Exploring Alternatives to Equitable: Understanding Fees, Performance, and Value

Are you a current or prospective client of Equitable, questioning the value you receive for the fees you pay? You’re not alone. Many individuals are looking for alternatives to large investment firms, seeking personalized service, better performance, and a clearer understanding of the costs associated with their investments. In this article, we’ll explore some of the common issues investors face with Equitable and discuss how an independent boutique firm can provide a compelling alternative.

Understanding Fees

One of the primary concerns for investors is the fees they pay for investment management services. According to Equitable’s last filing, they don’t publish baseline fees. Instead, they indicate that fees are negotiable and may range up to 2.5% of assets under management (AUM).

In addition to these management fees, Equitable is known to recommend their own mutual fund company, 1290 Funds. When investing in these mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs), you may be subject to additional fees, which are deducted from the fund’s performance. These fees, combined with Equitable’s management fees, can add up, effectively increasing the overall costs you pay and potentially impacting your investment returns.

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The Importance of Independence

Independent boutique firms prioritize their clients’ best interests. They are not beholden to any particular fund company or investment product, allowing them to make recommendations based solely on your unique needs and goals. This independence enables these firms to:

  1. Select investments with a focus on performance and value
  2. Avoid overcharging for their services
  3. Minimize reliance on funds with high additional fees
  4. Provide transparent, easy-to-understand fee structures

By working with an independent firm, you can have greater confidence that the advice you receive is objective and tailored to your specific situation.

Personalized Service and Attention

Large investment firms like Equitable may struggle to provide the level of personalized service and attention that many investors desire. With a vast client base, it can be challenging for advisors to develop deep, long-lasting relationships with each individual.

In contrast, boutique firms prize client relationships. They take the time to understand your unique financial situation, risk tolerance, and long-term objectives. This personalized approach allows them to:

  • Develop customized investment strategies
  • Provide prompt, attentive service
  • Regularly review and adjust your portfolio as needed
  • Offer ongoing financial education and guidance

By working closely with a dedicated advisor who understands your needs, you can feel more confident in your financial future.

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Focusing on Performance and Value

Ultimately, the success of your investment portfolio depends on its performance. While no investment strategy can make guarantees, a focus on value and diligent research helps identify opportunities that have the potential to deliver strong, risk-adjusted returns.

A well-rounded investment philosophy emphasizes:

  1. Rigorous due diligence
  2. A long-term perspective
  3. Diversification across asset classes
  4. Regular portfolio monitoring and rebalancing

By adhering to these principles and maintaining independence, boutique firms strive to provide their clients with the best possible chance of achieving their financial goals.


If you’re a current or prospective client of Equitable and are considering alternatives, it’s essential to understand the potential drawbacks of working with a large investment firm. High fees, impersonal service, and potential conflicts of interest can all impact your experience and investment outcomes.

By partnering with an independent boutique firm like Magnifina, you can benefit from personalized attention, a focus on performance and value, and the confidence that comes from working with a team dedicated to your success. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you achieve your financial goals, we invite you to contact us for a complimentary consultation.

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