Transamerica Retirement Advisors (TRA) is a financial advisor firm located in St. Paul, Minnesota. The firm has nearly $5.5 billion in assets under management (AUM) which it manages for about 48,000 clients. The majority of these clients are individuals below the high-net-worth threshold. The firm offers a range of services across the financial planning and investment portfolio management verticals.
As a fee-based firm, some of TRA's advisors can receive additional compensation from selling insurance products to clients. This represents a conflict of interest, but the advisors must still abide by a fiduciary duty to only recommend products in their clients' best interests.
Transamerica Retirement Advisors Background
Transamerica Retirement Advisors has been in business since 1992. It is a part of the AEGON family of companies, which is a multinational and publicly traded insurance group. AEGON also owns Transamerica Corporation, which is the parent company of all Transamerica affiliates, including TRA.
This firm employs a large staff of 416 financial advisors that boast a range of advisory certifications. These include certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified long-term care (CLTC), chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and certified investment management analyst (CIMA).
Transamerica Retirement Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
Transamerica Retirement Advisors accepts multiple client types, including individuals, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and businesses. That said, the firm's current client base consists solely of non-high-net-worth individuals and a few retirement plans.
TRA has an inclusive minimum account size of just $5,000. This requirement may vary, though.
Services Offered by Transamerica Retirement Advisors
As the name of the firm suggests, services offered by Transamerica Retirement Advisors are generally geared toward helping clients set and achieve retirement goals through financial planning and investment management. Here's a breakdown of its specific offerings:
- Transamerica Personalized Portfolios (TPP): This individual-centric investment management program features an online account management service that involves the creation of a customized portfolio plan.
- Managed Advice service: This advisory service is built to aid both retirement plan sponsors and their plan participants. It looks to both formulate an asset allocation plan for participants and provide investing and retirement savings advice.
- Defined Benefit Plan Asset Allocation Services: For this service, TRA advises employer plan sponsors on the asset allocations of their defined benefit and pension plans. It doesn't offer individual investment advice, but rather more large-scale insights.
- Third-Party Money Management Services (TPMM): TPMM offers clients access to two distinct money managers in Fund Architects and Morningstar. These third-party managers focus on portfolio models that utilize exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds.
Transamerica Retirement Advisors Investment Philosophy
While the firm's investment philosophies vary from program to program, advisors at TRA look to tailor strategies and asset allocations to the financial and retirement objectives of each client. Advisors work with you to identify your long-term objectives and current financial situation, and then they make recommendations accordingly. Ultimately, advisors offer retirement advice, general investing advice or some blend of the two.
Most of the investments that TRA and its affiliate firm, NextCapital, recommends fall under at least one of two categories: ETFs and mutual funds. If you have specific investing preferences, the firm can take these into account to a certain extent.
Fees Under Transamerica Retirement Advisors
When it comes to Transamerica Retirement Advisors' fee schedule for its individual-centric service, Transamerica Personalized Portfolios (TPP), the firm charges a non-negotiable asset-based fee. These charges are paid on a quarterly basis, in arrears, directly from your account's balance.
|Transamerica Personalized Portfolios (TPP) Fee Schedule|
|Assets Under Management||Annual Fee Rates|
|$5,000 - $149,999||0.95%|
|$150,000 - $999,999||0.90%|
|$1,000,000 and above||0.80%|
With respect to TRA's other advisory services, fees are based on the following ranges:
|Other Transamerica Retirement Advisors Fees|
|Service||Annual Fee Range|
|Defined Benefit Plan Asset Allocation Services||0.05% - 0.25%|
|Managed Advice service||Up to 0.50%|
|Third-Party Money Management Services (TPMM)||0.60% - 0.90%|
What to Watch Out For
Transamerica Retirement Advisors is a fee-based financial advisor operation, which means some of its advisors have an opportunity to earn commissions when they sell certain insurance products. While this could create a potential conflict of interest, the firm and its advisors all abide by fiduciary duty. This means that despite any conflicts of interest, they are still legally obligated to act in your best interest at all times.
Opening an Account With Transamerica Retirement Advisors
Those interested in joining forces with Transamerica Retirement Advisors can visit the firm's website and either fill out a contact form or enroll directly in an advisory program. You can also speak to a TRA representative on the phone by calling (866)-368-0566.
Tips for Financial Planning
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