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The Differences Between Active vs. Passive Investing

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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When it comes to investing, there are two broad approaches: active vs. passive. An active investor is looking to buy and sell investments in order to earn a higher return than the market average. A passive investor does not make many trades and instead buys funds that try to match the average market return.

In this article, we look at the key differences between active vs. passive investing so you can decide which approach makes sense for you and your portfolio.

What is active investing?

An active investor tries to earn an above-average return. They might measure their performance against a market benchmark such as the S&P 500, a listing of the stocks of 500 large publicly traded companies in the United States.

An active investor would research the 500 companies on this list, and other companies (for example, smaller or mid-size companies that would not be in the S&P 500) and try to buy the individual stocks they think have the best chance for high gains. They may also reevaluate their decisions regularly and sell investments they no longer think are good picks — or buy new investments that catch their interest.

Active investing is more hands-on and requires more research. Active investors may also use more high-risk, high-return trades, such as:

  • Trading options (making bets on an asset’s future performance through buying a contract to buy or sell it at a specified price and date)
  • Selling stocks short (essentially, betting that the stocks will lose value)
  • Buying stock on margin (borrowing money to buy a stock)

Active investors also may buy funds that are actively invested by money managers. Whatever approach they take, active investors are constantly looking for opportunities to make a profit.

Given the challenges and extra work involved, the approach is best for more sophisticated investors who want to be very involved in researching their portfolio.

Pros of active investing

  • Chance for high returns: If your trades work out, you could potentially earn a return above the market average.
  • Flexibility to design your own portfolio: As an active investor, you decide which stocks, bonds and other investments go into your portfolio. You aren’t forced to hold investments you don’t like.
  • Could reduce losses during market downturns: If you worry some parts of your portfolio or even the entire market will crash, you might sell your investments off ahead of time, or you may make money by shorting stocks.
  • Adds more fun to investing: When your investment picks beat the market, you get the bragging rights and the pride of seeing your hard work pay off.

Cons of active investing

  • Higher fees: One downside of active investing is that there are generally higher fees than there are for passive investing. Each investment trade may involve fees, such as brokerage commissions and fund load fees, although an increasing amount of brokerages allow for $0 commission trades. Still, because an active investor is making more trades, they will end up paying more of any fees there are. If you hire an active portfolio manager, you’ll also pay a fee.
  • Higher taxes: Taxes can also be higher when you are actively trading. Whenever you sell an asset for a gain, you could owe capital gains on the profit, and you pay more for short-term capital gains (that is, for an investment sold before you’ve held it for a year). As a result, active investors not only need to make trades that outperform the market, they also need to outperform the market by enough to overcome extra taxes and fees.
  • Risk of a large loss: If your trades don’t work out, you could face significant losses, especially if you use high-risk strategies.
  • Takes more work: You need to research your trades and constantly keep up with market news to decide when it’s time to buy and sell investments. Not paying attention could cost you.
  • No guarantee your research will pay off: Beating the market is extremely difficult and even many professional investors fail to do so. With active investing, it’s possible you will put in a lot of extra work without seeing any extra benefit.

What is passive investing?

With passive investing, you aren’t trying to identify the best investments to beat the market. Instead, you invest your portfolio to match the return of a market benchmark, such as the S&P 500. There are index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds that track these benchmarks to deliver that return for your portfolio.

This takes much less work and the returns can still be quite reasonable. For example, from 1937 through 2019, the average annual return of the S&P 500 was around 10%. Of course, during a shorter period, you may get a return much lower — or higher — than that. You also have to keep in mind that past market performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.

With this approach, you also trade less frequently and aren’t constantly replacing investments. It’s more of a buy and hold, long-term strategy.

Since you’re making fewer trades with passive investing, you should owe less for investment fees. Passive investment managers also charge less than active managers. In addition, because you aren’t selling your funds for a gain as often, you should minimize your capital gains taxes.

Passive investing is commonly used by less sophisticated investors as well as those who don’t want to put in lots of work managing their portfolios. It’s a simpler way to earn a steady, long-term return.

Pros of passive investing

  • Much easier to manage: With passive investing, you don’t have to deeply research your investments or follow daily market news for trades. You just figure out the market benchmarks you want, buy them and then aim to grow your money long-term.
  • A steady, long-term return with less risk: The average long-term market return is decent, and may be even better than what professional investors make. Nonprofessional investors also typically underperform the market, so by following a passive approach, you might end up doing better in the long term.
  • Lower fees and taxes: Since you aren’t trading much with a passive investing approach, you minimize trading fees. You also will reduce what you owe in capital gains taxes by selling less often.
  • Reduces emotional trading: Trying to make rational decisions during market swings can be very difficult, which leads to emotional mistakes such as buying high or selling low. Passive investing minimizes how many decisions you have to make, which can reduce mistakes.

