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Review of The Colony Group

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It may not have not been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners or the Investment company.

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The Colony Group is a registered investment advisory firm with 240 employees across 15 offices in eight states throughout the country. It serves mostly individuals and high net worth individuals, with extra services available for professional athletes, corporate executives and multi-generational family offices. The firm has nearly $11.6 billion in assets under management (AUM).

All information included in this profile is accurate as of June 18, 2020. For more information, please consult The Colony Group’s website.

Assets under management: $11,550,824,070
Minimum investment: Typically $500,000
Fee structure: A percentage of AUM; hourly charges; fixed fees
Headquarters: One Boston Place
201 Washington Street, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
https://www.thecolonygroup.com
(617) 723-8700

Overview of The Colony Group

The Colony Group was founded in Boston by Kirby Hamilton in 1986. Over the next 25 years, Hamilton grew the firm to four offices and $1.3 billion in assets under management before retiring and selling it to Focus Financial Partners in 2011. The Colony Group is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Focus Operating LLC, which is in turn wholly owned by Focus Financial Partners, a Nasdaq-traded company that owns 60 firms in more than 30 states (and several countries).

Michael Nathanson has been CEO of The Colony Group since the change in ownership, and has held leadership roles at the firm since 2004. Since its acquisition by Focus Financial Partners, The Colony Group has merged assets with nearly a dozen other firms, growing to 240 employees, with 125 serving in investment advisory functions. The firm has offices across Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Colorado and California.

What types of clients does The Colony Group serve?

The Colony Group has thousands of clients, most of which are individuals, especially high net worth individuals (for reference, the SEC defines high net worth individuals as those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million). The firm offers a breadth of services to those individuals, including those tailored to corporate executives, family offices and sports professionals. The firm has a preferred minimum balance of $500,000.

In addition to individuals, The Colony Group also serves pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations, as well as corporations and other businesses.

Services offered by The Colony Group

The Colony Group is a full-service firm, offering financial planning services, portfolio management, tax preparation, family office services and dispute resolution services. The Colony Group generally refers to its financial planning services, including retirement planning, trust and estate planning, charitable planning and other services, as financial counseling. However, the firm may also create a one-time financial plan as part of its investment advisory service.

While the firm offers consulting on investments held outside of the Colony Group, it typically provides its investment management services on a discretionary basis, meaning it does not consult the client for every trade.

  • Portfolio management
  • Financial counseling
    • Investment planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Estate planning
    • Philanthropic planning
    • Education planning
    • Tax planning and management
    • Cash flow forecasting
    • Risk management
  • Divorce dispute resolution
  • Estate settlement support
  • Dispute resolution services
  • Workshops and seminar
  • Tax preparation services
  • Family office services

How The Colony Group invests your money

The Colony Group has an investment committee that uses several methods to analyze potential investments on behalf of its clients. Working with third-party consultants and research firms as well as its own proprietary data, the firm uses capital market assumptions and asset allocation software to determine its portfolio advice.

The firm creates a customized portfolio for its clients, based on their individual goals and risk tolerance. Among the types of investments that The Colony Group portfolios include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, actively managed funds, limited partnerships and structured notes. It evaluates managers based on both their performance and their process.

Fees The Colony Group charges for its services

For advisory services, clients typically pay a percentage of assets under management, starting at 1% and going down as your account balance grows. The fee does not include third-party transaction costs that clients may also incur.

The Colony Group Fee Schedule for Advisory Services
Assets under management Annual fee
First $2 million 1.00%
Next $3 million (or portion thereof) 0.90%
Next $5 million (or portion thereof) 0.80%
Next $20 million (or portion thereof) 0.60%
Next $20 million (or portion thereof) 0.50%
Over $50 million Negotiable

The firm typically charges separate fees for financial counseling services, family office services and business management services. Those fees are negotiated with the client, often depending on the scope and complexity of the services provided, and may be applied toward investment management fees.

