Many advisors only offer investment advisory services, but Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. functions as both a registered investment advisor (RIA) and broker-dealer. Royal Alliance is an advisory firm based in Jersey City, New Jersey that offers services to a network of financial advisor firms. Advisors can take advantage of the firm's proprietary investment advisory programs, financial planning tools, insurance consulting services and more.
In total, Royal Alliance is partnered with nearly 2,000 financial advisors across the country who lay claim to $16.7 billion in discretionary and non-discretionary assets under management (AUM). These advisors typically work with some combination of high-net-worth individuals, non-high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, businesses and retirement plans.
Royal Alliance and the advisors in its network are fee-based. This means that their compensation comes not only from client-paid fees, but also insurance and securities commissions. Fee-only firms, on the other hand, are compensated solely through client fees.
Royal Alliance Associates Background
Royal Alliance was founded in 1969, but it didn't register with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) until 1997. It is a subsidiary of Advisor Group Inc., a network of four advisor networks, including Royal Alliance, SagePoint Financial, Woodbury Financial and FSC Securities Corporation. Dmitry Goldin currently serves as president and CEO of Royal Alliance, and he has over 20 years of experience in the financial sector.
While the Royal Alliance team doesn't hold any advisory certifications, its collection of advisors do. These include certified financial planners (CFPs), chartered financial analysts (CFAs), accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs) and more.
Royal Alliance Associates Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Rather than work directly with clients, Royal Alliance partners with financial advisors and their firms. The more than 46,000 clients these advisors serve are mostly individuals below the high-net-worth threshold. However, there are also about 9,300 high-net-worth individual clients, as well as a few pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, businesses and municipal government entities.
The minimum account sizes for Royal Alliance's advisory programs vary. Exceptions to these minimums can be made at the discretion of Royal Alliance and its affiliated firms.
- Advisor managed portfolios: $50,000
- Unified managed account (UMA) program: $5,500
- Third-party advisory services: At the discretion of the third-party
- Financial planning and consulting services: No minimum
- Retirement plan consulting services: No minimum
- Non-discretionary investment services: No minimum
Services Offered by Royal Alliance Associates
Royal Alliance offers a wide range of financial services to its advisors, who in turn offer these services to their clients. These include:
- Investment advisory wrap fee programs
- Advisor managed portfolios
- Genesis model portfolios program
- SMA program
- UMA program
- Investment and wealth management consulting
- Financial planning
- Financial review
- Retirement planning
- College fund planning
- Home purchase planning
- Tax planning
- Estate planning
- Insurance planning and risk management
- Specialized lending services
- Dual clearing services
Royal Alliance Associates Investment Philosophy
For the most part, Royal Alliance aims to foster sustainable and long-term growth for all of its accounts that its independent financial advisors manage. During the management of its programs, the firm uses a variety of tactics, including fundamental and technical analysis, to help inform their investment decisions.
Although long-term investing is its priority, Royal Alliance also develops short-term strategies as needed. Additionally, under the firm's third-party advisory program, each advisor will independently choose their methods of security analysis and overall strategy.
Royal Alliance Associates Fees
Fees for most advisory programs and services at Royal Alliance are negotiated with each advisor representative. Many of these are wrap fee programs, meaning clients pay a single fee to cover all management and transactional costs. There are some set fee schedules for the following offerings:
- Financial planning, consulting and non-discretionary investment advisory: $500 - $10,000 fixed fee or $50 - $300 hourly fee
- Retirement plan consulting: $1,000 - $100,000 fixed fee or $50 - $300 hourly fee
According to a 2018 study of 1,500 firms by RIA in a Box, the average financial advisor's investment advisory fee is 0.95% of AUM.
What to Watch Out For
Royal Alliance has several disclosures on its Form ADV. These disclosures relate to a range of violations, including failure to adequately supervise a representative that was operating a Ponzi scheme, deficiency in supervising the sale of certain variable annuity products and more. As a result, the firm has paid multiple fines and submitted to censure on various occasions to different regulatory authorities.
Royal Alliance Associates works with independent financial advisors instead of traditional clients (like individuals, businesses or retirement plans). This means that individuals will not work directly with Royal Alliance, instead gaining access to its services through its affiliates.
Certain members of Royal Alliance's advisory network can earn commissions when they sell specific insurance products or securities. This creates the potential for a conflict of interest, though the firm is still bound by fiduciary duty, which legally binds it to act in your best interests at all times.
Opening an Account With Royal Alliance Associates
If you’d like to open an account with one of Royal Alliance Associates' affiliated firms, you can go to their website and submit a form or call them at (800) 821-5100.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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