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Citizens Investment Services 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.

Citizens Investment Services is a financial advisor with headquarters in Johnston, Rhode Island. The firm (whose legal name is Citizens Securities, Inc.) is the main investment arm of Citizens Bank, one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S.

The firm has a large team of financial advisors who currently manage assets for a client base that consists almost entirely of individuals below the high-net-worth threshold. 

Certain advisors at Citizens Investment Services may earn additional compensation for the sale of specific securities to clients, which makes it a fee-based firm. That's different from a fee-only firm, which avoids conflicts of interest by only collecting fees only from clients.

Citizens Securities Background

Citizens Investment Services was established in 1995, but it registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an investment advisor in 2003. The firm is owned by Citizens Bank, N.A., and its parent company, Citizens Financial Group, Inc. Bruce Van Saun serves as chairman and CEO of Citizens Financial Group.

Citizens Securities Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Citizens Investment Services works mainly with non-high-net-worth individuals. The firm also maintains advisory relationships with a number of businesses, as well as a handful of high-net-worth individuals. The firm says that its advisors can also work with trusts, estates, Taft-Hartley plans, non-profits and more.

Minimum account size requirements vary across the firm's numerous advisory offerings. For example, the firm generally requires $100,000 for unified managed accounts (UMAs) offered within the firm's Citizens Integrated Portfolios program, although individual manager minimums may range from $10,000 to $500,000. For the firm's Citizens Advisory Connect program, the minimum account size is $2,000. Citizens Investment Services also offers a digital advice platform, which also requires a minimum investment of $2,000.

Services Offered by Citizens Securities

Citizens Investment Services offers investment and portfolio management services through its three main offerings: Citizens Advisory Solutions Managed Account Program, the Citizens Advisory Connect Program and the Citizens Digital Advice Program. Here's a breakdown of each:

  • Citizens Advisory Solutions Managed Account Program
    • Integrated Portfolios
      • Unified managed account (UMA) program with access to a diversified portfolio of mutual funds, ETFs, separately managed accounts (SMAs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and fund strategist portfolios. 
      • The Private Wealth Portfolios offering within the Integrated Portfolios program comprises model portfolios that correspond with a client's risk tolerance. 
  • Citizens Advisory Connect Program
    • Discretionary investment management provided by one or more unaffiliated investment managers.
    • Electronic communication with financial advisors through the Citizens Bank website
  • Citizens Digital Advice Program
    • Robo-advisor services offered through SigFig Wealth Management
    • Risk-adjusted model portfolios
    • Tax-loss harvesting features

Citizens Securities Investing Philosophy

Citizens Investment Services offers many investment strategies through third-party managers and in-house mutual funds, so there is no overarching investment philosophy that the firm adheres to. Accounts also vary in the range of securities used in portfolios. 

Many of the firm's programs utilize computer-based investment research, along with analytical data, to help inform their final investment decisions. Since Citizens Investment Services uses a variety of advisors and third-party managers for investment accounts, each client will be informed of the specific investment philosophy on a case-by-case basis.

Citizens Securities Services Fees

Citizens Investment Services charges a wide range of fees depending on the program you subscribe to and your overall assets under management (AUM). The fees noted below do not include any applicable sub-manager fees. Fees are calculated and paid on a quarterly basis. Some fees are negotiable.

Citizens Integrated Portfolios Unified Managed Account Fees
Total AUM Annual Fee
First $250K 1.41%
Next $250K 1.26%
Next $500K 1.11%
Next $1MM 1.06%
Next $3MM 1.01%
$5MM and up 0.96%


Citizens Advisory Connect Fees
Total AUM Annual Fee
First $250K 1.35%
Next $250K 1.25%
Next $500K 1.13%
Next $1MM 1.08%
Next $3MM 1.03%
$5MM and up 0.98%

Meanwhile, the firm charges a fee of 0.50% of assets under management for its Digital Advisory Program.

What to Watch Out For

Citizens Investment Services has a total of 21 disclosures listed on its Form ADV related to the firm itself and advisory affiliates.

Also, keep in mind that the firm has several conflicts of interest related to additional compensation that it or its advisors receive for recommendations that are made. While advisors may earn additional compensation on the sale of securities, the firm itself receives 12b-1 fees from mutual funds. Both can incentivize the firm or advisors to recommend certain products and services based on the compensation they'll receive for those recommendations, instead of the client's needs. However, the firm is a fiduciary and must act in your best interests. 

Opening an Account With Citizens Securities

To open an account with Citizens Investment Services, go to the firm's website and navigate to the Investing and Wealth Management section. Then, click on the "Find an Advisor" button. Or you can call the firm directly at 1-833-373-1955.

Tips for Saving for Retirement

  • A financial advisor can help you save and plan for retirement. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Knowing how much you're on track to save by the time you retire is an important bit of information to have as you plan for your golden years. SmartAsset's retirement calculator can help you estimate how much you'll have and how much you'll need to meet your spending needs in retirement. 


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