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Equitable Advisors Review

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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.

Equitable Advisors, LLC

Equitable Advisors is a financial advisor firm headquartered in New York City. The firm manages assets for individuals with and without a high net worth, as well as charitable organizations, pension plans and corporations.

This is a fee-based firm that specializes in financial planning and investment management, with programs being available through a number of outside advisory firms.

Prior to June 2020, Equitable Advisors, LLC operated under the name AXA Advisors, LLC. Aside from this name change, the firm remains the same as it was before.

Equitable Advisors Background

Equitable Advisors opened for business in 1999. However, the firm can trace its history back all the way to 1859, when Henry Hyde founded its distant predecessor, the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. As stated above, this firm changed its name from AXA Advisors to Equitable Advisors on June 15, 2020.

Equitable Advisors is a wholly owned subsidiary of Equitable Holdings, Inc., a holding company. Equitable Holdings is, in turn, controlled by an independent board of directors. Equitable Holdings also owns Equitable Life Insurance Company, a life insurance business, and AllianceBernstein, another registered investment advisor (RIA) firm.

Equitable Advisors employs over 3,700 advisors, and some of these advisors have earned professional certifications. These include certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and chartered life underwriter (CLU).

Equitable Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

The vast majority of Equitable Advisors’ client base is made up of both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as pension profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.

Clients of Equitable Advisors can choose from a wide range of investment management and wrap fee programs, many of which have minimum account sizes. These minimums start at $10,000 and can reach as high as $1 million. For other services, the account size could range from $50,000 to $300,000.

Services Offered by Equitable Advisors

Financial planning services at Equitable Advisors can cover the following topics:

  • Financial goal-setting
  • Financial positioning
  • Insurance needs analysis
  • Asset allocation and investment planning
  • Retirement and distribution planning
  • Education cost planning
  • Estate planning
  • Stock options
  • Income tax planning
  • Major purchase planning
  • Divorce planning

Equitable Advisors generally offers investment management through programs sponsored by separate advisory firms. These programs fall into five broad categories:

  • Mutual Fund Advisory Programs
    • Allocates client assets across a portfolio of mutual funds
  • Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) Advisory Programs
    • Programs in which clients invest in a variety of ETFs
  • Financial Professional as Advisor Programs
    • Non-discretionary or discretionary programs in which clients invest in multiple types of investments (mutual funds, ETFs, equities, bonds, etc.)
  • Separately Managed Account (SMA) Advisory Programs
    • Programs in which client assets are managed by a third-party money manager
  • Unified Managed Account (UMA) Programs
    • Programs that may combine aspects of any of the above programs

The firm provides access to more than 50 different investment programs from a number of firms, including:

  • LWI Financial, Inc.
  • LPL Financial
    • Optimum Market Portfolios (OMP)
    • Strategic Asset Management (SAM)
    • Personal Wealth Portfolios (PWP)
    • Manager Select
    • Model Wealth Portfolios (MWP)
  • Manning & Napier Advisors, LLC
  • Morningstar Investment Services, Inc.
  • Nationwide Investment Advisors
  • PlanMember Securities Corporation
  • ProNvest, Inc.
  • Sage Advisory Services, Ltd. Co.
  • SEI Investments Management Corporation
  • The Pacific Financial Group
  • Ancora Inverness
  • Cleveland Capital, LLC
  • CLS Investments, LLC
  • Lockwood Advisors, Inc.
  • Meeder Advisory Services, Inc.
  • Taurus Asset Management
  • The Colony Group
  • UBS Financial Services
  • USA Financial Portformulas Corporation
  • Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Equitable Advisors Investment Philosophy

Generally speaking, the task of constructing investment portfolios for clients falls to the investment program sponsors and not Equitable Advisors itself. So in the case of each program, the truly pertinent investment philosophy is that of the sponsor of whichever program you choose to invest your money in. These strategies are typically available for beforehand review through Equitable Advisors.

However, this firm and its advisory professionals conduct investment research by reviewing various kinds of research materials made available through LPL Financial. In addition, it may review fund prospectuses or other market publications.

Fees Under Equitable Advisors

Financial planning services at Equitable Advisors may come with a fixed fee or an hourly fee. For the first year, fixed fees usually range from $250 to $25,000. In special circumstances, the fee may be higher, though. Periodic reviews of financial plans can result in a fixed fee of between $250 to $12,500. Hourly fees are negotiable and can vary from $100 to $400 per hour.

Fees for the various asset management programs at the firm are listed below. For reference, a recent study by RIA in a Box found that the average annual advisory fee is 0.95% of AUM.

Fees paid to equitable partners vary and ranges between 0.20% and 2.50%

What to Watch Out For

According to its Form ADV, Equitable Advisors has multiple disclosures in the recent past. These include events like failing to adequately supervise an advisor who violated federal securities law and failing to comply with certain statutory requirements regarding life insurance practices.

Certain members of Equitable Advisors' staff are licensed to sell insurance products, such as variable annuities. The sale of these insurance products may generate commissions for the advisors who sell them, and these commissions can cause a potential conflict of interest.

Equitable Advisors acts as a registered securities broker-dealer in addition to being an investment advisory firm. This means that many of the firm’s advisors are authorized to conduct securities transactions that could result in the earning of commissions. Similarly, these commissions can cause a potential conflict of interest, as they can incentivize advisors to recommend transactions that will result in commissions.

Despite each of the aforementioned potential conflicts of interest, fee-based Equitable Advisors is a fiduciary, which means it’s required to act in your best interest at all times.

Opening an Account With Equitable Advisors

You can get in touch with Equitable Advisors through a number of different routes. To contact a specific office, you can visit the firm’s website to find the phone number or address of the branch closest to you.

Equitable Advisors is headquartered on the Avenue of the Americas in the New York City borough of Manhattan. The firm employs more than 3,700 advisors in offices across the country, though.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.  

Tips for Beginning Your Retirement Plans

  • Finding a financial advisor doesn't have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • It can be tough to know how much to save for retirement without knowing what your future expenses might be. Our retirement calculator can help you determine how much you’ll need to save depending on where you want to retire when you want to retire and other important factors.

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