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United Planners 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.

United Planners Financial Services

United Planners Financial Services offers both investment advisory services and broker-dealer services. The hybrid financial advisor also serves both clients and financial advisors and their clients. 

United Planners is a fee-based firm. As for its advisory services, United Planners earns its compensation through asset-based fees, hourly fees, fixed fees and commissions.

The firm’s staff also offers a range of professional qualifications. These include the chartered financial consultant (ChFC), chartered life underwriter (CLU), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), certified fund specialist (CFS) and chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) designations.

United Planners Background

United Planners began its operations in 1987 as a registered broker-dealer. In 2000, the firm became a registered investment advisor (RIA). The firm also holds membership in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC). 

United Planners’ Group, Inc. owns 45% of the firm and functions as its general partner. United Planners’ Group’s managers include Michael A. Baker, Billy Oliverio, Chad Shindel and Sheila Cuffari-Agasi. Several of the firm’s financial professionals also act as limited partners and own 55% of the company. 

United Planners Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

United Planners’ client base includes individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations. 

The firm’s account minimums vary based on account type. For instance, accounts held at Pershing LLC have minimums ranging from $10,000 to $100,000. United Planners’ third-party custodian accounts generally come with a minimum of $10,000. 

Services Offered by United Planners

United Planners offers the following services:

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors

United Planners Investment Philosophy 

United Planners mainly uses investment advisor representatives (IARs) to manage client accounts. When researching securities, these advisors may employ fundamental analysis, technical analysis, charting analysis, quantitative analysis and cyclical analysis. Common investment strategies include strategic allocations, tactical allocations, absolute return, constrained and unconstrained strategies, various income strategies, long-term purchases, short-term purchases, trading, margin transactions and option writing. 

Among the firm’s investment objectives are capital preservation, income, growth and income, long-term capital appreciation and speculation.

United Planners Fees

Fees for portfolio management services are based on the complexity of the advisory services, the professional level of the IAR providing the service and other market factors, according to United Planners’ brochure. Portfolio management fees are agreed upon in the investment management services agreement, but they can’t exceed 3.0% on an annual basis. United Planners also doesn’t specify financial planning and consulting advisory fees, as these are also determined between clients and their IARs.

What to Watch Out For

United Planners has four regulatory action disclosures listed on its Form ADV. Most recently, in 2019, the firm received a $100,000 fine after the State of Massachusetts alleged it failed to supervise the outside business practices of an advisor. The case was also settled through censure, disgorgement/restitution and cease and desist. 

Another thing to consider is that United Planners is dually registered as a broker-dealer and an investment advisor. This allows certain advisors to offer investment products for commissions. This fee-structure can cause conflicts of interest if advisors ignore client suitability to recommend products with higher fees. United Planners says it abides by a fiduciary duty, but investors should keep these compensation arrangements in mind.

Opening an Account with United Planners 

You can set up an account by visiting United Planners’ Scottsdale, Arizona office, or you can contact an advisor over the phone. You can also visit the firm's website for more information.

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

Retirement Planning Tips for Beginners

  • SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Not sure about how much you’ll need to retire comfortably? Our retirement calculator can help. You’ll just need to enter in your location, birth year, annual income, Social Security election age, expected monthly savings, annual retirement expenses and any other retirement account information. 

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