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Boulay Financial Advisors 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.

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 to the following types of clients: 

  • Non-high-net-worth individuals
  • High-net-worth individuals
  • Corporate pension and profit-sharing plans
  • Charitable institutions
  • Foundations

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 $35,000. 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.

Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor 

  • It's important to think about interviewing at least three financial advisors before choosing one. This ensures that you have enough context about fees and investment strategies to make an informed decision. 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.
  • Ask candidates whether they adhere to the fiduciary standard of putting clients’ interests first. Yes is the ideal answer, of course. But they may follow a lower standard of providing only suitable recommendations.

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