One of the top financial advisor firms on SmartAsset's list of the top firms in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Boulay Financial Advisors is a large financial advisor firm. The firm offers services such as financial planning, portfolio management and pension consulting services.
This is a fee-based firm, which means some on-staff advisors can receive commissions for insurance or securities sales, in addition to client-paid advisory fees. A fee-only firm, on the other hand, avoids extra compensation and instead earns all income from the fees its clients pay.
Boulay Financial Advisors Background
Boulay Financial Advisors, also known as BFA, was established in 2001 by the partners of the accounting firm Boulay PLLP. Boulay PLLP still owns 65% of BFA, with the rest being under the ownership of various firm employees.
The firm has a small team of investment advisors and other employees. This group includes certified financial planners (CFPs), accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), certified management accountants (CMAs), chartered life underwriters (CLUs) and more.
Boulay Financial Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Boulay provides investment advice the following types of clients:
- Non-high-net-worth individuals
- High-net-worth individuals
- Corporate pension and profit-sharing plans
- Charitable institutions
The firm generally requires clients to have a minimum of $600,000 of assets under management, though this requirement may be waived by the firm in certain cases.
Services Offered by Boulay Financial Advisors
Boulay Financial offers various services that include the following: The firm's investment advisory program, third party managed program and financial planning program. The firm typically manages assets on a discretionary basis, though some accounts are managed on a non-discretionary basis.
In the investment advisory program, clients complete a profile regarding their financial goals, objectives and history. The advisors use this to create a strategy. The firm also allocates client assets across different investment types in order to reach the intended goals. These assets may include mutual funds, ETFs, third-party managers, individual securities and/or any other investment vehicles that it deems appropriate. Furthermore, Boulay Financial Advisors has developed and maintains several models, called Target Portfolio Allocation, that range from conservative to aggressive and that are evaluated and adjusted regularly by firm strategy committees. The firm provides regular reviews of portfolios to compare actual client allocations to target portfolio allocations.
For Boulay Financial Advisors' third party managed programs, the firm may use the services of third-party managers or asset allocators to offer management services to clients. These programs can help a client determine their risk profile and objectives and offer a suitable asset allocation policy. The firm will act as the liaison but will not directly conduct any transactions on behalf of the client.
With regards to the firm's financial planning program, Boulay Financial Advisors offers financial, estate, tax, retirement, college planning and asset allocation services for a specific fee. Plans are based on the client's financial situation at the time as well as financial information that the client discloses to the firm. The implementation of the firm's recommendations is completely up to the client.
Boulay Financial Advisors Investing Philosophy
Based on decades of research and application, the firm's investment strategy focuses on the following factors:
- Diversifying across different asset classes and the classifications within them.
- Minimizing fees and transaction costs when possible.
- Maximizing after-tax returns when possible
As stated above, clients will complete a profile listing their financial goals, objectives, history and concerns. Advisors will us this to figure out an appropriate investment strategy. Portfolios will be diversified according to the asset class percentages indicated in Target Portfolio Allocation that is selected.
Boulay Financial Advisors may use the following types of investments: stock of domestic large and small companies, international and emerging market equities, real estate investment trusts (REITs), government and corporate bonds, bank CDs, commodities and any other investments it deems appropriate for the stated objectives. Advisors will monitor the outcomes of these decisions and adjust accordingly.
Fees Under Boulay Financial Advisors
Fees at Boulay Financial Advisors are negotiable and not based on a share of capital gains or capital appreciation of the funds or any portion of the funds. The firm also reserves the right to waive advisory fees on any account, at the sole discretion of the advisor. The firm also may charge a $6,000 minimum advisory fee, though this may not apply for all clients.
For investment advisory services, the firm usually has two types of fee arrangements: blended and incremental. Under the blended fee arrangement, the client would pay one annual blended rate with respect to the entire portfolio based on the total size of the account. Under the incremental fee arrangement, the client would pay an annual rate based on the incremental thresholds for the size of the account. Annual fee rates vary from 0.60% up to 1.95%.
For third-party managed programs, the firm will charge a fee in addition to the fee charged by the third-party manager. The firm's fees would generally fall below the rates outlined above.
For the financial planning program, Boulay Financial Advisors offers services on both a fixed fee and hourly fee basis. Fees are negotiable based on the complexity of services. Fixed fees range from $6,000 to $30,000. Hourly fees range from $130 to $430 per hour.
What to Watch Out For
Within the past 10 years, Boulay Financial Advisors has not undergone any disciplinary or legal action deemed material to a client’s evaluation of its business integrity. You can view its latest Form ADV on the official website of the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).
The firm is also fee-based, so advisors can receive commissions from the sale of financial products. As an SEC-registered investment advisor, though, the firm is legally obligated to uphold its fiduciary duty and work in clients’ best interests at all times.
Opening an Account With Boulay Financial Advisors
To open an account with Boulay Financial Advisors, you can visit the firm's website or call (952) 893-9320.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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