The Colony Group’s highlights

  • Wide breadth of services: If you’re looking for additional financial services, such as estate planning or tax preparation, or need help evaluating your executive compensation practice, The Colony Group can help (though often for an additional fee). It also offers specialized services for certain groups, including professionals in sports and entertainment, as well as nonprofits and small business owners.
  • Deep expertise: Dozens of advisors at The Colony Group have advanced degrees and certifications. The team includes multiple certified financial planners (CFP), chartered financial analysts (CFA), certified public accountants (CPA) and others.
  • Industry recognition: The firm has received awards and accolades for its services. The firm ranked 15 on Barron’s list of the Top 50 RIAs in 2019, while five advisors at The Colony Group appeared on Forbes’ 2020 list of Best-in-State Wealth Advisors and Colony Vice President and Senior Wealth Advisor Bill Weydemeyer made Investment News’ Top 40 Under 40 in 2019.

The Colony Group’s downsides

  • High account minimum: Typically you’ll need at least $500,000 to access a firm’s investment advisory service. While that’s lower than the minimum for many in the industry, it remains out of reach for some investors.
  • Unclear fees for financial planning: The firm does not publish its charges for financial counseling services, so it’s hard to compare to the rates of competitors.
  • Limited geographic footprint: While the firm is continuing to grow, largely through acquisitions, it still only has a presence in eight states across the country (though it is registered in more than 30 states and in Washington, D.C.). If you don’t live in one of these eight states, it may be challenging to maintain an in-person relationship with your financial advisor.
  • Preferred brokers: The Colony Group has relationships with TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and Schwab, which may recommend clients use its services. While Colony Group does not receive financial compensation for sending clients to these brokerages, clients may be able to purchase some investments at lower prices from a different firm.

The Colony Group disciplinary disclosures

All registered investment advisors are required to disclose any civil, regulatory or criminal events related to the firm, its employees or its affiliates in their Form ADV, documents they file with the SEC. While The Colony Group itself has never had any disciplinary disclosures, it does have to disclose an event involving AFA, a firm that it acquired in February 2019.

In 2012, prior to that acquisition, a principal at AFA paid the Massachusetts Securities Division $40,250 to settle charges that he failed to register as an investment advisor.

The Colony Group onboarding process

To get started working with the firm, fill out this online form or call your local office. You’ll connect with a financial advisor to discuss your financial goals and risk tolerance, and they’ll create a portfolio custom tailored to your needs.

Your advisor will manage the account on your behalf, but you can expect to receive periodic updates, including a quarterly performance report. You can also reach out to your advisor with questions at any time.

Is The Colony Group right for you?

Colony Group may be a good choice for you if you have at least $500,000 to invest and want additional financial services, such as tax preparation or estate planning. Professional athletes, multi-generational wealthy families and corporate executives may also benefit from the experience that Colony Group has with investors like them. Those with lower account balances, or who don’t live near a Colony Group office, however, might find another firm is a better fit for their needs.

As always, when choosing financial services, it’s important to understand the experience of the provider and how they’re being paid. Be sure to research multiple firms before selecting the one that’s right for you.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Review of Savant Capital Management

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It may not have not been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners or the Investment company.

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Savant Capital Management is an independent, fee-only firm that offers wealth management, financial planning and consulting services. The firm has more than 60 advisors and operates out of 17 offices — the firm has its headquarters in Rockford, Ill., and most offices are located in the state (there are also offices in Arizona, New Mexico, Wisconsin and the Washington D.C. metro area.) The firm’s investment management business has $6.7 billion in assets under management (AUM), and most of its clients are individuals or high net worth individuals.

All information included in this profile is accurate as of June 12, 2020. For more information, please consult Savant Capital Management’s website.

