Investment Management Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the minimum portfolio size needed to get started?

I work with clients of all portfolio size levels.

How do I get started?

I offer an initial no-cost, no-obligation, no-pressure “get acquainted” meeting, either over the phone, or in-person. The purpose of this meeting is to address your financial concerns, needs, goals & objectives, and to give you more detail on my firm and investment philosophy and services. Most people find this enlightening and motivating.

How often do you meet with clients?

I typically offer to meet with clients two to four times a year but can meet as often or as little as the client prefers.

Where are my assets be held?

Pershing LLC is the custodian of your assets. Pershing is the custodian of choice because they offer a cost effective and convenient way to invest in many different securities and they have a commitment to technology and service. They act as a custodian of your assets, which means they hold the actual securities and cash for you in your accounts and are responsible for safe-keeping.

Who is Pershing LLC?

Pershing LLC is a subsidiary of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, the nation’s oldest continuously operating bank, and one of the world’s leading providers of securities services. Pershing has approximately $770.2 billion in assets held in custody. The parent company, The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, has $22.3 trillion in assets under custody and administration.

What is a custodian?

A custodian is a brokerage or other financial institution that holds and manages a client's securities or other assets on his/her behalf. This reduces the risk of the client losing his/her assets or having them stolen. They are also available to the brokerage to sell at the client's demand. A custodian also provides an investor a place to store assets with little risk. Brokerages normally require a fee for custodial services.

What are custodial fees?

Custodial fees are charged to a client by his/her brokerage for safekeeping services. Safekeeping occurs when the brokerage holds securities on behalf of the client. They are also available to the brokerage to sell at the client's demand. Brokerages provide an investor a place to store assets with little risk. Brokerages are not allowed to use the items in safekeeping for their own ends. Assets in safekeeping remain in the client's name. For this reason, brokerages normally charge custodial fees for safekeeping services.

Who is Cetera Advisors, LLC?

Cetera Advisors, LLC is my broker-dealer. A broker-dealer is a company or other organization that trades securities for its own account or on behalf of its customers.

When executing trade orders on behalf of a customer, the institution is said to be acting as a “broker”. When executing trades for its own account, the institution is said to be acting as a "dealer." Securities bought from clients or other firms in the capacity of dealer may be sold to clients or other firms who themselves are acting again in the capacity of dealer, or they may become a part of the firm's holdings.

Who will have access to my money?

I am authorized to buy and sell securities in your account with your permission, or if you provide me with trading authorization, I am able to buy and sell securities on your behalf without permission. In either case, I do not have access to your money. You are the only person with direct access to your account funds.

Am I FDIC insured?

No, you are insured with SIPC through Pershing LLC. Pershing is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC®). As a result, securities in your account are protected up to $500,000. For details, please see Please note that SIPC does not protect against loss due to market fluctuation. However, it does protect against institutional failure. In addition to SIPC protection, Pershing also provides coverage in excess of SIPC limits through a private insurer, Lloyd’s of London.

The excess account protection purchased through Lloyd’s of London offers the highest level of coverage that is available in the industry today.***1 The excess insurance policy provides the following protection for assets held in custody by Pershing and its London-based affiliate, Pershing Securities Limited:

An aggregate loss limit of $1 billion for eligible securities—over all client accounts2

A per-client loss limit of $1.9 million for cash awaiting reinvestment—within the aggregate loss limit of $1 billion3

The Lloyd’s of London insurance does not protect against loss due to market fluctuation. For more information about Lloyd’s of London, please see An excess account protection claim would only arise when Pershing failed financially and client assets for covered accounts, as defined by SIPC (for Pershing LLC accounts) or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) (for Pershing Securities Limited accounts), cannot be located due to theft, misplacement, destruction, burglary, robbery, embezzlement, abstraction, failure to obtain or maintain possession or control of client securities, or to maintain the special reserve bank account required by applicable rules.

Lloyd’s currently has an A rating from A.M. Best and an AA- rating from Fitch Ratings and an A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s® (S&P®). These ratings are based on the financial strength of the company and are subject to change by the rating agencies at any time. The current Lloyd’s of London excess insurance policy is scheduled to expire on February 10, 2018.

