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.
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