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CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors 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.

CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, also known as CLA Wealth Advisors, is a full-service financial advisor firm with its headquarters located in Minneapolis. This firm employs a large team of financial advisors and oversees billions of dollars in client assets under management (AUM). The firm has a wide variety of financial services, including financial planning and consulting, investment management and wealth management. CLA's clients are mainly individuals, though the firm does also have some institutional clients.

CLA is a fee-based firm, which means some advisors here can sell certain insurance products and securities on a commission basis. These fees are in addition to standard advisory charges. A fee-only firm works differently, as it only makes money from advisory fees.

CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors Background

CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors was originally founded in 2000. The firm is under the ownership of CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, a company that began as two separate accounting firms: Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen, which formally merged in 2012. Jen Leary serves as the firm's CEO out of its Tampa office. In total, the firm has 120 branch locations.

According to the firm's website, many certified public accountants (CPAs) work at CliftonLarsonAllen. This shouldn't come as a surprise considering the firm's tax-heavy background.

CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors works with a variety of clients, though most are either individuals with or without a high net worth. The rest of the firm's client base includes pension, profit-sharing and other retirement plans, charities and businesses.

CLA does not require a minimum investment for new client accounts, but the firm may impose minimum fees.

Services Offered by CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors

CLA Wealth Advisors offers a wide range of financial services to clients. Financial planning and wealth advisory services are provided based on a client's personal financial situation and may pertain to retirement planning, estate planning, investment planning, education fund planning, risk management and insurance planning.

Asset and portfolio management services are provided on both a discretionary and non-discretionary basis, and the firm aims to fit its services to the individual needs of clients. Along with traditional offerings, the firm also provides consulting services in regards to business succession, audits, taxes, outsourcing and more.

CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors Investment Philosophy

CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors looks to tailor its investment decisions to the individual needs of each client. When working with clients, advisors take note of their investment history, time horizon, risk tolerance, liquidity needs and other relevant criteria. Advisors use this information to develop a comprehensive investment plan. Portfolios are typically constructed using model portfolio solutions that involve mutual fund and exchange-traded fund (ETF) securities. CLA allows clients to place reasonable restrictions on how their assets are managed.

When formulating investment strategies, CLA employs a policy of strategic asset allocation. The firm ensures all client funds are diversified across a range of asset classes, as opposed to focusing on the selection of individual securities that it thinks will succeed. Although investment strategies revolve around a specific asset allocation, they may differ based on the client's goals or the particular model portfolio being used.

Fees Under CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors

Advisory fees for services provided by CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors vary based on the type of service requested. For financial planning and wealth advisory services, a fixed fee schedule is generally used. Basic plans cost anywhere from $500 to $3,000, whereas plan fees for business owners, executives and estate planning clients can be $3,000 to $10,000-plus.

Investment portfolio management fees are charged on a quarterly basis, in advance. These charges are asset-based, meaning they are calculated based on a percentage of the client's total AUM. Rates go as follows:

Investment Management Fee Schedule
Account Size Annual Fee
First $2,000,000 1.00%
Next $3,000,000 0.75%
Next $5,000,000 0.50%
$10,000,000 and up 0.40%

Here's an estimated breakdown of what kinds of fees you can expect to pay at CLA:

*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 CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors*
Your Assets CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors Fee Amounts
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $42,500
$10MM $67,500

What to Watch Out For

CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors does not list any legal or regulatory disclosures on its Form ADV.

Since CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors is a fee-based firm, some on-staff advisors may receive commissions when they sell certain insurance products or securities to clients. This is a potential conflict of interest. However, the firm and its advisors abide by fiduciary duty, legally binding them to act in clients' best interests at all times.

Opening an Account With CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors

To inquire about opening an account with CliftonLarsonAllen, you can either go to the firm's website and submit a contact form or call (612) 376-4777 to find an advisor in your area.

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

Investing Tips

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  • In order to accurately plan your financial future, you should calculate what kind of returns you’ll need from an investment portfolio to reach your goals. There are a few ways to do this, including SmartAsset’s investment calculator or the rule of 72.

How Long $1 Million 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.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We weighed potential expenditures for a prospective retiree with a  $1 million nest egg to assess how many years that fund would cover in retirement in America’s largest cities.

We 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 metro areas across the U.S.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a net annual return of 2% after inflation. 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.