MML Investors Services, LLC
Indirectly owned by Massaschusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (Mass Mutual), MML Investors Services, LLC is an investment advisor and a brokerage. It is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts and has 1,570 branches across the country. With nearly $40 billion in assets under management, the fee-based network of 5,219 advisors serves close to 204,000 individual clients, most of whom do not have high net worths.
MML Investors Services Background
MML Investors has been in business since 1981. The firm became a registered investment advisor (RIA) in 1993, and as a broker-dealer holds memberships with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).
As noted earlier, MML Investors is indirectly owned by Mass Mutual. Specifically, it is a subsidiary of MassMutual Holding LLC, which is in turn a subsidiary of the insurance company.
MML Investors Services Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
The firm works with individuals and high-net-worth individuals, endowments and foundations, trusts, estates, Fidelity Charitable donor-advised accounts and business entities and/or qualified plans.
MML Investors’ account minimum varies based on account type. The account minimums range anywhere from $20,000 to $1,000,000, depending on the asset management program. The firm charges a minimum annual fee of $150 for its Unified Managed Account (UMA) program.
Services Offered by MML Investors Services
MML Investors offers its clients an extensive range of services, including:
- Portfolio management
- Financial planning
- Pension consulting
- Selection of other advisors
- Educational workshops/seminars
- Asset allocation programs
MML Investors Services Investment Philosophy
MML Investors explains on its firm brochure that it utilizes third-party investment advisors and money managers to perform investment research and provide asset allocation recommendations. The firm says it emphasizes regular portfolio review, long-term perspectives, portfolio diversification and systematic investing and dollar cost averaging.
The firm invests in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), variable annuity sub-accounts, individual equities, individual fixed income securities and managed accounts.
Fees Under MML Investors Services
For financial planning, fees depend on a number of factors, including the complexity and scope of services, the advisor, the geographic location and your net worth. Typically, they will not exceed $25,000, and there is a minimum $500 fee.
MML Investors works with Envestnet Asset Management, Inc. in a co-advisory arrangement to provide a range of investment programs. The advisory fees for the Envestnet programs range from 0.30-1.20% of assets under management. Envestnet Portfolio Solutions programs also come with advisory fees ranging from 0.30% to 1.20%. The firm’s Mutual Fund Allocation Program comes with an annual client fee of 1.00% and an advisory fee of 0.75%.
For comparison's sake, the industry average fee for portfolio management is 0.95%, according to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box. Learn more about advisors' typical costs here.
What to Watch Out For
MML Investors reported 38 disclosures of legal and regulatory actions. Of them, 19 involved parent company Mass Mutual and nine involved affilated individuals. That leaves 10 that involved MML Investors itself. All were regulatory actions, and the firm paid fines that ranged from $1,000 to $750,000.
In regard to the highest fine of $750,000, the firm and two of its affiliates allegedly failed to manage electronic brokerage records in a format known as “write once read many (WORM).” The disclosure listed other FINRA violations related to letters of undertaking and supervisory procedures. The case was resolved through censure and a fine.
Also worth noting: Advisors are also brokers and insurance agents. These multiple roles can be confusing and pose conflicts of interest. When receiving a recommendation to buy a product, be sure you understand what it is based on and how the advisor and firm may benefit from your following the recommendations. As a fiduciary, the advisor must tell you what his or her conflicts of interest are.
Opening an Account With MML Investors Services
If you’re interested in setting up an account with MML Investors, you can either find an advisor close to you on the company's website, or you can set up an appointment with an advisor by calling the firm at (800) 542-6767.
Tips for Saving
- When it comes to growing your wealth, there are several steps you can take. One is budgeting. Though not as complex as investing, budgeting can greatly transform your financial situation. Our budget calculator can help you save more by structuring your expenses.
- If you’d like professional help with your finances, SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching service pairs you with up to three local advisors. All you’ll need to do is complete a short questionnaire about your financial situation, and the tool will do the rest.
All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.