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Ameriprise Financial Services, one of the largest investment firms in the U.S., is a global institution that specializes in financial planning and investment management. The firm is headquartered in Minneapolis but has locations throughout the United States, as well in Europe and Asia. It offers a multitude of investment programs with varying account minimums, as well as comprehensive financial planning services.
The bottom line: Ameriprise Financial Services, one of the largest investment firms in the country, offers portfolio management and financial planning, largely to non-high net worth investors.
|Assets under management (AUM): $374,305,270,132|
|Minimum investment: Varies by account type, starting at $25,000|
|Individual investor to advisor ratio: 84:1|
|Fee structure: A percentage of AUM, hourly charges fixed fees|
|Headquarters: 707 2nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55402
All information included in this profile is accurate as of September 14, 2021. For more information, please consult Ameriprise Financial Services’ website.
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Ameriprise Financial Services launched in 1894 when its founder, John Tappan, started the company by getting 1,000 people to invest $5 each. Since the firm opened over 125 years ago, it has expanded into a global financial institution with locations across the U.S., as well as in Europe and in Asia. Ameriprise is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.
In the U.S., Ameriprise Financial Services has close to 14,000 employees, of which over 12,000 work in investment advisory positions. Searching through the firm’s website, it appears many of the advisors in its network have professional designations, such as the certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) and accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA).
The vast majority of Ameriprise Financial Services’ clients are non-high net worth individuals, although the firm also works with thousands of high net worth individuals. (For reference, the SEC defines a high net worth individual as someone with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of over $1.5 million.) Additionally, the firm works with a variety of institutional investors.
The minimum investment needed to open an account with Ameriprise Financial Services depends on the program, starting at $25,000 for some and going up to $500,000 for another. Some of these program minimums are based on the total amount invested by your entire household. If you have a household member already investing with Ameriprise Financial Services and they are past the household minimum, you could open an account with as little as $2,000.
Each program also has a maintenance minimum. If your investments cause the balance to fall below the required threshold, you’d need to replace the funds up to the maintenance minimum. The maintenance minimum is usually lower than the minimum investment. For example, it takes $25,000 to open an Active Portfolios® account, but the maintenance minimum is $15,000.
|Minimum Investment Requirements by Program|
|Program||Minimum to open an account|
|SPS Advantage||$25,000 within a household; $2,000 per account|
|SPS Advisor||$100,000 within a household; $2,000 per account|
|Active Portfolios®||$25,000; $5,000 per account|
|Select Separate Account||$50,000 to $500,000, depending on strategy and portfolio selected|
|Vista Separate Account||$100,000|
|Investor Unified Account||$250,000|
|Access Account||$25,000 to $50,000|
The advisors at Ameriprise Financial Services offer two main services: portfolio management and financial planning. For portfolio management, the firm offers discretionary programs, where the advisor can make trades on your behalf, and non-discretionary programs, where you must approve all trading decisions. The firm’s total assets under management are close to evenly split between discretionary and non-discretionary accounts.
Additionally, advisors at Ameriprise Financial Services can build a financial plan for clients that covers topics such as retirement, budgeting and charitable planning, on top of investment management.
The firm can also recommend a wide range of financial products from Ameriprise and other firms including insurance, annuities, credit cards, college savings plans and retirement plans.
If you don’t need advice, Ameriprise Financial Services is also a standalone broker, so you can make investments on your own, without an advisor.
Here is a full list of services that you may have access to through Ameriprise Financial Services:
Ameriprise Financial Services does not just follow one investment strategy. The firm offers a wide range of different programs and investment products so clients can decide how they want their money handled.
When you meet with an Ameriprise investment manager, they will get to know your financial goals, risk tolerance and portfolio size. It is also up to the client whether you want the manager to have more authority in managing your portfolio (i.e., discretionary management) or whether you’d like to make the trading decisions yourself (non-discretionary).
Different programs offer different investment mixes. Some focus on funds, while others offer stocks and alternative investments. It will be up to you and your advisor to decide which program is best for you based on your goals and the size of your portfolio.
In general, however, investments used in the programs offered by Ameriprise may include:
Alternative investments like hedge fund offerings and real estate investment trusts (REITs)
For its investment programs, Ameriprise Financial Services charges clients based on a percentage of assets under management. You negotiate your rate with your advisor when you first sign up. To determine a client’s rate, the firm will consider factors like the size of your portfolio, your desired investing strategy and level of service needed.
The asset-based fee is made up of several parts. First, there is an advisory fee that can go up to 2% to cover the cost of designing and managing your portfolio. In some programs, the investment advisor can also charge a manager fee ranging from 0.10% to 0.80% to handle more complicated strategies. You could also owe a platform fee of up to 0.17% to cover trading costs and the support structure. Finally, in the SPS Advisor program, the firm can charge a small 0.03% investments and infrastructure support fee.
|Ameriprise Financial Services Investment Management Programs Fee Schedule|
|Advisory fee: Up to 2.00%||All Managed Investment Programs|
|Platform fee: Up to 0.17%||Select Separate Account, Vista Separate Account, Investor Unified Account and Access Account Programs|
|Manager fee: Generally ranges from 0.10% to 0.80%||Select Separate Account, Vista Separate Account, Investor Unified Account and Access Account Programs|
|Investments and Infrastructure Support fee: 0.03%||SPS Advisor Program|
Besides the aforementioned asset-based fees, you may also be responsible for trading costs that come up with your portfolio. Clients could also owe fund fees, which should be disclosed in a prospectus.
For financial planning services, advisors can receive commissions and fees, or compensation through bonuses. The fees are negotiable, and rates are not specified in the brochure.
Over the past several years, Ameriprise Financial Services had a number of disciplinary incidents to report.
If an investment firm or its employees or affiliates have any disclosures on record, the firm needs to report the incident on its SEC Form ADV filing as well as its official brochure. This could include criminal activities, regulatory fines or civil suits. Ameriprise Financial Services reports the following in its brochure filed with the SEC, ordered according to the date in which the incident was settled:
The firm also reports events related to certain individuals involved with the firm. Before working with any individuals at the firm, also make sure to check their disciplinary history.
For more information on Ameriprise Financial Services and to view its Form ADV, you can go to the firm’s IAPD page.
Ameriprise Financial Services lists office locations in the following states in its Form ADV filing with the SEC:
While the above locations are what is listed in the firm’s SEC filings, Ameriprise Financial Services. Is registered to serve investors across the U.S. Go to the website to see if there is an Ameriprise advisor in your area.
If you have a smaller budget but still want a professionally managed portfolio, Ameriprise Financial Services could be a good choice. You can use some of the firm’s programs with a minimum investment of just $25,000 and access a wide selection of products and programs. Additionally, you can find a local advisor across the U.S.
Just pay attention to your rate before signing up because the firm’s fees can be on the high side, depending on what you negotiate. Also understand that some advisors may be compensated for recommending certain products.
Before you make your decision, be sure to research multiple firms to ensure you find the right advisor for your unique financial situation and needs.
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.