the trend for more than 30 years when it comes to consumer products. However, Arvest Wealth Management has taken one-stop shopping to the financial level to make sure all your financial needs are met by the same company.

Company Background

The foundation for this company was laid in 1961 when the founders of the group purchased the Bank of Bentonville which had only $3.5 million in deposits. Two years later they followed up that purchase with another one but this time it was a smaller bank with even fewer deposits.

The third leg of this foundation building did not take place until 1975 when the founders purchased their third bank in nearby Rogers. These three banks were the solid foundation the founders built their Arvest empire upon but that building did not start until 1984.

Arvest’s growth has been due to a variety of different bank purchases throughout the succeeding years and these new acquisitions were in three states- Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

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These purchases and expansions continued and in 2006 they were organized under the Arvest name and holding roughly $7 billion in assets over 200 locations. The company expanded into a fourth state, Kansas, during this time.

Today, the group operates 270 branches and has assets exceeding $24 billion. The corporate structure may seem complicated to some people but it is rather straightforward. Arvest Bank owns Arvest Wealth Management.

Arvest Bank is owned by Arvest Holdings, Inc., which in turn is owned by Arvest Bank Group. The last entity is owned by Jim C. Walton and Samuel Robson Walton of the Walmart Walton family.

Even though it has grown to be a large financial institution, the company gets its guidance from its small-town roots and strives to be seen as a bank where people helping people find their financial solutions for life.

They work with clients on a one-to-one basis to make sure the client receives the best advice possible and help their decision-making.

Products & Services

There are 5 basic products this arm of the company provides. Retirement, education, estate, investment, and insurance planning. Each one may have sub-groups under which will further define your financial goals.

You do not have to be a high net worth individual to participate in these programs however, some minimums do reach $200,000 to $1,000,000. The different services include but not limited to the following:

  1. AWM SMA Equity and Balanced Strategies
  2. AWM SMA Fixed-Income Strategies
  3. AWM Unified Managed Account
  4. Lockwood AdvisorFlex Portfolios
  5. Lockwood Asset Allocation Portfolios
  6. Mutual Funds & ETF Strategists
  7. IMG Equity & Balanced Strategies
  8. IMG ETF Models
  9. IMG Fixed-Income Strategies
  10. Advisor Directed – Discretionary
  11. Advisor Directed – Non-Discretionary

There are sub-programs under these services as well and you will need the help of a client adviser to navigate all the details

Opening an account

This is done through a client adviser and you can find one near you online by location or through the adviser’s name if you know it. There are roughly 213 client advisers you can contact to help you sort out which plan is best for you.

Or you go to their website and fill out the form listed under ‘let an adviser contact you. You can also call the company at (479) 770-1825 if neither option is good for you.

Each adviser works with the client to discover their goals, objectives and find the best service that will fit their financial goals. All of the strategies considered are based upon the following criteria:

  • risk tolerance
  • time horizon
  • income needs
  • liquidity needs
  • financial objectives.

Also, different analysis methods are employed to make sure the client gets the right investment opportunities for their portfolios. The investment philosophy is designed to meet and be compatible with the client’s personality, etc.

In some cases, the client adviser may receive a commission for selling the client different insurance options. This does create a gray area concerning conflict of interest but Arvest client advisers remain legally bound to act in their client’s best interests.

Fees

There are three basic fee structures you have to be concerned about. The following table will list the service, those three fee categories, and the amount of the fees for each category.

  Service name  Up to $50,000  $250,000 to $1,000,000  $1,000,000+
AWM SMA Equity and Balanced Strategies  3.00%  2.50%  2.00%
AWM SMA Fixed-Income Strategies  1.75%  1.25%  1.00%
AWM Unified Managed Account  3.00%  2.50%  2.00%
Lockwood AdvisorFlex Portfolios  1.75%  1.50%  1.15%
Lockwood Asset Allocation Portfolios  1.75%  1.50%  1.15%
Mutual Funds & ETF Strategists  1.75%  1.50%  1.15%
IMG Equity & Balanced Strategies

  3.00%

  2.50%

  2.00%



IMG ETF Models  1.75%  1.50%  1.15%
IMG Fixed-Income Strategies  1.75%  1.25%  1.00%
Advisor Directed – Discretionary Program  1.75%  1.50%  1.15%
Advisor Directed – Non-Discretionary Program  1.75%  1.50%  1.15%

Other fees involved included financial planning which is usually charged by the hour. Those hourly fees range between $25 to $100 per hour. Then there may be some fixed fees as well and their costs range between $250 to $1000.

The actual final fixed fee will be determined by the scope of services rendered.

Ratings

It is hard to find separate ratings for Arvest Wealth Management as the majority of ratings we saw, were listed under Arvest Bank. The Bank itself has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+.

There is no other explanation for that rating although the company has closed 3 complaints in the past 3 years and none in the past 12 months.

A customer rating service has them at 4.8 out of 5 but unfortunately, the sample is too low, 6 customers, to take the rating seriously or give it credibility. The SEC does not seem to have any negative reports on the company and it does not rate companies.

