GWN Securities, Inc. is an investment advisor and broker-dealer with billions in assets under management (AUM). Rather than work with individuals and other clients, GWN provides services to independent financial advisors. This includes access to offerings like wealth management, variable annuities, investment research, technological support and more.
As a fee-based firm, some of the advisors partnered with GWN Securities may sell certain insurance products or securities on a commission basis. This differs from a fee-only arrangement in which a firm earns compensation solely from the fees charged to clients.
GWN Securities Background
GWN Securities opened its doors for business in 2004. The firm is a subsidiary of World Investment Network, Inc., which also owns Money Concepts Capital Corp., an investment advisor and broker-dealer firm.
In total, GWN has hundreds of affiliated financial advisors across its network. There are a number of advisory certifications held by these advisors, like certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and chartered life underwriter (CLU).
GWN Securities Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Through its network of advisors, GWN Securities serves mostly individuals below the high-net-worth threshold. However, these advisors also work with trusts, estates, businesses and high-net-worth individuals.
Because there are a plethora of advisory programs and services available through GWN Securities, minimums vary wildly. Here’s an overview of what you can expect:
- Qualified accounts:
- $200 per month
- $10,000 or $100 per month for accounts using the Security Benefit Platform
- Non-Qualified accounts:
- $25,000 for accounts using the Toews Model
Services Offered by GWN Securities
GWN Securities offers a selection of financial planning and investment management services, including:
- GWN Managed Account Program
- Investment management for clients invested in a family of mutual funds or variable annuities
- GWN Premier Select Program
- Collection of exchange-traded fund (ETF) and mutual fund-centric model portfolios
- GWN Total Access Program
- Portfolios are modeled around a wide range of securities, including no-load and load-waived funds
- Administrative, brokerage and custodial services through Pershing, LLC
- Money by Design Platinum Program
- Focuses on ETF and mutual fund asset allocations
- Models are chosen based on computer-based models that are risk-adjusted to each client
- Financial planning
- Cash flow management
- Education funding
- Insurance planning
- Retirement planning
- Survivor income analysis
- Disability income analysis
GWN Securities Investment Philosophy
Modern portfolio theory (MPT) is at the core of GWN Securities’ asset allocation strategy. This investing approach is focused on ensuring that a portfolio’s risk level is proportionate to its expected return. To formulate these MPT-based asset allocations, GWN typically recommends investments like equities, fixed-income securities, cash, mutual funds and ETFs.
GWN Securities holds a belief that markets are inherently efficient, meaning it thinks desired returns can be earned simply by delivering an optimized, risk-adjusted asset allocation. As such, the firm prefers investing with a long-term perspective in mind.
Fees Under GWN Securities
GWN Securities uses a variable fee schedule that’s different for each service. For the Managed Account Program, you’ll pay an asset-based fee between 0.50% and 1.50%, depending on your account’s overall value. Although these charges are shown as annual rates, they are paid quarterly in arrears. On top of the rates in the table below, clients will have to pay a 0.50% custodial fee.
|Managed Account Program Fees|
|Account Value||Maximum Annual Fee|
For the Premier Select Program and MAP Program, GWN negotiates fees on a client-to-client basis. The firm does guarantee, though, that these fees will not surpass 2.00% annually. Fees for both programs are charged quarterly in arrears, but GWN reserves the right to shift this to a monthly pay schedule.
If you subscribe to the Money by Design Platinum Program, your fees will vary from 0.80% to 1.40%. For this program, not only will the value of your account determine what you pay, but the type of manager you use will as well. GWN also charges these fees on a quarterly basis in arrears, though it reserves the right to switch to monthly fees.
Financial planning and consulting services adhere to completely separate fee schedules. For these, you may be charged either an hourly or a fixed fee. Hourly rates top out at $350 per hour, whereas fixed rates are limited to $1,500. In certain situations, GWN may ask clients to prepay half of their bill upfront, with the rest due upon completion of the services.
What to Watch Out For
According to GWN Securities’ Form ADV that’s filed with the SEC, the firm has three disclosures on its legal and regulatory record. One of these apply to an advisory affiliate of the firm, whereas the other two are attributed to the firm directly.
Some representatives of GWN Securities are able to make commissions from the sale of certain securities or insurance products to clients. As this incentivizes advisors to recommend such products or transactions, this represents a potential conflict of interest. Regardless, the firm is legally bound by fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of its clients.
Opening an Account With GWN Securities
You can reach GWN Securities in person at its office in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The firm can also be contacted by phone at (561) 472-2700 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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