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Cerity Partners 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.

Cerity Partners, LLC is a financial advisor that doesn’t just provide advisory services; the firm also offers prospective and current clients free educational articles that focus on financial topics like retirement. 

Cerity Partners is a fee-only firm, so the firm only earns compensation from the services it provides, not on commisssions for products it sells. Cerity’s compensation arrangements consist of asset-based fees, hourly fees, fixed fees and performance-based fees.

Cerity also holds a spot on our top financial advisors lists for New York City and New York State.

Cerity Partners Background

Cerity is a registered investment advisor (RIA) that’s been in business since 2009. The firm is controlled by Cerity Partners Equity Holding LLC, a company that’s controlled by Cerity Partners EOE LLC. Cerity Partners EOE LLC is owned by Cerity Partners and Cerity Partners Holdings LLC, which is in turn a subsidiary of Lightyear Fund IV AIV-1, L.P.

Cerity has offices in New York, California, Illinois, Colorado, Michigan, Ohio and Texas. Kurt Miscinski is the firm’s president and chief executive officer (CEO).

Cerity Partners Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Cerity advises individuals, high-net-worth individuals, trusts, business entities, corporate pension and profit sharing plans, foundations, charitable institutions and endowments. 

The firm typically imposes a minimum account size requirement of $2 million and a minimum annual fee of $30,000.

Services Offered by Cerity Partners

Cerity clients can take advantage of of the following advisory services:

  • Investment advisory
    • Current portfolio evaluation
    • Assessment of investment objectives and financial goals
    • Investment policy development
    • Strategic asset allocation planning
    • Manager search and evaluation
    • Investment program implementation and rebalancing
    • Portfolio monitoring and risk management
    • Performance measurement and attribution analysis
  • Wealth planning
    • Net worth analysis
    • Trust Fiduciary and Family Office Services
    • Liquidity and liability management
    • Insurance planning and risk management
    • Estate and wealth transfer planning
    • Compensation and benefits analysis
    • Retirement planning
    • Education planning
    • Philanthropy and charitable gift planning
    • Bill payment service and client accounting
  • Retirement plan services
    • ERISA fiduciary and non-fiduciary services
    • Plan design consulting
    • Financial wellness coaching
    • Administrative plan support
    • Investment management services
  • Executive financial counseling
    • Company benefits coordination and planning
    • Retirement, cash flow and budget planning
    • Estate planning
    • Tax planning and preparation
    • Investment planning and consolidated reporting
    • Insurance and risk management
  • Tax
    • Preparation of annual and multi-year tax projections
    • Tax planning for investments and wealth transfer
    • Preparation of individual, family, trust and corporate tax returns
    • Preparation of estimated quarterly tax payments
    • Tax planning for charitable gifting

Cerity Partners Investment Philosophy 

Cerity says it uses asset allocation to reduce risk in each client’s investment portfolio. The firm utilizes the following six asset classes: cash and cash equivalents, global fixed income, global equity, real return, hedge funds and private equity. Cerity also uses 16 sub-asset classes when developing client-specific allocations. 

The firm provides the following five investment risk profiles for tax-exempt and taxable portfolios: 

  • Conservative
  • Moderate
  • Balanced
  • Growth
  • Aggressive

Cerity Partners Fees

Cerity’s management fee for its wealth management and investment advisory services is 1.50% per year of AUM. The firm says it calculates fees either quarterly in arrears or in advance depending on the client’s preferences. Below, we explore how much you may pay for investment management services at Cerity.

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount. Fee amounts include minimum annual fee.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Cerity Partners *
Your Assets Cerity Partners Fee Amount
$500K N/A
$1MM N/A
$5MM $75,000
$10MM $150,000

Cerity Partners Awards and Recognition

Cerity has been named one of the Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors by InvestmentNews in 2021. It also ranked on the Financial Times’ Top 300 Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) for five consecutive years (2015 to 2020). In 2018, 401(k) Specialist named the firm as a Top Advisor by Participant Outcomes. Cerity was also named as a 2020 Top 100 Retirement Plan Adviser by PLANADVISER.

What to Watch Out For

There isn’t much to be wary of when it comes to Cerity. The firm doesn’t have any disclosures on its Form ADV, and it doesn’t receive third-party commissions for its advisory services.

Opening an Account with Cerity Partners 

You’ll have several options for getting in touch with Cerity. You can visit any of the firm’s offices, or you can contact a financial advisor at (212) 850-4260.

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

Investment Planning Tips for Beginners

  • Regardless of your experience level with investing, it’s useful to strategically plan out how much money you’ll need to reach your savings goals. Our investment calculator can help you determine how much money your investment may generate over time.
  • Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool connects you with up to three advisors in your area. Find a financial advisor today!

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