Curian Capital

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now_indy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-28
now_indy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-28

That's weird, I couldn't write anything in the box for the initial post, oh well, I'll do it this way.

Anyway, to my original post. Has anyone used Curian Capital?  They
are a seperately managed account program that LPL allows under their
Cash Solicitors list.   I'm looking into using them, and it looks
pretty good. Low minimums ($25K), customization (no alcohol, tobacco,
etc.), with tax harvesting.  The only problem is the fees seem a
little high. For less than $100K, they charge 1.49% + whatever you want
to make.  Granted, where else can you put $75k and get a fully
balanced SMA program with tax harvesting ,etc.?

Also, when you build a proposal with them, it generates a decent IPS
for the client and you to sign.  Also, it's all email based. But,
if you really want to, you can print out their statement and mail it to
the client.

Any experience with them, anyone?

snaggletooth's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-13

I've looked into them and a couple guys in my office have used them.  The tax harvesting is the best part.  The fees aren't outrageous when compared to mutual fund manager fees and trading expenses.
 
The client really has to be comfortable using the internet to access their account.  You say you can print off the statements and mail them, I don't know if that would be a bad way to go or not, so I'd still make sure the client was technologically sophisticated enough to go online and look at the account.
 
As for the performance, I have heard complaints about the poor relative performance.  Since each portfolio can be tailored by customization and tax harvesting, I don't think you can get true historical performance data. 
 
I think for tax averse people, Curian can win them over.  The transparancy of fees might be well liked by certain people.
 
For the right client, it could be a good fit.

now_indy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-28

Thanks for the info. 

theironhorse's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-03

I have a pretty decent book with Curian.  They are my main vendor for non-qualified money.  Have been using them since 2004 or so.  Very solid and great internal/external support.

Monkey's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-22

The best part about Curian, IMHO, is the true paperless workflow.  Everything from account opening documents, to performance report delivery is completely paperless.Taking all other competitors and pricing into consideration, this is what sets Curian apart in my mind.  Maybe not the best fit for all of my clients, but really nice for those who do fit.

jwcopper's picture
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Joined: 2008-05-14

Do you find that much benefit from working with them for $75k accounts?

snaggletooth's picture
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Joined: 2007-07-13

Monkey wrote:Maybe not the best fit for all of my clients, but really nice for those who do fit.
 
What is the right fit in your opinion for Curian?

now_indy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-28

snaggletooth wrote:Monkey wrote:Maybe not the best fit for all of my clients, but really nice for those who do fit.
 
What is the right fit in your opinion for Curian?
 
For me, it's the clients with over $100k in non-qualified accounts. The fee still seems a little steep to me, but the tax harvesting makes up for it.
 
For qualified accounts, I think $250K is a good number.  At $250K, the Curian fee is 1.2% + whatever the advisor wants.  So, if you want 1%, the client is all in at 2.2%. That's about the price of a C share, but the client gets an Investment Policy statement, great diversification, and can exclude individual stocks or industries. Not too shabby.
 
Oh yeah, the paperless part is pretty cool. Although LPL still makes us send them a new account form before they approve the account.

Hammer's picture
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Joined: 2008-10-18

Be careful with Curian.  While they have great technology, and extraordinary ease of use, they leave the door open to your business being poached.  Their pitch is a simple one, we'll make your managed business essentially paperless, and easy to manage...both true...but when another advisor comes in after you, you can essentially kiss the business goodbye.  The reasons are simple...the cost is too high (compare their fees to other managed providers NOT to mutual funds), the number of investment managers is too small, and the track record is abismal.
That said, many advisors have built OUTSTANDING practices with them.  I do not mean to bash Curian, just to recommend that you ease into a relationship with them, rather then jumping in blindly.

Squash's picture
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Joined: 2008-08-08

My partner used them for a while satisfied, however when one of his clients transfered for them back to our wrap account, they wouldn' liquidate position and instead xfered in all the individual stock shares. Not horrible but some of the positions had stocks with less than 50 shares(and there were 50-60 of those). Kind of a pain.. Ease in

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