Cons of passive investing

  • No chance for above average returns: Since passive investing tracks a market benchmark, your return is just going to be the market average. You won’t benefit from large, short-term trades.
  • Lack of investment customization: Passive investing doesn’t give you as much flexibility to decide which investments go in your portfolio. You buy a fund that tracks a market benchmark, which includes both the good and bad investments in that benchmark.
  • Exposed to market downturns: If you commit to a long-term, buy and hold strategy, it means you hold onto to your investments even during market downturns. There’s not the same flexibility to cash out and avoid losses, so you have to have the stomach to roll with the more difficult times.
  • Less fun: Passive investing can be a little boring. The market benchmark does all the work for you and you aren’t as involved. That said, boring investing may be the best kind for many people — particularly those who are not financial experts.

Differences between active investing and passive investing

One major difference between active vs. passive investing is that active investing has a much wider range of potential returns. If you make good investment picks, you could potentially see a much higher immediate return than with passive investing. On the other hand, if your picks turn out wrong, you could lose a lot more money. With passive investing, you earn the market average based on the benchmarks you pick. There’s less upside but potentially less risk, making it a good choice for novice investors.

The active investing approach is also more expensive, due to the higher number of trades and capital gains, as well as fund fees. Passive investing allows you to minimize these taxes and fees. Finally, active investing takes more research and maintenance, as you keep an eye on market news. With passive investing, you don’t have to put in this work, as you can basically just set your portfolio for the long-term and let it run itself.

Active vs. Passive Investing
Active Investing Passive Investing
Best for...More experienced, hands-on investors who want to be very involved with managing their portfoliosLess experienced investors, as well as those who don’t want to be highly involved with managing their portfolios (a set it and forget it attitude)
Investing approachFrequent buying and selling investments in the short-term in an attempt earn high profitsA long-term, buy-and-hold approach that looks to earn the market average while minimizing taxes and fees
FeesHigher, especially if you make frequent tradesLow
Average rate of return Depends on your investment picks — can be above or below the market average, depending on your performanceThe market benchmark average
Tax efficiency Less efficient, especially if you make investments that last less than a year and owe short-term capital gainsMore efficient due to a buy-and-hold strategy

Should you choose active investing or passive investing?

For most nonprofessional investors, passive investing is the safer choice. The fees are lower, it’s easier and there’s typically less risk, as you consistently earn the average market return. If you’re an experienced investor and passionate about following market news, active investing could be worth considering.

Active investing may be more appealing if you have some specialized knowledge that gives you an investing edge. For example, you may be a scientist or doctor who understands the research behind pharmaceutical stocks. While active investing does have higher fees and greater potential risk, if your picks work out, you could potentially earn a higher return.

Your portfolio could also be a combination of both approaches. For example, you might invest your long-term retirement savings using a passive approach while keeping some funds in a brokerage account for active trading. That way, you give yourself the chance for some short-term profits. If your trades don’t work out, your passive investments could still reach your long-term goals.

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Best Financial Advisors in Indianapolis 2020: Fees and Services

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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If you’re looking for a financial advisor in Indiana’s capital and aren’t sure where to start your search, this list of the top financial advisors in Indianapolis can help make the process less overwhelming. When it comes down to it, finding the right advisor requires figuring out what your financial needs and goals are as well as how much you are able to spend.

Once you figure that out, you’ll need to compare firms and data points. In the hopes of making that easier, we compiled the most pertinent information on a number of financial advisors in Indianapolis. To determine the best advisors in the city, we focused on firms that manage individual accounts and offer financial planning services. We then ranked these firms based on assets under management (AUM), which serves as a general metric for the firm’s size, and client-to-advisor ratio, which indicates how much attention you may receive as a client.

Our ranking is not indicative of which firm may be best for you, but hopefully having this information in hand can simplify your search. Check out our list below for the top firms in Indianapolis and their key highlights:

8 best financial advisor in Indianapolis

Methodology and criteria

For our search, we looked at firms across the city of Indianapolis. All of the firms considered are bound by fiduciary duty, registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and offer individual account management and financial planning services.

The firms that met this criteria were ranked based on their AUM and client-to-advisor ratio. These criteria are weighted equally in our scoring metrics. Firms with a higher AUM and lower client-to-advisor ratios garner higher scores. Our ranking system is designed to help compare firms but does not indicate which firm may be best for you.

In our reviews, we’ve listed several other key features that will help you determine which financial advisor is most fitting for your investing style and financial needs. It is important to note that we did not include disciplinary disclosures as a metric for our ranking. We have listed any disciplinary disclosures current as of November 10, 2020, but urge you to evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.

