Where are my assets held?
Fidelity Clearing & Custody SolutionsSM (FCCS)1 provides clearing, custody, and other brokerage services to Commonwealth through National Financial Services LLC (NFS). NFS is one of the largest clearing firms in the country and serves as the custodian of approximately $1.3 trillion of investor assets. Your statements will come from Commonwealth Financial Network®, our local broker/dealer partner, which processes all the trades and investment activity on your behalf.
Are my investments insured?
Securities in accounts carried by NFS are protected in accordance with the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) up to $500,000 (including cash claims up to $250,000). For details, please visit www.sipc.org.
NFS has arranged for additional protection for cash and covered securities to supplement its SIPC coverage. This additional protection covers up to an aggregate loss limit of $1 billion for all customer claims, of which $1.9 million may cover cash in excess of the $500,000/$250,000 coverage provided by SIPC. Neither coverage protects against a decline in the market value of securities.
Commonwealth has institutional fidelity bond coverage for any losses that you incur as a result of fraudulent acts by Handford Financial Strategies or Commonwealth's executives or other employees. This policy also covers account shortfalls that may arise from lost securities certificates. The per-incident limit for coverage is $5 million, with a $10 million aggregate.
What services are provided by HFS, and what is the process?
Our job is to help individuals discover their goals by designing a comprehensive financial plan specifically for them. The financial plan covers the five areas of financial planning: retirement, estate, taxes, investments, and risk management. We look at all five of these areas in relation to one another and determine what is best for you. Once we have completed your financial plan, you have the option of transferring your assets under our management. As long as your money is under our management, we maintain a relationship in which we continue to help you with your financial goals.
We typically do this in a series of meetings. Firstly, we meet and get to know you and what your goals are. If you are interested, you will send us your documents/client discovery worksheet so we can get a more quantitative understanding of your financial situation. Once we have done that, we will get together once more to make sure everything we have deduced from talking with you and going over your documents is correct. Lastly, we send you a recommendation letter that outlines what you need to do in order to best achieve your goals.
How am I kept informed about the performance of my portfolio?
Commonwealth provides a program called Investor360°®. Investor360° allows you to have access to the same information we have at HFS. Statements are also available to be mailed out on a quarterly basis.
How are you compensated for your services?
There is a $1,500–$5,000 dollar fee to provide you with a financial plan. If you wish to transfer your assets to us, our fee structure usually ranges from 1%-1.5% of assets under management.
1Fidelity Clearing & Custody SolutionsSM (FCCS) is an independent company, unaffiliated with Commonwealth. FCCS is a service provider to Commonwealth and provides clearing, custody, and other brokerage services to Commonwealth through National Financial Services LLC (NFS), member NYSE, SIPC.