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However, there was an incident reported to the SEC in which an advisor failed to follow specific broker-client protocols as well as failing to establish adequate supervisory oversight. The company paid a fine, was censured and the chief compliance officer received a 3-day suspension.

An employee review website has listed the company as a 3.4 out of the 5-star. Again, the participants are too few to really use the results in a useful manner.

As for any pending legal actions, there is a law firm currently looking for clients who may have lost investment funds due to the actions and promises of one adviser. This adviser received 2 complaints which were settled by the company in favor of the clients.

A third complaint was filed against another adviser for alleged misconduct that resulted in investment losses by the client. That complaint is still pending. The law firm says these are red flags but out of over 7,000 current clients, those alleged red flags are minimal at best.

Pros & Cons of working with Arvest Wealth Management

There are different categories for positives and negatives when looking at investing your money with any brokerage firm like Arvest Wealth Management.

Two of those categories will be listed here to provide a full view of what is involved when you want to plan for your financial future.

Pros:

  1. been in the business for 60 years
  2. high BBB rating
  3. low adviser to client ratio- 1 to 25
  4. wide variety of services provided
  5. experienced in investment
  6. experienced advisers who know the industry
  7. manages over $2 billion in investment assets

Cons:

  1. minor SEC infractions
  2. high fees
  3. not all advisers follow protocols
  4. owned by the Waltons who own Walmart
  5. part of a conglomerate
  6. high turnover in adviser
  7. risk of losses

Client Advisers

Pros:

  1. professional
  2. experienced in the industry
  3. vast knowledge of investment opportunities
  4. low client average
  5. personal attention
  6. can be credentialed

Cons:

  1. may not receive thorough training
  2. possibility of conflicts of interests
  3. high fees charged
  4. may be too busy
  5. do not follow procedures correctly

Arvest Wealth Management Vital Statistics

CategoriesDetails
Assets under management (currently)  $2.4 billion
Number of client advisers  235
Number of Clients  7,083
FeesIt varies depending on the program selected
Clients by groups Details
Individuals  33.3%
High net worth clients  33.3%
Charities  16.7%
Businesses and corporations  16.7%
States licensed  50 plus DOC and Puerto Rico

**All figures and information provided by USnews.com

The benefits of using AWM

If you are very financially savvy, then you may not need the services of Arvest Wealth Management. you can find the same stocks, securities, and other investments on your own. However, it does pay to have some good professional advice to help guide your services.

This is one of the benefits you will receive when you go with this company. You will get good advice on where to invest your hard-earned dollars. Also, they cover a field you may not have time to research and give time to. This leaves you free to explore those interests that you enjoy.

Another very good advantage of using AWM instead of going it alone is that their client advisers have seen the mistakes other investors have made and they can help you avoid making those same mistakes.

Then it is possible to be too emotional when you make your own investments. Emotions are good for certain aspects of life but not for investing. AWM client advisers remove the emotions so that decisions are made with a clear mind and all risks are seen and properly evaluated.

Also, the AWM client adviser can be a very good defense strategy as they are trained to help stop you from making stupid decisions based on impulses or fads. Those impulses and fads can lead you to some very unwise investment opportunities.

You want a financial adviser that will develop some key characteristics in their relationship with you. Those characteristics are:

  1. Build a long-term relationship that is built on trust.
  2. Use their knowledge of your situation and objectives to your benefit.
  3. Meet with you face to face instead of remaining behind a phone or computer screen
  4. Works on a fee basis instead of a commission-based pay structure. This removes conflicts of interests
  5. Use sound judgment and make investments suggestions based on indexes instead of attempting to beat the market

While it is admirable to try and save money on the fees professionals charge, good sound professional advice will probably save you even more money. They do that by helping you avoid bad investments.

Arvest Wealth management FAQs

#1. Is Arvest Wealth Management also a Broker-Dealer or are they affiliated with one?

Yes, AWM is currently licensed as a broker-dealer and may be affiliated with different companies that are also licensed as broker-dealer.

#2. What conflicts arise from this relationship?

There is a possibility of conflicts of interest because client advisers can be paid a commission for selling certain products or services to their clients.

#3. Which securities does Arvest Wealth Management trade for itself that it will also be recommending to me?

Yes, they do and they have made this fact known in their disclosures. Unfortunately, this practice can lead to certain conflicts or other issues like front running.

This is where the brokerage firm buys or sells stocks, etc., ahead of their client. The adviser should disclose to you these activities and the positions they hold in those stocks, etc.

#4. Does Arvest Wealth Management accept soft-dollar benefits?

Yes, they do receive and accept soft dollar benefits. This practice could influence the strategies and stock, etc., purchases they recommend to you as it benefits the company and not the client.

#5. Is there an investment program for me even though I am not rich?

Yes, AWM does work with all levels of clients including the little guy who may not have large savings to invest.

Some final words

It is best to research any investment firm you want to use to boost your savings. Cover all the topics and go for the details in order to make sure you are dealing with true professionals who have your best interests at heart.

Do your homework to make sure you are working with professionals who know the industry and have the experience to handle your needs and goals.