Plancorp, LLC is a financial advisor firm headquartered in St. Louis. But it operates branches across the country in Nashville, San Jose and Sarasota. The firm is on SmartAsset's top financial advisor list for both St. Louis and Missouri.
Plancorp is a fee-only firm, which means that all of its compensation comes from the management fees that clients pay. This is different from a fee-based firm, which may also earn compensation through commission-based transactions like insurance sales. By sticking strictly to client fees, a fee-only firm like Plancorp can avoid many conflicts of interest.
Plancorp can trace its history back to 1983 when it was founded under the name FFG Plancorp, Inc. The firm shifted to its current name two years later. It’s currently owned by 26 direct owners, 23 of which are employees of Plancorp.
Certifications earned by advisors at Plancorp's team include certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified public accountant (CPA).
Plancorp Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Plancorp's client base is made up of individuals (both with and without a high net worth). The firm also works with pensions and other qualified retirement plans, charitable organizations and businesses.
Plancorp doesn’t typically impose a minimum size for new or existing client accounts. However, the firm may charge a minimum annual fee of $6,000 for its advisory services. For those with less to invest, this minimum could cause Plancorp's services to not be cost effective. That said, Plancorp may waive or reduce its minimum annual fee at its discretion.
Services Offered By Plancorp
Plancorp offers a wide range of services to its clients, spanning several broad categories, including financial planning, investment management, retirement plan advisory services, institutional investment management and more. Here's a detailed breakdown:
- Financial planning
- Financial goal-setting
- Cash flow and income tax analysis
- Capital needs assessment
- Education funding analysis
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Asset protection planning
- Investment management
- Intelligent Investor Solutions
- Ongoing portfolio monitoring
- Periodic portfolio rebalancings
- Family office services
- Financial organization and accounting
- Advanced income tax planning
- Retirement plan advisory services
- Trustee meetings
- Investment selection
Plancorp Investment Philosophy
When developing investment strategies, Plancorp draws heavily upon Modern Portfolio Theory. This award-winning investing model seeks to maximize a portfolio’s expected return for a given level of risk. This involves building an asset allocation that holds certain securities in proportionate percentages that collectively match your overall risk tolerance and time horizon.
Plancorp typically recommends that clients invest in a combination of no-load, passively managed, mutual funds from either Dimensional Fund Advisors or the Vanguard Group. Each of these mutual funds usually focus on one specific asset class.
The firm may recommend exchange-traded funds at times to maintain a certain level of market exposure during rebalancings. Furthermore, the firm explicitly states in its Form ADV that it "does not generally recommend portfolios of individual stocks, bonds or actively managed mutual funds in its asset allocation strategies."
Fees Under Plancorp
Plancorp calculates the advisory fees that it charges using the market value of each client's AUM. The fees you pay will be a percentage of your AUM, with the exact rate depending on the size of your account. For the firm's flagship wealth management services, the fee schedule goes as follows:
|Wealth Management Services|
|Assets Under Management||Fee Percentage|
You can refer to this table to see how wealth management fees at Plancorp match up against a typical firm. Note, however, that these are only estimates, and your experience could vary from the figures presented here.
|Estimated Fee Comparison*|
|Your Assets Under Management (AUM)||Plancorp's Wealth Management Services||National Median Advisory Fees**|
|$1MM||$10,000||$8,500 - $10,000|
|$5MM||$37,000||$25,000 - $32,500|
|*Fee estimates only consider the maximum base fees for the services each firm provides. You may also pay manager fees and other fees, which can vary in amount. **All figures are based on median fee levels according to Bob Veres' 2017 Planning Profession Fee Survey. The above estimates solely take into account AUM-only fees. Total costs will likely be higher due to additional expenses.|
What to Watch Out For
As of its latest filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Plancorp reported no disclosures of legal or disciplinary action.
Opening an Account With Plancorp
There are a number of different ways to contact Plancorp. You can call the firm’s headquarters directly at (636) 532-7824 or toll-free at (888) 220-1163. You can also fill out the inquiry form on the firm’s website with your name, email address, phone number and a brief message. Lastly, if you’d rather skip the inquiry form, you can send an email to email@example.com.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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