What exactly does a Financial Advisor do?

A financial advisor is a professional who renders investment advice and financial planning services to individuals, businesses, and governments. They help clients maintain a desired balance of investment income, capital gains, and acceptable level of risk by using proper asset allocation. Financial Advisors use stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate investments trusts (REITS), options, futures, notes, and insurance products to meet the needs of their clients.

The Investment Advisors Act of 1940 imposes standards on investment advisors than broker-dealers. Sometimes, you will hear them referred to as having a “fiduciary” relationship with you. This means an investment advisor has the responsibility to act in your best interests. In addition to having the same obligations as brokers, investment advisors must also:

  • Act in your best interests when providing you with investment advisory services.
  • Place you interests above their own.
  • Avoid or disclose any material conflicts of interest, including disclosure of compensation paid to or received from affiliates as a result of the advisory relationship or any recommendations made in connection with the advisory services.

What is involved in the financial planning process?

Financial planning is the process of meeting your financial goals through the disciplined management of your finances. Financial goals can include buying a home, saving for education costs or planning for retirement.

For many clients, reaching long-term financial goals through an investment advisory service is a solid approach to take. Of all the investment advisory services available, financial planning typically differs from other types of investment advisory services because of the breadth and scope of the advisory services provided.4 When you engage in a financial planning relationship, you benefit from a holistic approach to meeting your needs and reaching your goals, while receiving a higher level of protection.

How do I access money in my account(s)?

This depends on the type of account.

Retirement Accounts – Checks are not available for retirement accounts. Call my office and I will fax/email/mail a form to you in order to make a withdrawal from your requirement account. The money can be received via a check, ACH transfer or wire transfer (there is small fee for this service).

Non-Retirement Accounts – Checks can be ordered for these types of accounts or you may call my office at 678.590.2702 and make request for an “on demand” withdrawal that can be received via a check, ACH transfer or wire transfer (there is small fee for this service).

How long does it take to receive a cash distribution if my money is invested?

You will receive your cash distribution on your equity trade settlement date. Your equity trade settlement date for stocks and bonds is usually two business days after the trade was executed. For government securities and options, the settlement date is usually the next business day. This does not include Saturday, Sundays or Holidays or when the exchanges are closed. Please allow extra time for delivery of your distribution after the settlement date.

Can I access my account online?

Yes. You have full access to your account(s) online through The Financial Organization number is 3KZ.

If you are a Financial Consulting client, you will have access to your online financial profile.

Please contact my office at 678.590.2702 for log in assistance.

Who should I issue a check payable to when you invest money for me and where should I mail the check?

Issue a check payable to Pershing LLC when you are investing money and it should be mailed to either (depending if the check is for retail or retirement):

Pershing, LLC                                   Pershing, LLC

Retail Deposits                                  Retirement Deposits

Pershing Money Desk                       Retirement Check Processing

One Pershing Plaza                          One Pershing Plaza

Jersey City, NJ 07399                       Jersey City, NJ 07399

If I am paying for Financial Consulting Services, how and when do I pay my annual subscription fee?

Most clients choose to pay their consulting fees via an automated quarterly bank draft. For clients who decline this option, you will be invoiced quarterly. You should issue a check payable to Cetera Advisors, LLC and mail it to:

Cetera Advisors LLC

c/o Richard S. Carver

P.O. Box 1223

Andrews, NC  28901

What happens to all my accounts if my Financial Advisor dies?

Your accounts become house accounts with Cetera Advisors, LLC and/or you are free to employ another financial advisor with Cetera Advisors, LLC or any other broker-dealer.

Financial Planning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the qualifications of the financial advisor with whom I will work?

Your financial advisor, also known as an investment adviser representative, must meet certain industry and regulatory standards. He or she must act as a fiduciary in your financial best interest.

Is there a fee for financial planning? If so, how is it determined?

Generally, a financial advisor may require a fee for professional guidance and analysis. Each financial advisor may develop a different fee model, and you should discuss and clearly understand the fee (if applicable) before you begin the process. It’s important to note that some advisors charge hourly or flat fees that cover a variety of planning-related services, including:

  • Data-gathering and analysis
  • A customized asset allocation
  • Periodic communications with you
  • One or more comprehensive reviews of your plan and portfolio
  • Related services, such as evaluating retirement plan choices, coordinating year-end investment results with your tax advisor, and communicating changes made by your portfolio manager(s)

What qualities should I look for in a financial advisor?

