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 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 look 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 fee 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 37 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.
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