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Park Avenue Securities Review

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Park Avenue Securities is a dually registered broker-dealer and investment advisory firm with billions of dollars in client assets under management (AUM). The firm has nearly 1,800 affiliated financial advisors that utilize its services. This differs from a typical financial advisory firm that has its own set of on-staff advisors. Here, advisors use Park Avenue's offerings within their independent practices. The firm's website features a page that can help you locate Park Avenue-affiliated advisors in your area.

Through its affiliated advisors, Park Avenue works with tens of thousands of individual clients. Institutional clients of the firm include retirement plans, charitable organizations, insurance companies and businesses. Located in New York City, this fee-based firm provides a number of investment advisory programs that these clients can take advantage of.

Park Avenue Securities Background

Park Avenue Securities can trace its roots back to 1990, though it wasn't until 2000 that the firm registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a federal investment advisor. Today, the firm exists as a wholly owned subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a life insurance and annuity company.

Park Avenue Securities Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

Park Avenue Securities offers investment advisory services to both non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations insurance businesses and companies.

Park Avenue Securities imposes different initial investment requirements that depend on the program you're subscribed to. Here's a breakdown:

  • Park Avenue Portfolio Select: $25,000
  • Signature Portfolio program
    • Mutual fund and ETF portfolios: $25,000
    • Individual security portfolios: $50,000
  • VestWise: $5,000
  • Park Avenue UMA Select: $250,000
  • Park Avenue SMA Select: Varies on an advisor-to-advisor basis
  • Strategist Select and Strategist Select Plus: $10,000
  • Foundations/Quantitative Innovations: $10,000

Services Offered by Park Avenue Securities

Park Avenue Securities offers both its own proprietary investment programs and third-party investment programs. Investment advisory representatives (IARs) of the firm manage these programs on behalf of clients. Depending on the IAR you work with, you may also have access to financial planning and consulting services. These may include guidance around retirement planning, such as individual retirement accounts (IRAs), as well as education funding through 529 plans and other investments.

The firm also offers access to VestWise, an automated investment advisory program.

Park Avenue Securities Investment Philosophy

Park Avenue Securities and its IARs don’t put many restrictions, if at all, on the types of securities it considers. Generally, your account may invest in mutual funds, ETFs, closed-end funds, separately managed accounts (SMAs), individual stocks and bonds and more. Investments can be both long-term (held for a year or longer) or short-term (held for less than a year) in nature, depending on market conditions and your needs.

Your advisor will analyze your personal situation, taking into account factors such as your risk tolerance, time horizon and financial goals, before making recommendations. As your financial objectives change, though, your advisor will amend your portfolio to reflect them.

Fees Under Park Avenue Securities 

At Park Avenue Securities, fees vary depending on the advisor you work with. According to the firm's Form ADV, advisory fees are "comparable to compensation charged by other full-service firms for the same services."

The firm offers both standard advisory fee schedules and wrap fee programs. A standard fee schedule is one that's typically tiered by asset level, and requires clients to pay advisory fees, custodial fees, transactional fees and more in exchange for services and investment trades. On the other hand, a wrap fee program combines all of these fees into a single charged rate.

What to Watch Out For

According to its SEC-filed Form ADV, Park Avenue Securities has several disclosures on its record. In July 2019, FINRA alleged that the firm "disadvantaged certain retirement plan and charitable organization customers who were eligible to purchase Class A shares in certain mutual funds without a front-end sales charge." Park Avenue Securities consented to a censure for this, in addition to paying restitution in the amount of $640,552.

Advisors at this firm may be affiliated with other firms in the financial services industry. As a result, they may be incentivized to recommend products from these affiliates due to extra commissions or compensation earned. However, registered advisors must uphold their fiduciary duty to always prioritize clients' best interests when making recommendations.

Opening an Account With Park Avenue Securities 

You can contact Park Avenue Securities by calling (888) 600-4667. Alternatively, you can send a message via the contact page on its website. Despite its name, Park Avenue Securities is located at 10 Hudson Yards in New York City.

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

Tips for Investors

  • Don’t go at it alone. A financial advisor can help you determine the right asset allocation and implement it. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • If you’re not sure how to diversify your portfolio, use our asset allocation calculator. It gives you a glimpse into what an appropriate asset mix may look like based on your risk tolerance.

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.

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