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PNC Wealth Management Review

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PNC Wealth Management

PNC Wealth Management is the wealth advisory branch of PNC Bank, a bank based in Pittsburgh. The firm’s advisory business is broad, which is befitting of such a large parent organization. There are nearly 2,000 people working at the firm, including more than 750 financial advisors. The larger company also offers banking and lending services, as well as services for institutional clients.

PNC Wealth Management works with more than 92,000 individual investors, plus around 700 high-net-worth individuals. It also advises a number of pension and profit-sharing plans as well as a smattering of charitable organizations, corporations and other entities.

PNC Wealth Management Background

The broader company of PNC was founded in 1982 when Pittsburgh National Corp. and Provident National Corp merged. It changed its name in 2000 to PNC Financial Services, which uses the marketing name PNC Wealth Management to provide investment management, wealth management and banking products and services to clients. The firm provides brokerage and advisory services through PNC Investments, LLC, a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. 

The company is publicly owned and traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

What Types of Clients Does PNC Wealth Management Accept?

PNC Wealth Management has a relatively low account minimum, allowing a broad swath of investors to be able to access the firm’s services. The minimum required to start an account in the Portfolio Solutions program is just $50,000. If you want to use variable annuities, the minimum investment is $75,000, at least $25,000 of which must be invested in that variable annuity. Under certain conditions, the company may waive the minimum account size requirement.

These low account minimums means that PNC could be a good choice for an investor who is in the early stages of their career and looking to start saving for retirement and other down-the-road expenses. The firm does work with high-net-worth investors as well though, so it can also be a good fit for the more seasoned professional who has built up a decent amount of personal wealth.

Though the firm is located in Pittsburgh, it offers asset management in all 50 states. If you are looking to do your retail banking with the same company that handles your investments though, that service is only offered in the following states: Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

In addition to its individual investors, PNC also serves a number of institutional investors. These include pension and profit-sharing plans as well as charitable organizations, corporations and other entities.

PNC Wealth Management Minimum Account Sizes

As mentioned above, PNC Wealth Management’s account minimums are relatively low. For PNC’s Portfolio Services program, the minimum account size is $50,000. If you want to invest in variable annuities, the minimum jumps to $75,000 and at least $25,000 must be allocated to the variable annuity. 

To use PNC’s Capital Directions program, the minimum account size is also $50,000. The PNC Directions program has lower account minimums. For the mutual fund model, the minimum is $10,000. For the ETF model of the program, the minimum is even lower at $5,000.

PNC reserves the right to terminate any account that falls below the minimum account balances established by each type of portfolio. The firm will provide 30-days written notice to any account that is going to be terminated.

Services Offered by PNC Wealth Management

Services offered at PNC include: 

  • Wealth strategies
  • Investment management
  • Insurance needs evaluation
  • Trust and estate services
  • Private banking services

The firm also provides detailed statements and quarterly performance reports to clients, as well as regular in-depth conversations about your portfolio with members of your team.

PNC Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

The investment philosophy at PNC Wealth Management largely depends on what program you choose 

In the Portfolio Solutions program there are five asset allocation models to choose from:

  • Conservative: This plan uses a low-risk posture to generate a modest amount of current income and provide a modest amount of long-term capital growth. It mixes equities with fixed income securities.
  • Moderate: The moderate asset allocation model seeks to generate moderate current income with potential for long-term growth. It is generally split between equities and fixed income, with some allocation to cash and money market instruments.
  • Balanced: This plan looks to provide long-term growth that exceeds inflation. There are investments in both equities and fixed income, but more in equities.
  • Growth: Long-term capital growth is the primary goal. The portfolio concentrates on equities but may generate some current income through investments in fixed income.
  • Aggressive: There is a higher risk posture in this model with the goal of creating long-term capital growth. Investments are concentrated in equities.

The PNC Directions program has the same five asset allocation models, but is focused on mutual fund and ETFs.

Meanwhile, the PNC Capital Directions program gives clients a unified investment advisory platform with diversified portfolios through a single brokerage account. The asset allocation strategies are: preservation, conservative, moderate, balanced, growth and aggressive. There are also two income models, the core fixed income and the total rate of return.

Fees Under PNC Wealth Management

Each type of account at PNC has a different fee structure. The Portfolio Solutions program charges a program fee based on a percentage of your assets under management. It is charged quarterly and is based on the average daily market value of your account over the previous quarter. This fee covers administrative, commission, execution and management expenses. Rates range from 2.00% to 0.90%, based on the amount of assets under management.

Portfolio Solutions Program Fee Table
Assets Under Management Fee Rate
First $249,999 2.00%
$250,000 – $499,999  1.75%
$500,000 – $999,999 1.50%
$1,000,000 – $1,999,999 1.25%
$2,000,000 – $3,999,999 1.00%
Over $3,999,999 0.90%

The PNC Directions program has a flat rate of 1.00% after various fee credits are taken into account. Clients are charged quarterly based on the average daily market value of the account over the previous quarter. The minimum annual fee is $80. You’ll also be charged based on each fund you invest in.

There is also a program fee for the Capital Directions program. It is based on a percentage of total assets under management. This fee starts at 2.00% and becomes negotiable for higher asset totals. If clients choose to use an investment model provided by a Model Provider, they will be charged separate fees.

Capital Directions Program Fee Table
Assets Under Management Fee Rate
First $250,000 2.00%
Next $250,00 1.75%
Next $500,000 1.50%
Next $1,000,000 1.25%
Next $2,000,000 1.00%
Over $4,000,000 Negotiable

See the below chart for a comparison of PNC’s fees for its Portfolio Solutions program compare to the national median. Note that these fees are only estimates and actual costs may vary. 

Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets PNC Wealth Management Portfolio Solutions National Median Advisory Fees**
$500K $9,375 $5,000
$1MM $16,875 $8,500 - $10,000
$5MM Negotiable $25,000 - $32,500
$10MM Negotiable $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.

What to Watch Out For With PNC Wealth Management

PNC Wealth Management is a large investment firm. That comes with both positives and negatives. On the good side, there are all the advantages that a big bank has to offer, including banking and lending services not normally offered by financial advisory firms.

On the other hand, though, the firm has a high number of advisors and clients. If you’re looking for an advisory firm with a more family feel, PNC is unlikely to provide it.

Additionally, PNC does have disclosures. See more below. 


PNC has a number of disclosures from the past 10 years. 

The firm or an affiliate advisor has been found to be involved in a violation of investment-related regulations or statutes, and a federal or state regulatory agency entered an order against PNC for an investment-related activity.

The firm has also had disclosures relating to self-regulatory groups, including being involved in breaking a group’s rules and being disciplined by a group.

Opening an Account With PNC Wealth Management

There are two relatively simple ways to open an account with PNC Wealth Management. The easiest is probably to fill out this form and wait for a representative to call you. You can also call the firm at 1-888-762-6226.

Where is PNC Wealth Management Located?

The firm is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and has an additional 80 offices across 16 states and Washington, D.C. The broader PNC Financial Services Group has employees in more than 40 states and international offices in Canada, China, Germany and the U.K.

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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.

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