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Balentine, LLC Review

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Balentine, LLC

Balentine, LLC is a financial advisory firm based in Atlanta that has nearly $3 billion in client assets under its management. The firm works with non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations and government entities. Its service include financial planning, investment management and consulting, among others. It currently holds the No. 9 spot in SmartAsset's top financial advisor list for Atlanta.

Balentine is a fee-only firm, meaning it earns income exclusively from the fees it collects from clients. This is different from a fee-based firm, which earns additional compensation from sources like insurance sales or security transactions.

Balentine Background

Balentine was founded in 2009, but only began doing business in 2010. The firm is principally owned by Balentine Partners, LLC, which is itself owned by eight officers and employees of Balentine. CEO Robert M. Balentine and his family trust hold more than half of the firm’s shares.

There are 16 advisors on staff between this firm’s two locations. Across this group, there are two certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one certified trust and financial advisor (CTFA).

Balentine Types of Clients and Minimum Account Sizes

Balentine has a client base made up of roughly 265 individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations, government entities and other investment advisors. More than three-quarters of these clients are high-net-worth individuals.

Balentine generally requires clients to have at least $5 million in investable assets. The firm maintains discretion to waive or lower this minimum, however.

Services Offered by Balentine

Balentine offers a fairly standard range of services that are centered around financial planning, investment management and consulting.

The firm’s financial planning services seek to provide clients with a full picture of their financial situation. Once this is clear, it creates a cohesive planning framework to ensure that clients’ financial goals encompass every aspect of their life. To accomplish this, the firm will often coordinate with other professionals such as attorneys, CPAs and insurance agents.

Investment management is offered on both a discretionary and non-discretionary basis. The firm may employ active or passive investment strategies; it may also select third-party managers to oversee portions of clients’ portfolios.

Balentine may also act as a sub-advisor for third-party advisors, providing access to the firm’s investment strategies and asset allocation models.

Balentine Investment Philosophy

Balentine divides its prospective investments into several categories that it calls “Building Blocks.” Each is distinguished by certain risk and return characteristics. They are as follows:

  • Liquid: investments in cash or other easy-to-access assets
  • Fixed-Income: low-risk investments in fixed-income securities like bonds and Treasury bills
  • Market Risk: publicly traded equities
  • Alternatives: investments that diversify portfolios and seek returns outside the typical public market
  • Private Capital: illiquid private investments that are used to generate income and capital appreciation

Fees Under Balentine

Balentine charges its clients a percentage-based fee for investment management services. The exact percentage will typically adhere to the following asset-based schedule:

Balentine Fee Schedule
Assets Under Management Fee Percentage
First $5 million 1.00%
Next $10 Million 0.60%
Next $10 Million 0.50%
Next $25 Million 0.35%
Next $25 Million 0.25%
Next $25 Million 0.20%
Next $150 Million 0.15%
More than $250 million 0.10%

It's important to note that in certain circumstances, Balentine may consider clients under the $5 million minimum at its sole discretion. These assets follow a fee schedule of 1.25% on the first $2.5 million and 0.75% on the next $2.5 million. Generally, accounts smaller than $5 million are charged more than the industry average, which is 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 Balentine*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount
$5MM $50,000
$15MM $110,000
$25MM $160,000
$50MM $247,500
$75MM $310,000
$100MM $360,000
$250MM $585,000
$300MM $635,000

Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.

Balentine Awards and Recognition

Balentine has received many accolades over the years. Some of these are listed below:

Financial Times Top 300 Registered Investment Advisors. Balentine made these rankings from 2014 to 2017, as well as in 2019 and 2020.

InvestmentNews Best Practices Award. The firm ranked in the top quartile of 385 independent advisory firms that participated in a 2018 Pricing and Profitability Study conducted by InvestmentNews.

Balentine President and Head of Relationship Management Brittain Prigge was named one of the country's Top 100 Women Investment Advisors by the Financial Times in 2014.

Balentine Chairman Robert Balentine has been named one of Barron's Top 1,200 Advisors from 2015 to 2020, one of Barron's Top 100 Independent Advisors from 2014 to 2019 and one of the Forbes America's Top Wealth Advisors from 2016 to 2018.

What to Watch Out For

Balentine doesn’t have any disclosures on its most recent Form ADV filed with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, meaning its legal and regulatory record is clean.

Opening an Account With Balentine

There are a few different ways you can get in touch with Balentine and set up an initial consultation. You can call the firm at (404) 537-4800, or you can send an email to info@balentine.com. You can also visit the firm’s website and fill out the contact form with your name, email address, phone number and a message.

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

Investing Tips

  • Finding the right financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Wondering if you have enough money saved for retirement? Check out our retirement savings calculator to see if you're on pace, and don't forget to take Social Security payments into account. 

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.

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