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ARGI Investment Services Review

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ARGI Investment Services

ARGI Investment Services is a registered investment advisor (RIA) with more than $2.16 billion in assets under management (AUM). Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the firm serves individuals, business owners and more. Its financial advisors are spread across the country, in nine other cities, including Atlanta and Cincinnati. Besides being named a Financial Times Top 300 Registered Investment Advisor six times between 2014 and 2020, the firm holds the No. 1 spot in our list of the top financial advisors in Louisville.

ARGI Investment Services Background

ARGI Investment Services originally started as a franchise of American Express Financial Advisors in 1995. In 2003, it separated from American Express (which changed its own name to Ameriprise), and offically changed its name to ARGI in 2005. Today, it’s owned by ARGI Holdings, Inc., which in turn is owned by CEO Joe Reeves, President Neil Quinlanan and an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Reeves is a certified financial planner (CFP) who has been with the firm since 1996. 

ARGI Investment Services Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

ARGI Investment Services works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, corporations, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. The firm generally requires a minimum investment of $50,000 for portfolio management services. However, it may waive this requirement under certain circumstances. 

Services Offered by ARGI Investment Services

ARGI Investment Services designs long-term financial plans that address a variety of topics including: 

  • Tax management
  • Insurance solutions
  • Retirement savings
  • Estate planning 

The firm also offers various investment management programs through its independent advisor representatives (IARs). However, you can work with the firm’s investment committee if you’re in the AGRI Asset Management Program II. This requires a minimum investment of $100,000. 

As of January 15, 2020, ARGI no longer offers a wrap-fee program to any of its clients. 

ARGI Investment Services Investing Philosophy

The firm's investment committee is responsible for designing, maintaining and monitoring its model portfolios. These model portfolios follow different strategies, including tactical asset allocation, strategic asset allocation, what it calls a "SmartCap" strategy, which bases security weightings on company-specific metrics other than size, and a strategic asset allocation that invests in exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These four core strategies are available at six different levels of risk tolerance, from least aggressive to most aggressive.

The firm also offers: individual bond strategies, individual stock strategies, a value portfolio, dividend-focused portfolio - and what it calls Defensive Equity Portfolio, Factor 15 Model, Concentrated Stock Option Portfolio, Black Swan Options Portfolio and Strike Zone Options Portfolio.  

Fees Under ARGI Investment Services

ARGI Investment Services charges annual asset-based fees for its investment advice. These fees vary, depending on the investment program and asset level. Here is the tiered schedule for the firm's Asset Management Program I:

ARGI Asset Management Program 

Account Size  Fee
$0 to $500,000 1.45%
$500,000 - $1,000,000 1.00% 
$1,000,000 - $2,500,000 0.85% 
$2,500,000 - $5,000,000 0.70% 
$5,000,000 - $10,000,000 0.60% 
$10,000,000 - $20,000,000 0.50% 
$20,000,000 - $50,000,000 0.40% 
$50,000,000+ 0.25% 

ARGI's annual fees are higher than the industry average of 0.95%, according to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box. Here is the estimated dollar amount you'd pay in advisory fees based on the size of your account:

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at ARGI Investment Services*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount
$500K $7,250
$1MM $12,250
$2MM $20,750
$5MM $41,750
$10MM $71,750
$50MM $191,750
$51MM $194,250

Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.

What to Watch Out For

In the past 10 years, ARGI Investment Services has not been involved in any legal or disciplinary events that are material to a potential client’s evaluation of the firm. For the latest details, you can access its Form ADV on the Securities and Exchange Commission's Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website. 

One thing to note: IARs with ARGI Investment Services may be affiliated with other firms, such as insurance companies, and may earn commissions from them for selling their products. This may present a potential conflict of interest. It can also lead to confusion, as they are obligated to give advice in a client's best interests only when they are acting as advisors. Salespeople and brokers have different standards of behavior. When receiving a recommendation, you'll want to make sure you know its basis and whether and how the IAR and firm may benefit. 

Opening an Account with ARGI Invesment Services

Those looking to open an account with ARGI Investment Services should go to the firm's website to request a consultation. As an alternative, feel free to call the firm at (502) 426-0247.

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

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • Want an advisor who will always work in your best interests? That's what is called in the industry a fee-only advisor. To find one near you, use our SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool. It connects you to up to three different local advisors. We also provide in-depth profiles to help you evaluate and compare their credentials. 
  • Ask prospective advisors what their median account size is. You don’t want to be their smallest client - or their biggest. In the first case, you probably won’t get the attention you need. In the latter case, the advisor may not have the experience, know-how or resources for your asset level.

How Many Years $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 To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

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%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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