SCF Investment Advisors is a Fresno-based advisory firm with a large team of investment advisor representatives (IARs) managing over $1 billion in client assets.
However, SCF Investment Advisors is merely one of the three SCF companies. While SCF Investment Advisors offers investment advisory services, SCF Securities, Inc. provides securities, and SCF Marketing, Inc. offers insurance services.
The firm is compensated through a fee-based fee structure, allowing certain representatives to potentially earn commissions from the firm’s thousands of clients.
SCF Investment Advisors Background
Founded in 2003, SCF Investment Advisors was acquired by Atria Wealth Solutions, Inc., in April 2021. As a subsidiary of Atria, SCF Investment Advisors is affiliated with many of financial services companies.
The firm specializes in investment advisory services, but it relies on its broker-dealer affiliate, SCF Securities, Inc., to provide securities and brokerage services.
Randy L. Meadows is the firm’s president and chief executive officer (CEO).
SCF Investment Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
SCF Investment Advisors serves individuals and high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations or business entities.
The firm generally imposes an account minimum of $10,000, but it retains the authority to waive this value. There is also a possibility of a higher minimum, up to $500,000, depending on the advisory service being received.
Services Offered by SCF Investment Advisors
SCF offers the following services:
- Portfolio management
- Financial planning
- Pension consulting
- Selection of other advisors
- Publication of periodicals or newsletters
- Educational seminars/workshops
The firm’s website also provides a digital chat feature that allows you to ask its team any questions.
SCF Investment Advisors Investment Philosophy
SCF Investment Advisors' firm brochure lists many of the firm’s investment objectives, including its goal to preserve capital by choosing investments with a low risk of loss of principal. Among the firm’s other investment objectives are its aims to invest in tax-efficient securities while growing principal over time and generating income.
SCF’s investment strategies include charting, technical, cyclical and fundamental analysis. In making investment decisions, the firm employs long- and short-term purchases, trading, speculation, margin transactions and options transactions.
Fees Under SCF Investment Advisors
SCF Investment Advisors' compensation mainly comes from asset-based fees, fixed fees and commissions. Both the firm’s financial planning fees and consulting fees are determined on a negotiated basis. Investment advisory and portfolio management fees are negotiable as well, and the firm charges fees for its co-advisory programs.
For SCF’s Assetmark Platform, fees may include financial advisor fees, platform fees and investment manager fees. All fees are negotiable up to a maximum of 1.95%.
The firm charges additional fees for its advisory services. All clients must pay an annual administrative fee of $50 for utilizing SCF’s technology platform, while financial planning agreements come with a $30 per year administrative fee. Other fees include transaction fees charged by custodians for securities purchases or sales. Clients may encounter third-party fees such as sales loads, 12b-1 fees and surrender charges.
|*Estimated investment management fees do not include administrative, brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount. Fee amounts above are based on a maximum APY of 1.95%.|
|Estimated Investment Management Fees at SCF Investment Advisors*|
|Your Assets||SCF Investment Advisors Fee Amount|
|$500K||Up to $9,750|
|$1MM||Up to $19,500|
|$5MM||Up to $97,500|
|$10MM||Up to $195,000|
What to Watch Out For
This firm has one regulatory disclosure on the Form ADV filed most recently with the SEC. In 2020, the SEC fined the firm $200,000 after alleging SCF Investment Advisors breached its fiduciary duty by when it "purchased, recommended, or held" mutual fund share classes that charged 12b-1 fees instead of lower-cost share classes of the same funds.
The SEC also alleged that SCF Investment Advisors purchased or recommended advisory clients to purchase cash sweep money market funds for which the firm received revenue sharing payments. The SEC alleged SCF Investment Advisors did not disclose this compensation and conflict of interest to clients.
As a result, the firm accepted a censure and cease and desist order. It also paid $567,192.97 in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest to affected clients.
Beyond this disclosure, it's also important to note that representatives of the firm can earn additional commission-based compensation if they recommend or sell insurance or investment products. In doing so, a conflict of interest may arise if advisors favor such products for personal gain.
The firm says it counters any conflicts of interest by honoring its fiduciary duty to work in each client’s best interest.
Opening an Account With SCF Investment Advisors
If you’re interested in setting up an account with SCF, you can email the firm, chat with the team through its website’s messaging feature, request a call or contact the firm’s toll-free number at (800) 955-2517.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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