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Fifth Third Securities 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.

Fifth Third Securities (FTS) is a registered investment advisor (RIA) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a registered broker-dealer under the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It sponsors managed account programs on behalf of a diverse group of clients, including high-net-worth individuals and private pension plans. 

Fifth Third Securities Background

FTS began operations as a broker-dealer registered with FINRA back in 1939. It became an RIA in 2004. Today, it serves as a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Fifth Third Bank. 

Fifth Third Securities Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

FTS offers its online managed account program OptiFi and its managed account wrap-fee Passageway programs to the following types of clients: 

The firm's OptiFi Program is a discretionary investment management service designed for individual investors with accounts of $5,000 or more. 

Services Offered by Fifth Third Securities 

FTS sponsors two managed account programs. 

For the Passageway Managed Account Program, an independent advisor representative (IAR) working through FTS would first meet with a prospective client and gather information about the client’s risk tolerance and investing goals. The advisor would then determine whether the program is right for the client (e.g., it’s not recommended for investors who want to frequently switch strategies in reaction to short-term trends). If yes, the IAR would recommend one or more of the subprograms, many of which use only mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. 

FTS currently offers the following Passageway programs:

  • Separately Managed Account Program
  • Investment Management Group Portfolios Program (IMG Program)
  • SIGMA Multi-Manager Account Program
  • Symmetry Managed Multi Fund Portfolio Program
  • S&P Mutual Fund Program
  • S&P ETF Program
  • UMA Program
  • FEG Program 
  • Advisor Directed Program
  • Wilshire Program
  • Russell Program
  • Vanguard Program
  • Brinker Capital Program 

The firm’s other offering is the OptiFi Managed Account Program, which is accessible only online. Based on an algorithmic analysis of your financial profile, FTS would recommend an asset allocation model managed by Geode Capital Management, LLC.

Fifth Third Securities Investment Philosophy

FTS engages in an array of investment strategies. The ones applied to your investments depend on the IAR you work with and the Passageway program you’re invested in. You can find more details about investment strategies on the investment policy statement (IPS) you sign with your advisor and applicable program manager brochures, which you can look up on the SEC’s website. 

Fees Under Fifth Third Securities

FTS generally charges fees based on a percentage of your assets under management (AUM). These percentages depend on the size of your account and the program you’re enrolled in. 

The OptiFi Program assesses an advisory fee of 0.50% of your account’s average daily asset balance, which covers the advisory services provided by FTS, Geode’s ongoing management of your account, certain trading costs, commissions and services (brokerage, clearing and custody) provided by NFS, the brokerage associated with this program. NFS fees included in the gross advisory fee range from 0.16% to 0.18%, but do not include other fees that may be associated with your account.

Learn more about advisors' typical costs here

What to Watch Out For

As a subsidiary to a very large parent company, FTS works with several affiliated financial services firms, which means fees for its services can come from several sources. In addition, the firm has disclosed some disciplinary events involving regulators. That said, the firm is bound by its fiduciary duty to work solely in the best interests of its clients.

In its most recent SEC filings, FTS reported several regulatory or disciplinary events that were resolved within the last 10 years. Many involved the broker-dealer side of the business. The most recent event was resolved on May 18, 2018. In this action, FINRA found that, among other things, FTS “made material misstatements and omissions about the cost of variable annuity exchanges in 77% of a sample set of 250 variable annuity exchanges randomly selected and reviewed by FINRA.” Without admitting or denying the findings, FTS paid a $4 million fine and $2 million in restitution to applicable clients who bought variable annuity exchanges between 2013 and 2015.  

Opening an Account With Fifth Third Securities 

To learn more about FTC’s services, visit its website or call (800) 606-9878. 

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

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • Compare advisors. Before you agree to work with one, you should know key points such as how they earn their pay and whether they have any industry-recognized certifications that hold them up to high fiduciary standards. For more things to know, check out our five questions to ask when choosing a financial advisor
  • Use SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool. It connects you with up to three advisors, vetted by us, in your area. The tool also gives you access to their profiles, so you can review their qualifications before making your choice. 

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.

Least
Most
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