1. Sanctuary Advisors, LLC

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  • Minimum assets: None
  • AUM: $4,308,722,000
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 24:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
    • Other (carried interest)
  • Firm phone number: (317) 975-7729
  • Headquarters address:
    250 W. 96th Street, Suite 300
    Indianapolis, IN 46260

About Sanctuary Advisors, LLC

Sanctuary Advisors, LLC launched in 2015. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sanctuary Wealth, a platform that helps advisors create their own firms. The firm is headquartered in Indianapolis but also has locations in Chicago and San Antonio, Texas, though its advisory services are also available in other parts of the country through their partnerships with other advisors.

Sanctuary Advisors offers portfolio management, financial planning, pension consulting services, private fund management and assistance with advisor selection. The firm works with individuals, corporations, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and pension and profit-sharing plans.

Sanctuary Advisors, LLC investing strategy

Sanctuary Advisors primarily invests in traditional assets like individual equities and fixed-income investments, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The firm could consider other types of investments when appropriate.

Typically, Sanctuary Advisors use a long-term strategy with a focus on diversification according to a client’s goals, financial situation and risk tolerance. The firm generally tries to avoid riskier strategies like short-term trading, margin leverage and short selling unless necessary, though it could use options depending on a client’s needs.

Sanctuary Advisors, LLC disciplinary disclosures

Sanctuary Advisors does not have any disciplinary disclosures to report on its Form ADV paperwork filed with the SEC. This indicates that it has a record free of any civil, criminal or regulatory events from the last 10 years involving the firm or its employees or affiliates. For more information on Sanctuary Advisors, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

2. Windsor Wealth Management, Inc.

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  • Minimum assets required: Not specified
  • AUM: $1,450,827,159
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 80:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (317) 848-3005
  • Headquarters address:
    500 East 96th Street, Suite 450
    Indianapolis, Indiana 46240

About Windsor Wealth Management, Inc.

Channing Mitzell and Randall Clark launched Windsor Wealth Management, Inc. in 1986. They are still the firm’s principals and primary owners, though several of the firm’s other advisors are also minority shareholders. Windsor Wealth Management’s headquarters in Indianapolis is its only office location.

Windsor Wealth Management offers financial planning and portfolio management. The firm also provides trust and custodial services through its partnership with National Advisors Trust. Windsor Wealth Management works with individuals (both who are and are not considered high net worth per the SEC’s definition, which is either $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million), as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations, charitable organizations, trusts and estates. Additionally, the firm’s website highlights its work in particular with Fortune 500 executives, medical professionals, widows and other affluent professionals.

Windsor Wealth Management, Inc. investing strategy

Windsor Wealth Management uses a multi-advisor and multi-fund approach. When a client signs on, they are matched with a team of financial advisors and planners who design their portfolio.

Windsor Wealth Management believes that this approach can help reduce risk and improve returns, versus working with just one advisor or fund. In general, the firm builds client portfolios with a focus on getting the right allocation of uncorrelated investments as it believes this can also reduce risk.

Windsor Wealth Management, Inc. disciplinary disclosures

In its Form ADV filing, Windsor Wealth Management reports that neither the firm nor its employees or affiliates have been involved in any criminal actions, civil actions or enforcement proceedings over the last decade. As such, the firm does not have any disciplinary disclosures. For further information, visit Windsor Wealth Management’s IAPD page.

3. Bedel Financial Consulting Inc

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  • Minimum assets required: None
  • AUM: $1,429,107,025
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 69:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (317) 843-1358
  • Headquarters address:
    8940 River Crossing Blvd., Suite 120
    Indianapolis, IN 46240

About Bedel Financial Consulting Inc

Elaine Kops-Bedel launched Bedel Financing Consulting in 1989. She remains the firm’s president, CEO and principal owner while Evan D. Bedel is the minority owner, as well as the firm’s director of strategy and finance.

Bedel Financial Consulting has its headquarters in Indianapolis, which is the firm’s only office location. The firm offers investment management, financial planning, retirement planning and multi-generational planning services. It mainly works with individuals, including high net worth individuals, though a few of its clients are charitable organizations and corporations.

Bedel Financial Consulting Inc investing strategy

Bedel Financial Consulting recommends a comprehensive wealth management approach, in which the investing strategy is connected to a client’s overall financial plan. The firm typically includes basic financial planning with its investment management services.

Bedel Financial Consulting builds portfolios primarily using mutual funds and notes that it helps its clients qualify for lower cost share classes, due to its size. The firm could also consider using alternative assets and active investment strategies depending on a client’s needs. While Bedel Financial Consulting does look for potential opportunities for higher gains, in general it avoids trying to time the market.