Assets under management: $6,752,191,314
Minimum investment: None
Fee structure: A percentage of AUM; hourly charges; fixed fees
Headquarters: 190 Buckley Drive
Rockford, IL 61107
www.savantcapital.com
(815) 227-0300

Overview of Savant Capital Management

Savant Capital Management is an Illinois-based, fee-only firm that was launched in its current form in 1993 by Thomas Muldowney and Brent Brodeski. The firm grew out of Savant Planning Group, founded by Muldowney in 1986. The founder retired from the firm in 2016, and Brodeski, who remains CEO, recapitalized the firm with his own money along with investments from employees, family offices and other investors.

The firm has been on an acquisition spree since then. Notable purchases include D3 Financial Counselors in 2018, which continues to operate under its own name, and, most recently, Huber Financial Advisors. Savant Capital Management currently has 174 employees, 62 of whom serve as investment advisors.

Additionally, Savant Capital Management owns a subsidiary accounting firm, Savant Tax & Consulting, which primarily serves medical and dental practices. The firm also runs the Women’s Wealth Initiative, a series of educational events and services aimed at helping women build their financial future.

What types of clients does Savant Capital Management serve?

The firm primarily serves individuals, including high net worth individuals (who the SEC defines as someone with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million), but the firm offers different services depending on the size and complexity of a client’s portfolio. To qualify for Savant Wealth Management, clients must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Have an investment portfolio of $500,000 within a year
  • Anticipate a portfolio of $1 million within five years
  • Be an immediate family member of a client with a portfolio of more than $5 million
  • Be willing to pay a minimum fee of $5,000 per year for investment management

Clients with lower balances can receive asset management services through the Savant Portfolios Program or the Savant Accelerator Program.

In addition to individual investors, Savant Capital Management also offers services to pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.

Services offered by Savant Capital Management

Savant Capital Management provides a few levels of asset management:

  • Savant Wealth Management: The most robust offering is Savant Wealth Management. Clients in this program get a dedicated financial advisor and access to the largest breadth of asset types, as well as financial planning and family office services.
  • Savant Accelerator Program: The firm makes the same services from its Savant Wealth Management program available to select clients with lower balances who are committed to saving aggressively through its Savant Accelerator Program, in exchange for a fee schedule that increases annually.
  • Savant Portfolios Program: Other clients receive asset management services through the Savant Portfolios Program, which uses the same asset allocation models as Savant Wealth Management, but with a narrower fund selection.

The Savant Wealth Management program includes financial planning, but clients can also pay a la carte for that service. Clients who are interested in a digital advising program can get goals-based advice through the robo-advisor Betterment, which acts as a sub-advisor in Savant Wealth Management’s Beacon program.

In addition to portfolio management and financial planning, the firm also provides estate and wealth transfer services, tax preparation services and accounting services.

Here’s a comprehensive list of what the firm offers:

  • Asset management
  • Financial planning
    • Visions and goals planning
    • Investment planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Estate planning and administration
    • Charitable planning
    • Education planning
    • Business planning and succession
    • Income tax planning
    • Debt management
    • Divorce planning
    • Insurance/risk management
  • Retirement plan consulting services
  • Tax preparation services
  • Accounting services
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Newsletters and publications

How Savant Capital Management invests your money

Savant Capital Management uses an investment committee, composed mostly of Savant employees, to create its model portfolios and overall investment strategy. The firm uses several methods to analyze potential investments and portfolios, including computer-based risk-return analysis, statistical analysis and qualitative research.

Portfolios may include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual equities and fixed-income securities. The firm also uses alternative asset classes, including real estate investment trusts and commodities. The firm’s available model portfolios — which are recommended based on a client’s specific preferences, risk tolerance and situation — range from a Preservation Model composed entirely of fixed income to a Capital Appreciation Plus Model that is entirely equity. In general, Savant Capital management aims to keep portfolios as low-cost and tax-efficient as possible.

Clients who are interested in aligning their investments with their values can also choose a “sustainability objective” portfolio or a “social values objective portfolio.” These portfolios follow the same asset allocation and diversification principles as other Savant Capital Management portfolios and do not require an extra fee.

