Menu burger Close thin Facebook Twitter Google plus Linked in Reddit Email arrow-right-sm arrow-right
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

Cetera Advisor Networks Review

Your Details Done
by Updated

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.

Cetera Advisor Networks is a large firm that partners with hundreds of financial advisors around the U.S. In fact, the firm sets itself apart due to its dual offerings for financial advisors and retail investors.

Services available to these firms include a selection of investment-centric programs and more practical services, like market research tools, technology and more. The firm is the main subsidiary of the parent company Cetera Financial Group.

Cetera Advisor Networks Background

Cetera Advisor Networks was founded in 1983. Thomas B. Taylor currently serves as the firm's president and CEO, is a certified financial planner (CFP) and has decades of experience in the financial sector. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cetera Financial Group, which is ultimately owned by GC Two Holdings, Inc.

The financial advisors that Cetera works with hold a plethora of certifications, including the CFP, chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified investment management analyst (CIMA), chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) designations and more.

Cetera Advisor Networks Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Through its network of financial advisors, Cetera indirectly works with more than 80,000 individuals with and without a high net worth. There are also a number of institutional clients, such as retirement plans, charitable organizations, government entities, businesses and banks.

The minimum account size at Cetera varies by account type and advisory program. Preferred, Prime, Premier, Managed Wealth Advantage and Mutual Fund/ETF accounts have a minimum opening deposit of $25,000. The minimums associated with the firm's xMA® Program vary even more:

  • Equities only: $100,000
  • Fixed-income managers who use equities and ETFs: $100,000
  • Managers who use individual fixed-income issues: $250,000

You can, however, open an account at Cetera with less than the minimum balance. But if you do, your money will be placed into a money market fund until the minimum is met. The firm reserves the right to waive any minimum account size requirements at its discretion.

Services Offered by Cetera Advisor Networks

Cetera is a large-scale network of financial advisors that indirectly offers a wide range of financial and investment services to clients. The firm provides the following advisory programs:

  • Firm-sponsored programs
    • Preferred Asset Management Services
    • Prime Portfolio Services
    • Premier Portfolio Management
    • Managed Wealth Advantage
    • Mutual Fund/ETF Advisory Program
    • xMA Next Generation Managed Account Program
  • My Advice Architect Program
  • Third-party money management programs
  • General financial planning
  • General consulting
  • Plan advice

Cetera Advisor Networks Investment Philosophy

Each of Cetera's partnered financial advisors looks to have a unique relationship with clients in order to provide customized financial planning and investment advisory services. As such, there is no standard investing strategy that Cetera sticks to on an overall basis. However, many affiliated advisors begin working with a client by gauging their long-term investment objectives, risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs and more.

Within its various advisory programs, Cetera uses several types of securities. These include stocks, bonds, call-and-put options, fixed-income securities, mutual funds, structured products, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and unit investment trusts (UITs).

Fees Under Cetera Advisor Networks

Depending on the program, Cetera charges various management fees. Although shown in annual percentages, these fees are typically charged on a quarterly basis based on the amount of invested assets in your account. Here's a breakdown of what you might pay for each program:

Cetera Advisor Networks Fee Schedule
Program Maximum Annual Fee Range
Prime Account 1.25% - 2.75%
Premier Account 1.25% - 2.75%
Preferred Account 1.00% - 2.50%
Managed Wealth Advantage Account 1.25% - 2.75%
Mutual Fund/ETF Account 1.50% - 2.75%
xMA Next Generation Account 1.50% - 2.90%
Plan Participant Advice Program 1.50% - 2.25%

Financial planning fees do not have a set fee schedule, as they're determined on a case-by-case basis. Fees may be changed or negotiated with the client at the discretion of the firm.

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount. Fee ranges are based on the percentage range for the Prime Account program.
Estimated Investment Management Fees at Cetera Advisor Networks*
Your Assets Cetera Advisor Networks Fee Amount
$500K $6,250 - $13,750
$1MM $12,500 - $27,500
$5MM $62,500 - $137,500
$10MM $125,000 - $275,000

What to Watch Out For

Cetera has many disclosures listed on its Form ADV. They include failure to identify and apply sales charge discounts for certain UIT purchases, failure to properly register investment advisor representatives (IARs) in Massachusetts and more.

For these disclosures, the firm has submitted to censures and fines levied by various regulatory authorities. In one instance in 2018, the firm was fined $700,000 and ordered to pay $691,755.27 (plus interest) in restitution to customers after the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority alleged Cetera "failed to reasonably respond to red flags of a registered representative's misconduct."

Cetera is a network of financial advisors, so you cannot work with the firm directly. Instead, you must work with a financial advisory firm that's partnered with it in order to access its programs. To find a financial advisor in your area, stop by SmartAsset's financial advisor matching tool.

Opening an Account With Cetera Advisor Networks

If you'd like to find out how to work with a Cetera advisor, you can go online to its website and submit a contact form. You can also call the firm at (310) 326-3100.

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

Tips for Financial Planning

  • 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.
  • Wondering how much you can expect your investments to grow? Use SmartAsset’s investment calculator to see whether your investments have you on track to meet your goals or if you need to switch things up with a new strategy.

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