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Brinker Capital 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.

Brinker Capital Investments, LLC

Brinker Capital Investments, LLC is an investment management firm based in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. The firm is now known as Orion Portfolio Solutions, LLC. Brinker recently changed its name to Brinker Capital Investments after merging with CLS Investments. The firm offers model portfolios that may hold mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), hedge funds and more.

As a fee-based firm, Brinker can receive third-party compensation in addition to client-paid fees. A fee-only firm, on the other hand, focuses entirely on client-paid fees.

Brinker Capital Background

Brinker Capital was formed in 1987, though it was officially founded as CLS Investments, LLC in 1989. It was recently acquired by Orion Advisor Solutions, Inc. Daniel Crosby, who holds an IMCA Applied Behavioral Finance certificate, is at the helm. Investing News has ranked him among its top "40 Under 40" professionals. 

Brinker Capital Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Brinker Capital generally provides investment advice to non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, municipal governments, charitable institutions and educational savings and ABLE plans.

Account minimums vary, depending on the type of program you’re enrolled in: 

  • Core Asset Management Program: $500,000
  • Destinations Program: $10,000 for the Destinations Fund program and $25,000 for the Destinations ETF program
  • Personal Benchmark Program: $100,000 
  • Brinker’s Wealth Advisory Program: $1,000,000

The firm may waive these minimums on a case-by-case basis. 

Services Offered by Brinker Capital

Brinker Capital provides in-house and outsourced investment management services to its clients. It does this through its model portfolios. Each strategy has a distinct objective, and the firm determines which is appropriate for clients based on a deep analysis of their financial situation and goals.

Brinker Capital Investment Philosophy

The firm utilizes different model portfolios. Based on your answers to an investment-strategy questionnaire, the firm will recommend one of its model portfolios for you. We describe these models as well as sub-models below: 

  • Core Asset Manager Program: consists of several model portfolios that may invest in various pooled investment vehicles such as mutual funds, ETFs, real estate investment trusts (REITs), hedge funds and master limited partnerships. Brinker can manage this program on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. The latter means investors have more say in deciding which securities the firm may buy and sell. The discretionary program, which is managed by one or two portfolio managers, has the following subsets:
  • Core Guided Portfolios: various Brinker-managed asset allocation models for both taxable and nontaxable accounts that utilize separate account managers, mutual funds and ETFs to implement different risk tolerance-based portfolios
  • Core Guided Completion Strategies: Brinker-managed model portfolios targeting specific asset classes such as domestic equity, international equity, global credit, real assets and absolute return. 
  • Destinations Program: invests in mutual funds, including the Brinker-managed Destination funds and ETFs.
  • Personal Benchmark Program: invests in various Destinations Funds the firm deems suitable for the client based on risk tolerance, investment goals and other personal factors. Utilizing behavioral finance principles, this program focuses on meeting goals rather than tracking the performance of a capital market index. According to the firm's recent filings with the SEC, this “investment approach attempts to counter emotional responses to market volatility by focusing on purchasing power and satisfying spending needs so that the client can sustain their lifestyle and enhance their wealth over time.”
  • Wealth Advisory Program: uses a separately managed account platform that offers both discretionary and non-discretionary investment management in order to meet the needs of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth investors, family offices, institutions and endowments. 

Upon request, the firm may build a customized portfolio that may steer away from these models and instead reflects an asset allocation based on the individual client’s risk tolerance, time horizon and other personal factors. Also, Brinker may pay a portion of the investment advisory fee to solicitors who act as liaisons between the client and Brinker.

Fees Under Brinker Capital

Brinker Capital clients are charged an all-inclusive wrap fee that covers expenses for the firm’s asset management services along with custodial services and most brokerage commissions associated with the account. Unless mutual funds are managed by Brinker, it doesn’t cover expenses incurred by them, including maintenance fees.  The wrap fee also doesn’t cover such fees as those charged by the SEC or stock exchanges for security sales. 

Below, we lay out Brinker Capital’s standard fee schedule:

Brinker Capital Fee Schedule
AUM Annual Fee
Up to $100,000  0.64%
$100,000 to $1,000,000  0.50%
Next $1,000,000 0.45%
Next $1,000,000 0.40%
Next $2,000,000 0.35%
Over $5,000,000 Negotiable

Clients receiving wealth advisory may be charged varying asset-based fees, but the maximum is usually 0.65%. Moreover, those in separate account management programs will generally face asset-based fees ranging from 0.20% to 0.50%, depending on the portfolio selected. Complete details would depend on your portfolio manager but can be found in your investment advisory agreement (IAA). 

But keep in mind that advisory fees don't account for other expenses that may affect your account. These may include custodial fees and underlying fund expenses among other potential charges. While these won't typically go to Brinker, they'll affect your account size. For full details, carefully review fund prospectus documents associated with the funds you're invested in as well as your IAR with Brinker.

What to Watch Out For

Brinker reported no disclosures of disciplinary or legal action in its more recent filings with the SEC. 

Certain advisors at Brinker Capital may receive compensation from sources other than their clients, such as commissions from third-party firms. This arrangement may create a conflict of interest, as the advisor may be incentivized to sell or recommend specific products over others. That said, Brinker Capital is legally required to uphold its fiduciary duty and work in clients' best interests at all times. In the case that a potential conflict of interest may arise, the firm must disclose this situation. 

Opening an Account With Brinker Capital

To contact Brinker, call the firm over the phone at (610) 407-5500. Alternatively, you can find the Brinker Capital advisor closest to you on its website.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article

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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