Fees Savant Capital Management charges for its services

For asset management clients, the firm charges a percentage of assets under management, with different rates depending on which program the client uses. For all clients, the asset management fee depends on the complexity of a client’s financial situation and their total account balance. Savant Capital Management may increase or lower the minimum annual fee at its discretion.

Fee Schedule for Savant Capital Management Asset Management Programs
Program Rate Minimum Annual Fee
Savant Wealth Management 0.5% to 1% (annualized) $5,000
Savant Portfolio Program 1% to 1.5% (annualized) $900
Savant Accelerator Program Either 1% of assets or a stepped minimum annual fee, based on their number of years in the program, whichever is greater Fee begins at $2,500 in year 1 of program, increasing by $750 per year until it reaches $10,000 per year in year 11

In addition to asset-based fees, clients may also have to cover third-party fees, such as third-party advisory fees. Those in the Beacon program, in which Betterment acts as a sub-advisor, pay 0.75% of assets under management to Savant Capital Management and a sub-advisor fee of 0.15%.

Financial planning clients who do not participate in asset management programs pay either for services on either a project basis, with the fixed rate ranging from $250 to $5,000, depending on the scope and focus of the project. Savant Capital Management also states that it can provide financial consultation, for an hourly fee ranging from $100 to $500 an hour, determined by the topic under discussion and the service provider.

Savant Capital Management’s highlights

  • Fee-only, independent firm: Savant Capital Management has no financial incentive to recommend specific products or services. Unlike some other advisors, the advisors at Savant Capital Management get paid solely based on a client’s assets under management, which eliminates many conflicts of interest.
  • Highly credentialed advisors: A review of the firm’s advisors shows that nearly all are certified financial planners (CFPs), and many hold multiple designations that require advanced coursework and experience.
  • Low account minimum: Clients who don’t have enough to invest with Savant Wealth Management can still access services through the Savant Portfolios program.
  • Industry recognition: Savant Capital Management has received many accolades for its work. Among them: inclusion on Barron’s 2019 list of America’s Top RIA Firms, Financial Advisor’s 2019 RIA Ranking and the Financial Times FT 300 list of top investment advisors.
  • No disciplinary disclosures: Savant Capital Management has not had any legal or disciplinary events (see below).

Savant Capital Management’s downsides

  • Potentially high fees for low-balance accounts: The fees for clients in the Savant Portfolio Program, who have less than $500,000 to invest, typically range from 1% to 1.50%, though clients with balances below $60,000 could pay even more. Since the firm does not disclose its exact fee schedule, it’s hard to tell how its fees compare to the industry average of 1.17%, according to a 2019 study by RIA in a Box. Still, it is possible clients could pay well above that average rate at Savant.
  • Limited geographic footprint: While the firm is registered in every state, all but five of its 17 offices are located in Illinois. This may make it harder to meet with your advisor in person if you live outside of a state where the firm has an office.
  • Pays for referrals: Savant Capital Management pays ongoing fees to certain third parties such as TD Ameritrade, SmartAsset and Schwab. When someone recommends the firm to you, make sure to ask why they’re making the recommendation.

Savant Capital Management disciplinary disclosures

Savant Capital Management does not have any disciplinary events to disclose in its Form ADV, a form all registered investment advisory firms must file with the SEC. Disciplinary disclosures include criminal charges and legal or regulatory action against the firm, its advisors or its affiliates.

Savant Capital Management onboarding process

Potential clients can get started with Savant Capital Management by scheduling a free consultation with an advisor. You can do that by either filling out this request form or calling your local office.

If you decide to move ahead with the firm, you’ll start the “Ideal Futures Financial Health Assessment,” in which an advisor will walk you through 10 key financial planning areas to determine your current financial picture and goals, and whether you’re using all of the financial strategies and tools available to you. Next, you’ll enter the “Building Ideal Futures Process,” a five-step approach that involves creating and implementing a plan. Part of that plan will include the creation of “The Ideal Futures Portfolio,” which advisors will help you monitor and adjust, as necessary, over time.

Savant Capital Management provides written reports to clients on a quarterly basis.

