Wells Fargo Wealth Management is the financial advisory business of Wells Fargo & Company, one of the largest financial institutions in the United States. Wells Fargo Wealth Management is based in St. Louis but has nearly 13,500 advisors across thousands of bank branches as well as a network of affiliated financial advisors and practices. The division currently has $1.4 trillion in assets under management (AUM), and serves many types of clients, including high net worth individuals.
All information included in this profile is accurate as of May 26, 2020. For more information, please consult Wells Fargo Wealth Managementâ€™s website.
|Assets under management: $1.4 trillion|
|Minimum investment: $5,000|
|Fee structure: Percentage of AUM; hourly charges; fixed fees; commissions|
|Headquarters location:||One North Jefferson Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63103
Wells Fargo Advisors is the investment advisory arm of Wells Fargo & Company. It includes Wells Fargo Clearing Services, composed of advisors in Wells Fargo banks and brokerages, and the Wells Fargo Financial Advisors Network, composed of independently owned firms affiliated with Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo Advisors has more than 13,500 advisors, including those working for both Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network and Wells Fargo Clearing Services.
Both Wells Fargo Clearing Services and Wells Fargo Financial Advisors Network are wholly owned subsidiaries of Wachovia Securities Financial Holdings, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wells Fargo Company. Wells Fargo Company has been an American institution since 1852, when founders Henry Wells and William Fargo founded the company during the San Francisco gold rush.
Wells Fargo Advisors has nearly 30 different types of investment programs aimed at serving different types of investors. The minimum account balances vary greatly depending on the portfolio selected, ranging from $5,000 for a robo-advisory account to $5 million for certain customized portfolios.
Wells Fargo Clearing Services has more than 1.4 million clients, including more than 813,000 individuals and nearly 583,000 high net worth individuals. Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Advisors Network has nearly 175,000 clients, including about 96,000 individuals and 73,000 high net worth individuals. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) defines a high net worth individual as someone with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of more than $1.5 million.
Wells Fargo Advisors also serves thousands of pension and profit-sharing plans and corporations, as well as hundreds of charitable organizations and state and municipal governments. It also works with a small number of banking institutions and insurance companies.
The firm offers a full suite of financial planning and wealth management services to clients throughout the country. Financial advisors work with clients to create an EnvisionÂ® Process investment management plan that recommends an asset allocation strategy, but does not take into account tax or estate planning. More holistic financial planning is available to clients with a net worth of at least $1 million from Wells Fargo Clearing Services and $5 million from Wells Fargo Advisors Network.
The firm provides investment management services to clients on both a discretionary and non-discretionary basis.
Here is a full list of services offered by Wells Fargo Advisors:
Wells Fargo Financial Advisors uses its EnvisionÂ® Process program to recommend a mix of investments thatâ€™s tailored to each clientâ€™s current financial picture, future goals, risk profile and time horizon. Clients can select either a non-discretionary program, in which the advisor makes recommendations and the client conducts the transaction, or a discretionary program, in which the advisor buys and sells investments on behalf of the client.
Your financial advisor will work with you to determine which type of advisory program best fits your needs and help you choose from the following:
For investment advisory services, Wells Fargo charges clients based on a percentage of assets under management. The rate varies based on the product and services used, but it is 2% for most programs, though itâ€™s also negotiable and can be higher for certain strategies. Most of the offered investment programs are wrap fee programs, which means that clients wonâ€™t pay additional fees for each transaction.
Clients who want holistic financial planning, beyond the EnvisionÂ® Process service, will pay an additional fee for that service. The amount of the fee depends on the scope of the plan, but it is capped at a fixed fee of $10,000.
Some Wells Fargo Advisors are also registered insurance agents or broker-dealers. That means that they may earn commissions for products that they recommend and sell to you.
The SEC requires registered investment advisors to disclose whether the firm, an employee or an affiliate has faced disciplinary actions relevant to their advisory business. Wells Fargo Wealth Management has faced multiple such instances within the last decade, many of which the firm settled by paying fines without admitting or denying the charges.
To start working with Wells Fargo Wealth Management, you can either call the firm at (866) 224-5708 or find the office nearest to you using the Find an Advisor tool on the companyâ€™s website.
Youâ€™ll then work with the advisor to go through the firmâ€™s EnvisionÂ® Process of planning, which will help your advisor tailor a portfolio to your financial situation. You have access to your EnvisionÂ® Process plan 24/7 and can contact your advisor at any time if you fall out of your â€śTarget Zone.â€ť
Wells Fargo recommends that clients and advisors connect at least annually. Advisors will communicate with clients via email, phone or in person â€” whichever works best for you.
Wells Fargo Wealth Management may appeal to many potential investors, given the firmâ€™s broad geographic footprint and portfolio offerings for investors at all levels. That makes it a potentially good choice for investors looking for a local financial advisor without a very high minimum investment.
However, many of the firmâ€™s advisors earn commission on the sale of certain financial products, so itâ€™s important to ask your advisor whether theyâ€™re benefiting from any recommendations. You also should take note of the firmâ€™s higher than average fees, limited financial planning services and disciplinary history. Before choosing an advisor, be sure to research a few firms and interview potential advisors to make sure youâ€™re selecting the one thatâ€™s the best fit for you.