Edward Jones is a massive private asset management firm with headquarters in St. Louis. It has more local offices nationwide than any other U.S. investment firm, with over 15,000 locations in North America. Edward Jones’ primary focus is managing portfolios for individuals and families. It does not offer a la carte financial planning services, such as the creation of budgets or written financial plans.
The bottom line: Edward Jones is a huge asset management firm with thousands of locations across North America that primarily provides portfolio management services.
|Assets under management: $519,780,123,422|
|Minimum investment: Varies by account type, starting at $5,000|
|Individual investor to advisor ratio: 148:1|
|Fee structure: A percentage of AUM, other fees|
|Headquarters: 12555 Manchester Road
St. Louis, MO 63131
All information included in this profile is accurate as of August 12, 2021. For more information, please consult Edward Jones’ website.
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Investment banker Edward Jones Sr. created the eponymous firm in 1922 in St. Louis. Edward Jones’ roots are in the brokerage industry, as it first registered with the SEC as a broker-dealer in 1941, and then as a registered investment advisor in 1993. Edward Jones’ parent company, The Jones Financial Company L.L.L.P, has more than 24,000 Edward Jones associates holding limited partnerships.
Today, Edward Jones has over 15,000 locations throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada. The firm’s philosophy is to serve clients through local offices, where advisors live and work in the area and can meet with clients face-to-face. The team includes over 19,000 employees who perform investment advisory or research functions. Most of the firm’s advisors are also licensed as registered representatives of broker-dealers and/or insurance agents.
Today, the vast majority of Edward Jones’ clients are individuals, though it also serves a number of high net worth individuals, who the SEC defines as investors with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million.
Clients can access the advisory services with as little as $5,000 to invest, although some discretionary accounts where the advisor handles the day-to-day decisions and trades can require an investment of as much as $500,000 or even $1 million to open an account, depending on the type of account chosen.
Portfolio management is the main offering of Edward Jones’ investment advisory division. Depending on how involved a client wants to be, they can choose from a range of account options.
Clients who are looking for guidance on how to invest their money but prefer to call the shots themselves will want to look at the Guided Solutions funds, which steer you to certain investments based on your objectives but leave you in charge of how you allocate your money across those funds, and responsible for all buying and selling decisions. On the other end of the spectrum, clients who prefer to take more of a hands-off approach and leave much of the day-to-day management up to their advisor can consider the Advisory Solutions accounts.
The firm also offers employers assistance in managing their employer-sponsored retirement plans. Advisors do not offer standalone financial planning services, such as creating a written retirement plan.
Most Edward Jones advisors are also registered as broker-dealers, so they can place individual trades for brokerage clients and earn commissions separate from these programs. Many Edward Jones advisors are also licensed insurance agents and can sell annuities as well as life and disability insurance.
Outside of their advisory services, Edward Jones assists families with trusts and estates. Their specialized Client Consultation group provides insight to clients and their financial advisors on complex topics such as retirement income, business sale and succession, and portfolio tax management.
Here is a full list of services offered by the firm:
Clients initially fill out a profile with information about their goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. Based on their answers, the firm will recommend a specific Account Portfolio Objective, such as all-equity focus with the highest growth potential, or an income focus with little growth potential. Clients also can choose an alternative objective if that’s available.
Next, clients or the advisor, depending on the account, will choose from the firm’s list of handpicked eligible investments for that objective. Objectives for Guided portfolios may include:
Edward Jones handpicks eligible investments, both affiliated and unaffiliated, that are available in the accounts Portfolios are allocated across a variety of asset classes, and investments used may include stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
For its Guided and Advisory accounts, Edward Jones charges an asset-based fee based on how much you have invested with the firm and the services provided. The flat fee is based on a tiered schedule, ranging from 1.35% for your first $250,000 invested down to 1% or less for $1.5 million or more invested.
|Edward Jones Program Fee Schedule|
|Value of assets||Annual rate|
|Next $1.5 million||1%|
|Next $2.5 million||0.80%|
|Next $5 million||0.60%|
|Over $10 million||0.50%|
For clients who choose the hands-off Advisory Solutions accounts, giving Edward Jones discretionary authority to make transaction decisions, you’ll owe an additional fee, with the rate depending on the size and type of account, as outlined in the table below.
|Edward Jones Portfolio Strategy Fee Schedule|
|Value of assets||Annual rate|
|Next $1.5 million||0.17%|
|Next $2.5 million||0.12%|
|Next $5 million||0.09%|
|Over $10 million||0.09%|
These accounts are wrap accounts, meaning you pay one bundled fee that typically includes the advisory fee as well as transaction costs. One exception is if another broker-dealer is used for the trade, clients may owe transaction costs.
Regardless of which account type they have, clients still owe third-party fund fees, such as mutual fund fees and ETF fees. Fees are deducted from client accounts each month. Keep in mind you can always buy and sell investments individually through an Edward Jones brokerage account, and pay commissions and transaction costs instead of a flat fee.
Edward Jones has faced dozens of disciplinary charges over the last 10 years, many of which they settled with regulators by paying fines, without admitting to or denying the charges. Many of the charges are for failing to adequately supervise individual brokers and advisors.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires all registered investment advisors to disclose on their Form ADV whenever the firm, an employee or an affiliate faces any disciplinary actions, such as criminal charges or civil lawsuits, that are material to a client’s evaluation of the advisory business or the integrity of the management team. Allegations against Edward Jones come from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the SEC or state regulators and include, among others:
For more information, you can go to the firm’s IAPD page.
Edward Jones lists locations in the following states on its Form ADV. However, it should be noted that the firm has over 15,000 locations across North America, and jurisdiction in every U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Visit Edward Jones’ website to search for an advisor in your area.
Edward Jones may appeal to a broad swath of inexperienced as well as sophisticated individual investors, as it has multiple offerings and allows clients to choose their level of involvement with their accounts. In particular, clients looking for a local financial advisor in their community who does not require a seven-figure investment may want to take a look at Edward Jones.
Since advisors can earn commissions by recommending certain products, be sure to find out why they are suggesting certain products and how much they may earn if you sign up. You should also understand that Edward Jones has multiple disciplinary disclosures, although this is more common for huge firms such as this one. And if you are looking for intensive financial planning services, Edward Jones isn’t for you, as it focuses on portfolio management. Be sure to research multiple firms to ensure you find the right advisor for you.
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