Creative Planning: what do you need to know?

1 min readLast updated May 30, 2024by Unbiased team

Creative Planning is one of the United States’ largest financial advisory firms offering wealth management, estate, financial, and retirement planning services.

Summary 

  • Creative Planning is one of the US’s most prominent financial advisory firms. 

  • Creative Planning offers various services for individuals and organizations, including wealth management, financial planning, estate planning, and an Automated Investment Program. 

  • The firm uses an annualized, asset-based fee structure, which charges lower fees for clients with more assets under management. 

  • Finding a professional financial advisor is the key to successfully managing your wealth and investing intelligently.  

Introduction to Creative Planning 

Creative Planning Inc. is based in Overland Park, Kansas, US, and offers its clients a range of wealth management services. This fee-based firm offers services related to wealth management, financial planning, retirement, and estate management, among other investment types.  

Creative Planning is owned and managed by President and CEO Peter Mallouk, who has been at the helm since 2004. The firm was established in 1983. Today, it employs over 1,000 financial advisors, and its team holds multiple certifications, including certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), certified financial planners (CFPs), and chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs).  

What services do Creative Planning offer? 

Creative Planning's investment management services are exceptionally diverse.  

The firm offers private and general wealth management, financial planning and long-term financial goal planning, investment management, tax planning, risk management, and insurance planning. 

Creative Planning wealth management professionals can also assist with estate and retirement planning, long-term care planning, 401(k) management, debt management, plan design, and fiduciary management. Additionally, Creative Planning assists with investment committee oversight, employee education schemes, plan fund performance reviews, and institutional needs such as risk management, tax minimization strategizing, asset allocation, spending analysis, portfolio liquidity management, and grant operations assistance.  

Moreover, the firm provides investment policy statement design, manager evaluation services, an Automated Investment Program, and personalized services for wealthy clients. 

What is Creative Planning’s pricing and fee structure? 

Creative Planning’s minimum investment is calculated on the basis of households having a minimum of $500,000 in investable assets. Most of Creative Planning’s fees work according to an annualized, asset-based fee structure. The more assets a client has invested in the firm, the lower the fees they may be charged. 

The firm charges these rates quarterly and in arrears, based on fair market values or agreed values of a client’s assets, on the final business day of each calendar quarter. 

Creative Planning wealth management fees are as follows: 

Creative Planning Portfolio Management Fees 

Value of Assets Under ManagementAnnual Fees (charged quarterly)
First USD$500,000 1.20%
USD$500,001 - $2,000,000 1.00%
USD$2,000,001 - $5,000,000 0.85%
USD$5,000,001 - $10,000,000 0.80%
USD$10,000,001 - $25,000,000 0.70%
USD$25,000,001 - $50,000,000 0.40%
USD$50,000,001 - $100,000,000 0.30%
Over USD$100,000,000 0.25%

Creative Planning Estimated Portfolio Management Service Fees 

Value of Managed AssetsEstimated Fee Amounts (not including variable brokerage, custodial, third-party manager, or other fees)
USD$500K $6,000
USD$1MM $11,000
USD$5MM $46,500
USD$10MM $86,500

What is Creative Planning’s investment philosophy? 

Creative Planning reviews suggest that the firm customizes its investment strategies according to its clients' needs and goals. The firm will identify your unique financial goals, and its investment advisors will craft a plan to help you reach them. Creative Planning also accounts for your time horizon, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs when crafting an investment plan. 

The firm creates its investment portfolios using stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, and alternative investments, helping to diversify clients’ funds across multiple investment vehicles. This protects clients’ assets from market crashes and harsh market conditions. Your investment strategy may also be adjusted according to special conditions such as diverse tax considerations, stock options, inheritances, and legacy holdings.

Is Creative Planning trustworthy? 

Is Creative Planning a good company? While many clients trust this firm with their financial assets, it’s important to note that it has one disclosure on its ADV form for failing to enforce its code of ethics relating to radio advertising. 

It should also be taken into account that Creative Planning is a fee-based firm. This means that its advisors can earn commissions from selling certain licensed insurance products.  

This may create conflicts of interest, although Creative Planning does abide by its fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of its clients at all times. 

What are the pros and cons of Creative Planning? 

There is a range of potential advantages and disadvantages to using the firm’s services. 

Pros 

  • Creative Planning wealth management services include a wide range of offerings, including portfolio management and extensive financial planning. 

  • The firm uses an industry-standard fee structure that decreases as you invest more assets. 

  • Creative Planning adopts a team-based wealth management approach. 

  • This firm is generally regarded as trustworthy, upholding stringent fiduciary duty at all times. 

Cons 

  • Creative Planning's minimum investment for financial planning services may be higher than other similar service providers. 

  • The firm has one report of failing to uphold its code of ethics for radio advertisements. 

  • Portfolio management fees may be higher than expected, as Creative Planning charges extra variable brokerage, custodial, third-party manager, and other fees in addition to its standard portfolio management fees. 

How to open an account with Creative Planning 

If you wish to open an account with Creative Planning, you may visit one of the firm’s offices, email them at [email protected], or call their Kansas headquarters at (866) 909-5148.  

The firm’s official website also offers a Request a Meeting form, which secures you a free consultation. 

Get expert financial advice 

Creative Planning investment management offers professional services for a range of clients, from individuals to organizations. The firm provides a wide range of general and private wealth and financial management services. Creative Planning also offers comprehensive services for institutions designed to protect and grow all types of assets in a structured way. 

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.