Bedel Financial Consulting Inc disciplinary disclosures

Bedel Financial Consulting does not have any disciplinary disclosures to report. For reference, the SEC requires all registered investment advisors to report such events in their Form ADV paperwork, including any civil, criminal or regulatory events involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates from within the last 10 years. For further information on the firm, visit Bedel Financial Consulting’s IAPD page.

4. Axia Advisory

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  • Minimum assets required: Not specified
  • AUM: $1,335,912,520
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 18:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (317) 630-2800
  • Headquarters address:
    20 East 91st Street, Suite 202
    Indianapolis, IN 46240-1682

About Axia Advisory

Axia Advisory opened in 1992. Its president, Keith Shadrick, is the firm’s owner. The firm is based out of Indianapolis and that is its only office location.

Axia Advisory’s three main services are retirement plan consulting, investment management consulting and private wealth management. The firm primarily works with retirement plans, but it also works with individuals (including high net worth individuals), pooled investment vehicles, charitable organizations, corporations, trusts and estates.

Axia Advisory investing strategy

Axia Advisory bases its portfolio recommendations on two famous investment theories: Modern Portfolio Management and the Prudent Investor Rule. These theories recommend basing investment decisions on how they impact the entire portfolio, not in isolation.

Axia Advisory uses these theories to design customized portfolios for its clients that prioritize diversification for risk management. Besides managing risk, the firm also aims to reduce unnecessary investment costs while generating a long-term return over inflation.

Axia Advisory disciplinary disclosures

Axia Advisory’s Form ADV paperwork shows that it has no legal or disciplinary events to report. This includes any civil, regulatory or criminal events involving the firm, its employees or its affiliates from within the last 10 years. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to report such events in their filings. For further information and to view the firm’s SEC paperwork, you can view its IAPD page.

5. Winthrop Capital Management

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  • Minimum assets required: $500,000
  • AUM: $1,281,443,798
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 38:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (317) 663-7500
  • Headquarters address:
    20 East 91st Street, Suite 200
    Indianapolis, IN 46240

About Winthrop Capital Management

Greg Hahn founded Winthrop Capital Management in 2007. He remains the firm’s owner, president and chief investment officer. Winthrop Capital Management only has one location and it is in Indianapolis.

Winthrop Capital Management partners with other advisors, insurance companies and financial institutions. These advisors and consultants use Winthrop Capital Management as an intermediary to help their own clients. Winthrop Capital Management offers investment advice and consulting, portfolio modeling and access to its portfolios under a sub-advisory arrangement.

Although Winthrop Capital Management has accepted some individual clients directly, the primary way to access its services is by signing up with another financial advisor that has partnered with the firm. If Winthrop Capital Management does accept an individual client for discretionary management, it typically needs a minimum portfolio of at least $500,000.

Winthrop Capital Management investing strategy

Winthrop Capital Management describes its investment philosophy as a combination between a “top-down” view of the global economy and markets, mixed with individual security selection. The firm primarily builds equity and fixed income portfolios, but is open to using a wide range of securities, such as ETFs, mortgage-backed securities, options and warrants, to name a few.

The outside advisors that partner with Winthrop Capital Management decide which of these portfolios and strategies to use for their clients. These advisors remain the main point of contact for the clients, even though Winthrop Capital Management is handling the investment.

However, Winthrop Capital Management is responsible for reevaluating portfolios daily and constantly looking for opportunities to buy and sell positions. It believes that this approach is best suited for high net worth individuals and institutions with larger portfolios.

Winthrop Capital Management disciplinary disclosures

Winthrop Capital Management does not have any disciplinary disclosures to report for the firm or its employees or affiliates, indicating it has a record free of any civil, criminal or regulatory events within the last 10 years. For more information on Winthrop Capital Management, visit the firm’s IAPD page.

6. Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors, LLC

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  • Minimum assets required: $500,000
  • AUM: $1,038,203,948
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 62:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
  • Firm phone number: (317) 705-5700
  • Headquarters address:
    8801 River Crossing Blvd., Suite 100
    Indianapolis, IN 46240

About Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors, LLC

Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors, LLC began operating in 2001. Its principal owners are David Sheaff Gilreath and Ronald Robert Brock, who are also the firm’s managing directors. Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors has its headquarters and only location in Indianapolis.

The firm offers portfolio management, financial planning, model marketplace services and consulting. In general, the firm requires a minimum investment of $500,000 for its individual and model portfolio management services.

Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors works with individuals, corporations, retirement plans, trusts, estates and charitable organizations. It also helps design portfolios and offers consulting to other advisors, financial institutions and model marketplace platforms.

Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors, LLC investing strategy

Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors has designed a number of growth and income portfolios that investors can choose between. For example, the firm’s “Bulls of the Dow” portfolio tracks the 10 strongest performers in the Dow Jones Industrials Index for each quarter while its “Covered Call” income portfolio picks high-quality income stocks that protect against losses with call options.

Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors is also willing to custom design portfolios for very specific goals and risk tolerances. The firm generally uses a mix of long-term, short-term, active trading and options strategies to design its clients’ portfolios.

Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors, LLC disciplinary disclosures

Like any RIA, Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors must disclose any disciplinary actions against the firm or its affiliates in the paperwork it files with the SEC. Sheaff Brock Investment Advisors does not have anything to report, meaning it has a clean disciplinary record. For more information on the firm, visit its IAPD page.

7. Column Capital Advisors, LLC

Find an Advisor

  • Minimum assets required: $1 million
  • AUM: $1,013,791,153
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 15:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (317) 663-6500
  • Headquarters address:
    3815 River Crossing Parkway, Suite 340
    Indianapolis, IN 46240

About Column Capital Advisors, LLC

Column Capital Advisors was formed in 2005. The firm is owned by three of its directors: Brian Upchurch, Kevin Sweet and Jeffrey Yu. Column Capital Advisors has its office in Indianapolis, which is its only other office location.

The firm offers investment management, financial planning and specialized tax services for high net worth individuals. Though Column Capital Advisors mainly works with high net worth individuals and their families, in some circumstances it can also work with retirement plans, pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations, charitable organizations, trusts and estates. Additionally, a small portion of its client base are individuals who do not qualify as high net worth. In general, however, the firm requires a minimum relationship size of $1 million.

Column Capital Advisors, LLC investing strategy

Column Capital Advisors bases its investment decisions on Modern Portfolio Theory. This theory leads the firm to prioritize finding the right portfolio asset allocation to balance risk and return for a client. It generally uses mutual funds and ETFs in client portfolios, though clients may own individual stocks and bonds through third-party managers.

The firm also respects the theory of “efficient markets,” which predicts that it is very difficult — if not impossible — to beat the average market return by picking individual securities. Column Capital Advisors instead focuses mostly on long-term investing to minimize costs and only makes short-term trades if it meets a specific client objective or in special situations.

Column Capital Advisors, LLC disciplinary disclosures

Column Capital Advisors does not have any legal or disciplinary events reported in its SEC filing. This means that neither the firm nor its employees or affiliates have faced any civil, regulatory or criminal actions in the last 10 years. For further information on Column Capital Advisors, go to its IAPD page.

8. Wallington Asset Management

Find an Advisor

  • Minimum assets required: $1 million
  • AUM: $811,868,324
  • Individual investor to advisor ratio: 51:1
  • Fee structure:
    • A percentage of AUM
    • Hourly charges
    • Fixed fees
  • Firm phone number: (317) 575-8670
  • Headquarters address:
    8900 Keystone Crossing, Suite 1015
    Indianapolis, Indiana 46240

About Wallington Asset Management

Terrence Weiss founded Wallington Asset Management in 1988. He remains the firm’s principal owner as well as the president and managing director. The firm’s principal office and only location is in Indianapolis.

Wallington Asset Management offers portfolio management, investment consulting, financial planning and qualified retirement plan consulting services. The team works with individuals, including high net worth individuals, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities. It typically requires a minimum account size of $1 million for its asset management program.

Wallington Asset Management investing strategy

Wallington Asset Management follows an active approach for investment management. The firm aims to earn long-term returns above stock and bond market index benchmarks by using its research to find hiqh-quality investments.

The firm uses a variety of investment strategies to design clients’ portfolios, including:

  • Fundamental analysis, where it looks at a company’s financial statements to identify opportunities
  • Cyclical analysis, where it makes investments based on economic trends
  • Technical analysis, where it makes investments based on past investment price patterns

Wallington Asset Management disciplinary disclosures

Wallington Asset Management does not have any disciplinary disclosures to report. For reference, if a registered investment advisor runs into disciplinary issues, like a criminal charge, regulatory fine or civil lawsuit, the firm needs to report the incident in its Form ADV filing with the SEC. You can view the firm’s filings and get more information by visiting its IAPD page.

Financial advisors in Indianapolis: FAQ

In Indianapolis, you owe income tax to Marion County as well as to the state of Indiana. The amount you’ll owe is relatively easy to figure out because both charge a flat tax that is the same rate for all income brackets. Marion County charges 1.62% while Indiana charges 3.23%.

Indiana does not charge a state-level estate or inheritance tax, so your advisor just has to help you manage state-level income taxes as well as any applicable federal taxes.

No, they do not. As you could see in this review, some advisors named retirement planning as a specialty while others focused on other areas, like portfolio management or consulting. If retirement planning is your top need, look for an advisor who specializes in this area.

