Frequently Asked Questions

Top Questions

  • Who are you?

    We're Edelman Financial Services, and we're one of the nation's largest independent financial planning and investment management firms,* with more than $22.3 billion in assets under management for more than 37,000 clients nationwide (as of June 30, 2018). Our founder is acclaimed financial advisor Ric Edelman, three times ranked the #1 Independent Financial Advisor in the nation by Barron's. We've won more than 100 financial, business, community, education and philanthropic awards.**

    In addition to our work as financial advisors, we are perhaps best known for our personal finance education. Ric hosts weekly national radio and television shows, is a #1 New York Times best-selling author and in 2012, the highly regarded industry website,, named Ric one of the "ten most influential figures" in the investment advisory field.*** It's important to note that we are a Registered Investment Advisor. This is important to you, because of all the people who provide financial advice and sell financial products, only Registered Investment Advisors have a fiduciary obligation to you – meaning we are legally obligated to serve your best interests. Stockbrokers, insurance agents and bank personnel legally serve their employers, but we serve you.

    *Based on a 2013 Financial Advisor Magazine survey of independent registered investment advisors that file their own ADV statement with the SEC, provide financial planning and related services to individual clients, and have at least $50 million in assets under management as of 12-31-2012. Only advisors that completed the survey are included in the rankings. Assets under management totals are taken from the total assets under management, as of 12-31-2012, reported on the firm's form ADV. Edelman Financial Services ranked 10th in assets under management as of 12-31-2012.

    **Throughout the firm’s 30 year history, EFS and Ric Edelman have been presented with numerous business, advisory, communication and community service awards. More information on these awards can be found at

    ***The RIABiz listing of the 10 most influential figures in the Registered Investment Advisor industry is in recognition of notable, driven and influential executives who are advancing their firms and are considered to be influential in the RIA business. Investor experience/returns were not considered as part of this ranking.

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  • How long have you been in business?

    We've been educating consumers and serving our clients for 30 years. We currently employ more than 90 advisors, with more than 300 total employees.

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  • What services do you provide?

    We provide financial planning and investment management services to individuals and families as well as institutional clients. Although we're best known for managing our client's investments, we also can provide our clients with professional guidance in all areas of personal finance, including college planning, retirement planning, home ownership, mortgages, insurance and estate planning.

    Some of our clients choose to receive our investment management services primarily or even exclusively from our Internet site, Edelman Online, while others prefer to receive complete financial planning advice and service from our financial advisors. The choice is yours.

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  • Who are your typical clients?

    We serve individuals and families from all across America. Because we have built such a strong team of talented, experienced advisors, we have the expertise you need, whether you are young and single just starting out, or head of a large family and a business owner or executive. We are as proud to help people with a small amount of money as we are to serve those who have invested millions of dollars with us.

    We also serve small businesses, nonprofit and religious organizations and charities, trade and professional associations, corporations, foundations and endowments, community groups and service organizations, and colleges and universities. Because we are one of the largest advisory firms in the nation, we have talent, experience and expertise in-house to solve most any client's needs.

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  • What can you tell me about your financial advisors?

    The advisors on our team are talented and experienced in the field. All are licensed and hold various certifications, and we all undergo ongoing training and continuing education courses annually.

    And just as important, we are skilled listeners who take the time to understand your unique financial concerns in order to give you the personalized advice and recommendations that can help you achieve your goals.

    Unlike other firms where each advisor works independently without regard to what others are doing, all the advisors of Edelman Financial work as a cohesive team. This means you will be the beneficiary of our collective experience and judgment, and ensures that all the advice and recommendations you receive match the advice that Ric himself personally gives.

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  • Do you have any local offices?

    Yes, we have 43 offices nationwide. However, thousands of our clients never visit an office – they work with us exclusively online, or through email, mail and telephone. So you can receive our services no matter where you live. At Edelman Financial, we will work with you in the manner that's most convenient for you.

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  • How do I ask Ric a question on the radio?

    Just give us a little information and tell us your question. Not all questions will be answered on the air, but either way a representative will connect with you soon. We look forward to hearing from you.

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  • What are your hours of operation?

    Our normal hours of operation are 8:30am – 5:30pm local time. Appointments with a financial advisor can often be arranged for evenings and weekends.

