Frequently Asked Questions.

What is a Registered Investment Adviser? 
A Registered Investment Adviser is an individual or firm that is in the business of advising others around investment securities for a fee and is registered with a state or federal agency as an Investment Adviser (IA). An Investment Advisor Representative (IAR) is an individual that works for a firm that is registered as an investment adviser. An IA or IAR is a fiduciary that has a legal duty of undivided loyalty to their investment advisory clients and must put their clients’ interest ahead of their own. There are no education or experience requirements for a person to become a Registered Investment Adviser.

How are you compensated?
We are considered a “fee-based” planning firm. A “fee-based” planning firm is one where its financial professionals can be compensated through fees charged directly to the client and/or through fees received directly from the providers of financial products or services. A professional that is “fee-based” generally must be both an Investment Adviser and a licensed professional. A licensed professional has to pass examinations administered by regulatory bodies and has to comply with continuing education requirements.

What are the advantages of the “fee-based” approach?
We feel that the “fee-based” approach most effectively allows us to meet the needs of our clients while also minimizing potential “conflicts of interest” with them. Our clients generally have limited free time and have expressed to us their desire to establish a relationship with a trusted advisor that can meet as many of their financial needs as possible, thereby minimizing their need to develop relationships with other professionals. Given that the majority of our time is spent analyzing and discussing issues with our clients that do not entail a financial product, the “fee-based” approach allows us to be compensated for our time through a fee arrangement directly with the client.

Who is Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.?
Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. is one of the country’s largest independent registered FINRA broker-dealers and SIPC member. A broker-dealer is in charge of processing the investment business of the financial professionals who associate with it. These professionals (also called “registered representatives”) are independent business owners who provide financial guidance free from product sales quotas and proprietary products. Because the securities industry is heavily regulated, registered representatives can only have one broker-dealer to ensure that there is an established, clear chain of responsibility. We have selected Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. as our broker-dealer because of their financial strength and commitment to providing their registered representatives with the resources we need to more effectively meet our clients’ needs.

What is the Master of Science degree from the College for Financial Planning?

The Master of Science degree from the College for Financial Planning (“College”) is the highest level of education in financial planning offered by the College. It is noteworthy that the College founded the Certified Financial Planner™ designation and is widely recognized as one of the top academic institutions in the country in the field of financial planning. 

What is the Certified Financial Planner™ credential?
CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ are certification marks owned by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board) for the use of professionals who successfully complete the initial and ongoing certification requirements established by the CFP Board. The CFP Board is a private, not-for-profit, professional regulatory organization. The CFP® certification marks identify professionals who have met the high standards of competency and ethics established and enforced by the CFP Board. To receive a license by the CFP Board to use its CFP® certification marks, a professional has to submit to a demanding education curriculum, pass a two-day 10-hour national board examination, meet experience requirements, and submit to a code of ethics that is enforced by the CFP Board. The CFP® credential is widely considered to be the golden standard for comprehensive financial planning professionals.

What is the Chartered Market Technician® (CMT) credential?
Chartered Market Technician® (CMT) is a professional designation offered through the CMT Association. Earning the CMT designation requires successful completion of three exams that demonstrate mastery of a core body of knowledge of investment risk in portfolio management. After successful completion of all three examinations, a candidate is awarded the CMT designation after having been gainfully employed in a professional analytical or investment management capacity for a minimum period of three years and must be regularly engaged in this capacity at the time of successfully passing all three levels of the CMT Exam. The candidate must also have three sponsors who are CMT holders confirm the candidate's professional requirements. The CMT Association's market philosophy is grounded in behavioral economics and extends beyond classical pattern recognition techniques to include quantitative approaches to market research and rules based trading system design and testing. The CMT designation is widely regarded as the highest level of education within the discipline and, with members located in 137 countries, it is the preeminent designation for practitioners of technical analysis worldwide.

What is the Equity Securities course of study offered through the Schweser Institute Certificate Program?

The Equity Securities course of study was offered through the Schweser Institute Certificate Program. The Schweser Institue was founded in 2004 by Kaplan Schweser, which is a part of Kaplan Higher and Professional Education, a division of Kaplan, Inc. To complete the Equity Securities course of study, candidates were required to pass a rigorous exam that covered a broad range of topics in equity analysis, including quantitative methods and statistics, financial statement analysis, corporate finance, financial markets and instruments, valuation and industry analysis, and equity portfolio analysis. Schweser Institute Certificate Programs are designed to provide financial professionals with rigorous and comprehensive education in an extensive array of topics to enhance their educational portfolio and demonstrate proficiency.