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Thrivent Investment Management Review

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Thrivent Investment Management, Inc.

Thrivent Investment Management, Inc. is a Minneapolis-based financial advisor firm with almost $11.5 billion in client assets under management (AUM). The firm has a client base that's dominated by individuals (both with and without a high net worth), but it also has some institutional clients. Thrivent offers investment management services that are tailored to its clients' individual needs, as well as a variety of financial planning services.

Thrivent is a fee-based firm. This means that certain members of its advisory staff can earn commissions for selling financial products to clients. That's different from a fee-only firm, which avoids conflicts of interest by skipping such commissions and only collecting advisory fees directly from clients.

Thrivent Investment Management Background

Thrivent Investment Management was established back in 1986, but its financial planning services only came to fruition in 1998. Thrivent is a Christian non-profit organization that works with its clients to help them achieve their financial goals. The firm is on the 2019 Fortune 500 list and has been ranked by Ethisphere as one of the world's most ethical companies for eight years running.

This firm employs a massive team of over 2,000 financial advisors. The team's leadership team includes president and CEO Teresa J. Rasmussen and chairwoman of the board of directors Bonnie E. Raquet.

Thrivent Investment Management Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Thrivent Investment Management works with a wide range of clients. While most are individuals without a high net worth, the firm also serves high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans, charities and businesses.

The minimum account sizes at this firm depend entirely upon what type of account you're looking to open:

  • Managed Accounts Programs
    • Advisor: $100,000
    • Advisor Guided: $100,000
    • SELECT: $100,000
    • Income-Focused: $100,000
    • Genesis: $100,000
    • Shepherd: $50,000
    • Shield: $50,000
    • SMA: $100,000 - $250,000
    • UMA: $250,000
  • Financial planning services: $300 minimum fee
  • AdvisorFlex program: $100,000

Services Offered by Thrivent Investment Management

Thrivent specializes in investment management and financial planning services. Financial planning typically relates to one or more of the following financial topics:

  • Retirement planning
  • Risk managament
  • Investment planning
  • Accumulation goal planning
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning
  • Business continuation planning
  • Divorce planning
  • Special needs planning

The firm's investment management services come as a variety of different programs, which include slightly different types of investments and strategies:

  • Advisor: This non-discretionary service focuses on individual stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
  • Advisor guided: This is the same as the Advisor program, but it is instead discretionary, meaning advisors have the ability to make investment decisions without the client's approval.
  • SELECT: This discretionary program utilzies model portfolios that consist of mutual funds, ETFs and closed-end funds that are managed by an affiliated platform manager.
  • Income-focused: This works like the SELECT program, but it's centered around dividend investments which provide consistent income.
  • Genesis: This discretionary program consists entirely of Blackrock ETF model portfolios.
  • Shepherd: Similar to the Genesis program, this discretionary service offers portfolios comprised of Vanguard ETF model portfolios.
  • Shield: The model portfolios in this program are managed on a discretionary basis and are designed to minimize the risk of losses.
  • Separately managed account (SMA): SMA sub-advisors provide discretionary investment management services by investing in equities, fixed-income securities, mutual funds and ETFs.
  • Unifed managed account (UMA): This works just like the SMA program, but it also uses SMA and mutual fund/ETF sleeves.

This firm also offers what it calls the AdvisorFlex Managed Variable Annuity program. As its name indicates, this program consists of advisors aiding clients in the management of their AdvisorFlex Variable Annuity.

Thrivent Investment Management Investment Philosophy

The investment philosophy at Thrivent varies considerably between accounts and programs. That said, clients are only suggested a program and, in turn, its investment strategy, if it aligns with their personal needs. This includes taking into account such information as clients' financial goals, investment preferences, risk tolerance and liquidity needs.

Most programs can be tailored to target varying degrees of risk and volatility, from aggressive to conservative. Advisors use a wide range of strategies, research materials, financial models and projections to help them inform their ultimate investment decisions. 

Fees Under Thrivent Investment Management

Fees vary based on the type of account that you hold at Thrivent Investment Management. Although shown in annual rates, the firm charges the following fees on a quarterly basis:

Advisor, Advisor Guided, SELECT, Income-Focused, Genesis, Shepherd & Shield Fee Schedules
Assets Under Management Maximum Annual Fee Rate
Up to $100K 2.00%
$100K - $250K 1.85%
$250K - $500K 1.70%
$500K - $1MM 1.55%
$1MM - $3MM 1.45%
$3MM - $5MM 1.25%
$5MM - $10MM 1.00%
$10MM and above 0.90%

 

SMA & UMA Fee Schedules
Assets Under Management Maximum Annual Fee Rate
Up to $500K 2.50%
$500K - $1MM 2.40%
$1MM - $3MM 2.30%
$3MM - $5MM 2.20%
$5MM - $10MM 2.00%
$10MM and above 1.90%

When it comes to Thrivent's financial planning services, fixed fees can start as low as $300 and go beyond $10,000. The firm offers three specialized planning services that have their own specific fee ranges, though.

Fixed Fees for Specialized Financial Planning Services
Service Fixed Fee Range
Business Continuation Planning $3,000 - $7,500
Divorce Financial Planning $300 - $10,000
Special Needs Planning $500 - $1,500

What to Watch Out For

As a fee-based firm, certain members of Thrivent Investment Management's staff can receive commissions for the sale of financial products. While this could introduce a potential conflict of interest, the firm is still a fiduciary, and is therefore legally obligated to act in clients' best interests at all times.

Disclosures

Thrivent has several disclosures listed on its Form ADV. These violations hit on a few incidents, in which the firm and its advisors:

  • Failed to properly oversee the sale of certain mutual funds
  • Failed to deliver trade confirmations
  • Made improper recommendations with regards to variable annuities
  • Failed to produce certain disclosure-related documents.

In relation to these disclosures, the firm was required to pay various fines.

Opening an Account With Thrivent Investment Management

Those looking to work with Thrivent Investment Management have several contact options. On its website, you can submit a form and have a representative contact you to answer your questions or help you find an advisor. You can also search for advisors by location or call (888) 834-7434 to be connected directly with an advisor over the phone.

Retirement Planning Tips

  • Retirement planning is a complex endeavor, encompassing everything from investment management to Social Security Planning to health expense considerations. A financial advisor can guide you on all of the above. 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.
  • When you’re planning out your income for retirement, don’t forget to add in Social Security payments. Although Social Security won’t be enough to retire on, it can be a valuable addition to your existing retirement funds. To find out how much you’re in line to receive, stop by SmartAsset’s Social Security 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