Update on Friday, May 15, 2020
Ameriprise Financial Services is a global institution that specializes in financial planning, investments and insurance. The firm is headquartered in Minneapolis but has locations throughout the United States, as well in Europe and Asia.
Ameriprise is one of the largest investment firms in the country. The firmâ€™s investment management business in the U.S. currently has over $313 billion in assets under management (AUM), overseen by more than 12,000 employees working in an advisory capacity.
All information included in this profile is accurate as of May 15, 2020. For more information, please consult Ameriprise Financial Servicesâ€™ website.
|Assets under management: $313,282,403,322|
|Minimum investment: Depends on program, lowest is typically $25,000|
|Fee structure: A percentage of AUM, up to 2.00%; hourly charges; fixed fees|
|Headquarters:||707 2nd Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Ameriprise Financial Services launched in 1894 when its founder, John Tappan, started the company by getting 1,000 people to invest $5 each. Since the firm opened over 125 years ago, it has expanded into a global financial institution with locations across the U.S., as well as in Europe and in Asia. Ameriprise is a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and is owned by outside investors.
In the U.S., Ameriprise Financial Services has 13,556 employees, of which 12,044 work in investment advisory positions. These advisors oversee over $313 billion in assets under management. Searching through the firmâ€™s website, it appears many of the advisors on staff have professional designations, such as the certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) and accredited wealth management advisor (AWMA) designations.
Ameriprise Financial Services primarily works with individual investors, who make up just under 1 million of the firmâ€™s clients. The vast majority of these are non-high net worth (905,608), as defined by the SEC. With that being said, Ameriprise Financial Services also works with thousands of high net worth individuals, who make up close to a third of the firmâ€™s total AUM. (For reference, the SEC defines a high net worth individual as someone with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of over $1.5 million.)
Besides individuals, Ameriprise Financial Services also works many pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state and municipal government entities, corporations and other businesses, along with a few insurance companies and trusts/estates.
The minimum investment needed to open an account with Ameriprise Financial Services depends on the program, starting at $25,000 for some and going up to $500,000 for another. Some of these program minimums are based on the total amount invested by your entire household. If you have a family member or roommate already investing with Ameriprise Financial Services and they are past the household minimum, you could open an account with as little as $2,000.
Each program also has a maintenance minimum. After you sign up, you must have at least this much in your account to keep it open. If your investments cause the balance to fall below the required threshold, youâ€™d need to replace the funds up to the maintenance minimum. The maintenance minimum is usually lower than the minimum investment. For example, it takes $25,000 to open an Active PortfoliosÂ® account, but the maintenance minimum is $20,000.
|Minimum Investment Requirements By Program|
|Program||Minimum to Open an Account|
|SPS Advantage||$25,000 within a household; $2,000 per account|
|SPS Advisor||$100,000 within a household; $2,000 per account|
|Select Separate Account||$100,000 to $500,000, depending on the strategy and portfolio selected|
|Vista Separate Account||$100,000|
|Investor Unified Account||$250,000|
|Access Account||$25,000 to $50,000, depending on the portfolio|
The advisors at Ameriprise Financial Services offer two main services: portfolio management and financial planning. For portfolio management, the firm offers discretionary programs, where the advisor can make trades on your behalf, and non-discretionary programs, where you must approve all trading decisions. The firmâ€™s total assets under management is pretty evenly split between discretionary and non-discretionary accounts.
Additionally, advisors at Ameriprise Financial Services can build a financial plan for clients that covers topics like retirement, budgeting and charitable planning, on top of investment management. The firm also sells a wide range of financial products including insurance, annuities, credit cards, college savings plans and retirement plans.
If you donâ€™t need advice, Ameriprise Financial Services is a stand-alone broker so you can make investments on your own, without an advisor.
Here is a full list of services that you may have access to through Ameriprise Financial Services:
Ameriprise Financial Services does not just follow one investment strategy. The firm offers a wide range of different programs and investment products so that clients can decide how they want their money handled.
