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SCS Capital Management Review

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SCS Capital Management, registered in 2002, serves 34 state(s) with a licensed staff of 26 advisors. SCS Capital Management manages $32.2 billion and provides investment advisory services for 266 clients (1:11 advisor/client ratio).



Firm Information


Summary Firm
Minimum Investment Ask firm
Average Client Balance $120,981,605
Total AUM $32.2 billion
Fee Range Ask firm
Advisor / Client Ratio 1:11
Languages Offered Ask firm
Specialities Ask firm
Website Visit Site
Phone Number 617-204-6400
Headquarters Boston, MA
Locations See locations
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SEC Filings View SEC IAPD CRD #122258


Disciplinary Questions


After checking the disciplinary records of SCS Capital Management, our system found no disciplinary questions to ask. Checks take place monthly.



Conflict Questions


After checking the regulatory records of SCS Capital Management, our system has identified the following question(s) to ask. Learn more.


Is SCS Capital Management also a Broker-Dealer or are they affiliated with one? What conflicts arise from this relationship? How does SCS Capital Management mitigate them?


Currently SCS Capital Management is also a Broker-Dealer or is affiliated with one. When firms are dual-registered as broker-dealers, they may be subject to compensation-related conflicts of interest, including revenue sharing from mutual funds, cross-selling of commissioned insurance products, and the sale of proprietary investment products. All of these conflicts can negatively impact clients via hidden fees and overall higher costs.


Does SCS Capital Management offer mutual funds that have 12b-1 fees?


12b-1 fees increase the total annual cost of owning a mutual fund with no guarantee of higher returns. Some firms receive these fees as payments, which creates an incentive to promote them.


Regulatory disclosures state that SCS Capital Management sells proprietary investments and products. Please provide me a list of the products and a summary of how much SCS Capital Management earns from them.


SCS Capital Management recommends proprietary investments and products that could generate larger commissions than other similar non-proprietary products. This could also limit the number and diversity of investment options available to you and may impact their transferability. Do not be afraid to ask how much they will earn from the product or what other non-proprietary options are available.


Does SCS Capital Management offer products that have performance-based fees, or does it accept performance-based fees? Will any of my assets be invested in those products?


When performance-based fees are charged, the financial advisor is paid for outperforming a benchmark, typically an index. While this may seem like an attractive compensation structure to ensure your advisor is making your money work for you, often, the managers of those products are incentivized to take inappropriate risks to beat their performance benchmark. For instance, research has shown that mutual funds that use incentive fees take on more risk that funds that do not, and tend to double down and increase their risk following a poor performance. This could be detrimental to a client during down markets.


Does SCS Capital Management perform side-by-side management? How does SCS Capital Management mitigate conflicts that arise from managing accounts with differing fee structures?


This typically occurs when firms manage mutual funds or hedge funds alongside smaller retail accounts. Side-by-side management can create an incentive for the advisor to favor the larger funds, potentially leading to unequal trading costs and unfavorable trade executions for their retail clients.


Does SCS Capital Management recommend securities that it or its affiliates underwrite, or in which it serves as general or managing partner? Will any of my assets be invested in those products?


SCS Capital Management recommends securities that they may have recently taken public or otherwise have controlling interest over. This relationship could introduce bias where a firm and its advisors may push those products over others that may have a more favorable performance with which they are not affiliated.


Does SCS Capital Management accept soft-dollar benefits? How do these benefits affect the firm’s selection of a broker-dealer partner?


SCS Capital Management receives soft-dollar benefits that could incentivize them to push trades through broker-dealers that provide advantages to the firm instead of through broker-dealers that could provide the best trade execution for their clients.


Which securities does SCS Capital Management trade for itself that it will also be recommending to me?


SCS Capital Management has marked in their disclosures that they trade recommended securities. While this often can be seen as "eating your own cooking," there are several inherent conflicts that can arise. For example, front running is when a financial professional buys or sell securities ahead of their client. In short, any financial professional should disclose all positions they hold (or have sold short) that they will also be recommending to you.


Our system found no other conflict questions to ask. Checks take place monthly.



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Disciplinary History


An important aspect of the Trust Algorithm is processing the SEC Form ADV Part 1 filing of each Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). “Item 11 Disclosure Information” contains a list of valuable disclosures that are relevant for Americans.

As identified in SEC Form ADV Part 1, Item 11 “Disclosure Information”, the Trust Algorithm identified the following disciplinary disclosures for SCS Capital Management:




Cost


Unfortunately, there is no single, uniform pricing standard for working with a financial advisor. Catchphrases, including "fee-only," can be helpful; however, Americans often get confused with competitors promoting "fee-based" in response. To learn more, explore our series of articles about what financial advisors do and what it may cost to work with one, as well as what their titles mean and how to make a smart choice.

Ultimately, to understand the underlying costs of advisory services, we always recommend asking for an itemized fees breakdown and reading the firm's ADV Part 2 Brochure (Item 5, "Fees and Compensation").


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