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Stadion Money Management Review

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Stadion Money Management, LLC

Stadion Money Management provides investment advice to corporate retirement plans like 401(k)s, high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients. This financial advisor firm is headquartered in Watkinsville, Georgia. It has more than $2.90 billion in assets under management (AUM). 

Stadion Money Management Background

Stadion has been in business since 1993. Today, its management team consists of three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), including CEO Jud Doherty. Before joining Stadion, he spent a decade supporting defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors. 

The firm is broken down into the following three departments: 

  • Institutional Account Management Program
  • Retirement Account Management Program
  • Separate Account Management Program

Stadion Money Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Stadion provides portfolio management services to qualified retirement plans, individuals, businesses and institutional clients. Minimum account sizes vary, depending on the type of program. They are: 

  • Retirement Account Management Program - negotiable
  • Separate Account Management Program - $500,000
  • StadionSelect - not publicly available, but Stadion's website notes it's for investors with "higher balances"
  • Institutional Account Management Program - not publicly available 

Services Offered by Stadion Money Management

Stadion offers services through the following three programs:

Retirement Account Management Program

Stadion supports sponsors or fiduciaries of qualified retirement plans like 401(k)s with qualified default investment alternatives (QDIA). These come in the form of a series of target-date funds (TDFs) and managed accounts. For a managed account, Stadion helps the plan’s fiduciary advisor select underlying investments. It can also guide the plan in structuring the glide paths or how the asset allocations of these portfolios would change as participants get closer to retirement.  

Stadion’s "Personalized QDIA" feature also allows the firm’s advisors to design participant-level portfolios based on data provided by plan recordkeepers. This can include participant age, salary, risk tolerance and income replacement ratio.

Through an agreement with State Street Global Advisors (SSGA), Stadion provides plan sponsors and their participants with StoryLine. This managed account program utilizes exchange-traded funds (ETFs) bearing SSGA’s SPDR trademark, mutual funds and/or collective investment funds of trust companies (CIFs). 

Separate Account Management Program 

Stadion offers its services as an investment advisor or sub-advisor to third-party registered investment advisors (RIAs). It also supports separate accounts that may include insurance companies and collective investment funds (CIFs).  

Through its new StadionSelect Program, Stadion offers individual investors access to separately managed accounts. This program involves the Stadion Tactical Growth Strategy, which seeks long-term capital appreciation. It generally seeks to be fully invested during longer term growth cycles while becoming defensive during periods of decline. It uses equities, cash and low-risk exchange-traded funds (ETFs). 

Institutional Account Management Program 

Stadion also serves as an advisor to a family of mutual funds which form the Stadion Investment Trust. These are the Stadion Tactical Growth Fund, Stadion Tactical Defensive Fund, Stadion Trilogy Alternative Return Fund and Stadion Alternative Income Fund. Each of these funds is an open-end management investment company registered with the SEC.

Model Delivery Services Program

Stadion can deliver portfolio design services, non-discretionary investment recommendations, research or trading signals to accounts managed by other RIAs. 

Stadion Money Management Investment Philosophy

Stadion aims for asset protection along with growth. In general, Stadion reacts to current market conditions rather than predict trends. Most of its portfolios are designed with an asset allocation that involves strategic equity and fixed income along with an active strategy. 

The firm ultimately determines the client’s investment style by collecting information such as financial situation, investment objective and risk tolerance. 

Fees Under Stadion Money Management

Because Stadion works with a diverse range of clients under vastly different service structures, the firm has no all-encompassing fee structure. But we provide brief details about how fees apply in different types of programs:

Retirement Account Management Program

When Stadion offers it services as a QDIA within a retirement plan, the annual fee generally ranges from 0.10% to 0.75% of assets under management (AUM). Meanwhile, services offered directly to participants usually span from 0.35% to 1.50%. For the StoryLine product, fees usually range from 0.10% to 0.75%. 

Stadion’s Separate Account Management Program

When Stadion serves as a non-sponsor portfolio manager to a wrap fee program, its own advisory fees generally follow the fee schedule below. 

AUM Annual Fees
First $250,000  0.65% to 0.70% or $975-$1050 whichever is greater  
Next $1,750,000  0.50% to 0.55%
Amounts more than $2,000,000 0.40% to 0.45%

If accounts are offered through the Fidelity Separate Account Network (Fidelity SAN), fees are usually 0.15% higher than those stated above to cover extra costs imposed by Fidelity SAN, such as custody and clearing expenses. Stadion may offer these additional services for a flat fee of 0.50%, depending on the sponsor, with a $25,000 account minimum. 

When Stadion sponsors a wrap-fee program directly with an individual investor, fees tend to follow the fee schedule: 

AUM Annual Fees
First $1,000,000  1.25%
Next $2,000,000 0.95%
Amounts more than $3,000,000 0.85%

Institutional Account Management Program

Stadion charges an annualized management fee based on a percentage of the fund’s net asset value. The percentage depend on the fund.

Stadion Alternative Income Fund: 0.85%

All other Stadion Funds: 

  • 1.25% up to $150 million of net asset value
  • 1.00% of assets more than $150 million
  • 0.85% of assets more than $500 million

You can learn more about Stadion Funds fees by viewing each individual fund prospectus. 

The fees around the Investors Master Trust for Employee Benefit Trusts range from 0.0% to 0.55%, depending on the share class. 

When Stadion acts as an advisor or sub-advisor to a third-party investment vehicle, it typically charges an annualized management fee of 0.50% to 1.00%.

Stadion’s Model Delivery Services Program

For its model delivery services program, Stadion generally charges asset-based fees of 0.10% to 0.30%. These services can include access to model portfolios, investment recommendations, trading signals or research material.   

What to Watch Out For

Stadion is affiliated with several third-party financial companies such as SSGA, which allows Stadion to provide retirement plan clients with the Storyline product featuring SPDR ETFs. These affiliations may create conflicts of interest, though as a fiduciary registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Stadion is required to put clients' interests first.

Additionally, a large part of Stadion's business is with institutional clients. So if you’re looking for financial planning services tailored to individuals with lower levels of assets, you may want to look elsewhere.

Disclosures

According to Stadion’s latest Form ADV, the firm or an affiliate may be the subject of a civil proceeding involving a foriegn or domestic court in regard to an investment-related matter. 

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • Not a high-net-worth investor? Find an advisor who works with people at your asset level by using our interactive matching tool. It recommends up to three local advisors based on your preferences and needs. It also gives you access to their profiles so you can compare qualifications before making a decision. 
  • When evaluating financial advisors, be sure to check if they have any certifications. Advisors are not required to have any to work in the industry. But those that do must abide by certain rules and standards. Certified financial planners (CFPs), for example, have a fiduciary duty to always provide advice in their clients' best interest.  

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

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