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Balasa Dinverno Foltz 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.

Balasa Dinverno Foltz, LLC

Balasa Dinverno Foltz (BDF), also known as CI-BDF Private Wealth after a 2020 partnership with CI Financial Corp., is a large financial advisor firm with billions of dollars in client assets under mangement (AUM). The firm is headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, which is located near Chicago O'Hare international airport. The firm offers its services to a variety of individual and institutional clients. The firm's services include both financial planning and investment management.

This is a fee-only firm, which means all of its compensation comes from client-paid fees. On the other hand, a fee-based firm is one that earns both client-paid fees and third-party commissions.

Balasa Dinverno Foltz Background

Balasa Dinverno Foltz has been in business since 1986, when it was founded by co-founders Mark Balasa, Armond Dinverno and Mike Foltz. Today, only Balasa still works at the firm, and he is co-chief investment officer (CIO) with firm president Chad Carlson. CI Financial Corp., a Canada-based wealth management company, is the principal owner of the firm through an affiliated entity, CI U.S. Holdings.

Many of the firm's advisors are certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified public accountants (CPAs). In addition to its Itasca office, the firm also has offices in downtown Chicago.

Balasa Dinverno Foltz Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Balasa Dinverno Foltz offers its advisory services to a range of clients. The firm works with individuals both with and without a high net worth. More specifically, this includes business owners, families, attorneys, divorcees, widows, insurance brokers, financial professionals and agency owners. Institutional clients of the firm include retirement plans, charities, businesses and government entities.

BDF does not require a minimum investment, but though it does call for a $10,000 minimum annual fee. 

Services Offered by Balasa Dinverno Foltz

Balasa Dinverno Foltz works with clients to provide investment advisory and financial planning services. Investment advising, also known as portfolio management services, are provided to clients based on their individual financial and investment objectives. Financial planning engagements may include advising on topics like estate planning, retirement planning, education funding and more.

Balasa Dinverno Foltz Investment Philosophy

Balasa Dinverno Foltz looks to tailor its investment strategies to the needs and goals of its clients. Advisors meet with clients to craft an individual investment policy and an asset allocation strategy. These determinations are based on each client's risk tolerance, investment objectives, income needs, time horizon and any other relevant information.

While the specific investments used to flesh out client portfolios varies by each client, advisors tend to use a combination of equities, fixed-income securities, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and other exchange-traded securities. The firm primarily relies on fundamental and technical methods of analysis. 

Fees Under Balasa Dinverno Foltz

Balasa Dinverno Foltz charges advisory fees for portfolio management based on a percentage of each client's AUM. The firm utilizes a single fee schedule for these services. For context, a 2018 study by RIA in a Box shows the average annual advisory fee is 0.95% of AUM.

Balasa Dinverno Foltz Fee Schedule
Portfolio Value Base Fee
First $1,000,000 1.00%
$1,000,000 - $3,000,000 0.90%
$3,000,000 - $5,000,000 0.80%
$5,000,000 - $10,000,000 0.60%
Above $10,000,000 0.50%

It's important to note that the firm does charge a minimum annual fee of $10,000. Therefore, accounts with fewer than $1 million will pay more than a 1.00% annual fee. If you decide to work with BDF, this is about what you can expect to pay for investment management services:

*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 Balasa Dinverno Foltz*
Your Assets Balasa Dinverno Foltz Fee Amount
$500K $10,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $44,000
$10MM $74,000

BDF may include financial planning services and their fees as part of your investment management agreement. Stand-alone financial planning fees, however, are charged on either an hourly or fixed fee basis. Fixed fees generally range from $7,500 to $10,000, while hourly fees can vary from $200 to $300 per hour.

Balasa Dinverno Foltz Awards and Recognition

Balasa Dinverno Foltz has a number of awards to its name, including:

  • Named to RIA Channel's 2020 Top 100 Wealth Managers
  • Named to the Financial Times' 2020 list of the Top 300 Registered Investment Advisors
  • Named to Barron's 2020 Top 100 RIA Firms
  • Named to's 2020 Top 150 RIA Firms

What to Watch Out For

Balasa Dinverno Foltz has a clean legal and regulatory record, according to its SEC-filed Form ADV.

Opening an Account With Balasa Dinverno Foltz

If you're looking to open an account with Balasa Dinverno Foltz, go to the firm's website and submit a contact form. You can also call the firm at (630) 875-4900 or visit any of its two Illinois offices.

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

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

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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