Securities America Advisors, Inc. is an extremely large fee-based financial advisor firm that's been in business for almost 40 years. Over the years, the firm has been a subsidiary of American Express, Ameriprise and Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services, though it's currently owned by Advisor Group Holdings, Inc. Securities America is licensed to work with clients in all 50 states, but it is headquartered in La Vista, Nebraska.
Securities America Advisors serves more than 110,000 clients that boast almost $30 million in assets under management (AUM). A collection of nearly 2,000 advisors manage these funds. The firm offers a combination of financial planning and investment management services to clients.
Securities America Advisors Background
Founded in 1984, Securities America Advisors functions as a wholly -owned subsidiary of Securities America Financial Corporation (SAFC). SAFC is, in turn, a wholly owned subsidiary of Advisor Group Holdings, Inc. The firm is led by CEO and President Jim Nagengast.
Offering a range of services as an independent broker-dealer and advisory firm, the firm’s advisors have various skill certifications, including certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
Securities America Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Securities America serves mostly non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities and businesses.
This firm’s minimum account size requirements vary for different accounts. Here's an overview of each:
- Financial Advisors Program: $25,000
- Managed Opportunities Fund Strategist Portfolios: $25,000
- Managed Opportunities Separately Managed Account Portfolios: $100,000
- Managed Opportunities Unified Managed Account Portfolios: $150,000
- Managed Opportunities Advisor Managed Account Portfolios: $100,000 for wrap fee and $50,000 for non-wrap fee
- Retirement Plan Advisory Programs: $1,000,000
- Participant Retirement Program: No minimum
Services Offered by Securities America Advisors
Securities America Advisors' primary services include:
- Portfolio management
- Portfolio customization
- Financial planning
- College planning
- Retirement planning
- Estate planning
- Divorce planning
- Tax planning
- Cash management
- Death/disability planning
- Insurance planning
- Pension consulting
- Educational seminars/workshops
Securities America Advisors Investment Philosophy
Securities America Advisors touts on its website that its mission is to foster the independence and success of its clients by offering exceptional service and user-friendly technology. The firm utilizes a range of investment strategies, such as margin transactions, long- and short-term purchases, trading, short sales and option writing.
The firm offers advice on a range of investments. These include equities, 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
When it comes to fees, Securities America only lists general information rather than specific fee rates. 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, as well as accounts using the Managed Opportunities Program, Participant Retirement Program and Lockwood Programs. For financial planning and consulting services, the firm charges 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 Awards and Recognition
Securities America Advisors was named as one of Financial Planning magazine’s IBD Elite in 2019. More specifically, the firm placed second on this list of the top 10 fastest growing independent broker-dealers.
What to Watch Out For
Securities America Advisors has 17 disclosures listed on its Form ADV. While most of these disclosures belong to advisory affiliates of the firm, its most recent is from 2018. In relation to this disclosure, 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, a fine of $775,000 and a disgorgement of $4,473,025 with $580,423 in prejudgment interest.
Some of the advisors at this firm can earn commission-based compensation from investment and insurance products. This can create a potential conflict of interest if advisors favor these products over client needs. However, the firm’s fiduciary duty ensures that each advisor serves clients' best interests.
Opening an Account With Securities America Advisors
Securities America Advisors offers prospective clients various options for getting in touch. You can either visit one of the firm’s offices, or you can set up an appointment with an advisor by calling (800) 747-6111.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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