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Calculation AUM for ADV

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Jan 20, 2010 2:43 pm

I am in the process of updating my adv forms. In the past I have always used the assets I manage at the custodian as my AUM.

The other day, a fellow RIA brought to my attention that I really need to be including the assets I advise on held in my clients 401ks

For example.

Client has 250,000 with me, held at Fidelity (custodian)
Client has 500,000 at 401k plan (Company plan not managed by me)

Now, if I advise the client what to do with their 401k (allocation, buy sells, etc) Does the 500,000 need to be included in my AUM?

If it does not need to be included -what if we charge a fee to advise the client regarding the 401k? Does it need to be included then?

Thanks for any input, I don’t want to overstate/understate on the adv.

Jan 20, 2010 3:11 pm

Ahh, that wonderful time of the year again.  I’m updating my firm’s as well.

  I would say that if you don't execute the trades in the 401k (or arrange for the trades to happen) then NO because it doesn't meet the requirement of being continuous supervisory or management services.   Check out page 14, Item 5.F.  (Specifically Item 5.F(b)3b)
Jan 20, 2010 3:35 pm


  So in essence, even though you charge for the 401K advice, you are essentially acting as a "financial planner", but do not have LPOA over their funds?
Jan 20, 2010 3:43 pm

LPOA?  You are getting too technical with me.  But I interpret it as more of a planner capacity.  It is sort of similar to being a manager on a UMA, you don’t ‘really’ count that as AUM, rather “Assets Under Influence” according to GIPS standards (you are just giving advice, not executing the trades).

Jan 20, 2010 3:46 pm

Legal Power of Attorny?

Jan 20, 2010 3:54 pm


So in read that link, I have a few accounts that are borderline. In your experience, is it better to overestimate or underestimate AUM (assuming the RIA is not borderline sec/state and trying to get over/under asset requirement)

When they audit- how do they verify assets?

Jan 20, 2010 4:51 pm

I wouldn’t base your action off of what I say, but as long as you aren’t using AUM to avoid SEC registration, it probably isn’t THAT BIG of a deal.  However, it could be an issue if it is a significant difference and you put an incorrect number on your marketing material.

  So basically, I couldn't say.
Jan 20, 2010 5:06 pm

Legal Power of Attorny?

  Close.  Limited POA (as in Limited to trades on their account)
Jan 20, 2010 5:28 pm

Damn.  I should have known that.

Jan 20, 2010 5:46 pm

Just let me know if you have any compliance questions you need help with.