Fee-based financial advisor firm Securities America Advisors, Inc. serves more than 155,000 clients, with nearly 2,000 advisors who manage almost $22 billion in assets under management (AUM). The independent firm is headquartered in La Vista, Nebraska.
Securities America Advisors, Inc. Background
Founded in 1984, Securities America Advisors functions as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Securities America Financial Corporation, which is in turn a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, Inc.
Offering a range of services as an independent broker-dealer and advisory firm, the firm’s advisors have various skill sets, including the certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC) designations.
Securities America Advisors, Inc. Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Securities America serves non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, banks or thrift institutions, pension or profit sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities and corporations or other businesses.
The firm’s minimum account size requirements vary for different accounts. The firm requires at least $25,000 for the financial advisors program and $50,000 for its managed opportunities fund strategist portfolios. Securities America requires at least $100,000 for its managed opportunities separate account portfolios. Managed opportunities unified account portfolios require at least $150,000, while managed opportunities advisor directed account portfolios require $50,000. Clients need a minimum of $1 million for retirement plan advisory programs.
Services Offered by Securities America Advisors, Inc.
Securities America’s primary services include:
- Portfolio management
- Financial planning
- Pension consulting
- Selection of other advisors
- Educational seminars/workshops
Securities America Advisors, Inc. Investment Philosophy
Securities America touts on its website that its mission is to foster the independence and success of its advisors by offering exceptional service and user-friendly technology. The firm utilizes a range of investment strategies, namely margin transactions, long- and short-term purchases, trading, short sales and option writing.
The firm offers advice on a range of investments, including equity securities, warrants, commercial paper, certificates of deposit (CDs), corporate debt securities, municipal securities, investment company securities, variable products and U.S. government securities. Advisors may also invest in option contracts on securities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), real estate investments, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and limited partnerships and private placements.
Fees Under Securities America Advisors, Inc.
Securities America lists its exact fee schedules in its investment prospectuses, but the firm provides general information about its fees in its firm brochure. For managed accounts, advisors charge ongoing fees, while clients with a brokerage account are charged commissions for each transaction. Clients can also incur brokerage commissions, transaction charges and other fees related to the purchase or sale of stocks, bonds and other securities.
Clients invested in annuities and alternative investments pay two levels of management fees: one to the firm and one to the managers of variable annuities or other investments. The firm charges up to 3% of AUM for its Financial Advisor Program accounts. Clients pay up to 3% of AUM for Securities America’s Managed Opportunities Program, Participant Retirement Program and LockWood Programs. For financial planning and consulting services, the firm charges at an hourly rate of up to $750 per hour. Securities America also charges an asset-based fee for retirement plan advisory services, and advisors charge up to 3% of AUM for other investment advisory programs.
Securities America Advisors, Inc. Awards and Recognition
Securities America was recently named as one of the Financial Planning magazine’s IBD Elite 2019. The firm placed second out of the list’s top 10 fastest growing independent broker-dealers.
What to Watch Out For
Advisors can earn commission-based compensation from investment and insurance products. This can create a conflict of interest if advisors favor these products over client needs, but the firm’s fiduciary duty ensures that each advisor serves each client’s best interest.
Securities America also has several criminal, regulatory action and civil judicial action disclosures reported on its Form ADV. We’ll look further into those below.
The firm has 18 disclosures listed on its Form ADV. One of the firm’s most recent disclosures was in 2018 when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that the firm had breaches of fiduciary duty, as well as inadequate disclosures and deficiencies in compliance and procedures. The case was resolved through a cease and desist, a censure and a fine of $775,000.
Opening an Account With Securities America Advisors, Inc.
Securities America offers prospective clients various options for getting in touch. You can either visit any of the firm’s offices, or you can set up an appointment with an advisor by calling the firm at (800) 747-6111.
Tips for Saving for Retirement
- It’s never too early to begin saving for retirement, In fact, the earlier you start, the more money you’ll have for your post-employment years. There are many different ways to begin saving, but investing can be one of the most effective. With our investment calculator, you can measure how much your investments might earn you over time.
- SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool connects you with up to three local advisors within minutes. The tool simply requires you to complete a short questionnaire about your financial situation, and it matches you with advisors suitable to your specific needs.
All information was accurate as of the writing of this article.