Organizations like the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the XY Planning Network have national databases of fee-only advisors that you can use to find a fee-only financial advisor in Indianapolis. Advisors also typically state whether they are fee-only on their website and/or on their official brochure. Finally, if you are unsure, you could ask an advisor whether they are fee-only during your initial consultation.

Finding your best financial advisor in Indianapolis depends on many different factors. Some to consider include whether the advisor has the right specialty for your needs, whether you qualify for the account minimum required, what fees the advisor charges and whether there’s a personality match between the two of you. Consider meeting with a few advisors to ask them these 10 questions as they will help you identify the best match for you.

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All America Bank Reviews: Checking, Savings, CD, Money Market and IRA Accounts

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

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All America Bank’s checking account options

All America Bank Ultimate Rewards Checking account

This account offers an excellent APY on balances of up to $10,000. Thanks to its ATM fee refunds, you get low-cost access to your money no matter where you live.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.70%$0-$10,000
0.25%Over $10,000
0.25%If deposit conditions are not met
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 in person at a branch, $500 online
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at ATMs owned by All America Bank, $0.75 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: Up to $25 per statement cycle.
  • Overdraft fees: $25, maximum of eight charges per day.

The Ultimate Rewards account offers a very good interest rate — or annual percentage yield (APY) — on deposits of up to $10,000. If you have more than $10,000 in your account, the rate is much lower.

This account does not charge a monthly fee and there is no minimum balance requirement to earn interest. However, to qualify for the top rate, called Ultimate Rewards, you must meet these two conditions:

  1. You must receive your statements electronically.
  2. You must make at least 10 purchases using the account’s debit card per statement cycle. ATM withdrawals and Automated Clearing House (ACH) transfers do not count.

If you do not meet the requirements, your balance will earn a low interest rate for that period. There is a limit of two accounts per individual.
This account refunds up to $25 in out-of-network ATM fees per statement cycle, so you can conveniently access your money even if you do not live close to an All America Bank branch. It comes with a debit card that allows for $1,500 in daily purchases.

How to get the All America Bank Ultimate Rewards Checking account

You can open the Ultimate Rewards Checking account either online or by visiting a bank branch. If you open in person, your initial deposit needs to be only $50. If you open online, you must deposit at least $500. You will also need to provide your name, address, employment information, driver’s license and Social Security number for the application.

All America Bank Mega Money Market® Checking account

Federal regulation limit how often you can take money out of a money market account. If you don’t mind the restrictions, you can earn a strong interest rate at All America Bank.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.50%$0-$50,000
0.25%Over $50,000
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at ATMs owned by All America Bank, $0.75 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25, maximum of eight charges per day.

The Mega Money Market Checking account is a blend of a checking and money market account. It offers a terrific APY on deposits of up to $50,000. If you have a higher balance in your account, however, you will earn a lower rate.

This account does not have a minimum balance requirement and does not charge a monthly fee. You also do not need to meet any qualifying transactions to earn the high interest rate. Note that the Federal Reserve’s Regulation D mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle, and this account has a limit of $1,500 on daily debit card purchases. If you make more than six transactions per month, the bank charges a $5 fee on each extra transaction.

This account provides an ATM card. You can make free withdrawals from All America Bank ATMs. However, it charges a $0.75 fee when you use out-of-network ATMs and does not refund any fees charged by the ATM’s owner.

How to get the All America Bank Mega Money Market Checking account

You can only open this account online. You will need to provide your name, address, employment information, driver’s license and Social Security number for the application. This account also requires an initial deposit of $500, which you will need to provide along with the application.

All America Bank NOW Account Checking

A high balance requirement and possible monthly fee for a checking account that doesn’t offer many benefits.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.05%$0-$1,500
0.10%$1,500-$2,499.99
0.15%Over $2,500
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $7.50 if average balance for the monthly statement cycle is below $1,000.
  • ATM fees: None at ATMs owned by All America Bank, $0.75 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25, maximum of eight charges per day.

You need to deposit at least $1,500 to open a NOW checking account. It charges a $7.50 monthly fee unless you keep an average monthly balance of at least $1,000, which seems more like the type of incentive you see with a savings account, not a checking account.

This account earns interest on all balances but the rates are not great. While the rate increases when you have at least $2,500 in the account, it is still quite low compared to that at many online checking accounts.

With the NOW account, you receive online banking access, a debit card and the ability to order checks. If you make withdrawals from an out-of-network ATM, All America Bank charges a $0.75 fee and will not refund any fees from the ATM’s owner.

How to get the All America Bank NOW Account Checking

You can only open the NOW account by visiting an All America Bank branch. You will need to provide your name, address, employment information, driver’s license and Social Security number for the application along with your initial deposit.

All America Bank Senior Checking account

A checking account available only for people ages 55 and older. As an extra benefit, it throws in free paper statements.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at ATMs owned by All America Bank, $0.75 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25, maximum of eight charges per day.

