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BB&T Securities

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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.

BB&T Securities

BB&T Securities is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BB&T Corporation. It functions as a registered investment advisor (RIA) providing various wealth management services to a wide range of clients, from individuals to institutions. The financial advisor firm currently has more than $19 billion In assets under management (AUM). It operates more than 1,400 offices throughout the U.S. and employs more than 1,500 registered representatives. 

BB&T Securities Background 

BB&T Securities can trace its roots all the way back to 1893 with the establishment of financial services firm Scott & Stringfellow. Today, it stands a full-service investment advisory and brokerage firm providing holistic wealth planning services to a diverse group of clients, including high net-worth individuals. 

It conducts its business practices through the following four affiliates: 

  • BB&T Capital Markets
  • BB&T Scott & Stringfellow
  • BB&T Investment Services
  • Sterling Advisors

What Types of Clients Does BB&T Securities Accept?

BB&T Securities offers financial planning services to a wide range of clients. These include the following: 

  • Individuals
  • Corporations
  • Municipalities
  • Pension and profit-sharing plans
  • Trusts
  • Foundations
  • Endowments
  • Estates

BB&T Securities Minimum Account Size

In order to receive investment management services from BB&T Securities through its Spectrum Investment Program, you generally need a minimum account size of $100,000. 

However, the account minimum may vary depending on which type of investment advisory program agreement you enter. We’ve outlined options below: 

  • CHOICE Portfolios (“wrap-fee” program): $250,000 for Enhanced Equity Portfolio and $100,000 for all other portfolios in the program
  • Unified Managed Account Program (UMAP): $10,000
  • Professional Management Program (PMP): $25,000
  • Advisor Select: $25,000

Services Offered by BB&T Securities

Through the wrap-fee Spectrum Investment Program, BB&T Securities helps some clients find independent investment advisors to help them manage assets. However, this program does not offer direct investment portfolio-construction advice to these clients. 

Those in the CHOICE Portfolio program can select from up to six portfolios managed by Sterling Capital Management, a subsidiary of BB&T Securities. 

The firm would assist the client in developing an appropriate asset allocation across one or more of the following portfolios in the CHOICE Wrap program: 

  • Equity Income Portfolio
  • Global Leaders Portfolio
  • Special Opportunities Portfolio
  • SMID Portfolio
  • Insight Portfolio
  • Enhanced Equity Portfolio

These services are offered through a wrap-fee program.

Separately, a client can enter into a Unified Managed Account Program (UMAP). This gives clients access to a discretionary account composed of different investment products that may include mutual funds, annuities, alternative investments and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The firm and Investment Advisor Representatives (IAR) can work from different models as well as the individual’s unique financial needs and investment objectives.  

The Unified Managed Account Program Select (UMAP Select), on the other hand, is a non-discretionary account that utilizes several different investment products including the ones listed above. 

You can also come into a Professional Management Program (PMP). Through this service, a qualified Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) can establish a portfolio based on established PMP guidelines and the client's investment objectives. BB&T Securities has retained FDX Advisors to offer a range of services in order to offer this program. 

Furthermore, a client can also enter into the Advisor Select arrangement with BB&T Securities. Through this non-discretionary advisory program, the client receives financial advice and traditional brokerage services for an asset-based fee. The client may deploy a predetermined investment strategy with the firm or develop one with the help of an IAR. 

Sterling Advisors, a subsidiary of BB&T Securities provides discretionary and non-discretionary advisory services to clients. 

In addition, the firm also offers individual financial planning services to its clients. 

BB&T Securities Investment Philosophy

BB&T Securities deploys fundamental, cyclical and technical analysis strategies when delivering investment advisory services. However, methods may vary significantly depending on the type of program you agree to as well as the manager handling your money. 

Fees Under BB&T Securities

Depending on what type of services you receive from BB&T Securities, you may face fees in the form of a percentage of assets under management taken out of your account size. The firm may also charge fixed fees for some services and/or collect commissions. 

BB&T Securities charges an annual fee based on the published program fee schedule, which we’ve outlined below. This fee comes out of a client’s account and is charged prorated on a quarterly basis. Also called the Advisor Fee, this compensates the IAR. It’s outlined in more detail within the Service Agreement.

The annual fee does not include any program/manager portfolio fees that you may incur if you’re in a specific program such as the UMAP. These currently range from 0.05% to 0.75% based on the proportion of the account allocated to a particular manager. Moreover, it does not include any transaction fees or indirect fees such as mutual fund expenses. These would be outlined in the prospectuses of the fund or funds you’re invested in. 

What to Watch Out For

An employee of Sterling Advisors serves on the TD Ameritrade Institutional President’s Council. TD Ameritrade compensates certain travel and lodging expenses for members to attend council meetings. As reported in its form ADV, BB&T Securities notes that “Clients should be aware, however, that the receipt of economic benefits by ‘Sterling Advisors’ or its related persons in and of itself creates a potential conflict of interest and may indirectly influence Sterling Advisors’ recommendation of TD Ameritrade for custody and brokerage services.”


BB&T Securities listed a few disclosures regarding disciplinary action, according to the latest Form ADV it filed. In September 2018, its subsidiary BB&T Investments was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine to the SEC. The penalty involved matters over failing to disclose a potential conflict of interest regarding the recommendation of a wrap-fee program of an affiliated investment advisor. 

BB&T has reimbursed more than $600,000 to clients affected before the SEC investigation began. 

Opening an Account with BB&T Securities

To open an account with BB&T Securities or discuss other services, you can call (800) 453-7348. You can also visit its website to leave a message and request a callback. In addition, you can visit one of its more than 1,000 offices across the U.S. To find the nearest location, you can use the look-up tool on the “Contact Us” section of its website. 

Where Is BB&T Securities Located?

BB&T Securities is based in Richmond, Virginia. It also operates several branches throughout the country. The easiest way to find one near you is by visiting its website and entering your zip code. 

Tips On Improving Your Investing Skills 

  • Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Market volatility and risk are some of the biggest factors that can diminish your returns. So it’s always a good idea to be aware of your risk tolerance and diversify your portfolio. This may protect your investments in case one particular asset class undergoes a major downturn. Among other strategies, some financial advisors recommend setting up your asset allocation based on your age so that you decrease risk as you near retirement.

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