Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have account size minimums?
We do not have account size minimums. We subscribe to the philosophy that our advisors should be able to earn your confidence and trust at a level that YOU are comfortable with, not at a level that is determined by anyone else. Some of the investments we represent do carry minimums that begin at $1,000. In addition, to achieve an effective and appropriate level of diversification may require multiple investments.
Are you affiliated with another institution?
Yes. All of our securities and advisory services are offered through Madison Avenue Securities, LLC. (MAS). A broker-dealer is a brokerage firm that is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to buy and sell securities for its clients’ and its own accounts. Employees of the firm must pass qualifying exams administered by FINRA, which also regulates their activities.
How do you help me determine my risk tolerance?
We believe in taking time to get to know our clients before making any important investment decisions. Through in-depth discussions about your goals, attitudes, values and fears, we will get a clear idea of the risk level that suits you best.
What is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA)?
A registered investment advisor (RIA) is an advisory firm that registers with and agrees to be regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm’s employees are bound by a fiduciary standard in recommending securities to their clients and may also manage clients’ investment portfolios. RIAs earn a fee, or sometimes a fee plus commission, for being an Investment Advisor and a Registered Representative. An RIA must file a two-part Form ADV. Part 1 provides basic information about the firm. Part 2 is a detailed narrative explanation, in Plain English, about how the firm operates, how it does its analysis, what it charges, and any material disciplinary actions against it.
Who is and what is covered by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)?
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) is a nonprofit membership corporation created to insure investors against losses caused by a brokerage firm bankruptcy. Specifically, a brokerage account is insured up to $500,000, including a $250,000 limit on cash. Losses larger than those amounts may be covered by funds recovered from the bankrupt firm. This insurance does not cover market losses caused by trading decisions or other causes. All SEC-registered broker-dealers are required to be SIPC members. Though SIPC was created by Congress, it is not a government agency.
What is a Custodian?
A custodian is a financial services company that is legally responsible for the financial assets it holds in either electronic or certificate form. A custodian may protect the assets of an individual or institutional investor or of another financial services firm or firms. A Custodian is not like a bank. When you deposit money into the bank, they lend it out and make money on the difference. A custodial account is in your name and holds your assets for you. We primarily use Pershing and Fidelity, two of the largest and most established and trusted custodial organizations in the business.
How are Registered Investment Advisors regulated?
RIAs are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), an independent federal agency that oversees and regulates the securities industry in the Unites States and enforces securities laws. The SEC requires registration of all securities that meet the criteria it sets, and of the individuals and firms who sell those securities. It is also a rulemaking body, with a mandate to turn Congressional legislation into rules the securities industry can follow.
In addition, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest self-regulatory organization (SRO) in the United States. It writes and enforces rules governing the securities industry and enforces securities law. FINRA has jurisdiction over all broker-dealers and registered representatives, with the authority to discipline individuals and firms who break the rules. It regulates trading in stocks, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, variable annuities, corporate bonds, options contracts, and futures contracts on securities. Through its BrokerCheck database, FINRA provides a resource for investors to check the credentials of individuals and firms in the securities industry.