Is Savant Capital Management right for you?

Savant Capital Management could be a good choice for you if you live in Illinois, and especially the Chicagoland area — or don’t care about meeting your advisor face-to-face — and want independent, fee-only financial advice. However, investors who are concerned about fees and don’t have a huge balance, or who don’t live near a Savant Capital Management office, might be better served by a different firm.

As always, when making a decision regarding your financial life, it’s always important to consider what’s most important to you and to compare your available options. When you meet with an advisor, don’t hesitate to ask questions and make sure you fully understand what’s being offered and the costs involved.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Review of Allworth Financial

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone and is not intended to be a source of investment advice. It may not have not been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners or the Investment company.

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Reviewed By

Allworth Financial is a private-equity backed financial services firm with 16 offices located throughout the country, primarily in California. The firm has more than 200 employees and offers a variety of services, including financial planning, investment mangement, tax services and estate planning, mainly to individual investors. Allworth Financial currently has more than $8 billion in assets under management (AUM).

All information included in this profile is accurate as of June 12, 2020. For more information, please consult Allworth Financial’s website.

Assets under management: $8,095,778,922
Minimum investment: $100,000
Fee structure: percentage of AUM; fixed fees; hourly fees; performance-based fees
Headquarters: 8775 Folsom Blvd., Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95826
www.allworthfinancial.com
(916) 482-2196

Overview of Allworth Financial

Founded in 1996, Allworth Financial is 70% owned by the private equity firm Parthenon Capital Partners firm, and 30% by co-chief executive officers Scott T. Hanson and Patrick C. McClain. Hanson and McClain are also the firm’s co-founders and co-hosts of the long-running Money Matters radio show.

The firm, previously known as Hanson McClain Advisors, changed its name in 2019 following a spate of acquisitions of other RIA firms in a quest to build a national brand. Hanson and McClain sold a majority stake in the business to Parthenon Capital in 2017. In the 1990s, Hanson and McClain also ran Liberty Reverse Mortgage, which they sold to Genworth Financial, and which is now one of the largest reverse mortgage companies in the country.

Allworth Financial has just over 200 employees, 145 of whom perform investment advisory functions. The majority of the firm’s advisors are certified financial planners (CFPs). Allworth Financial has 16 offices, half of which are in California; the remaining offices are located throughout the Midwest and the South.

What types of clients does Allworth Financial serve?

Allworth Financial works primarily with individuals, including a couple thousand high net worth individuals. (For reference, the SEC defines high net worth individuals as those with at least $750,000 in assets under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million.) The firm also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses.

Allworth Financial requires a minimum household investment of $100,000 to open an account. However, it will occasionally make exceptions for existing clients or those with the potential for larger future investments.

Services offered by Allworth Financial

Investment advisory services: Allworth Financial provides advisory services to clients, mostly on a discretionary basis (meaning the advisor buys and sells investments on behalf of the client without getting authorization for each transaction), with a focus on preparing for retirement. Additional services include tax planning, estate planning and consultation services for 401(k) providers.

Financial planning services: The firm also offers several levels of financial planning for interested clients at an additional fee. Comprehensive Planning – Advanced provides the most extensive level of service, which includes coordination with your other advisors, such as lawyers or accountants, to develop a personal financial plan that may address issues such as business succession and financial legacy planning.

The next level, Comprehensive Planning – Financial Independence, focuses on helping clients achieve financial independence by making sure their portfolio can support them through retirement if they stop working. The two more basic levels of financial planning are Comprehensive Planning and Comprehensive Financial Review. Financial planning clients can choose whether they want to use Allworth Financial for asset management services as well.

Weekly newsletter and workshops: Allworth Financial also produces a weekly newsletter and highly attended workshops, which drew nearly 10,000 people last in 2019.

