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
- 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.
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