Review of Moneta Group Investment Advisors

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.

Written By

Updated on Friday, March 6, 2020

Based in St. Louis, Moneta Group focuses on providing money management services to high net worth individuals and families. This employee-owned firm operates on a fee-only basis, and notably has no minimum investment requirement. Moneta Group has 300 employees and its website boasts a client-to-advisor ratio of 48 to 1, which it claims offers a more personal touch than the industry standard of 100 to 1.

All information included in this profile is accurate as of March 6, 2020. For more information, please consult Moneta Group’s website.

Assets under management: $20,257,468,937
Minimum investment: $0
Fee structure: A negotiable percentage of assets under management, usually ranging between 50 and 100 basis points, but not exceeding 2.0%
Headquarters location: 100 South Brentwood Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63105

Overview of Moneta Group

Moneta Group celebrated its 150-year anniversary in 2019, tracing its roots back to the 1869 foundation of the Home Life Insurance Company. Over time, the company has gone through a series of rebrands and expansions, finally adopting the name Moneta Group in 1988. Today the firm is wholly employee owned. It has 300 employees, 120 of which are investment advisers.

What types of clients does Moneta Group serve?

The bulk of Moneta Group’s clients are high net worth individuals and families, which the firm refers to as “Family CFOs.” Moneta says 80% of its business is wealth management for Family CFOs, while the balance is a combination of retirement plan consulting and the firm’s family office.

Moneta Group requires no account minimums for its own clients. However, some of the third-party investment management partners Moneta works with, like Charles Schwab, may have their own account minimums.

Services offered by Moneta Group

Moneta Group offers a full suite of money management services, and the company prides itself on offering a full financial management plan tailored to each Family CFO client. The Family CFO concept is Moneta’s comprehensive approach to managing all aspects of an individual’s or a family’s financial planning needs, with additional consulting services provided as needed. Basically, Moneta claims that it offers its clients all the services that a chief financial officer would offer to a company.

Under this arrangement, Moneta offers the following menu of services:

  • Financial management (planning and execution)
  • Investment planning
  • Financial planning
  • Investment supervision and monitoring
  • Retirement planning
  • Insurance review and sales
  • Death claims services
  • Bill pay
  • Bookkeeping
  • Payroll
  • Variety of concierge financial services

How Moneta Group invests your money

Moneta goes through a process of setting you up with a Partner Team, which reviews your goals and risk tolerance. This team is then responsible for putting together an investing plan and portfolio, which includes a review of performance expectations and economic and tax considerations.

This process delivers each client a unique investment portfolio, closely tailored to their needs. The partner team periodically reviews the portfolio, your ongoing situation and your changing financial goals and changes your investment allocations as needed.

Moneta uses both discretionary and non-discretionary approaches. Under the discretionary approach, Moneta makes some investment choices without client approval; however, it’s possible to place restrictions on the types of investments and strategies that can be followed by talking to your advisor and team. Under the non-discretionary approach, the client signs off on all investment decisions.

Partner teams will work with clients to determine the best approach and figure out if it makes sense to use a discretionary approach, a non-discretionary approach or a combination of both.

When considering portfolio construction, Moneta focuses on three main asset classes:

  • Fixed income: These instruments provide liquidity and reduce market risk in the portfolio.
  • Equities: The equities portion of a portfolio is more about adding growth to the mix while minimizing costs.
  • Alternative investments: Beyond equities and fixed income, these include real estate funds and hedge funds, based on portfolio objectives and risk tolerance.

Moneta also uses third parties to manage some of its investments, including Schwab Intelligent Portfolios. However, even though Moneta uses Schwab, the program is based on strategies put together by Moneta, and managed by Moneta.

Fees Moneta Group charges for its services

Rather than having a fee table, Moneta charges fees on a client-by-client basis. In general, the fees are based on assets under management, and generally range from 50 to 100 basis points. For example, 100 basis points would represent a fee of 1.00% of assets under management, so fees generally range between 0.50% and 1.00%.

Additionally, Moneta clients might be subject to a minimum annual fee. However, that minimum fee usually doesn’t exceed 2.0% of the assets under management.

Institutional clients might have different fee arrangements, and those who are engaging in IRA rollovers might also be subject to alternate fees from their custodian.

Other fees that might be charged by Moneta might include different insurance fees related to advisors acting as licensed insurance agents, as well as additional fees for concierge services, like bill pay and money management. Clients are also responsible for the fees charged by third-party brokers and acknowledge that expense ratios and other fees might be part of their costs.

Moneta doesn’t participate in a wrap fee program, and its advisers don’t receive performance-based compensation.

Moneta Group’s highlights

  • No account balance minimum: Moneta does not require a minimum account balance for its clients to establish an account.
  • Personalized attention: In general, Moneta Group focuses on personal attention and tailored management.
  • Comprehensive money management: For those looking for a one-stop-shop for money management, Moneta offers a full-service experience.
  • Recognized as an independent RIA: Barron’s ranked Moneta fifth on its 2019 list of Top RIA Firms in the country. The publication also put firm partner Diane Compardo in its top 100 lists for independent advisors and women financial advisors, and she and fellow partner Brad Koeneman were among the top-ranked advisors in the state of Missouri.

Moneta Group’s downsides

  • Fees aren’t readily available: Rather than having a published fee schedule, you don’t know what your fees will be until you negotiate with the partner team.
  • Some products might have account minimums: Even though Moneta doesn’t impose an account minimum, some of the third-party programs might, possibly limiting access to certain tools and products.
  • Some advisers still receive commissions: There might be separate commissions for some advisers receiving on-going commissions from insurance or other products.

Moneta Group disciplinary disclosures

As an SEC registered investment advisor, Moneta Group is required to disclose any and all material facts regarding legal action or disciplinary events that could impact your evaluation of the firm or the integrity of its team. There are no disciplinary disclosures from Moneta Group.

Moneta Group onboarding process

The first step is contacting Moneta about your interest in working with them. Moneta provides an online form that asks for basic information about your name, email, location, phone number and company, and how you discovered the website. You can write a message and send the form in.

You are then able to hold a discussion about the services you want and get assigned a Partner Team. The Partner Team will hold a series of meetings with their client to get a feel for the client’s investment goals and ongoing financial objectives. Meetings are designed to help the Partner Team put together a comprehensive plan that includes financial and money management, financial independence, tax and investment planning, as well as estate and business succession planning. Risk management is also considered during the onboarding meeting process.

Client accounts are reviewed at least annually, and more frequent reviews can be made at the client’s request. The Partner Team might also bring different items to a client’s attention, based on what’s going on and what they hope to accomplish in the future.

Is Moneta Group right for you?

For those who are looking for a full-service money management company, Moneta Group might be a good choice. Those who have a high net worth or have family office and succession issues might also benefit from Moneta Group. However, the fee structure is somewhat opaque and could vary widely, depending on your total assets under management and a variety of other options and considerations. While there aren’t account minimums, some of the third parties used to manage portfolios might have their own minimums, so even so, if you don’t have a high net worth you might not benefit from the full functionality of this firm.

The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.