Transamerica Financial Advisors (TFA) is a fee-based financial advisor firm managing more than $1.01 billion in assets. The firm is a full-service financial advisor and is also a broker-dealer, meaning the firm can execute trades for clients. That keeps everything in house but also presents a potential conflict of interest, explained more fully below.
The firm is a part of Transamerica, a broader financial services and insurance company.
Advisors at TFA offer a variety of services, including third-party money management, employee retirement services, wealth management and robo-advisory services.
Based in St. Petersburg, Florida, TFA has more than 45,000 individual clients, a small number of whom are classified as high-net-worth.
Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. Background
TFA was founded in 1991. It is owned directly by AUSA Holding, LLC, Commonwealth General Corporation and AEGON Asset Management Services Inc. Each of those are indirect, wholly-owned subsidiaries of the ultimate parent company, AEGON, which is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
TFA is part of Transamerica, a broader financial services and insurance company founded in 1928 and headquartered in Grand Rapids, Iowa.
What Types of Clients Does Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. Accept?
Most of the clients of TFA are individual investors, the majority of whom are not high-net-worth.
There are also institutional clients at the firm. These include pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations, corporations, 529 plans and UGMA/UTMA accounts.
Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. Minimum Account Sizes
The minimum account size varies based on the program you use. The Transamerica ALPHA Program -- a digital investment management service -- has a minimum account size of just $10. Other programs may require a minimum account size of up to $5,000.
Services Offered by Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
A variety of services are available at TFA. The most basic is the Transamerica ONE Wealth Management Platform, a wrap-fee program for clients looking for fee-based investment management.
TFA also has a variety of third-party money management programs.
There is also the ALPHA Digital Investment Program. This is offered in partnership with Betterment, LLC, a digital financial services company. This program offers discretionary investment management on an internet platform, with Betterment as the subadvisor.
TFA also has its I-Series program, a wrap-fee program using model portfolios.
Finally, TFA offers services to retirement plans.
The exact investment philosophy the advisors at TFA follow will depend on the program you use:
- Third party money managers generally purchase securities available on the exchanges such as stocks, but may also invest in mutual funds. Bonds and exchange-traded notes may also be investments.
- The ONE Wealth Management Program may invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other exchange traded products. The model portfolio strategies, described below, are also available to these customers and may be combined to use multiple strategies within one account.
- The Transamerica I-Series program is a series of model portfolios, each focused on a specific investing strategy. Investments could include stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other exchange traded products. The model portfolios available are: Aggressive, Moderate Aggressive, Moderate, Moderate Conservative, Conservative, Ultra Conservative, Strategic Alternatives Core, Social Impact Growth, Social Impact Balanced and Social Impact Conservative.
Fees Under Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
Fees also depend on the program you are using, as follows:
- For third-party money management programs, the annual advisory fee will not exceed 2.60% if you are not using variable products and won’t exceed 1.20% if you are using variable products.
- The Transamerica I-Series program’s annual fees will not exceed 2.50%
- For the Alpha Standard program, the total fee is 0.65%. For the Alpha Premier Program, requiring a higher minimum investment of $10,000, the annual fee is 0.95%.
For the Transamerica ONE Wealth Management PLatform, the fee schedule is as follows:
|$25,000 to $250,000||1.10%|
|$250,001 to $500,000||1.00%|
|$500,001 to $1,000,000||0.90%|
|$1,000,001 to $2,000,000||0.80%|
What to Watch Out For
As noted above, employees at Transamerica are also insurance agents and broker-dealers. This means they can earn commissions for selling clients insurance products and other securities. This poses a potential conflict of interest, as it will be in the financial interest of the advisor to sell you a product that will earn them the highest commission, even if it isn’t always the best choice for you. Still, when acting as an advisor the firm must act in the best interest of the client, and the firm has monitoring procedures to track the appropriateness of the investment recommendations each client gets.
It is also worth noting that TFA is part of a much larger financial services conglomerate. This has positives, as there are more resources available. Still, it means they are not independent and may be more likely to offer services and products from within the corporate family.
Additionally, TFA does have disclosures on its record, described in detail below.
TFA does have disclosures on its record, according to SEC filings. These are for:
- Making false statements or omissions
- Violating SEC of CFTC statutes
- Having an order against the firm for investment-related activity
- A civil money penalty or a cease-and-desist order
- Violation of other regulatory statutes
Opening an Account With Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc.
You can contact TFA through this page or by calling (770) 248-3271.
Where Is Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. Located?
The firm is located at 70 Carillon Parkway, St. Petersburg, FL 33716.
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