You must be at least 55 years old to open the Senior Checking account. You can open this account for a deposit of only $50. After that, this account does not have a minimum balance requirement and does not charge a monthly fee.

The Senior Checking account does not earn interest. It only provides online banking, a debit card and ATM access. You can make unlimited free withdrawals from All America Bank ATMs. If you use out-of-network ATMs, the bank charges a $0.75 fee and will not refund any fees from the ATM’s owner.

You also receive paper statements for free, unlike at the other checking accounts that charge $3. This is a barebones account, but might work for those over the age of 55 who are unconcerned with earning interest on their capital.

How to get the All America Bank Senior Checking account

You can open the Senior Checking account only by visiting an All America Bank branch. You will need to provide your name, address, employment information, driver’s license and Social Security number for the application along with your initial deposit.

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on All America Bank’s secure website

All America Bank Free Checking account

Offers online banking, a debit card and not much else. At least, it doesn’t charge a monthly fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50 in person at a branch, $500 online
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None
  • ATM fees: None at ATMs owned by All America Bank, $0.75 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25, maximum of eight charges per day.

Like the name says, the Free Checking account does not charge a monthly fee. You need to deposit $50 if you open the account in person and $500 if you open online, but after that there is no minimum balance requirement.

This account does not earn any interest. It only provides online banking access, a debit card and ATM access. You can make unlimited free withdrawals from All America Bank ATMs. However if you use out-of-network ATMs, the bank charges a $0.75 fee and will not refund any fees charged by the ATM’s owner. Like the Senior Checking account above, this account is a barebones offer.

How to get the All America Bank Free Checking account

You can open the Free Checking account either online or by visiting a bank branch. You will also need to provide your name, address, employment information, driver’s license and Social Security number for the application along with your initial deposit.

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on All America Bank’s secure website

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How All America Bank’s checking accounts compare

All America Bank has two checking accounts that offer good value: Ultimate Rewards and Mega Money Market Checking. They both offer interest rates that are better than those offered by most other checking accounts out there, including our list of the best online checking accounts.

The right fit depends on how you plan on using your checking account. If you make frequent withdrawals, Ultimate Rewards is better because it allows unlimited transactions and refunds up to $25 per month in out-of-network ATM fees.

Mega Money Market Checking is better when you don’t take money out often. You can only make six transactions per month or else it charges a $5 fee. In exchange, you can deposit up to $50,000 and earn a high rate whereas with Ultimate Rewards, the top rate is only available for deposits of up to $10,000.

The rest of the All America Bank checking accounts are, in our opinion, not worth using. They either do not pay interest, have a high balance requirement and/or charge a monthly fee. The Ultimate Rewards or Mega Money Market Checking accounts are the clear standouts.

All America Bank’s savings account options

All America Bank Regular Savings Account

Better than what is available at large national banks but still far from a top savings account.

APY

Minimum Balance to Earn APY
0.05%$25
  • Minimum opening deposit: $50
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if average daily balance for the month is below $25.
  • ATM fees: None at ATMs owned by All America Bank, $0.75 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25, maximum of eight charges per day.

The Regular Savings account requires an opening deposit of at least $50. After that, you need to keep an average daily balance of at least $25 or else this account charges a $5 monthly fee. This account is not available online, and may only be opened by visiting a branch office.

If your average balance falls below $25, the account also stops earning interest. The interest rate on the Regular Savings account stays the same regardless of how much you have in the account. It doesn’t increase for larger deposits.

Since this is a savings account, Federal regulation mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle. If you make more than six withdrawals/transfers per statement cycle, All America Bank charges a $1 fee for each extra transaction.

How to get the All America Bank Regular Savings account

You can open the Regular Savings account only by visiting an All America bank branch. You will need to provide your name, address, employment information, driver’s license and Social Security number for the application along with your initial deposit.

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How All America Bank’s savings account compares

While the APY offered by the All America Bank savings account isn’t the lowest available, there are still plenty of other savings options listed on our site that outclass it. If you make more than six transfers/withdrawals per statement cycle, All America charges only $1 per extra transaction, which is a lot lower than what many banks charge.

All America Bank’s CD rates

All America Bank CD rates

Unless you live close to an All America Bank Branch, you will not be able to open these CDs. However the rates are low anyway, so you won’t be missing out on much.

Term

APY

6 Months

0.25%

1 Year

0.30%

2 Years

0.50%

3 Years

0.75%

4 Years

0.85%

5 Years

0.95%

  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Minimum balance amount to earn APY: $500
  • Early withdrawal penalty, based on CD term length:
    • 6 months: 1 month of interest
    • 1 year: 2 months of interest
    • 2 years: 4 months of interest
    • 3 years: 6 months of interest
    • 4 years: 8 months of interest
    • 5 years: 10 months of interest

Note that you must open All America Bank CDs in person at a branch office. The bank offers CDs that range from 6 months to all the way up to 5 years. Their CDs require a minimum opening deposit of $500, and you must keep at least this much in the CD to earn the APY. Also, you are not allowed to add more money once the account is opened, which could be a drawback.

