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BMO Wealth Management 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.

BMO Wealth Management, headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, is a large financial advisor serving the ultra-wealthy. While the firm is legally registered as BMO Family Office, it also operates as BMO Wealth Management. 

BMO Wealth Management provides a variety of financial planning and investment management services to high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients. The firm has advisors located throughout Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Missouri, Georgia and Florida. 

BMO Wealth Management Background

BMO Wealth Management, which was formed in 2005, is a part of the same company that owns BMO Harris Bank. The bank is one of the largest in the country and has a particularly prominent presence in the Midwest. Similarly, the financial advisor firm has a major footprint in the Midwest.

Not many other locations where BMO Wealth Management operates have a physical office. But in and around Tampa, Florida, the firm does have a number of brick-and-mortar offices. Before becoming BMO Wealth Management, the firm’s predecessor operated a number of offices in Florida. That’s why there are still some offices and advisors operating in the state, even though the majority of the firm’s advisors are in the Midwest.

BMO Wealth Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

BMO Wealth Management focuses its services primarily on high-net-worth individuals, single or multi-family offices, private foundations, endowments and pooled investment vehicles. 

The firm requires its individual and family clients to have a net worth of $100 million or $30 million in investable assets. However, the firm may work with clients who do not meet those minimum requirements. 

Services Offered by BMO Wealth Management

BMO Wealth Management's primary services are discretionary investment management, non-discretionary investment advisory services and family wealth strategies. 

As for its investment management services, BMO Wealth Management prepares investment policy statements, designs asset allocation strategies, selects or recommends sub-advisers, and monitors and reports on portfolio performance.

Family wealth strategies may include financial, tax and estate advisory services. For these clients, the firm works to identify their financial goals and focuses on legacy planning, philanthropic planning, estate planning and investment architecture. 

BMO Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

The first step in creating an investment account is always for an advisor to meet with the prospective client. The advisor will attempt to learn more about the client’s financial situation, investment objectives, time horizon and risk tolerance

In terms of general investment philosophy, asset allocation strategies are at the core of the firm's advisory services. Advisors devise asset allocation strategies based on the firm's near-term views and long-term expectations for individual asset classes. "This allows us to provide tactical and strategic recommendations to take advantage of immediate and long-term investment opportunities," the firm states in its brochure.

BMO Wealth Management uses asset allocation software, as well as quantitative, qualitative and subjective analyses to determine the optimal asset allocation for each client. 

In managing portfolios, the firm uses long-term purchases, short-term purchases, short sales, trading, options and other derivatives. 

Fees Under BMO Wealth Management

The fees that you pay with BMO Wealth Management depend on your portfolio and the exact investment program that you use. The programs are tailored to clients with certain account sizes, objectives or risk tolerances.

For discretionary investment management, the firm charges fees on either a retainer or as a percentage of assets under management. For retainers, fees and payment terms are negotiated. Retainers are typically invoiced either monthly or quarterly either in advance or arrears.

Asset-based fees are typically paid quarterly in arrears. The firm charges a minimum annual fee of $180,000. Management fees follow this schedule:

AUM Management Fee
First $30MM 0.60%
Next $20MM 0.40%
Next $50MM 0.30%
Next $100MM 0.25%
Next $100MM 0.20%
Next $100MM 0.15%
Next $100MM 0.10%
Next $250MM 0.05%
Next $250MM 0.03%

What to Watch out For

BMO Wealth Management does have a single disclosure listed on its SEC-filed Form ADV. The firm also only works with ultra-high net worth, so potential clients who have less than $30 million in investable assets or net worths under $100 million will likely need to look elsewhere for a financial advisor. SmartAsset can help you find an advisor that meets your needs. 

Opening an Account With BMO Wealth Management

You can learn more about working with BMO Wealth Management through the BMO Harris website. On the website, you’ll find a “Wealth” tab at the top. You will then see links to pages that address specific financial goals or challenges. The site also includes a way to search for financial advisors near you. Contact information for individual advisors is available on the site.

If you aren’t sure exactly what help you need, there is also an option on the website to input your contact information so that an advisor can initiate contact.

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor

  • Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • People often look for financial advisors when they want some help calculating how much they need to save for retirement. However, advisors can help you with a lot more than just retirement planning. For example, they can help you save for specific goals like buying a home or saving for college. As you advance in your career, they can help you navigate estate planning. Even if you handle your investments on your own, it can be useful to consult with a financial advisor occasionally.

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