Here is a full list at the firm’s services:

  • Investment management (discretionary/non-discretionary)
  • Financial planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Trust and estate planning
    • Tax planning and management
    • Cash flow forecasting
    • Divorce planning
    • Insurance/risk management
  • Qualified retirement plan consulting services
  • Workshops and seminars
  • Newsletters and publications
  • Collaboration with clients’ lawyers, accountants, etc.
  • Tax preparation, planning and bookkeeping

How Allworth Financial invests your money

Allworth Financial has more than 15 model portfolios that it uses for clients. It selects a portfolio for clients based on their financial situation, goals and risk profile. The model portfolios are made up of a variety of low-fee and no-load mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and range from all equity to all fixed income.

Here’s how they break down:

Allworth Financial Model Portfolios
Portfolio Strategy
Active Plus Blend of mutual funds and ETFs, including active mutual funds and liquid alternatives
Active Plus Conservative Income Focuses on income first and capital preservation second, includes actively managed bond mutual funds, ETFs and liquid alternative strategies
Core-Satellite Blend of mutual funds and ETFs, with a focus on low-cost ETFs; does not have direct exposure to liquid alternative strategies
Core-Satellite Plus Blend of mutual funds and ETFs, with a focus on low-cost ETFs; does use liquid alternative strategies
Dynamic Blend of mutual funds and ETFs with a focus on low-cost ETFs; the non-core portion of the portfolio may make tactical moves
Dynamic Balanced Income Blend of mutual funds and ETFs meant to generate income and protect against market downturns
Dynamic Diversified Income Blend of mostly equity mutual funds and ETFs meant to generate income
Dynamic US Blend of mutual funds and ETFs focused on low-cost ETFs, excluding international stocks
Efficient Market Discipline Blend of passively managed equity-based mutual funds and actively managed fixed-income mutual funds
Efficient Market Discipline Core Blend of a limited number of actively managed fixed income-based mutual funds and passively managed equity-based mutual funds
Efficient Market Discipline Core I Blend of a limited number of passive mutual funds
Efficient Market Discipline ESG Blend of passively managed equity-based mutual funds that use environmental, social and governance factors and actively managed fixed-income-based mutual funds
Efficient Market Discipline ESG Core Blend of a limited number of passively managed equity-based mutual funds that use environmental, social and governance factors, and actively managed fixed-income based mutual funds
Efficient Market Discipline Non-U.S. Blend of passive mutual funds
Market Data Discipline Long/short strategy using ETFs that may use leverage through margin and hold short positions
Pure Index Primarily low-cost, market cap-weighted ETFs

The firm does not attempt to time the market, but it may adjust cash holdings based on client situations and market behavior. The firm’s in-house investment management team screens thousands of potential investments each year, choosing those that it believes will best create diversification, reduce risk and provide growth potential.

For clients who have also engaged the firm for financial planning services, AllWorth Financial works with them to determine their “7 Personal Decision Points” to create the right strategy. Those points are:

  • Retirement income needs: To find these, an advisor looks at a client’s current income sources and estimates taxes, savings and expenses that you’ll have in retirement.
  • Expense and debt management: For clients who are bringing debt to retirement, advisors create a plan to help them reduce or manage it.
  • Tax planning: This involves figuring out decisions, such as when to start taking distributions from retirement accounts, which state you’ll live in in retirement and what your tax bracket will be.
  • Investment management: An advisor will work with you to make sure you have sufficiently diverse investments that make sense for your risk tolerance and time horizon.
  • Risk management: This includes not only protecting your portfolio from stock market downturns, but also making sure that you’re appropriately insured.
  • Estate and legacy planning: Advisors will help you through the estate planning process and work with other advisors, such as an attorney or insurance agent, to implement the plan.
  • Distribution and income sources: This decision point requires figuring out which retirement accounts to tap, when to take Social Security and how to make your money last.

Fees Allworth Financial charges for its services

Allworth Financial charges separate fees for its financial planning and asset management services.

Asset management fees: The fee for asset management management services varies and is negotiated on a case-by-case basis, though it typically does not exceed 1.85% of assets under management. Most of Allworth Financial’s asset management services are offered as part of a wrap fee program, which means that you won’t have to pay additional transaction costs when the firm buys or sells a security on your behalf.

