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Montag & Caldwell 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.

Montag & Caldwell, LLC is an Atlanta-based financial advisor firm with billions of dollars in client assets under management (AUM) and a sizable team of advisors. The firm provides investment portfolio management and investment counseling services to its client base. The firm does not offer any dedicated financial planning services.

As a fee-only firm, Montag & Caldwell only receives fees directly from its clients in exchange for its services. That means it doesn't accept outside compensation - for instance, commissions for insurance and securities sales.

Montag & Caldwell Background

Montag & Caldwell was founded in 1945 by Louis A. Montag, and the firm was Atlanta's first independent advisory firm. Between 1994 and 2009, the firm went through a series of mergers and acquisitions. Then, in 2010, a group of employees finalized a deal to buy out the firm from BNP Paribas Fortis, officially establishing Montag & Caldwell, LLC. The firm is still 100% employee-owned, as every member of the investment team owns a piece of the firm.

Almost every employee at Montag & Caldwell is a chartered financial analyst (CFA). The firm also employs a chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA).

Montag & Caldwell Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Montag & Caldwell works with a variety of institutional clients, including retirement plans, endowment funds, foundations, hospitals, Taft-Hartley funds and businesses. The firm also works with a number of individuals, both through these institutions and on a separate basis. This group includes some individuals with a high net worth.

The firm has different minimum account size requirements for its different programs, though these minimums are waivable at its discretion. The minimums go as follows:

  • Individual/Institutional large-cap, balanced and fixed-income SMAs: $10,000,000
  • Individual/Institutional mid-cap, thematic and dividend growth SMAs: $1,000,000
  • Individual/Institutional allocation portfolios: $100,000

Services Offered by Montag & Caldwell

Montag & Caldwell primarily provides investment counseling services to its clients. This entails overseeing and managing clients' portfolios, and advising them on equities, fixed-income securities and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). It has a wide selection of investment strategies across various market capitalizations. It does all of the investment research needed to create and manage its strategies and portfolios.

The firm also provides investment services through wrap fee programs. As far as the investment strategy of these accounts go, nothing differs from the firm's standard offerings above.

Montag & Caldwell Investment Philosophy

Montag & Caldwell utilizes a collection of proprietary investment strategies in relation to client accounts. These consist of four specific strategies that each focus on different types of investments. Here's a breakdown of each:

  • Growth Portfolios
    • Large-Cap Growth: This is the firm's premier strategy, and it seeks out, through fundamental valuation techniques, stocks of companies that are selling at a discount, but which have strong growth projections for future earnings and dividends.
    • Mid-Cap Growth: This focuses on mid-cap stocks of high-quality companies that are selling lower than their intrinsic value.
    • Thematic Growth: This strategy is centered around industries and related companies that the firm thinks has the strongest secular growth trends. Once these trends are identified, the firm looks to choose stocks that capitalize on them the most.
    • Dividend Growth: This strategy prefers companies that have shown consistent growth in their dividends. Valuation is a major impacting factor when choosing specific stocks to invest in.
  • Fixed-Income Portfolios: These portfolios are created using a benchmark index, with minimal trading activity being a primary consideration in order to keep costs low.
  • Balanced Portfolios: These hold a combination of both stocks and bonds.
  • Asset Allocation Portfolios: These model portfolios prefer investments that have a strong intermediate term outlook in relation to business cycles, relative valuation and macro-economic trends.

Fees Under Montag & Caldwell

Advisory fees at Montag & Caldwell are usually negotiated between the firm and the client. They are typically based on a percentage of each client's total AUM. Accounts may incur a minimum annual fee, which will also be negotiable. Fees are calculated and billed to clients on a quarterly basis, either in advance or in arrears.

What to Watch Out For

Montag & Caldwell does not have any disclosures listed on its Form ADV.

Montag & Caldwell does not provide financial planning services to clients. If you're looking for a financial advisor who can help you build a financial plan, SmartAsset's free matching tool can pair you with viable options in your area.

Opening an Account With Montag & Caldwell

Those interested in opening an account with Montag & Caldwell should go online to its website and submit a contact form. You can also reach the firm over the phone at (404) 836-7100 or by email at

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

Investing Tips

  • While Montag & Caldwell doesn't offer financial planning services, many advisors offer such services alongside investment management. Finding such a financial advisor doesn't have to be hard, as SmartAsset's free matching tool can pair you with advisors who serve your area in five minutes. If you're ready to start working with an advisor, get started now.
  • Asset allocation is a key consideration for any investor putting together a portfolio. SmartAsset’s asset allocation calculator can help you figure out the arrangement that makes the most sense for you.

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