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Capital Analysts 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.

Based in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, Capital Analysts delivers financial services through a national network of independent advisor representatives (IARs). These IARs aren’t direct employees of the firm. Instead, they’re independent contractors, so as a client, you likely won't receive direct communication from Capital Analysts.

Collectively through its IARs, this fee-based registered investment advisor (RIA) firm oversees billions of dollars in assets.   

Capital Analysts Background

Founded in 2012, Capital Analysts is owned by Lincoln Capital Holdings, which also owns Lincoln Investment Planning, a separate RIA and registered broker-dealer

The firm's investment and research team includes several accredited professionals, including five chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified financial planner (CFP), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one member with the certificate in investment performance management (CIPM). 

Capital Analysts Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Capital Analysts work with a variety of client types including individuals, high-net-worth individuals, businesses, foundations, trusts and corporate retirement plans.  

Account minimums vary depending on several factors such as the investment program, strategies and other entities involved with the management of your account. Minimum investments generally range from $50,000 to $1 million. The firm, though, reserves the right to change the amount at any time. The firm may also waive any minimum account requirements at its sole discretion. 

Services Offered by Capital Analysts

Capital Analysts deliver investment and financial planning advice through a variety of programs, which may involve the services and products of other financial services firms. These programs are described below. 

Capital Analysts Asset Managed Program (CAAMP): The Capital Analysts Managed Programs are managed on a discretionary basis by Capital Analysts through its Investment Management & Research (IM&R) team. These programs include model portfolios that invest in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and/or stock portfolios with automatic rebalancing. 

Independent Advisor Representatives (IARs): Independent advisors working through Capital Analysts may provide direct investment advice or utilize other model portfolios. These would be tailored to your risk tolerance and designed to meet stated investment objectives. Depending on your needs, they may invest in a variety of securities including stocks, bonds, mutual funds and options. 

Third-Party Managed Model and Third-Party Custom Portfolios: This program may involve the work of the investment team at Lincoln Investments, an IAR with Capital Analysts and one or more third-party portfolio managers or co-advisors. These entities would devise portfolios based on your risk tolerance and investment objectives. They may offer exposure to various asset classes such as large-cap or multi-cap equities. 

Financial Planning: IARs may provide limited financial planning services upon request. This advice may cover such topics as college savings plans, preparing for retirement, succession planning and insurance analysis. 

Retirement Plan Services: IARs may advise sponsors of retirement plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Services may include fiduciary selection and monitoring of investment options available to plan participants and educational services to eligible participants. 

Capital Analysts Investment Philosophy

Investment strategies vary, depending on the IAR and other entities involved with managing your investments. Through its many offerings, the firm tries to accommodate every investor. To help you determine which investment program is right for you, your IAR would identify your financial objectives, capacity for risk and other relevant factors.

Fees Under Capital Analysts

Investment advisory fees are typically charged as a percentage of your assets under management (AUM). The percentage depends on such factors as the investment program, asset class and size of the account. 

The maximum asset-based fees charged in the Capital Analysts Managed Program range from 1.30% to 1.70%, depending on the account type. That fee includes the advisory fee charged by your IAR and Capital Analysts. If you’re enrolled in one of the program’s wrap fee options, it also covers third-party costs such as brokerage fees, custodial costs and the select manager's fees if you’re enrolled in the third-party portfolio management service. 

Financial planning fees are generally charged on a fixed fee or hourly basis. They would vary depending on the complexity of the services provided. 

Retirement plan services are negotiable between Capital Analysts, the IAR and the plan sponsor. 

What to Watch Out For

Capital Analysts has multiple regulatory disclosures listed on its most recent Form ADV filed with the SEC. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that between April 2013 and March 2016, Capital Analysts failed to disclose a conflict of interest when it invested CAAMS wrap-fee clients in mutual fund share classes that paid 12b-1 fees to affiliated broker-dealer Lincoln Investment, when shares of the same fund were available and did not pay these 12b-1 fees. The SEC alleged that this event and related actions led the firm to violate the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. 

Capital Analysts neither denied nor agreed to the findings, but entered into a settlement with the SEC, which ordered the firm to pay a $300,000 civil monetary penalty and shareholder service fee revenue in the amount of $770,476 with interest to the U.S. Treasury. In addition, the firm agreed to pay an addition $1.04 million in disgorgement fees and interest.  

For complete details, you can access the firm’s Form ADV on the SEC's Investment Advisor Public Disclosure site. 

Most IARs are licensed insurance agents and representatives of a broker-dealer (likely Lincoln Investment). These multiple roles, as well as many affiliations, may present potential conflicts of interest. When receiving recommendations, clients should be clear on their basis and if and how the IAR and firm may benefit from the recommendation. IARs are also bound by fiduciary duty to always act in clients' best interests.

Opening an Account at Capital Analysts 

Those looking to open an account with Capital Analysts should call the firm directly at (800) 685-7515.

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


Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • Ask candidates if they follow the fiduciary standard. If they do, they will always put your interests before their own or their firms'. That said, some advisors who are also brokers or insurance agents have different codes of behavior in their other roles. 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.
  • Interview at least three advisors before making your choice. This helps ensure that you have enough information to base your decision on. Read our guide on choosing a financial advisor to learn more. 

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