"How may we help you?"
Amid the nonstop blitz of modern-day advertising, it can be hard to sort the meaningful terms from the latest marketing buzzwords.
Here we offer a list of questions commonly asked by prospective clients, as well as some industry terms defined to help YOU answer that all-important question: How do I know if your services are right for me?
For more details and for questions not answered here, don't hesitate to reach out and contact us today!
Our company’s model is focused on wealth management. Our advisors’ first responsibility is to help established investors manage and build upon their existing assets and allocate their investments based on each client’s individualized plans and goals. We offer a range of related services to our advisory clients such as financial planning, tax planning, and estate planning.
The vast majority of our business is fee-based, which means each advisor’s compensation is based upon the performance of the assets under their management.
For our fee-based model to be economically feasible for all parties, and taking into consideration the depth of our advisors’ experience and the number of portfolios they already manage, many of advisors do have to consider account minimums before welcoming new advisory clients. However, we will always consider new clients with a commitment to long-term investment.
We receive many inquiries from potential clients who are building their wealth and have questions about big financial considerations such as saving for and purchasing a home, making contributions to retirement plans, establishing college savings plans, and paying down debt. Many of these folks are best served by a financial coach, whose focus is generally on teaching and reinforcing the skills needed for money management including budgeting, planning, and establishing healthy money habits and attitudes. While we do not offer this service separately from wealth management, we are happy to make referrals for those interested in working with a financial coach.
Our advisors are all experienced financial planners. For customers who are interested in booking services hourly to create a personalized financial plan instead of establishing a client/advisory relationship, we are happy to serve that need.
The legal particulars of the term “fiduciary” vary based on the law, regulation, and state that is defining it, but the overall essence of the term is this: a fiduciary is a person who is bound, legally or ethically, to place the financial interests of another before and above their own.
In most cases, the advisors at CBWA are fiduciaries for their clients. However, under certain circumstances, they are not. For example, a non-advisory, non-retirement account (i.e. an account intended for brokerage service only) may not fall under the fiduciary category.
If you read our team’s biographies, you will see this phrase: “Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser”.
What does all that translate to? Generally, under the federal requirements of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, when our advisors are acting in an IAR capacity, they are fiduciaries. This law requires that fiduciaries follow a duty of care and a duty of loyalty to the clients they serve. Depending upon the specific product your advisor may recommend, their actions may be governed by any number of other regulations, such as Reg BI, ERISA, or state laws.
What does all that mean for you, the client? We believe that nothing serves an investor better than a trusting relationship with an experienced, qualified, and ethical financial advisor who can clearly and concisely explain their recommendations and strategies. Our long-term and even inter-generational relationships with our clients and their families show that we are experts at earning and building that trust, year in and year out.
When we say we are an “independent wealth management firm” we mean that our principal advisors are the only shareholders of Casco Bay Wealth Advisors. Our business decisions, culture, and investment recommendations are not influenced or limited by a company trying to sell their proprietary products or push their advisors to make sales quotas. We are also proud to be independent in the sense that our clients are “our own,” and do not belong to a large investment bank with tens of thousands of clients.
Our clients will see this name often. Commonwealth is our full-service broker-dealer and Registered Investment Advisor, and serves many “back office” functions for our team. A privately held company, Commonwealth partners with us to provide, among other things, trade desk services, account maintenance and statements, and cutting-edge market research. Commonwealth has been chosen by our advisor team as best suited to provide this high-quality service for our staff and clients, not the other way around.
FINRA stands for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It is a government-authorized not-for-profit organization that oversees U.S. broker/dealers, and exists to protect investors and ensure the market’s integrity. FINRA® provides regulatory oversight and services such as BrokerCheck, a tool for investors to research the background and experience of brokers, advisors, and firms.
SIPC stands for Securities Investors Protection Corporation, which exists to promote investor confidence in the nation’s securities markets by protecting investors from certain types of loss resulting from broker-dealers’ failure to meet their obligations.
Yes, we do! We are proud to offer many different ways to approach this strategy. Please visit the Socially Responsible Investing page of our website for more information.
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