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Creative Financial Designs 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.

Headquartered in Kokomo, Indiana, Creative Financial Designs, Inc. is a financial services firm with billions of dollars in assets under management (AUM). Both individual and institutional clients make up the firm’s client base, which totals more than 7,000 clients. This advisory firm currently employs more than 100 advisors.

Creative Financial Designs is a fee-based firm, which means its compensation structure includes both client-paid fees and third-party sales commissions for things like insurance products. A fee-only firm, on the other hand, focuses the entirety of its compensation on client-paid fees.

Creative Financial Designs Background 

Creative Financial Designs was founded in 1982 under the ownership of Mick Owens. Along with Kathy Owens, Mick Owens still owns part of the firm today through the Mick Owens Family Trust. Firm president, Brent Owens, also owns part of the firm through the Brent Owens Family Trust.

While Creative Financial primarily provides clients with advisory services, the firm’s affiliate, cfd Investments, Inc., offers securities and brokerage services.

Creative Financial Designs Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes 

Creative Financial Designs primarily serves non-high-net-worth individuals. However, it also works with high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. 

The firm’s minimum account sizes generally range from $10,000 to $100,000, depending on the exact services you use at the firm. $25,000 is the minimum required for the majority of services offered.

Services Offered by Creative Financial Designs

Creative Financial Designs provides the following advisory services:

  • Portfolio management
  • Financial planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Insurance analysis
    • Budget construction
    • Medicaid planning
    • Business financial planning
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Creative Financial Designs Investment Philosophy

Creative Financial’s website says its mission is to deliver unique and invaluable services to clients while providing them with quality financial products and services. Clients have access to the firm’s various investment management platforms, as well as five different asset allocation portfolios.

The firm’s investment platforms generally utilize several different types of securities, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, individual equities, bonds, options, certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market funds. 

Fees Under Creative Financial Designs

Advisory fees at Creative Financial Designs may generally be negotiable, varying for different programs and services. Under the firm’s brokerage management platform, clients pay asset-based fees ranging from 0.50% to 2.00% annually. The firm’s financial planning fees, however, are based on gross income. We list that fee schedule below:

Financial Planning Fee Schedule
Gross Income Down Payment Monthly Fee Total Fee Range
Under $50,000 $280 $35 $700 - $2,000
$50,000 but under $75,000 $380 $35 $800 - $3,000
$75,000 but under $100,000 $480 $35 $900 - $4,000
$100,000 but under $150,000 $580 $35 $1,000 - $5,000
$150,000 but under $250,000 $680 $35 $1,100 - $10,000
$500,000 $780 $35 $2,500 - $10,000

Clients using the firm’s variable annuity management platform pay asset-based fees ranging from 0.50% to 1.50%. For self-directed retirement managed accounts, the firm may assess fees on a monthly basis. The monthly fee rates for these accounts range from $25 to $150 per month.

What to Watch Out For

Creative Financial Designs' Form ADV lists five regulatory action disclosures. Four of these apply to advisory affiliates of the firm, while the final one is attributed to Creative Financial Designs directly. More specifically, it refers to an SEC finding from 2020 that the firm breached its fiduciary duty in relation to its mutual fund share class selections. This disclosure resulted in a $212,300 fine, censure, disgorgement of $569,516, pre-judgment interest of $108,424 and a cease and desist order.

Advisors here can earn commission-based compensation from certain securities transactions. Because the compensation is in addition to advisory fees earned, this can create a potential conflict of interest. The firm prevents this by prioritizing each client’s best interest through its fiduciary duty.

Opening an Account With Creative Financial Designs

If you’re interested in working with Creative Financial, you’ll have several options for getting in touch. You can set up an appointment by visiting the firm’s principal location, or by contacting its phone number at (765) 453-9600. You can also contact the firm by using its online form.

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