Many planning clients cite the following as key reasons for their satisfaction with their advisor:

  • They feel they are being listened to
  • They are given recommendations that fit their unique needs and desires
  • They receive help creating a financial foundation to pursue the goals and future they want
  • They feel they know, trust, and have a personal relationship with their advisor
  • Information is presented in a way they can understand

What is the advantage of creating a customized asset allocation program through the planning process?

Asset allocation is a discipline that can help diversify your portfolio and guide sound investment choices over time. Your advisor can help you use its structure to set goals, temper risk, monitor progress, and make adjustments as your needs change.*

You can choose among several types of asset allocation programs, from the more standard to the highly custom, depending on your risk tolerance and investment time horizon. Developing an asset allocation through the financial planning process, with the support of your financial advisor, can increase your confidence that you understand its benefits and that it is a good fit for your objectives.

What is the purpose and value of including “What if” scenarios and simulations in my planning?

By observing how different asset classes and investment combinations have performed historically, one can gain insights into how much risk they represent and the diversification, appreciation potential and income they might provide. “What if” scenarios and simulations can incorporate this information to help you and your financial advisor develop a plan you are comfortable with. These hypothetical scenarios are based on simplified assumptions. They should not be considered a guarantee of future performance of any particular asset or a guarantee of achieving overall financial objectives.

“What if” scenarios can also help you evaluate trade-offs in allocating your financial resources, and how those trade-offs might affect your ability to reach your goals in your planned time frame. You can explore what might happen if you save more, delay your goal, reduce your goal’s target, reallocate your portfolio to potentially earn a higher yield or return, or a combination of some or all of these. “What if” scenario planning can give you more confidence that the strategy within your financial plan is the right one for you.

What special planning needs can my planning address?

You may request specialized analysis to help you address:

  • Insurance needs and adequacy including life, disability income and long-term care insurance
  • Budgeting your monthly expenses to help you pay down debts, reduce fixed costs and free up more money for savings and investing
  • Stock options and restricted stock for managing or hedging concentrated stock holdings in employer stock or other securities
  • Estate planning to provide for a surviving spouse and heirs, while arranging an orderly and tax-efficient distribution of your assets
  • Retirement planning to help you determine when you can afford to retire
  • Retirement plan evaluation for making the most of your 401(k) or IRA while working and then choosing a rollover or distribution strategy that eases your transition into retirement
  • Education funding analysis to increase your confidence in meeting constantly rising costs of college tuition while fully utilizing available tax advantages and financial-aid resources

Is software used in creating and analyzing a plan?

Most financial advisors use software, especially to evaluate asset allocations and perform “What if” scenarios and simulations. Planning software also helps streamline a customized process (including some of the special needs listed in the previous question) efficiently, with the analyses delivered in consistent, easy-to-read formats. Of course, no software program can replace the experience and training of a financial advisor.

Will the planning analysis be documented?

Yes, documentation is important for several reasons. In addition to helping you communicate with your financial advisor and spouse or partner, it will make it easier for you to discuss your plan with trusted family members and any other advisors with whom you may wish to share information. Documentation also helps in determining whether a specific investment strategy is still suitable for you should your objectives change due to any number of life events, such as a marriage or divorce, the birth of a child or grandchild, an inheritance, or the like. As your needs change over time, the analysis and documents should be periodically updated.

* Asset allocation, which is driven by complex mathematical models, should not be confused with the much simpler concept of diversification. While asset allocation may help reduce volatility and risk, it does not guarantee future performance.

Securities and advisory services offered through Cetera Advisors LLC (doing insurance business in CA as CFGA Insurance Agency), member FINRA/SIPC. Investments are: • Not FDIC/NCUSIF insured • May lose value • Not financial institution guaranteed • Not a deposit • Not insured by any federal government agency. Advisory services may only be offered by investment adviser representatives in conjunction with the firm advisory services agreement and disclosure brochure as provided.