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Plancorp Review

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Plancorp, LLC

Plancorp, LLC

Plancorp, LLC is a financial advisor firm with just over $4.5 billion in assets under management (AUM) and nearly 50 advisors on staff. Plancorp is headquartered in in St. Louis, but also 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 Background

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. Several individuals and entities have ownership stakes in Plancorp. Prumentum Group, Inc., a holding company, owns the largest share, with the firm’s leadership team and employees claiming the remaining interest.

Plancorp employs 46 financial advisors, many of whom have multiple professional certifications. More specifically, there are 23 accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), 24 certified financial planners (CFPs), four certified public accountants (CPAs) and five chartered financial analysts (CFAs).

Plancorp Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

More than 90% of Plancorp's client base are 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 $5,000 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
    • Recordkeeping
    • 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
First $1MM 1.00%
Next $2MM 0.75%
Next $2MM 0.60%
Next $5MM 0.50%
Above $10MM 0.45%

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**
$500K $5,000 $5,000
$1MM $10,000 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM $37,000 $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM $62,000 $50,000
*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.

For retirement plan advisory services, the firm charges a negotiable fee that depends on numerous factors, though there is a $4,000 minimum. The firm charges a fixed fee between $4,000 and $20,000 for its project-based and one-time financial planning/consulting services. Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.

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 info@plancorp.com.

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

Retirement Planning Tips

  • A financial advisor can be an invaluable resource along the path to retirement. Finding the right financial advisor for you doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area. If you’ve got five minutes, get started now.
  • Are you on track for a secure retirement, or do you need to bump up your savings rate? Our retirement calculator can help you figure out where you stand so you can plan your next move.

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