Citigroup Inc. is building an advisory unit to focus on "emerging affluent" customers, or those with under $500,000 of investable assets.

The unit will be named MyFi and will be part of Citi's Smith Barney.

"It has been very hard for anybody with $500,000 or less to get decent investment advice," said Jonathan Clements, a personal finance columnist with The Wall Street Journal, who will join MyFi on Monday as its director of financial education.

The new unit fits with a strategy Sallie Krawcheck, Citi's head of wealth management, laid out last month in an internal memo. She wrote that Citi would "develop a distinct strategy for each client segment" for ultra-high net worth, high-net worth, and emerging affluent customers.

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