Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. is a dually registered investment advisory firm and broker-dealer headquartered in Florida. The firm provides products and investment portfolios for financial professionals who want to open their own business as an investment advisor. It has nearly 1,200 advisors throughout the country who provide investment management, retirement plan services and brokerage services through Transamerica Financial Advisors.
The bottom line: Transamerica Financial Advisors, part of the insurance and brokerage company Transamerica, has advisors working throughout the country.
|Assets under management: $2,070,956,104|
|Minimum investment: Varies by program, starting at $10|
|Individual investor to advisor ratio: 44:1|
|Fee structure: A percentage of AUM, commissions|
|Headquarters: 570 Carillon Parkway
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
Phone: (727) 299-1800, ext.123-2080
All information included in this profile is accurate as of January 21, 2022. For more information, please consult Transamerica Financial Advisors’ website.
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Transamerica Financial Advisors is part of Transamerica, a large insurance and brokerage company that launched out of San Francisco. The company launched Transamerica Financial Advisors in 1984, which registered as an RIA with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1991. Today, the firm is owned by Aegon N.V., a multinational financial services company.
Transamerica has nearly 1,200 employees and all work in an advisory capacity. The firm also has over 3,000 independent registered representatives who are not formal employees, as those who want to open their business as an investment advisor can sign up with Transamerica to offer their insurance and financial products.
While the firm’s headquarters are in St. Petersburg, Fla., its advisors work across the country. The team currently oversees nearly $2.1 billion in assets under management (AUM).
The vast majority of the firm’s clients are non-high net worth individuals (for reference, the SEC defines someone as high net worth when they have at least $750,000 under management with an advisor or a total net worth of at least $1.5 million.) It takes a minimum opening deposit of just $10 to open some investment accounts, so they are accessible for any type of investor.
However, the firm works with high net worth individuals as well, and they make up a decent share of the firm’s AUM. Transamerica Financial Advisors also works with employer retirement plans, businesses, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and educational accounts like 529 plans and UGMA/UTMA plans.
Transamerica itself does not specialize in serving any one type of client group. However, the advisors themselves may decide to specialize in certain areas like retirement planning and support for small businesses.
The firm offers asset management, life insurance and financial advisory services to its clients. The advisors can manage client funds both on a discretionary basis, where they can make trades on their own, or on a non-discretionary basis, where clients need to approve all trades. Clients can also sign up for robo-advisor managed accounts from Betterment through the Transamerica® ALPHA Program.
Besides working with individuals, Transamerica supports workplace retirement plans and also functions as a broker-dealer able to process investment trades for its clients. Last, they have partnerships with over 100 different companies like Nationwide, Pacific Life and Prudential so the Transamerica representatives can sell their products.
For reference, here is a list of services clients can get through the firm:
Transamerica doesn’t report an underlying investment philosophy or strategy. Instead, it provides its representatives with access to a large variety of investment portfolios and funds. Representatives can then choose the ones that best fit their client’s goals.
The firm also offers a social impact fund that focuses on promoting socially responsible investments and an alternative fund that looks to hedge against market volatility with assets like precious metals and natural resources.
Ultimately, the way your money will be invested can depend on which representative you sign up with. Your representative will help you decide which of the portfolios and strategies makes sense for your situation. Be sure to ask the representative whether they follow any specific investment philosophy when it comes to their recommendations.
The firm charges clients based on a percentage of AUM for its portfolio management services. The rate will depend on which program you enroll in and the size of your portfolio. In general, rates can range from 0.65% to 2.60% a year. You are able to negotiate the fees with your advisor when you sign up.
|Fee schedule for Transamerica Financial Advisors’ advisory programs|
|Third-party money management programs (non-variable product)||Not to exceed 2.60%|
|Third-party money management programs (variable product)||Not to exceed 1.20%|
|Transamerica® ONE Wealth Management Platform||Not to exceed 2.00%|
|Employee retirement services||Not to exceed 1.10%|
|Transamerica® ALPHA Program||0.65% to 0.95%|
|Transamerica I-Series® Program||Not to exceed 2.50%|
On top of the advisory fee, you may owe extra for the investment expenses like administration charges, 12(b)-1 fees for mutual funds and transaction charges.
Transamerica and its representatives can also make commissions by selling insurance and investment products.
Over the past decade, Transamerica Financial Advisors has faced a number of incidents that required a disclosure in its Form ADV filing with the SEC. For reference, all registered investment advisors are required to report such events — including any criminal charges, regulatory infractions and civil lawsuits faced by the firms and its employees or affiliates — from within the past 10 years.
All of Transamerica Financial Advisors’ disclosures are government regulatory actions, with three from the SEC and three from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) within the last decade. Below is a summary of the firm’s disciplinary disclosures, categorized by the regulatory agency.
The firm has nearly 300 office locations across the U.S., per its Form ADV. In its filings, it lists office locations in the following states:
Additionally, the firm is registered to serve clients in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.
If your portfolio is on the smaller side but you still want an investment advisor, Transamerica Financial Advisors could be worth considering. You can sign on for some of its plans with an initial investment of just $10. This can be useful for clients who can’t meet the high minimums of other advisors that may require $500,000 or more in assets to join. Additionally, Transamerica offers a large selection of products thanks to its many partners and dual registration as a broker-dealer.
On the other hand, these affiliations can pose potential conflicts of interest for the firm as the team may be financially incentivized to make certain recommendations. Additionally, Transamerica Financial Advisors’’ investment management fees are comparatively very high, even for large portfolios. Ultimately, the choice of a financial advisor comes down to your personal preferences and unique needs, and it is critical that you find an advisor who suits you and who you feel comfortable working with.
The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.