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Clarfeld Financial Advisors Review

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Clarfeld Financial Advisors has earned notable recognition throughout its time as an investment advisor. In fact, the firm has been ranked by Barron's as the top independent wealth advisor in New York for nine straight years. Today, Clarfeld continues to specialize in investment management for retail and institutional clients.

Clarfeld is a fee-only firm with a large advisory staff that oversees billions of dollars in client assets under management (AUM). The firm serves about 1,000 clients, and it earns its compensation from asset-based fees, fixed fees and hourly fees. 

Clarfeld Financial Advisors Background

Clarfeld has been in business since 1981, but the firm became a registered investment advisor (RIA) in 1992. The New York-based firm runs several other branches, with offices in Northern and Southern New England, Pennsylvania, Delaware and the Midwest. 

Robert A. Clarfeld heads the firm’s leadership team as executive chairman.

Clarfeld Financial Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Clarfeld serves high-net-worth individuals, families, charitable organizations, senior executives of publicly traded companies, business owners and businesses. 

The firm generally requires prospective clients to have at least $3 million to open an account. It may be willing to waive or reduce this requirement, though.

Services Offered by Clarfeld Financial Advisors

Clarfeld’s advisory services include the following:

  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Investment consulting services 

Clarfeld Financial Advisors Investment Philosophy 

Clarfeld focuses on building suitable long-term asset allocations that meet each client’s lifestyle and cash flow goals, according to its brochure. When evaluating securities and offering investment advice, the firm usually employs fundamental analysis and technical analysis. Clarfeld uses modern portfolio theory to construct portfolios.

Clarfeld’s investment strategies also include long-term purchases, short-term purchases, trading, short sales, margin transactions and options. 

Clarfeld Financial Advisors Fees

Clarfeld offers the following fee schedule for its investment advisory services:

Clarfeld Investment Advisory Services
AUM Annual Fee
First $3,000,000 1.00%
Next $4,000,000 0.75%
Next $3,000,000 0.65%
Next $15,000,000 0.55%
Next $25,000,000 0.35%
Above $50,000,000 0.25%

Here's a breakdown of about what you can expect to pay for advisory services at Clarfeld:

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Clarfeld Financial Advisors*
Your Assets Clarfeld Financial Advisors Annual Fee Amount
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $45,000
$10MM $79,500

What to Watch Out For

Clarfeld has three regulatory disclosures listed on its Form ADV, the most recent of which occurred in January 2020. Each of the disclosures were based on operational violations. However, all of the disclosures involved Clarfeld’s advisory affiliates.

Opening an Account With Clarfeld Financial Advisors 

You can set up an investment account by either visiting Clarfeld’s offices, or by calling the firm at (914) 846-0100.

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

Retirement Planning Tips for Beginners

  • Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be difficult. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool connects you with up to three advisors in your area. Get started now.
  • You don’t want to be blindsided by expenses when you reach your retirement years. Our retirement calculator can help you determine just how much you’ll need to retire comfortably.

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