When you meet with an Ameriprise investment manager, they will get to know your financial goals, risk tolerance and portfolio size. It is also up to the client whether you want the manager to have more authority in managing your portfolio (i.e., discretionary management) or whether youâ€™d like to make the trading decisions yourself (non-discretionary).
From there, the advisor will suggest the program that is the best fit for your goals and portfolio size. Not all programs offer all investments. For example, Active Portfolios focuses on mutual funds and ETFs, while SPS Advantage can also include stocks, bonds, REITs, hedge fund offerings and other products.
Once your portfolio is in place, you will meet with your advisor regularly â€” at least once a year â€” to adjust your strategy as needed.
For its investment programs, Ameriprise Financial Services charges clients a percentage of assets under management. You negotiate your rate with your advisor when you first sign up. To determine a clientâ€™s rate, the firm will consider factors like the size of your portfolio, your desired investing strategy and level of service needed.
The asset-based fee is made up of several parts. First, there is an advisory fee that can go up to 2% to cover the cost of designing and managing your portfolio. In some programs, the investment advisor can also charge a manager fee ranging from 0.10% to 0.80% to handle more complicated strategies. You could also owe a platform fee of up to 0.17% to cover trading costs and the support structure. Finally, in the SPS Advisor program, the firm can charge a small 0.03% Investments and Infrastructure Support fee.
Besides the aforementioned asset-based fee, you may also be responsible for trading costs that come up with your portfolio.
|Investment Management Programs Fee Schedule|
|Advisory fee: Up to 2.00%||All Managed Investment Programs|
|Platform fee: Up to 0.17%||Select Separate Account, Vista Separate Account, Investor Unified Account and Access Account Programs|
|Manager fee: Generally ranges from 0.10% to 0.80%||Select Separate Account, Vista Separate Account, Investor Unified Account and Access Account Programs|
|Investments and Infrastructure Support fee: 0.03%||SPS Advisor Program|
If you sign up for financial planning, your advisor will charge a minimum fee of $500 per year, or $50 per month, to set up and oversee your plan. This is just the minimum amount and you could need to pay more, depending on the advisor and the complexity of your financial needs. The financial planner could also earn commissions from selling Ameriprise Financial Services insurance and investment products.
If an investment firm or its employees or affiliate have any disclosures on record, the firm needs to report the incident on its SEC Form ADV filing as well as its official brochure. This could include criminal activities, regulatory fines or civil suits. Over the past four years, Ameriprise Financial Services had four incidents to report.
To get started with Ameriprise Financial Services, you first schedule a meeting with one of the firmâ€™s advisors. One way to do so is by filling out the online meeting request form provided on Ameripriseâ€™s website. You enter your contact information and suggest times that work for your schedule. Ameriprise Financial Services then will have a local advisor reach out to you.
Another option is to browse nearby advisors. You can enter your zip code and get a list of nearby advisors, along with their specialties, designations (if any), website and contact information. You can try scheduling with someone who seems like a good fit.
During the first meeting, the advisor will discuss your financial goals, risk tolerance and investment priorities. From there, the advisor will put together your investment recommendation and/or financial plan, depending on what you request. If you are happy with the recommendation, they will then set their fee and launch your plan.
From there, youâ€™ll schedule regular check-ins at least annually to discuss your progress and update your plan as needed.
If you have a smaller budget but still want a professionally managed portfolio, Ameriprise Financial Services could be a good choice. You can use some of the firmâ€™s programs with a minimum investment of just $25,000 and access a wide selection of products and programs. Additionally, you can find a local advisor in nearly any part of the country. Just pay attention to your rate before signing up because the firmâ€™s fees can be on the high side, depending on what you negotiate.
On the other hand, if you have a larger portfolio and more complicated needs, you need to be careful about which advisor youâ€™re matched with. The firmâ€™s advisors have a wide range of experience. While some Ameriprise Financial Service advisors are highly credentialed, others are not.
The quality of your advisor is especially important because they design your investing plan as opposed to an investment committee, as is the case at some firms. Like selecting any financial service, youâ€™ll want to make sure to do your research and ask any questions you may have to ensure you get the right fit for your situation.