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The Colony Group Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

The Colony Group, LLC is a fee-only independent wealth management firm with several offices throughout the U.S. The financial advisor offers investment advisory and wealth management services to more than 10,000 clients. It was also named as one of Barron's top 50 RIA firm sin 2019. It boasts a number of other awards as well and is frequently featured in the news.

The Colony Group Background

The Colony Group was founded in 1986 and provides financial services for high-net-worth individuals and families. Over the years, the firm’s client base expanded to include corporate and institutional clients. The financial advisor has also merged with a number of advisory firms, including Mintz Levin Financial Advisors, Prosper Advisors and Jones Barclay Boston.

Colony Group’s financial professionals possess a range of degrees, certifications and professional designations that the firm says it utilizes in its team-oriented investment service. 

The Colony Group Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

The Colony Group offers services to a range of clients, including individuals, family offices, trusts, retirement and profit sharing plans, institutions and charitable foundations. 

For equity or fixed-income accounts, the firm encourages individual clients to have an account size of at least $500,000. But clients and their advisors may still set a higher or lower minimum value, depending on the account(s) under management. For alternative investments, private offerings or third-party separate accounts, the minimum account size varies depending on the investment vehicle, the manager and/or the platform. 

Services Offered by The Colony Group

The Colony Group offers a range of advisory services to businesses, institutions, individuals and families. The firm also offers sub-advisory services to other advisory firms. Its services include:

  • Investment management services
    • Proprietary equity, fixed-income, and alternative strategies
    • Mutual funds and exchange-traded fund strategies
    • Alternative investments and other private offerings
    • Third-party separate account managers
  • Financial counseling services 
    • Investment planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Tax planning
    • Estate planning
    • Cash flow planning
    • Philanthropic planning
    • Education planning 
    • Risk management 
    • Tax return preparation
  • Family Office Services
    • Strategy
    • Investment 
    • Legacy
    • Governance  
  • Business Management Services 
    • Monthly updates and reporting 
    • QuickBooks set up
    • Signatory authority set up
    • Interested party set up
    • Bill pay and accounts receivable processing 
    • Budget and cash flow planning
  • Dispute resolution services
    • Accounting 
    • Forensic accounting 
    • Income and asset division 
    • Tax
    • Valuation
    • Disposition or reallocation of assets
    • Risk assessment 
    • Financial impact
  • Sub-advisory services 

The Colony Group's Investment Philosophy

The Colony Group says it strives to provide holistic and personalized financial advice that’s comprehensive and unbiased. It believes in putting its clients’ interests first and touts on its website that it only merges with other firms who share the same values. In addition, personalized service and objective wealth management are just a few of the firm’s top priorities. Colony Group also has a fiduciary responsibility. To enhance client success, the firm utilizes a team-oriented approach to reaching financial solutions, as well as creative planning and technology. If necessary, the firm may seek assistance from other financial institutions in helping determine the best and most personalized plan for its clients. 

The Colony Group also strongly believes in giving back to the community. The firm has launched several initiatives to benefit local community groups and youth programs. Through the firm’s Colony Cares fund, it raises money to donate to various charities. 

Fees Under The Colony Group

The Colony Group retains the discretion to negotiate management fee arrangements with both prospective and existing clients, and the firm may also make exceptions to its fee schedule on a case-by-case basis. For financial counseling services, the annual fee depends on the scope of work outlined in the advisory agreement. Client fees for family office services either come as a flat annual fee, or an hourly fee ranging from $95 to $275. 

The fees for the firm’s business management services range from $95 to $275 per hour. Similar to the fee structure for its financial counseling services, the fees for tax compliance services also depend on the scope of work. Fees for dispute resolution services are generally $275 per hour. When it comes to payment, the firm normally deducts the fees from the client’s investment account(s) held by its custodian. In addition, fees are typically billed in advance or on a quarterly basis. Below, we look at the investment management fee schedules for individuals and families and institutional clients.

Fees for Individual Investment Services
Amount of Assets Annual Management Fee
First $2MM 1.00%
Next $3MM 0.90%
Next $5MM 0.80%
Next $20MM 0.60%
Next $20M 0.50%
Over $50MM Negotiable

 These are the fees for institutional clients.

Fees for Institutional Investment Services
Amount of Assets Annual Management Fee
First $5MM 0.50%
Next $5MM 0.40%
Next $10MM 0.30%
Next $10MM 0.10%
Above $30MM 0.05%

The following chart shows what your fees at Colony will look like at different asset levels:

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at The Colony Group*
Your Assets The Colony Group Fee Amounts
$500K $5,000
$1MM $10,000
$5MM $47,000
$10MM $87,000

The Colony Group Awards and Recognition

The Colony Group Boasts a number of awards. Barron's named it a top 50 RIA in 2019, and Forbes has named it a best-in-state wealth advisor for the past three years. One of the firm's longest running awards was when the Financial Times named it a top 300 RIA from 2014 to 2019.

In 2018 won the Trailblazer IMPACT Award through Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.’s Impact Awards program. The firm received the award for being a top leader in the financial services industry. The Colony Group also received the Best-In-Business IMPACT Award in 2010. 

What to Watch Out For

The Colony Group has one disclosure on its record. It pertains to an incident in which one of its affiliates conducted investment business without the proper registration. The affiliate, Frederick T. Baird, served as the principal of an advisory firm with which Colony Group had merged -- Aurora Financial Advisors. After the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Securities Division found Baird in violation, the Secretary of the Commonwealth issued a consent decree, and Baird received a $40,250 fine. 

Opening an Account With The Colony Group

The Colony Group offers various options for getting in touch. Prospective clients can send a message to the company by filling out the contact form on the firm’s website. You can also contact any of the firm’s offices by phone, or you can stop by the offices and speak with a representative.

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

Tips to Become a Better Investor 

  • With investing comes risk. That’s why it’s important to strategically allocate your assets and organize your portfolio to minimize your chances of loss. It’s also important to identify which type of investment strategy you’d like to utilize. Are you an active or passive investor? These are some of the important factors to consider when investing. 
  • If you’d like professional help with your portfolio, a financial advisor could be right for you. Financial advisors can offer a personalized plan toward helping you achieve your investment goals. But if you’re struggling with narrowing down your results, don’t worry. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool pairs you with up to three advisors who serve your area.

How Long $1mm 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 We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

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%. 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