Frequently Asked Questions
Who holds my money?
Our custodian is Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions (FCCS). Fidelity is one of the largest independent clearing and custody firms holding over $1.7 trillion in client assets and serving over six million accounts.
Who is Cambridge Investment Research, Inc.?
Cambridge is an independent broker-dealer and an unaffiliated third party. Cambridge provides our firm with access to the securities markets as well as compliance and regulatory oversight.
Are you employed by Cambridge or Fidelity?
No. Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. and FCCS are independent third parties that provide services to us.
Who oversees Capitol Retirement Strategies?
Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. provides our firm with legal, compliance, and supervisory oversight. Advisors in our office must demonstrate that the firm has followed industry standards in terms of investment recommendations and their suitability for clients. We have an on-site audit conducted by Cambridge once per year. At this audit, our records are reviewed to ensure that we are complying with all industry rules and regulations.
Cambridge also monitors our email traffic to make sure there are no misrepresentations or violations of regulations surrounding email communications with clients.
How do I know you won't run off with my money?
Clients’ assets are held by a third party public custodian, Fidelity Clearing and Custody Services (FCCS). All checks from clients must be made payable to NFS (National Financial Services). Employees do not have access to client assets. We can generally only move money from your account in the following fashion:
- A wire transfer to another account in the exact same name at another institution with your written permission.
- A check payable to the parties listed on your account registration (e.g. Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and mailed to your address of record.
- Other transfers are possible but only with the client’s express written permission and back-up verification and authorization from Cambridge and Fidelity.
How safe is my money?
Your accounts are insured against lost or stolen cash or securities at Fidelity Clearing and Custody Solutions (FCCS) by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a U.S. government-chartered corporation. As a member of SIPC, securities in your account are protected up to $500,000 for lost or stolen securities. For details, please see www.sipc.com.
In addition to SIPC protection, FCCS provides additional coverage for client assets:
- An aggregate loss limit of $1 billion for eligible securities-over all client accounts.
- A per-client loss limit of $1.9 million for cash awaiting reinvestment-within the aggregate loss limit of $1 billion. This is the maximum excess of SIPC protection currently available in the brokerage industry.
Note: This does not protect your account from market loss.
Do you have a minimum account size?
Yes, $250,000 in investable assets. These assets do not include your real estate or personal assets.
Do you confer with me before doing any transactions?
Initially, we will develop an investment policy for you, explain our initial recommendations to you, and get your input and approval. However, all future transactions will be done at our discretion, and you will be notified of trade confirmations. These transactions will be done within the parameters of your Investment Policy Statement as discussed and agreed upon by you in our initial meetings. Any investments that you bring to us and specify should not be sold will remain in the account until we receive instructions or permission to sell.
What is fiduciary & why is having a financial advisor that acts as your fiduciary important?
A fiduciary is an individual in whom another has placed the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect property or money. It describes the relationship wherein one person has an obligation to act for another’s benefit in that person’s best interests. We act in a fiduciary capacity for our investment advisory clients.
When advisors recommend investments that pay commissions, a fiduciary relationship does not exist. Clients in fee-based accounts do not pay commissions, hence a fiduciary relationship exists.
We do have the ability to earn commissions on certain transactions, but these cannot be executed in fee-based accounts. If a client wants to purchase an investment that carries a commission, we can facilitate in a separate, non-fee-based account.
What is your fee structure?
We have a tiered fee structure that is based on the amount of assets we manage. This is an example of our most common fee schedule:
- $0 – $250,000: 1.25%
- $250,000 – $500,000: 1.10%
- $500,000 – $1M: 0.90%
- $1M – $2M: 0.75%
- $2M – $5M: 0.50%
- Over $5 million 0.25%