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RiverFront Investment Group Review

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RiverFront Investment Group, LLC Review

RiverFront Investment Group, LLC

RiverFront Investment Group, LLC is a financial advisor firm located in Richmond, Virginia with roughly $3.3 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm works with a wide range of clients, including individuals, investment companies, charities, corporations and retirement plans. RiverFront provides two main services: asset allocation model portfolios for sponsor firms, and sub-advisory services for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds.

This is a fee-only firm, so all of its earnings come from advisory fees that clients pay. This differs from a fee-based operation, in which a firm's advisors may earn compensation from other sources like insurance or securities commissions.

RiverFront Investment Group Background

RiverFront Investment Group was founded in 2007, though it became registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commissions (SEC) in 2008. The firm is owned by a holding company, RiverFront Investment Holding Group, LLC. That company, in turn, is principally owned by various employees of the firm, and minority owned by Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated, an investment advisory firm.

RiverFront has 17 financial advisors working in its offices. This staff boasts nine chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two individuals with a certificate in investment performance measurement (CIPM), one certified financial planner (CFP) and one chartered market technician (CMT).

What Types of Clients Does RiverFront Investment Group Accept?

RiverFront Investment Group has just under 5,600 clients, a rather large amount for a firm of 17 advisors. This client base consists of non-high-net-worth individuals, corporations, pensions and other retirement plans, investment companies, charitable organizations, trusts and foundations. RiverFront currently doesn’t count any high-net-worth individuals as clients.

RiverFront Investment Group Minimum Account Sizes

RiverFront Investment Group requires either a $100,000 or $200,000 investment minimum, depending upon the type of account you open. The lower minimum listed above typically applies to the firm’s ETF programs.

Services Offered by RiverFront Investment Group

RiverFront Investment Group’s offerings can be split into two main areas. First, the firm provides a host of different asset allocation model portfolios that investors can access through wrap fee programs sponsored by third-party firms. These model portfolios mostly focus on one specific asset class, like equities or fixed-income securities. In some cases, there will be a balance of multiple classes within a portfolio.

Wrap fee programs here have three main categories: “Advantage,” “ETF Advantage” and “RiverShares.” The main difference between Advantage and Advantage ETF is that the former’s portfolios invest in individual stocks and bonds while the latter invests exclusively in ETFs. RiverShares portfolios only invest in ETFs that the firm provides sub-advisory services for.

Additionally, RiverFront provides sub-advisory services to several mutual funds and ETFs. Some of the firm’s model portfolios may contain the ETFs for which RiverFront acts as a sub-advisor.

RiverFront Investment Group Investment Philosophy

RiverFront Investment Group maintains seven different investment strategies that it makes available via its three wrap fee programs. Here’s a quick breakdown of them:

  • Fixed-Income Strategies
    • Dynamic Fixed-Income: Invests in fixed-income securities for the purpose of generating regular income.
  • Equity Strategies
    • Global Growth: Invests in equity securities around the globe, seeking long-term growth potential.
    • International Opportunities: Similar to “Global Growth,” but focuses solely on equities outside the U.S. market.
  • Balanced Strategies
  • Conservative Income Builder: Invests in a combination of equity and fixed-income securities with a low risk tolerance.
  • Moderate Growth & Income: Invests in multiple securities with an equal emphasis on growing both capital and income.
  • Dynamic Equity Income: Invests with an eye toward growth and income, with an especially deep focus on dividend-paying stocks.
  • Global Allocation: Investing with a long-term view, seeking to maximize total return.

Fees Under RiverFront Investment Group

As most of RiverFront’s investment management offerings come in the form of externally sponsored wrap fee programs, there’s no single schedule for the advisory fees you can expect to pay. This is because different sponsor firms may decide to charge different fees. For these programs, RiverFront generally charges the sponsor firm a negotiable fee that won’t exceed 0.50%.

What to Watch Out For

RiverFront Investment Group doesn’t offer financial planning services to its clients, preferring instead to focus on investment programs and fund management. So if financial planning is a must-have for you, then RiverFront may not be a great fit. Try SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool to find an advisor in your area who has financial planning services.

Disclosures

RiverFront Investment Group has one disclosure listed on its Form ADV. According to this paperwork, the SEC found that the RiverFront, “did not promptly update its Form ADVs when it began to significantly increase its trading away activity during the 2009 to 2011 timeframe, causing certain information in the March 31, 2010, August 31, 2010, and March 31, 2011 Form ADVs to become materially inaccurate and misleading.”

Despite this disclosure, RiverFront abides by fiduciary duty. This legally binds it to act in clients’ best interests at all times.

Opening an Account With RiverFront Investment Group

Interested in working with RiverFront Investment Group? According to the firm's website, you can contact them by sending an email to info@riverfrontig.com or calling (804) 549-4800.

Where Is RiverFront Investment Group Located?

RiverFront Investment Group is headquartered in downtown Richmond on Cary Street between 12th and 13th Street.

Investing Tips

  • While RiverFront doesn't offer financial planning services, many advisors in your area likely do. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • One downside to seeing big returns in the market? You'll have to pay taxes on your earnings, with your tax hit depending on both how long you hold the investment and whether it's in a tax-advantaged retirement account. To figure out how much you might owe, stop by our capital gains tax calculator.

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