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City National Rochdale 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.

You can find City National Rochdale, an investment advisor firm, in New York City. It’s quite a large firm, boasting thousands of clients and billions in assets under management (AUM). Individuals both with and without a high net worth, pension plans, businesses and more make up its massive client base. The firm was named to the 2020 edition of the Financial Times 300 Top Registered Investment Advisers (RIA).

City National Rochdale was founded in 1986, and it offers portfolio management services. It is also a fee-based firm, meaning it has streams of compensation outside of just client-paid fees.

City National Rochdale Background

City National Rochdale first opened for business in 1986. The firm is a subsidiary of City National Bank (CNB), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RBC USA Holdco Corporation, a financial services holding company. RBC USA Holdco is, in turn, under the ownership of the Royal Bank of Canada.

The firm is led by CEO Garrett R. D’Alessandro, and it employs a massive team of advisors. Many of these advisors have earned professional certifications such as chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA). In fact, according to the firm's website, more than 80% of its advisors are CFAs.

City National Rochdale Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

City National Rochdale works with more than 16,000 clients. Three-quarters of its client base is made up of high-net-worth individuals and businesses. The firm’s remaining clients include non-high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, investment companies, charitable organizations and government entities.

For the most part, City National Rochdale works with clients who typically have a minimum account size between $1,000,000 - $2,000,000, depending on the service being received. However, the firm may decide to lower or waive this minimum at its discretion.

Services Offered by City National Rochdale

City National Rochdale’s flagship offering is money management services, which it provides both to clients and to City National Bank (CNB) as a sub-advisor. This offering can include, but isn’t limited to:

  • Investment planning based on:
    • Risk tolerance
    • Tax situation
    • Time horizon
    • Cash flow needs
    • Financial goals
    • Tax planning
    • Asset allocation planning
    • Portfolio customization
    • Regular portfolio monitoring

City National Rochdale also provides investment management services to the City National Rochdale Funds, a collection of a few affiliated mutual funds. The firm offers interests in these funds, as well as closed-end and private funds that it manages.

Additionally, the firm provides access to a wrap-fee program. This service bundles investment management, brokerage and custodial services into a single, percentage-based fee.

City National Rochdale Investment Philosophy

City National Rochdale chooses from a wide range of different investment strategies to find the proper asset allocation for each client’s risk tolerance, time horizon and financial goals. Within the firm’s Galaxy strategy, advisors will perform a Monte Carlo analysis that allows for the simulation of thousands of different asset allocations so advisors can pick the one with the highest probability of success. The firm also has many investment strategies that are more specific, ranging from large-cap equities to short and intermediate fixed-income.

Fees Under City National Rochdale

City National Rochdale charges advisory fees according to several different annual fee schedules, which apply based on which service you choose. Here's an overview of its various fees:

Investment Management Fees 
Assets Under Management (AUM) Fee Percentage
First $1,000,000 1.25%
Next $4,000,000 1.00%
Next $5,000,000 0.75%
Above $10,000,000 0.50%


Wrap Fee Program
Account Value Advisory Fee Percentage Transaction Fee Percentage
$750,000 - $1,000,000 1.00% 0.19%
$1,000,000 - $2,000,000 1.00% 0.14%
$2,000,000 - $3,000,000 0.80% 0.14%
$3,000,000 - $5,000,000 0.80% 0.09%
$5,000,000 - $10,000,000 0.60% 0.07%
$10,000,000 and above 0.50% 0.05%

What to Watch Out For

City National Rochdale has multiple disclosures listed on its Form ADV. One disclosure is related to an event involving the firm’s owner, the Royal Bank of Canada. The other relates to the firm directly and alleges that the firm did not adequately disclose certain investment choices that were required. The firm had to pay a monetary fine, disgorgement and prejudgment interest that totaled $30,361,804. 

Some of the advisors who work at this firm may be able to earn commissions from insurance or securities sales. Despite the potential conflicts of interest that arise from this arrangement, the firm is legally required to act in clients' best interests no matter what.

City National Rochdale does not offer financial planning services to its clients, preferring to focus exclusively on portfolio management. So if financial planning is a must-have for you, then you may want to find another financial advisor in your area

Opening an Account With City National Rochdale

To start the process of working with City National Rochdale, you’ll need to get in touch with the firm. The easiest way to do this is by filling out the contact form on the firm’s website with your first and last name, email address, phone number and a message. You can also call the firm’s toll-free phone number at (212) 702-3500.

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