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FormulaFolio Investments Review

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FormulaFolio Investments

FormulaFolio Investments

FormulaFolio Investments is a large fee-only financial advisor firm that's based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In fact, the firm holds the top spot on SmartAsset's list of the top financial advisor firms in Grand Rapids.

Jason Wenk, the firm's founder, has received significant industry recognition in the form of multiple awards. These include the 2018 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Industry Disruption Category and the Grand Rapids Business Journal Newsmaker of the Year award in the Finance Category for 2016 and 2017. When Wenk was 20 years old, he was also one of the youngest investment researchers at Morgan Stanley.

FormulaFolio Investments Background 

FormulaFolio Investments was founded in 2011 as an independent and privately held registered investment advisor (RIA). Jason Wenk is the principal owner of the firm and also serves as an advisor to the board and director of product development. Jason Crump is the firm’s other co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO).

Despite the size of this firm, it does not boast a wide selection of advisory certifications. However, the firm's staff does include some, such as certified public accountant (CPA), chartered global management accountant (CGMA), certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial analyst (CFA).

FormulaFolio Investments Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

FormulaFolio Investments serves both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, estates, trusts, charitable organizations, businesses, investment companies and other investment advisors. The firm's most common client is non-high-net-worth individuals.

FormulaFolio typically requires new clients to have at least $25,000 in investable assets before they can open an account.

Services Offered by FormulaFolio Investments

FormulaFolio Investments provides the following advisory services:

  • Investment management
    • Portfolio customization based on client needs
    • Investment manager recommendations
  • Financial planning
  • Market timing services
  • Educational services

FormulaFolio Investments Investment Philosophy

FormulaFolio describes its investment approach as one that strives to equip investors with smart portfolios that remove waste and keep costs low. The firm also touts on its website that it works to deliver long-term, goal-based financial planning and automated portfolio management. These services are designed to work together to help clients reach their financial goals.

Advisors generally allocate client assets using tactical asset allocation strategies invested in individual equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and various mutual funds. FormulaFolio employs a range of other investment strategies, including long- and short-term purchases, trading, short sales and option purchases and writing.

Fees Under FormulaFolio Investments

FormulaFolio Investments primarily earns its compensation through asset-based fees, subscription fees and transaction and wrap fees from brokerage services. The investment advisory fees for the firm’s allocation programs typically range from 0.10% to 0.75% depending on the amount of assets and program used. For context, a 2018 study by RIA in a Box showed that the average investment advisory fee is about 0.95% of assets under management (AUM).

The firm's annual management fees are billed monthly in arrears based on the average daily balance of the account. All non-discretionary, non-managed and managed accounts will also be charged an annual fee of $50 for administrative services.

The firm also acts as a sub-advisor to certain accounts. For these services, FormulaFolio receives an asset-based fee of 0.25% to 0.80% of AUM.

FormulaFolio Investments Awards and Recognition

The Inc. 5000 is a listing produced by Inc. Magazine that ranks private and independent U.S. companies based on each business’ percentage revenue growth over a three-year period. FormulaFolio Investments has now been recognized as part of the Inc. 5000 list for five consecutive years.

What to Watch Out For

FormulaFolio Investments does not have any disclosures on its legal and regulatory record with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Opening an Account With FormulaFolio Investments

If you’re interested in opening an account, you can visit either of FormulaFolio Investments’ offices in Grand Rapids or Costa Mesa, California. You can also set up an appointment with an advisor by calling the firm’s headquarters at (888) 562-8880.

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

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How Many Years $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 To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

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%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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