Russell Hall founded Hall Private Wealth Advisors after working for more than 25 years in the financial services industry with well-known firms such as PaineWebber (now part of UBS) and Morgan Stanley. He served as a Senior Vice President, Senior Portfolio Manager and Corporate Client Group Director, where his clients included senior executives at public companies in San Diego and the Bay Area.
Hall serves as Managing Director for the boutique money management firm. Located in Solana Beach, HPWA offers wealth management and financial planning services, focused on working with good people who want guidance. “In starting Hall Private Wealth, my focus was to improve our clients’ experience, make every effort to lower fees, and to reduce conflicts of interest,” said Hall.
For the firm’s advisory (RIA) practice, rather than charging commissions for transactions or selling financial products with excessive fees, Hall Private Wealth charges a very reasonable and completely transparent asset management fee, which financially incentivizes the company to perform, but also serves as motivation to preserve client assets when markets go down.
“Our process reduces conflicts of interest and helps to provide a more aligned, synergistic and healthier relationship with our clients,” Hall said. “It’s amazing how many people don’t understand the levels of excessive fees they’re paying at big banks.”
Hall Private Wealth counts among its clients company founders and senior executives, as well as families with generational wealth, primarily in San Diego and the Bay Area. HPWA also manages corporate retirement plans, working with some of San Diego’s fastest-growing and exciting firms. Charles Schwab serves as custodian for their assets, so the firm can keep fees low while holding all client assets with one of the most stable custodian firms in the world.
“One thing that sets us apart is our money management style,” said Hall, which he described as “deep value investing. The challenge is to find value among asset classes, sectors and regions that may be temporarily out of favor, but offer limited downside, a dividend stream and opportunity for future gains.”
The firm’s investment approach applies to the bond markets as well as to stock markets. Hall and his team generally seek investments that offer a stable income stream, providing a cushion, electing to take a patient approach. “That means looking toward sectors such as food, consumer staples and utilities, as well as various bond strategies that have upside potential in addition to stable income,” he said.
“Investors tend to become complacent with their portfolio manager and investment holdings, and they don’t pay attention to benchmarks and risk-adjusted returns. As a firm, we try to differentiate – like a startup. Our proprietary client statements are simplified, and our clients are educated on what they should be paying attention to in their portfolios. We keep everything ultra-liquid, avoiding heavy fee ‘products’ that so often lead to underperformance,” Hall said.
Another thing that sets Hall Private Wealth apart is that it keeps research and portfolio management functions in-house, and doesn’t “farm” it out to other managers, which is a common practice within the RIA and big bank space. “This helps keep fees low and improves control and liquidity. It also gives us the flexibility to react to market developments,” Hall said.
Hall Private Wealth also counsels its clients to avoid the “herd mentality” which can often lead to buying high and selling low – typically seen with retail mutual fund investors.
Hall and his wife of 20 years, Amy, are active in the Solana Beach community. Their daughter and twin sons attend Solana Beach public schools, and Hall has served on several nonprofit chapter boards, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the San Diego Tech Coast Angels. He’s supported numerous charities, and is an active member of the San Diego Tech Coast Angels, one of the nation’s leading angel investor groups. He has invested in and mentored more than 10 private companies, primarily in the technology arena. “Having a sense of how an entrepreneur thinks, the various instruments that startups use to raise money, and how the capital markets work has been enlightening and very valuable to me in my portfolio management role at HPWA,” Hall said.
As Hall summarized, “Although stock markets are currently riding high, a market adjustment will come. We haven’t had a shock to the system in quite a while, so I’m anticipating volatility. Going forward, what better time than now to reevaluate your portfolio and your results?”
Prospective clients can call Hall Private Wealth to schedule a consultation, which will help identify strengths and weaknesses in their portfolio, as well as the fees they are currently paying. The number to call is (858) 263-1675. For more information, log onto www.hallpwa.com.