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First Allied Advisory Services Review

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First Allied Advisory Services, Inc.

First Allied Advisory Services, Inc. is a financial advisor firm based out of San Diego that works with around 550 independent financial advisors around the U.S. These advisors typically become a part of First Allied's network of investment advisory representatives, or IARs. Through these IARs, this firm provides a wide range of financial planning and investment management services to a spectrum of clients. In total, this firm has almost $7 billion in assets under management (AUM).

As a fee-based firm, some of First Allied's IARs receive commissions from third parties for the sale of securities and insurance products. This is in addition to the fees these advisors collect from clients.

First Allied Advisory Services Background

First Allied Advisory Services was founded in 2007. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Allied Holdings, Inc., which is also the parent company of First Allied Securities, Inc. Most of the firm's advisors are independent contractors who are registered representatives of First Allied Securities, Inc.

Mimi Bock is the firm's current president. She hold several series registrations and has decades of financial services experience under her belt. First Allied's large group of affiliated IARs is spread across the country.

First Allied Advisory Services Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Through its network of IARs, First Allied Advisory Services primarily works with individuals who are above and below the high-net-worth threshold. Other common clients include pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses. 

Most account options available through this firm carry a minimum, with minimum amounts varying depending on the investment advisor and the scope of the services requested. Minimums for wrap fee programs can be as low as $25,000. The Prime Asset Management (PAM) and PAM II programs carry minimum investments of $25,000 and $50,000, respectively. The Advisor Choice Management Program (APM) has a minimum of $25,000.

Each of the requirements above are negotiable and may be waived at the discretion of the firm.

Services Offered by First Allied Advisory Services

First Allied offers a plethora of services within the realms of financial planning, investment management and wealth management. The most common offerings are:

  • Assistance in selecting a portfolio manager
  • Evaluation and review of portfolio managers
  • Evaluation and review of portfolio composition
  • Management of accounts
  • General financial planning
  • Consultation on client assets
  • Active portfolio management

Investment management services are primarily provided through the PAM programs. These allow advisors to manage client assets according to their specific investment objectives and financial goals. The APM program focuses on the utilization of third parties to select investments, and is available on a more limited basis. High-net-worth clients will also have access to the Advisor Select Program and private client services.

Furthermore, financial planning is provided based on the needs and objectives of each client. These usually relate to issues of asset allocation planning, estate planning, retirement planning, purchase planning and more.

First Allied Advisory Services Investment Philosophy

Advisors at First Allied Advisory Services work with each client to develop an investment policy statement (IPS) that details their investment preferences, risk tolerance, liquidity needs, time horizon and even more. Advisors then design and implement a portfolio based on the IPS. While the mix of investments will vary on a client-to-client basis, common securities include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, futures, insurance products, private placements and alternative investments.

Each IAR has their own specific investment strategy. Methods of analysis may include fundamental, technical, or cyclical analysis. Specific investment strategies tend to involve either tactical or strategic asset allocations.

First Allied Advisory Services Fees

Many of the fees charged to clients who use First Allied's services through an IAR are negotiable. In some cases, advisors may charge additional fees. Fees are typically based on a percentage of the client's total AUM.

Prime Asset Management (PAM) Program Fees
Total AUM Annual Fee
Up to $250K 2.00%
$250K to $750K 1.75%
$750K to $2MM 1.50%
Over $2MM Negotiable

 

Advisor Choice Management (ACM) Program Fees
Total AUM Annual Fee
Up to $250K 2.00%
$250K to $750K 1.85%
Over $750K 1.70%

 

Prime Asset Management II (PAM II) Program Fees
Total AUM Annual Fee
Up to $150K 2.50%
$150K to $250K 2.50%
$250K to $400K 2.25%
$400K to $750K 2.25%
$750K to $900K 1.75%
$900K to $2MM 1.75%
Over $2MM Negotiable

 

Advisor Select Program Fees
Total AUM Annual Fee
Up to $100K 2.00%
$100K to $250K 2.00%
$250K to $500K 1.75%
$500K to $1MM 1.50%
$1MM to $2MM 1.25%
Over $2MM 1.05%

 

Private Client Services Program Fees
Total AUM Annual Fee
Up to $1MM 2.00%
$1MM to $5MM 1.75%
$5MM to $10MM 1.25%
Over $10MM 1.05%

These fees are higher than the industry average, which is 0.95%, according to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box. Here is the estimated dollar amount you'd pay in advisory fees based on the size of your account:

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Prime Asset Management (PAM) Fees at First Allied Advisory Services*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount
$100K $2,000
$300K $5,250
$800K $12,000
$1MM $15,000
$5MM Negotiable

  

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Advisor Choice Management (ACM) Fees at First Allied Advisory Services*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount
$100K $2,000
$300K $5,550
$800K $13,600
$1MM $17,000

 

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Prime Asset Management II (PAM II) Fees at First Allied Advisory Services*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount
$100K $2,500
$200K $5,000
$500K $11,250
$800K $14,000
$1MM $17,500

  

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Advisor Select Program Fees at First Allied Advisory Services*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount
$200K $4,000
$300K $5,250
$800K $12,000
$1.5MM $18,750
$5MM $52,500

  

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Private Client Services Program Fees at First Allied Advisory Services*
Your Assets Annual Fee Amount
$500K $10,000
$2MM $35,000
$4MM $70,000
$7MM $87,500
$15MM $157,500

Flat and hourly fees may be charged for financial planning services. These range from $200 to $10,000 on a flat fee basis and $100 to $500 on an hourly basis. Fees are calculated and charged on a quarterly basis.

Learn more about what advisors typically cost here.

What to Watch Out For

First Allied Advisory Services reported a number of disclosures on its Form ADV, but only two of them relate directly to the firm itself and not its advisory affiliates. One of these disclosures stems from a violation where the firm failed to supervise an employee who was executing unauthorized transactions. The other is in reference to GBIM, a firm that merged with First Allied, as GBIM allegedly violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.

Also worth noting: some advisors at First Allied are also brokers or insurance agents who receive transaction-based fees. This creates the potential for a conflict of interest, as advisors have an incentive to recommend financial products over others. That said, the firm is  a fiduciary, and therefore must act in the best interests of clients.

Opening an Account With First Allied Advisory Services

Those looking to open an account with First Allied can visit the firm's website and submit a contact form. You can also reach out to the firm over the phone at (800) 336-8842. 

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

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How Many Years $1 Million 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 To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

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%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. 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