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Ameritas Advisory Services

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Ameritas Investment Company, now branded as Ameritas Advisory Services, is a financial advisory firm with billions of dollars in assets under management (AUM) and hundreds of advisors. The firm has a massive client base that includes individuals, businesses, charities and retirement plans. Ameritas’ principal office is in Lincoln, Nebraska.

As a fee-based firm, some Ameritas 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 Advisory Services Background

Ameritas 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.

Also previously known as Ameritas, the company changed its name and corporate structure in 2020.

Ameritas Advisory Services Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Ameritas has a large client base that primarily consists of 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 offers a number of different investment strategies, and these strategies have varying minimum account sizes associated with them. They are as follows:

  • Galaxy: $50,000
  • Galaxy Wrap: $250,000
  • Galaxy II: $25,000
  • Galaxy II Wrap: $25,000
  • Ameritas Investment Strategies: $5,000
  • Ameritas Investment Strategies Wrap: $5,000
  • Advisor Managed Retirement: $5,000
  • Advisor Managed Solutions: $5,000
  • Constellation: $25,000
  • Managed Account Solutions: Varies by strategy
  • Retirement Plan Advisory Services: No minimum
  • Advantage Advisory Program: No minimum

Services Offered by Ameritas Advisory Services

Ameritas 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
  • Consulting
  • Retirement Plan Advisory Services

Ameritas Advisory Services Investment Philosophy

Ameritas Advisory Services 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 Advisory Services

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, Managed Account Solutions Program, Portfolio Advisor or Third-Party Advisory Programs, your fees will generally adhere to these rates:

Investment Management Fees
Assets Under Management Fee Percentage
Up to $250,000 2.00%
$250,001 - $500,000 1.75%
$500,001 - $1,000,000 1.50%
$1,000,001 - $3,000,000 1.25%
$3,000,001 and above 1.00%

Fees for other Ameritas programs vary. Meanwhile, financial planning and consulting fees are either charged as 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 Advisory Services has several disclosures listed on its Form ADV. Many of these involve one of Ameritas’ advisory affiliates, while the rest are in direct relation to the firm. At least two disclosures involve both the firm and affiliates. 

These violations include allegedly 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.

Ameritas may also 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.

Opening an Account With Ameritas Advisory Services

To get in touch with Ameritas Advisory Services, 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.

Tips for Retirement Planning

  • Financial advisors can be great partners in putting together a retirement plan. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Don’t forget to take Social Security payments into account when you formulate what kind of income you’ll need in retirement. If you don’t know what you’re in line to receive, check out SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator.

How Long $1mm Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research