Clients who previously worked with Siena Wealth Management, which Allworth acquired in August 2019, may be subject to a different fee schedule and are not part of a wrap fee program.

In some cases, Allworth Financial will charge a fee of 1% of assets under management, along with a performance-based fee of 20% of the capital gains above a hurdle rate of 5% above S&P 500 price index return on a net return basis.

If Allworth Financial opts to use unaffiliated strategists for client accounts and ends up implementing these recommendations, the client may pay an advisory fee that’s 0.01% to 0.60% higher than it would be without the use of that unaffiliated strategist.

Financial planning fees: For the firm’s four levels of financial planning offered, clients pay either a flat rate (detailed below) that they negotiate with their advisor, or an hourly rate ranging from $325 to $650 an hour, plus a $125 per hour fee for administrative work related to the account. You can have your plan reviewed and updated at any time without incurring additional fees, and clients who use Allworth Financial’s asset management services get ongoing financial planning.

If billed on a fixed fee basis, the fees for such services generally fall as follows:

Financial Planning Fee Schedule
Service Fixed fee range
Comprehensive Planning – Advanced $15,000 to $30,000
Comprehensive Planning – Financial Independence $3,850 to $5,000
Comprehensive Planning $3,450 to $5,000
Comprehensive Financial Review $2,500 to $4,000

Allworth Financial’s highlights

  • Range of financial planning services: Allworth Financial offers four levels of financial planning services — at four different price points — so clients can select the level that makes sense for their financial situation.
  • Industry accolades: The firm has received multiple awards industry awards, including appearing on Barron’s list of the 50 Best RIA firms, the Financial Times’ list of the Top Registered Investment Advisors and Investment News’ list of the Best Places to work for investment advisors.
  • Clean disciplinary record: Allworth Financial does not have any disciplinary disclosures (see more below).

Allworth Financial’s downsides

  • Limited geographic footprint: While Allworth Financial is quickly expanding through acquisitions and is registered to provide services in all 50 states, it still only has offices in seven states: California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Texas.
  • Unclear fees: Since the firm does not publish a set fee schedule, it’s difficult for potential clients to determine how much it would actually cost for investment management services without first meeting with an advisor. In addition, the maximum fee of 1.85% of assets under management is higher than the industry average of 1.17%, according to a study by RIA in a Box.
  • Potential conflicts of interest: Since some of the firm’s advisors are also registered security or insurance agents, they may receive commission on products that they recommend to you. In addition, the firm sometimes uses performance-based fees, which can drive up the cost of investing or encourage managers to take unnecessary risk.
  • Incentives to sell annuities: Allworth’s parent company also owns AW Securities, an annuity company. Some advisors who work for Allworth also work for AW Securities and may get commissions for the sale of annuities, creating a conflict of interest.

Allworth Financial disciplinary disclosures

All registered investment advisors must disclose in their Form ADV filed with the SEC whether they’ve faced any legal, regulatory or civil disciplinary actions material to their role. Allworth Financial does not have any disciplinary disclosures.

Allworth Financial onboarding process

There are several ways to get started with Allworth Financial: You can call (888) 242-6766, fill out this online form or reach out directly to your closest office (find it here). Once you get connected with an advisor, they’ll chat with you about your overall financial picture and put together a “7 Personal Decision Points” report with recommendations for each step toward retirement.

Clients can request monthly, quarterly or on-demand reports, and Allworth suggests having a financial review at least once a year.

Is Allworth Financial right for you?

Allworth Financial might be a good option for you if you live near one of its locations, have $100,000 to invest and are looking for a straightforward, easy-to-understand investment strategy. Clients with fewer assets, or those who aren’t located near an Allworth office but want face-to-face finanical planning, might find another firm that’s a better fit.

As with all financial institutions, be sure to research any firm and interview its representatives to make sure that the services offered make sense for your life and that you fully understand the costs involved.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.