Citizens Investment Services: what do you need to know?

1 min readLast updated May 30, 2024by Unbiased team

This Citizens Investment Services review covers everything you need to know about this company, exploring its services, investing philosophy, and pros and cons.

Summary 

  • Citizens Investment Services offers a wide range of investment and portfolio management services. 

  • Citizens Bank and its parent company, Citizens Financial Group, Inc., own the company, which, as a fiduciary, must act in the best interests of its clients. 

  • Citizens Investment Services is a fee-based firm rather than a fee-only firm. 

  • Finding the right financial advisor can help you to make the best decisions about your goals, investments, and future. 

Introduction to Citizens Investment Services 

Established in 1995 and registered with the SEC in 2003, Citizens Investment Services is an investment advisor owned by Citizens Bank and its parent company, Citizens Financial Group, Inc.  

The company’s legal name is Citizens Securities, Inc. One of the largest financial institutions in the U.S., it has an extensive team of financial advisors who manage assets for clients who are mostly non-high-net-worth individuals. 

Citizens Investment Services is a fee-based firm rather than a fee-only firm. This means that some of its advisors may earn additional compensation from selling specific securities to clients. 

What services do Citizens Investment Services offer?  

Citizens Investment Services offers a variety of investment and portfolio management services through its main Citizens Advisory Solutions Managed Account Program, Citizens Advisory Connect Program, and Citizens Digital Advice Program. These include: 

Citizens Advisory Solutions Managed Account Program 

  • Unified managed account (UMA) program offering access to a diversified portfolio of ETFs, mutual funds, fund strategist portfolios, and separately managed accounts (SMAs). 

  • Integrated Portfolios. 

  • Private Wealth Portfolios within the Integrated Portfolios program include model portfolios in keeping with the client’s risk tolerance. 

Citizens Advisory Connect Program 

  • Electronic communication with financial advisors via the Citizens Bank website. 

  • Discretionary investment management by unaffiliated investment managers. 

Citizens Digital Advice Program 

  • Tax-loss harvesting features. 

  • Risk-adjusted model portfolios. 

  • Robo-advisor services via SigFig Wealth Management. 

What is Citizens Investment Services’ investment philosophy? 

Citizens Investment Services does not have a main investment philosophy. Instead, the company offers a plethora of investment strategies via in-house mutual funds and third-party managers. This approach is also reflected in accounts, which vary in the wide range of securities used in portfolios. 

A large number of Citizens Bank Investment Services programs use analytical data as well as computer-based investment research to guide their final investment decisions. Moreover, every client is kept informed regarding specific investment philosophies on a case-by-case basis due to the company’s use of a range of third-party managers and investment advisors for investment accounts. 

What is Citizens Investment Services’ pricing and fee structure? 

Citizens Investment Services fees depend on the program you choose as well as your overall assets under management (AUM). That said, some fees are negotiable. The company calculates and charges fees to be paid on a quarterly basis. The annual Citizen's Investment services fees of the various programs are as follows: 

Citizens Integrated Portfolios Unified Managed Account Fees 

Total AUMAnnual Fee
First $250,000 1.41%
Next $250,000 1.26%
Next $500,000 1.11%
Next $1,000,000 1.06%
Next $3,000,000 1.01%
$5,000,000 and up 0.96%

Citizens Advisory Connect Fees 

Total AUMAnnual Fees
First $250,000 1.35%
Next $250,000 1.25%
Next $500,000 1.13%
Next $1,000,000 1.08%
Next $3,000,000 1.03%
$5,000,000 and up 0.98%

Citizens Bank Investment Services charges a fee of 0.50% of AUM for its Digital Advisory Program. 

Is Citizens Investment Services trustworthy? 

Citizen Investment Services is the investment arm of one of the U.S.’s largest financial institutions. It is a fiduciary, so it must act in your best interests. These are two strong indicators of trustworthiness. However, the company has 21 disclosures on its Form ADV. These disclosures relate to the company itself and advisory affiliates. 

It’s also important to note that the company has a number of conflicts of interest due to additional compensation that it or its advisors receive for making specific recommendations. Citizens Bank Investment Services receives 12b-1 fees from mutual funds, while advisors may receive additional compensation from the sale of various securities, which means that you might receive recommendations based on the potential compensation your advisor will receive rather than on your needs. 

What are the pros and cons of Citizens Investment Services? 

There are several pros and cons of Citizens Investment Services, including: 

Pros 

  • The company offers an extensive selection of investment products, such as mutual funds, brokerage accounts, and IRAs, giving customers flexibility. 

  • The company’s investment offerings are relatively more accessible than those of its competitors, making investing more accessible to more people. 

  • Citizens Investment Bank’s advisors are known for a professional approach that combines expertise, valuable insights, and personalized guidance. 

  • The company has powerful online tools and resources that clients can use to stay updated about market trends, track their investments, and take a proactive approach to managing their financial assets. 

Cons 

  • Some of the fees associated with certain investment products and services are relatively high, which can negatively impact overall returns. 

  • Citizens Bank Investment Services’ physical branches are mostly in the northeastern part of the U.S., which can make it difficult for some clients to meet advisors in person. 

  • Mixed customer service reviews indicate that some clients are not happy with the level of responsiveness or the quality of the service they receive from advisors or customer care agents. 

  • The account minimums are high enough to exclude some earners from investing. 

How to open an account with Citizens Investment Services? 

There are two ways to open an account with Citizens Investment Services. One is to visit the company’s website, access the Investing and Wealth Management page, and select the Find an Advisor button. The other is to call the company at 1-833-373-1955. 

Get expert financial advice 

A trusted name in the U.S., Citizens Investment Services is known for offering a wide range of investment products and services at a relatively affordable pricing structure. With the guidance of one of the company’s many advisors and its robust online tools and resources, you can take a proactive approach to investing.  

Take charge of your finances and plan ahead with guidance you can trust. Get matched with a financial advisor at Unbiased and benefit from expert financial advice

Writers

Unbiased team

Our team of writers, who have decades of experience writing about personal finance, including investing and retirement, are here to help you find out what you must know about life’s biggest financial decisions.