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First Command Advisory Services Review

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First Command Advisory Services

First Command Advisory Services focuses on providing military families with financial planning and investment management services. It currently oversees billions of dollars in client assets under management (AUM). Ranked as a 2019 Military Friendly Top 10 Brand, this financial advisor firm has more than 170 offices worldwide and many are near military installations.

Certain advisors at the firm can receive third-party sales commissions in addition to client-paid fees, which makes it fee-based. A fee-only firm, on the other hand, only receives client-paid fees as compensation.

First Command Advisory Services Background

First Command Advisory Services has been in business since 1958. Today, it exists as a wholly owned subsidiary of First Command Financial Services, Inc. That company is owned by First Command Employee Stock Ownership Plan. The firm also offers banking services to customers.

First Command Advisory Services Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

The firm works exclusively with individuals, corporate entities, retirement plans and trusts. To establish an investment advisory relationship, you generally need a minimum account balance of $20,000 to $50,000, depending on the program. 

Services Offered by First Command Advisory Services

First Command Advisory Services specializes in portfolio management and financial planning services. The company offers both together through its tailored professional services (TPS) program. They can provide advice on such topics as: 

  • Tax management
  • Insurance
  • Investing and savings
  • Funding college expenses through 529 plans

The firm also has a banking division which can provide clients with credit cards and other types of accounts. 

First Command Advisory Services Investment Philosophy

First Command Advisory Services primarily utilizes mutual funds, variable annuities and variable life insurance products. However, the firm would tailor an investment portfolio to the individual's financial situation and risk tolerance. 

Although it generally avoids investing client assets in individual equities and bonds, the firm may turn to these investments if it deems them appropriate to the client. 

Fees Under First Command Advisory Services

First Command charges a total TPS fee based on the client’s income, the complexity of the services provided and other factors. This fee typically ranges from an annual $750 to $6,000. That said, the firm does not charge TPS fees to active duty military members or their dependents.

What to Watch Out For

First Command Advisory services has been involved in some disciplinary events. More specifically, the firm has six disclosures present on its SEC-filed Form ADV. Four of these are charged to advisory affiliates, one is charged to an advisory affiliate and the firm and one is charged to solely the firm.

First Command is affiliated with various financial services firms such as broker-dealers and insurance companies. In turn, its advisors may earn commissions by recommending products from such vendors, in addition to the advisory fee they charge clients. This poses a potential conflict of interest. That said, the firm has a fiduciary duty to work in the best interests of its clients.

Opening an Account With First Command Advisory Services

The easiest way to become a client of First Command Advisory Services is to call (817) 731-8621.

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

Tips for Finding the Right Financial Advisor

  • If you want to expand your search for the right financial advisor, try using SmartAsset's free financial advisor matching tool. It connects you with up to three local advisors, with the final choice of who to work with being up to you. Get started now.
  • Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure your potential advisor is qualified. For instance, some have industry certifications and are held to higher standards. A certified financial planner (CFP), for instance, is required to provide financial planning advice as a fiduciary and in your best interest.

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
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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