Ameritas Investment Corp is a financial advisor firm with roughly $5 billion in assets under management (AUM) and more than 500 advisors. The firm serves more than 22,000 clients, including individuals, businesses, charities and retirement plans. Ameritas’ principal office is in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Ameritas is a fee-based firm, which means some of its advisors can earn commissions or other compensation from the sale of certain securities or insurance products. This differs from a fee-only firm, which would receive compensation solely from the fees that clients pay.
Ameritas Investment Corp Background
Ameritas Investment Corp was founded in 1984. However, it did not register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) until 1998. The firm’s parent company is Ameritas Mutual Holding Company, which also owns other insurance and investment companies.
More than 500 advisors provide financial services at Ameritas.
What Types of Clients Does Ameritas Investment Corp Accept?
Ameritas Investment Corp has a large client base that consists of nearly 12,500 individuals below the high-net-worth threshold. The firm also manages assets for high-net-worth individuals, pensions and other retirement plans, charitable organizations and corporations.
Ameritas Investment Corp Minimum Account Sizes
Ameritas Investment Corp offers a number of different investment strategies, and these strategies have varying minimum account sizes associated with them. These go as follows:
- Galaxy: $50,000
- Galaxy Wrap: $250,000
- Galaxy II: $25,000
- Galaxy II Wrap: $25,000
- Constellation: $25,000
- Managed Account Solutions: Varies by strategy
- Retirement Plan Advisory Services: No minimum
- Advantage Advisory Program: No minimum
Services Offered by Ameritas Investment Corp
Ameritas Investment Corp provides investment management to a wide range of clients. These services can come in the form of several different programs, including:
- Investment management
- Galaxy Program
- Galaxy Wrap Program
- Galaxy II Program
- Galaxy II Wrap Program
- Constellation Wrap Program
- Managed Account Solutions Wrap Program
- Direct Advisory Third-Party Programs
- Solicitor Programs
- Financial Planning
- Estate planning
- Investment planning
- Tax planning
- Insurance planning
- Retirement planning
- Cash flow and net worth analysis
- Education fund planning
- Retirement Plan Advisory Services
Ameritas Investment Corp Investment Philosophy
Ameritas Investment Corp allows its advisor representatives plenty of independence to act upon their own investment philosophies and preferred methods of analysis. As such, the firm doesn’t have a strict investing philosophy that guides its decisions.
Most advisors tend to follow a general investment process, though. These processes rely on investment strategies like asset allocation, fundamental analysis, technical analysis and cyclical analysis. Asset allocation involves determining a combination of asset classes (equities, fixed-income, real estate, etc.) that will comprise a diversified portfolio capable of achieving a client’s goals, while also minimizing risk and volatility. The investment analyses above each work differently, but they all intend to ascertain a security’s intrinsic value in the end.
Fees Under Ameritas Investment Corp
For its investment advisory services, Ameritas charges fees as a percentage of each client’s AUM. If you take part in the Galaxy Program, the Galaxy II Program, the Galaxy Wrap Program, the Galaxy II Wrap Program, the Constellation Wrap Program or a third-party advisory program, your fees will generally adhere to these rates:
|Investment Management Fees|
|Assets Under Management||Fee Percentage|
|Up to $250,000||2.00%|
|$250,000 - $500,000||1.75%|
|$500,000 - $1,000,000||1.50%|
|$1,000,000 - $3,000,000||1.25%|
|$3,000,000 and above||1.00%|
If you take part in the Managed Account Solutions Program, you’ll likely pay a fee of between 0% and 1.70%, depending upon the specifics of your account. A portion of these fees will go to Ameritas and a portion will go to the advisor representative.
Financial planning and consulting fees come in the form of either a flat fee or an hourly fee, depending on your needs and preferences. There is no standard fee arrangement, as it can vary by client.
What to Watch Out For
Ameritas Investment Corp may receive performance-based fees on a limited basis. The firm’s Form ADV explains the pitfalls of this compensation structure: “Performance-based fees create certain inherent conflicts of interest. Specifically, performance-based fees create an incentive for the IAR to take risks in managing assets that they may not otherwise take in the absence of such arrangements.”
This firm is also a fee-based operation. As a result, some of its advisory representatives can receive commissions from the sale of specific insurance products or securities. This, too, represents a conflict of interest, as representatives are incentivized to sell you such products.
Despite each of the potential conflicts of interest listed above, Ameritas abides by fiduciary duty. Therefore it is legally bound to act in your best interest at all times.
Ameritas Investment Corp has 21 disclosures listed on its Form ADV. Six of these are in the name of one of Ameritas’ advisory affiliates, and the other 15 are in direct relation to the firm.
These violations include failing to adequately disclose the receipt of 12b-1 fees from mutual funds held in advisory accounts and the initiation of an address change and fund disbursement without the authorization of the client. These and the rest of the disclosures resulted in various fines and censures from authorities.
Opening an Account With Ameritas Investment Corp
To get in touch with Ameritas Investment Corp, you can call the firm toll-free at (800) 335-9858. You can also reach out to the firm online by filling out the contact form on its website. For the latter, you must provide your name, contact information and a message.
Where Is Ameritas Investment Corp Located?
Ameritas Investment Corp has its headquarters in Lincoln, Nebraska on O Street next to the Gateway Mall. The firm has a secondary office in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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