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Ameriprise Financial Services 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.

Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC is one of the largest wealth management firms in the U.S. Prior to being spun off as its own publicly owned company (ticker: AMP) in 2005, the company was American Express Financial Advisors.

The fee-based firm is both an investment advisor and broker-dealer. It has headquarters in Minneapolis and other corporate offices across the country. Most of its advisors are also brokers and insurance agents. So in addition to providing financial advice, they sell investment and insurance products. 

Ameriprise Financial Services Background

Ameriprise’s history goes back to 1894, when it went by Investors Syndicate. It has since changed ownership and names a couple of times - and acquired other companies, including H&R Block Financial Advisors, J. & W. Seligman, Columbia Management, quantitative platform Dynamic Ideas and British investment firm Threadneedle.

According to Investment News, the only broker-dealer to bring in more revenue than Ameriprise is LPL Financial. The latter had almost $5.2 billion in revenue in 2018, while Ameriprise had more than $4.8 billion. Of that $4.8 billion, $1.25 billion was in commissions and $2.6 billon was in fees. 

Ameriprise Financial Services Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

The firm’s minimum account sizes vary, depending on the investment program. The range runs from $25,000 (for Ameriprise Strategic Portfolio Service Advantage and Active Portfolios) to up to $500,000 (for a select separate account). That said, Ameriprise may waive its minimum at its discretion.

Ameriprise manages assets for individuals with and without high net worth, as well as pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations, state and municipal governments, insurance companies, corporations and trusts and estates. 

Services Offered by Ameriprise Financial Services

Ameriprise offers an array of financial services, including asset allocation, ongoing portfolio management services and financial planning. As noted earlier, advisors are also able to sell financial and insurance products, for which they receive a commission from the vendor. Portfolio management can be on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis, depending on the investment program. It can also be through a wrap fee program.

The investment programs, which the company calls “Advisory Solutions” are:

  • Strategic Portfolio Service (SPS) Advantage 
  • SPS Advisor 
  • Active Portfolios® 
  • Select Separate Account 
  • Investor Unified Account (offered through Envestnet Asset Management’s web-based platform)
  • Vista Separate Account (offered through Envestnet)
  • Access Account (offered through Envestnet)

SPS Advantage is the only non-discretionary program. Active Portfolios and Access Accounts solely invest in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Alternately or additionally, clients can open brokerage accounts.

Ameriprise Financial Services Investing Philosophy

Ameriprise advisors generally use an asset allocation strategy for diversifying assets across various asset classes. The idea is that investing in non-correlating sectors will lower the volatility in your overall portfolio. Your asset allocation will depend on a number of factors, including risk tolerance, time horizon and goals.

With Select Separate Accounts, the strategy depends on the investment managers, of course. Broadly speaking though, they apply fundamental analysis when considering investments. Managers of model portfolios may also utilize computer-based quantitative analysis. Technical analysis may also be applied.

Fees Under Ameriprise Financial Services

For all managed account programs, the annual wrap fee is generally 2% of managed assets. For Select Separate Account, Vista Separate Account, Investor Unified Account and Access Account programs, there is a manager fee, which ranges from 0.1% to 0.8%, and a platform fee of 0.17%. Additionally, the SPS Advisor Program has an investments and infrastructure support fee of 0.03%.

For financial planning services, fees depend on a number of factors, including your advisor’s years of experience, professional credentials, the complexity of your needs and how often you meet. The minimum annual fee is $500, though your advisor may charge more. Also, this fee is negotiable. Additionally, there is a minimum $50/month fee, which may also be higher.

What to Watch Out For

In its most recent SEC filings, Ameriprise had a total 138 disclosures

Also worth noting, Ameriprise is a fee-based firm. As we mentioned earlier, most of Ameriprise advisors are also insurance agents and brokers who receive commissions or transaction-based fees. This presents potential conflicts of interest. That said, the firm is legally bound to work in clients’ best interests. 

Opening an Account With Ameriprise Financial Services

If you're interested in investing in an Ameriprise fund, you can go online to its website and submit a contact form. For those who prefer dealing over the phone, you can call Ameriprise at (612) 671-3131.

All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • Ask how prospective advisors get paid. When they receive only fees from clients, they have less conflicts of interest than advisors who also receive commissions. 
  • Also ask about the advisor’s clientele profile. If you have a high net worth, you don’t want an advisor who has only a handful of clients like you. Same goes if you are on the other end of the scale. You want someone who has the experience and know-how to help people at your level - and considers you important, regardless of your asset level. 
  • Finding a financial advisor is a step towards financial confidence. Finding a qualified financial advisor 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.

How Long $1 Million 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.

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

Methodology We weighed potential expenditures for a prospective retiree with a  $1 million nest egg to assess how many years that fund would cover in retirement in America’s largest cities.

We 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 metro areas across the U.S.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a net annual return of 2% after inflation. 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.