Why should I consider using a Fee-Only, Registered Investment Advisor?
Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisors have a fiduciary responsibility to choose investments that are in your best interest.
Cornerstone Wealth Management is a Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor. This means that neither the advisors nor the firm receive any commissions for the sale of any product based on the investment recommendations we make to you. We don’t accept compensation from any brokerage firm, mutual fund company, or insurance company. We’re only paid by you, through your standard asset management fee. This approach allows us to show our clients that we represent only them with no conflicts of interest.
Simply put, we believe that the greater an advisor’s dependence on commission income, the greater the conflict. In the end, that conflict can cost you both in out-of-pocket expenses and in the quality of advice you receive.
What is the Fiduciary Standard?
Registered Investment Advisors like Cornerstone Wealth Management are bound to a fiduciary standard that was established as part of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940. They can be regulated by the SEC or state securities regulators, both of which hold advisors to a standard that requires them to act and to provide advice only in their client's best interests. This involves the advisors disclosing any conflicts of interest that may violate this standard and they owe their clients a duty of undivided loyalty and utmost good faith.
Who is TD Ameritrade Institutional?
TD Ameritrade Institutional is the custodian for Cornerstone Wealth Management. We act as the investment advisor in managing the assets in your account which are held (in custody) by TD Ameritrade Institutional on your behalf. The custodian’s role is to support the relationship between you and Cornerstone by providing research, trading functions, technology, and various other investment operations.
Will I have online access to my accounts?
Yes. You will be provided with a login and password to view your accounts online through TD Ameritrade Institutional Client Site.
You may access this site through the Cornerstone Wealth Management website by clicking Client Login at the top of the page or go to www.advisorclient.com.
So, my current advisor may not be a Fiduciary?
The Fiduciary Standard does not hold out that all financial advisors, who are not fiduciaries by definition, are not acting in your best interest.
Advisors that are registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and those holding some certifications such as the CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™) or the AIF®(Accredited Investment Fiduciary®) are required to follow The Fiduciary Standard.
However, some advisors are registered under a different set of laws that follow what is called a Suitability Standard. The Suitability Standard states that your advisor must have a reasonable basis for believing that the recommendation is suitable for you. In making this assessment, your broker must consider your income and net worth, investment objectives, risk tolerance, and other security holdings.
Many of these advisors may serve many of the same functions as investment advisors in that they help individuals and institutions make important financial decisions. Those held to only the Suitability Standard are most often affiliated with a Broker-Dealer or an insurance company. The advisor does not necessarily have the expanded duty of loyalty to their clients as stated in The Fiduciary Standard and has a conflict of interest in that he is not independent of the company that he or she works with. Suitability is often based on a certain point of time and sometimes does not consider the client's ongoing needs.
How often will I receive account statements?
You will receive statements from TD Ameritrade monthly and trade confirmations when trades are made. They can come in the form of paper or electronic statements through email. Cornerstone will also produce customized performance reports for client meetings and upon request.
How is my account billed?
Cornerstone typically bills your accounts quarterly and payable in arrears.
Your first quarterly billing will be prorated in accordance with the actual time assets were placed under our management.
What type of clients do you typically work with?
We work with a wide range of clients from various walks of life.
Examples of Cornerstone Wealth Management clients include individuals, retirees, business owners, entrepreneurs, corporations, and trusts.
Our relationship-based approach to servicing allows us to serve every client in the same fashion, no matter the size.
We always welcome the opportunity to discuss working with you and to see if we may be a good fit for your needs.