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The Planning Center 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 Planning Center, Inc. is a financial advisor firm headquartered in Moline, Illinois. The fee-only firm has a sizable team of advisors spread across seven total offices across the country, including in Chicago, New Orleans, Fresno, Minneapolis and Anchorage.

The Planning Center has roughly 900 clients to its name. It mainly works with non-high-net-worth individual clients, but it also offers its services to pension and profit-sharing plans, high-net-worth individuals and corporations. It offers a wide range of investment advisory services, financial planning services and consulting services to its clients. The firm’s mission is to help its clients navigate financial decisions throughout their lives.

The Planning Center Background

The Planning Center was established in 2002 by founder Marty Kurtz, who has since retired. Eric Kies serves as the firm’s president and chief compliance officer (CCO). This is an employee-owned firm. This group includes Kies, Matthew Sivertsen, John Longstaff, JJ Sessions, Andrew Sivertsen, Cicily Maton, Michelle Maton, H. Jude Boudreaux, Michael Branham, Matt Knoll and Robert Baner.

Just about every financial advisor at The Planning Center holds a certified financial planner (CFP) certification. Beyond this, the firm's has advisors on staff with the certified financial transitionist (CeFT), certified public accountant (CPA), certified investment management analyst (CIMA) designations, among others. 

The Planning Center Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

The Planning Center offers services to non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals, estates, trusts, pension and profit-sharing plans and small businesses.

The firm doesn’t have a minimum account size requirement. However, the Capstone Wealth Program does have a minimum annual fee of $3,500 (rounded to the nearest $250).

Services Offered by The Planning Center

The Planning Center offers a fairly standard range of services. The firm provides the following to its clients:

  • Investment advisory services
    • Asset allocation planning
    • Ongoing portfolio monitoring and review
    • Capstone Wealth Program
    • Tax planning
  • Stand-alone financial planning and consulting
    • Estate planning
    • Insurance planning
    • Divorce planning
    • Cash flow and asset management
    • Philanthropic gift planning
    • Retirement planning

The Capstone Wealth Program serves as a more personalized version of the firm's standard investment advisory services. This program also comes with integrated financial planning services and regular advisor-client meetings.

The Planning Center Investment Philosophy

The Planning Center approaches the investment management process in a fairly standard fashion. When determining the proper asset allocation for each client, the firm will consider the client’s economic situation, liquidity needs, risk tolerance, proposed investment period, need for diversification, reliance upon current income and present and anticipated tax situation. For the most part, The Planning Center tends to invest in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Occasionally, the firm may add individual equities, fixed-income securities and insurance products to its asset allocations.

When it comes to analyzing securities, the firm relies primarily on fundamental analysis, which involves comparing current market valuations to historical data. The firm also uses a combination of investment strategies including long-term purchases, short-term purchases, trading and modern portfolio theory.

Fees Under The Planning Center

Fees for investment advisory services from The Planning Center don’t follow a traditional fee schedule. If you’re engaging in the Capstone Wealth Program, you’ll be charged a fee that’s a percentage of your net worth, as well as a fee that’s a percentage of your adjusted gross income (AGI).

These fees adhere to the following schedules:

Net Worth-Based Fees
Client Net Worth Fee Percentage
Up to $2,500,000 0.50%
$2,500,000.01 - $10,000,000 0.25%
$10,000,000.01 and above 0.10%


Income-Based Fees
Client Income Level Fee Percentage
Up to $500,000 1.25%
$500,000.01 - $1,500,000 0.75%
$1,500,000.01 and above 0.50%

Financial planning fees work much more normally, though. You'll be charged either an hourly or fixed fee for these services. Hourly fees can be either $75 or $500, whereas fixed fees vary from $1,500 to $12,000.

What to Watch Out For

The Planning Center reported no disclosures of legal or regulatory action on its most recent Form ADV. As a fee-only firm, The Planning Center and its advisors do not sell financial products or insurance for commissions. 

Opening an Account With The Planning Center

There are a few different ways you can get in touch with The Planning Center. You can visit the firm’s website and fill out its contact form with your name, contact information and a message. You can also call the firm at (309) 797-4030, or stop by one of its offices.

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

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