Based in Cambridge, Minnesota, EFS Advisors, Inc. is a fee-based firm that manages assets for both individuals and institutions. Some of the firm's advisors are licensed to sell insurance and investment products, and could earn commissions on those transactions. However, EFS has a fiduciary duty that requires the team to act in the best interests of clients.
EFS Advisors, Inc. Background
The firm was established in 1998 by Kent D. Schutte, and Schutte serves as the firm’s primary owner. EFS Advisors also has an arrangement with third parties Educators Lifetime Solutions and Lifesprk. The arrangement allows them to earn additional compensation from referrals.
Many of the firm’s advisors are also licensed as insurance agents and securities agents or broker-dealers.
EFS Advisors, Inc. Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
EFS Advisors serves non-high-net-worth indivuals, as well as banking or thift institutions, pension and profit sharing plans, insurance companies and businesses.
The firm doesn’t specify a minimum account size requirement.
Services Offered by EFS Advisors, Inc.
EFS Advisors offers the following services:
- Portfolio management
- Financial planning
- Publication of periodicals or newsletters
- Educational seminars/workshops
EFS Advisors, Inc. Investment Philosophy
EFS Advisors has an advisory committee that evaluates data and employs technical analysis in its investment process. The committee performs a quarterly fund analysis for mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In addition, the firm’s investment products include annuities.
The firm says on its website that it works to help its clients enjoy their lives by establishing a financially secure future. EFS Advisors also says it aids its clients by helping them start their management program, maintain wealth growth, focus on personal goals and match their profiles with the most suitable financial vehicles.
Fees Under EFS Advisors, Inc.
EFS Advisors generally collects fees on a quarterly basis, and the firm is primarily compensated through asset-based fees and hourly charges. Fees typically aren’t negotiable, and accounts terminated or initiated during a calendar quarter may be charged a prorated fee if requested by the client.
The firm also offers a fixed-only account that charges a quarterly fee of 0.09%. The firm’s fee schedule for all of its standard accounts is listed below.
|Amount of assets||Quarterly fee||Annual fee|
|$0.00 - $210,000||0.26%||1.04%|
|$210,001 - $500,000||0.24%||0.96%|
|$500,001 - $1,000,000||0.22%||0.88%|
|(beginning Q2 2021) $1,000,001 and $3,000,000||0.20%||0.80%|
|(beginning Q2 2021) $3,000,001 and $5,000,000||0.18%||0.72%|
|(beginning Q2 2021) $5,000,001 and $10,000,000||0.17%||0.68%|
|(beginning Q2 2021) $10,000,001 and higher||0.15%||0.60%|
|*Fixed Income and Cash Management Only||0.15%||0.60%|
|Non-asset management consulting services||Up to $195/hour (negotiable)|
What to Watch Out For
EFS Advisors has one disclosure reported on its Form ADV for "causing certain clients to pay a higher advisory fee than they should have" and was fined $250,000.
The firm also earns additional compensation from its affiliation with Education Lifetime Solutions, an insurance agency, and Lifesprk, a provider of senior care. This creates a conflict of interest if advisors refer clients solely for personal gain, but the firm’s fiduciary duty prevents this.
Opening an Account With EFS Advisors, Inc.
Prospective clients who’d like to work with EFS Advisors can set up an appointment with an advisor by visiting the firm’s principal office at 440 Emerson St. N., Suite 2, Cambridge, Minnesota, 55008. You can also reach out through the firm’s email, or you can call the firm’s office number or toll free number. The firm’s office number is (763) 689-9023. Its toll free number is (877) 403-2374.
Tips for Saving for Retirement
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All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.