    You can contact us 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (888) PLAN-RIC. You'll also enjoy 24/7 access to your accounts through Edelman Online.

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  • What is your fee?

    Our clients pay no commissions, trading costs, or brokerage fees.* Instead, Edelman Managed Asset Program® (EMAP) features a single annual fee. It is calculated quarterly and debited from your account in arrears, based on the beginning and ending values of all the accounts in your household (adjusted for any money you deposit or withdraw during the quarter). Your quarterly statement will show the management fee for the quarter; you will also receive a year-end summary.

    The fee is based on the value of your account. So the more you invest, and the higher your account value grows, the lower your rate – potentially providing valuable savings to you.

    The fee schedule for Traditional EMAP is:

    • First $150,000 2.00%
    • Next $250,000 1.65%
    • Next $350,000 1.25%
    • Next $250,000 1.00%
    • Next $2 million 0.75%
    • Next $7 million 0.60%
    • Next $15 million 0.50%
    • Amounts above $25 million are negotiable

    *Clients pay a wrap fee, which covers brokerage execution costs, without regard to the number of transactions executed during the billing period.  EFS has negotiated fees with TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, and Pershing Advisor Solutions (“PAS”) for clearing and execution services.  Transaction costs imposed by these brokerage firms are covered as part of the wrap fee. The wrap fee does not include certain account and securities-related costs, including the fees embedded in the mutual funds, ETFs or annuities in which wrap fee accounts invest. In addition, the fee does not include debit balances, related margin interest, IRA and retirement plan fees, transfer fees, SEC fees, 12b-1 fees for certain money market funds, wire transfer fees, overnight check fees, account closing fees, paper statement delivery fees, non-standard asset fees, insufficient fund fees, returned check fees, transaction charges for fund level asset allocation model trades, expenses charged by the mutual funds (including management fees, transaction charges incurred for fund-level asset allocation model trades, custody of fund assets and other fund expenses), expenses charged by the variable annuities and exchange-traded funds, or other fees or taxes that are required by law.  EFS may from time to time, at its sole discretion reimburse clients for certain fees or charges which are not due to the client’s error. 

    As noted above, we anticipate that transactions placed in your account will be executed through either TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, or PAS, however, in the limited circumstances described below, EFS may choose to execute trades with another broker-dealer if we reasonably believe that another broker-dealer can obtain a more favorable execution under the circumstances.  Specifically, occasionally, (typically less than 5% of the time), EFS will utilize broker-dealers other than TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, or PAS to execute large transactions when we determine it is in our clients' best interest. This occurs when the size of the transaction in any one security is so large that it could cause the price of the security to fluctuate, up or down, resulting in an unfavorable execution price for our clients.  We will typically execute such trades with a broker-dealer other than TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, or PAS if a different broker-dealer has the capability to handle such large transactions and to reduce or eliminate the potential negative price fluctuation.  In these instances, the wrap fee does not include the compensation that is paid to the broker-dealer.  This compensation is embedded into the price of the security which is paid by the client.  These additional costs are in addition to the wrap fee paid by the client.

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  • What does your fee include?

    Edelman Managed Asset Program's® (EMAP) fee covers all of our investment management and account-related services, as well as execution of all trades, securities custody and most clearance services. For example, the EMAP fee does not include certain account and securities-related costs, including the fees embedded in the mutual funds, ETFs or annuities in which your EMAP account invests (including management fees, transaction charges incurred for asset allocation model trades, custody of assets and other expenses). Depending on your situation you may incur the following fees: debit balances, related margin interest, IRA and retirement plan fees, transfer fees, SEC fees, 12b-1 fees for certain money market funds, wire transfer fees, overnight check fees, account closing fees, or other fees or taxes that are required by law.

    You will also receive a prospectus for each fund, containing expenses and other charges. We only recommend no-load institutional-class mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

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  • What is your succession plan for financial planners?

    What happens to you if your Edelman financial planner retires, falls ill or dies? It’s very important that management of your assets and access to financial advice is not impeded. That’s why we’ve instituted a Succession Plan at Edelman Financial Services for each of our firm’s financial planners.

    Learn more about our Succession Plan

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  • What is your Privacy Policy?

Have a Different Question? Ask Us.