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Empower Advisory Group Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Empower Advisory Group is the financial advisory and wealth management arm of Empower, a retirement plan provider based in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Empower Advisory Group (EAG) has hundreds of advisors managing over $100 billion in client assets. 

EAG representatives may recommend you enroll in certain services or use financial products taht will result in the company or its affiliates. As a result of this conflict of interest, Empower Advisory Group is considered a fee-based firm. This is different from a fee-only practice, whose advisors are compensated solely by the advisory fees that clients pay. 

Empower Advisory Group Background

Founded in 2000, EAG is a wholly owned subsidiary of Empower Annuity Insurance Company of America, which in turn is indirectly owned by the Power Corporation of Canada, a Canadian holding and management company. Today, the Empower is led by Edmund F. Murphy III, the company's president and chief executive officer. 

Empower Advisory Group Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

EAG works with more than 1,000 retirement plans, including 401(k)s, 403(bs) 457s and other workplace plans, as well as another 1,000 state or municipal government entities. However, the vast majority of EAG's client base comprises non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals. In fact, the firm serves more than 160,000 individual clients. 

EAG has a range of services with varying account minimums. For example, you'll need at least $5,000 to qualify for the firm's Managed Portfolios wrap fee program but $250,000 to enroll in its Personal Strategy wrap fee program.

Services Offered by Empower Advisory Group

EAG offers a wide range of services and account options to clients. Here's a breakdown of the services the firm can provide:

  • Wrap Fee Programs
    • Personal Strategy
    • Empower Managed Portfolios
  • Financial Planning
    • "Point-in-time" financial plans
    • Use of proprietary or third-party investment methodologies
  • Empower Premier IRA
    • Online advice
    • Managed account services
  • Premier Investment Accounts
    • Taxable brokerage accounts
  • Professional Management Programs
    • Discretionary investment advice delivered online
  • Online Advice and Managed Account services

Empower Advisory Group Investment Philosophy

The investment philosophy at EAG may differ based on the types of services provided. However, advisors always make an effort to help clients with their individual preferences as they relate to their retirement needs and objectives. The firm generally relies on asset allocation when building client portfolios. For example, clients enrolled in the Personal Strategy wrap fee program may see their money invested in individual equities and exchange-traded funds.

The firm also relies on its Smart Index Weighting system, an approach that adds "further diversification and potential return by providing exposure to all areas of the U.S. stock market while avoiding being overweight to high-risk segments," according to EAG's firm brochure. 

Fees Under Empower Advisory Group

Pricing and fees vary across EAG's different services and offerings. Investment service clients enrolled in EAG's Managed Portfolios wrap fee program are subject to the following fees:

Managed Portfolios Fee Schedule
AUM Annual Fee
First $100K 0.50%
$100,001 to $250,000 0.40%
$250,001 to $400,000 0.30%
Above $400,000 0.20%

Meanwhile, those enrolled in the Personal Strategy wrap fee program will pay fees according to this schedule:

Personal Strategy Fee Schedule
AUM Annual Fee
First $1M* 0.50%
First $3M 0.40%
Next $2M 0.30%
Next $5M 0.20%
Over $10M 0.49%
*For clients that invest $1M or more

Fees may be negotiable at the discretion of the firm. 

What to Watch Out For

EAG has one disclosure of regulatory actions listed on its Form ADV filed most recently with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The allegedly involved an advisory affiliate, not the firm itself, and resulted in a $5,000 fine levied by the Washington Department of Insurance. 

Opening an Account With Empower Advisory Group

For those looking to open an account with EAG, visit the firm's website and click on the "sign up" button in the top right corner of the company's homepoage. 

Retirement Planning Tips

  • It can be helpful to work with a financial advisor when creating a financial plan for your future. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • When planning for retirement, don't forget to take Social Security payments into account. Although this income may not be enough for you to fully live on in retirement, it certainly helps out quite a bit. If you're unsure of what you might be in line to receive, stop by SmartAsset's Social Security calculator.

How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research