Commonsense Wealth Management

Our History

The Early Years

In 1991, after a decade as an investigative reporter covering Wall Street, personal finance, and the mutual fund industry for Fortune magazine and U.S. News & World Report, Dan Wiener launched an independent newsletter on Vanguard funds.

Readership grew as Vanguard’s low-cost message gained adherents, and investors looked for guidance selecting funds. Before long, The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors was thriving, and despite the valiant efforts of Dan and his 7-year-old son, David, the Wiener dining room table was overflowing with papers.

In early 1992, with circulation topping 1,000, help came from David Thorne, a family friend who owned a small publishing company. Together they set to work clarifying the message and expanding the readership. Within two years, circulation had grown to more than 30,000.

As the newsletter and its low-risk approach gained popularity, subscribers began to clamor for personalized portfolio management. During this time, Wiener and Thorne were joined by Dan Silver, a newly minted MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School who soon developed a plan to launch an investment advisory business.

A Solid Foundation

Adviser Investments was founded in 1994 with a single account worth $140,000 and a vision of creating a commonsense money management company. Just over a year later, the partners sold the Vanguard newsletter business to InvestorPlace Media (formerly Phillips Publishing) in Maryland to focus exclusively on personalized money management.

In 1997, Jim Lowell, who was publishing the Fidelity Investor newsletter, was invited to join forces and broaden the firm’s mandate to include Fidelity funds. Jim also brought a proprietary manager database with him, which soon allowed the firm to expand into lesser-known or “undiscovered” managers.

Adviser Investments reached the billion-dollar milestone in late 2006, 12 years after our founding. While our mission and discipline remained unchanged, our portfolios began to feature funds not only from Vanguard and Fidelity, but also from fund families like Artisan, Baillie Gifford, PRIMECAP Management and beyond.

Adviser Investments was also an early adopter of ETF (exchange-traded fund) investing, and later included carefully selected ETFs in a number of our investment strategies, managed by then-Interim Chief Investment Officer and Director of Research Jeff DeMaso.

Continued Growth

As the size and scope of the firm’s activities grew, Dan, Jim and Jeff became regular commentators in the national press. You may have seen them featured on CNBC, PBS’ “Nightly Business Report” and Bloomberg Television, as well as in Forbes, Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal.

In March 2011, Adviser Investments reaffirmed its commitment to helping investors with the acquisition of our leading competitor, Kobren Insight Management. The transaction created a firm with more than $2 billion under management and helped progress our goal to provide institutional-quality asset management with the personalized service we offered when we were one-tenth the size, a mission that continues to this day.

Six years later, Adviser Investments joined forces with Braver Wealth Management to enhance our financial planning capabilities and tactical investment product offerings. In addition to the valued client relationships gained, both Kobren and Braver added a great deal of investment talent and greatly enhanced our client service capabilities.

We know from experience new partners are an opportunity not only to grow, but to learn and improve. In 2020, we joined forces with Summit Partners, one of the country’s leading private equity firms, to expand our ability to pursue those opportunities. As we grew, we added a full range of in-house wealth management services for our clients, including financial planning, 401(k) advisory services and tax preparation through our affiliate, Adviser Investments Tax Solutions.

In 2022, we entered into a new partnership with Polaris Wealth Advisory Group, expanding our national footprint across all 50 states. The partnership created a complementary combination of services, including comprehensive financial planning and low-cost portfolios of actively managed mutual funds, ETFs, tactical investment strategies and select alternative investments.

No matter our size, our goal has always remained the same: To provide institutional-quality wealth management to our clients today with the same personal touch we used when all our clients could fit around a kitchen table.