At the end of the term, the CD will automatically renew for the same length of time. You have 10 days after the maturity date to withdraw the money and end the CD. The CDs offered by All America Bank seem fairly basic and with heavy restrictions.

How to get an All America Bank CD

You can only open these CDs by visiting an All America Bank branch. You will need to provide your name, address, employment information, driver’s license and Social Security number for the application along with your initial deposit.

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How All America Bank’s CDs compare

The All America Bank CDs have some solid features. They offer a wide range of terms and at each term, the CDs earn an above average interest rate. You can also open each CD for a low deposit of only $500. Finally, their early withdrawal penalties are lower than what you would pay with many other banks.

But there is one major downside. You can only open the All America Bank CDs in-person by visiting one of their bank branches. Unless you live in Oklahoma, this can be difficult. Fortunately, there are other CDs listed on our site with more to offer than the ones at All America Bank, and can be opened online, from anywhere in the country.

All America Bank’s money market account options

All America Bank Super Savers MMDA®

A low-fee money market account with above-average interest rates.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0%

$100 - $2,499.99

0.05%

$2,500 - $24,999.99

0.15%

$25,000 - $49,999.99

0.25%

$50,000 - $74,999.99

0.35%

$75,000 - $99,999.99

0.40%

$100,000+

  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5 if average daily balance for the month is under $500.
  • ATM fees: None at ATMs owned by All America Bank, $0.75 per transaction at out-of-network ATMs.
  • ATM fee refunds: None
  • Overdraft fees: $25, maximum of eight charges per day.

To open the Super Savers MMDA account, you must deposit at least $2,500. If your average monthly balance falls below $500, you face a $5 monthly fee. Otherwise, there is no monthly charge.

If your balance falls below $100, the account stops earning interest. The interest rate gradually increases for larger balances before it maxes out for accounts of $100,000 and above.

Since this is a money market account, it limits how often you can take money out pursuant to the Fed’s Regulation D which mandates certain types of telephone and electronic withdrawals, including transfers from savings accounts up to 6 per statement cycle. If you make more than six withdrawals or transfers per statement cycle, All America Bank charges a $1 fee for each extra transaction.

How to get the All America Bank Super Savers MMDA account

You can only open the Super Savers MMDA by visiting an All America Bank branch in Oklahoma. You will need to provide your name, address, employment information, driver’s license and Social Security number for the application along with your initial deposit.

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How All America Bank’s money market accounts compare

We like some features of the All America Bank money market account. It charges a low monthly fee of $5, which you can avoid by keeping only $500 in the account. If you make more than six transactions or withdrawals per statement cycle, All America Bank only charges a $1 penalty for excess transactions, which is very competitive.

Still, there are other money market accounts that earn much higher rates. Another downside of the All America Bank’s money market account is that you can only open it in person. Instead of making the trek to Oklahoma, look into these other top money market accounts listed on our site instead, which you can open online.

All America Bank’s IRA account options

All America Bank Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

Earns a terrific, fixed return and only requires a deposit of $100. However, you can open this account only in person in Oklahoma.

APY

Minimum Balance Amount to Earn APY

0.85% Variable

$100

  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: None

If you want to save for retirement, All America Bank offers a fixed-rate option for IRAs. It requires a minimum opening deposit of only $100, and all amounts earn the same interest rate, which is respectable for an IRA. This is a variable-interest account and All America Bank reserves the right to change the rate monthly.

When you sign up for the All America Bank IRA, you commit your money for a full year. While you can add more money into the account, you cannot take any out until the year is over.

At the end of the year, this account will renew for another term. To take your money out, you must tell All America Bank ahead of time that you do not want to continue before the renewal date.

How to get an All America Bank IRA account

You can open the All America Bank IRA only by visiting one of their branches in Oklahoma. You will need to provide your name, address, employment information, driver’s license and Social Security number for the application along with your initial deposit.

Overall review of All America Bank’s banking products

For people who needs a checking account, All America Bank should be high on their list of contenders. Its Ultimate Rewards and Mega Money Market Checking accounts are great options thanks to their high interest rates and the fact that neither account charges a monthly fee. More importantly, you can open these accounts online from anywhere in the country.

The rest of the accounts at All America Bank are a mixed bag. Some are decent, like the CDs, while others offer little value, like the NOW Account. The main problem is that most All America Bank accounts can only be opened at one of their bank branches, so they will not be an option for most readers.