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Bradford Financial Center 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.

Bradford Financial Center is a registered investment advisor (RIA) that provides investment management and financial planning services directly and through its affiliates. 

Based in Clarion, Iowa, Bradford Financial Center is ranked among the top 10 financial advisor firms in the state by SmartAsset. In addition to the advisory fees that clients pay, the firm and its advisors can receive compensation for recommending certain products and services to clients, making Bradford Financial Center a fee-based firm. 

Bradford Financial Center Background

Bradford Financial Center opened its doors in 1970. Today, it stands as one of the largest independent financial planning services firms in the Midwest. James W. Tausz is the firm’s primary owner. He serves as Bradford Financial Center’s CEO, chief financial officer (CFO) and chief compliance officer (CCO). 

The firm's small in-house advisory team includes several accredited professionals, including two advisors with the certified financial planner (CFP) and accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) designations, as well as one who holds the chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS) certification.

Bradford Financial Center Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Bradford Financial Center only works with individual clients. This group is heavily dominated by non-high-net-worth individuals.

Account minimums vary, depending on the investment program, but they typically range from $25,000 to $100,000.  

Services Offered by Bradford Financial Center

The firm offers comprehensive, customized financial planning and investment management services. Its advisors and affiliates may offer financial planning services on such topics as: 

  • Business planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Children’s education funding through 529 plans and more
  • Pension analysis
  • Deferred compensation analysis
  • Estate analysis
  • Conservation planning
  • Specialized financial objectives
  • Life and health insurance planning 

The firm also provides risk-aligned investment management services through its Watch and Manage Program. In this discretionary program, the firm has the authority to change investment positions as it sees fit. The firm uses a proprietary computer program to determine when to make these changes. The program makes these suggestions based on market trend indicators, but advisors review market conditions before approving any moves. 

The firm states that the Watch and Manage Program is designed to protect portfolios during down markets and help investors increase their earnings during up markets. 

Additionally, Bradford Financial Center has entered into agreements with certain third-party investment advisors to manage accounts. This arrangement offers clients access to various types of programs sponsored by the third-party investment advisor. 

Bradford Financial Center Investment Philosophy

Bradford Financial Center takes an active approach to investing. Through the Watch and Manage Program, it may respond to certain market conditions by selling some positions and transferring the proceeds to cash or cash equivalent accounts. The firm, though, won’t make any adjustments unless it deems the move appropriate to your risk profile and necessary to help you achieve your goals. 

While the firm strives to primarily use long-term purchases (assets that are held for at least a year), it may also rely on short-term purchases (assets that are sold within a year of purchase) and trading (selling securities within 30).

Fees Under Bradford Financial Center

Bradford Financial Center generally charges financial planning fees on an hourly basis. Hourly fees range from $100 to $500, depending on the number of recommendations made, the time required to implement services and more. The firm may waive hourly financial planning fees for clients who participate in the Watch and Manage Program. 

Annual management fees for the Manage and Watch Program are charged as a percentage of assets under management (AUM). These percentages are negotiated and usually range from 0.10% to 2.00%.

These investment management fees are separate from other charges your account may incur, such as brokerage commissions and mutual fund expense ratios. You can learn more about the expenses associated with the funds you’re invested in by reading related prospectus documents.  

What to Watch Out For

Within the past 10 years, Bradford Financial Center has not been involved in any legal or disciplinary matters deemed material to a potential client’s evaluation of the firm’s business integrity.

Some representatives of Bradford Financial Center are affiliated with other financial services companies that offer insurance policies and other financial products. These affiliations can create potential conflicts of interest, since representatives receive sales commissions. The firm's fiduciary duty means it must act in clients' best interests, though.

Opening an Account With Bradford Financial Center

To become a client of this firm, try visiting its website or calling (515) 532-6661.

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

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • Ask prospective advisors how they get paid. A fee-only advisor only receives client fees, while a fee-based advisor receives client fees and vendor commisions. The former has fewer potential conflicts of interest than the latter, though the latter may have lower fees.
  • Talk to at least three potential financial advisors before making your choice. That should give you a good sense of fees and investment options. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

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