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 wouldn't receive direct communications from Capital Analysts.
Collectively through its IARs, the registered investment advisor (RIA) firm oversees more than $4 billion in assets.
Capital Analysts Background
Capital Analysts emerged in 2012. It’s owned by Lincoln Capital Holdings, which also owns Lincoln Investment Planning, a separate RIA and registered broker-dealer.
Additionally, Capital Analysts is affiliated with Shore Morgan Young Wealth Strategies (aka Private Wealth Strategies, LLC), Strategic Asset Management Group Advisors, Mariner Wealth Advisors, Beacon Financial Advisory LLC, Shepherd Financial Investment Advisory LLC, Capital Advisors, Ltd., LLC, William Roane Skeeters, Inc., Legend Advisory, LLC, Wilson Investment Advisory Service, LLC and Jeffrey A Bogart Investment Advisor.
Capital Analysts Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Capital Analysts works 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 $200,000 to $1 million. The firm, though, reserves the right to change the amount at any time.
Services Offered by Capital Analysts
Capital Analysts delivers 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 Management Services (CAAMS): This program involve model portfolios managed by Lincoln Investment. These diversified portfolios offer exposure to different sectors and asset classes. They may invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, stocks and bonds. Advisors would meet with clients to determine which model and investment strategy would be appropriate based on the client’s goals, risk tolerance and other factors. Some of these portfolios may also involve multiple investment strategies.
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. The percentage depends on such factors as the investment program, asset class and size of the account.
The maximum asset-based fee charged in the CAAMP program is usually 1.80%. 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
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.
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 it 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 refunded affected clients a total of $1.02 million in 12b-1 fees.
For complete details, you can access the firm’s Form ADV on the SEC's Investment Advisor Public Disclosure site.
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. To find an advisor who only sells advice, use our SmartAsset financial advisor matching tool. It will connect you with up to three financial advisors based on your needs and preferences.
- Interview at least three advisors before making your choice. This helps ensure that you have enough information to base your decision on.
All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.