By clicking on the links below, you can access your investment accounts and other useful information.
TD Ameritrade, Inc. and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. are two of the firms that we use to custody our client assets. TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, Tobias Financial Advisors, and the other entities named are separate and unaffiliated firms, and are not responsible for each other’s services or policies. TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab do not endorse or recommend any advisor and the use of the their respective logos or trademarks does not represent the endorsement or recommendation of any advisor. Brokerage services provided by TD Ameritrade Institutional, Division of TD Ameritrade, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. The Charles Schwab Corporation provides a full range of brokerage, banking and financial advisory services through its operating subsidiaries. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (member SIPC), offers investment services and products, including Schwab brokerage accounts. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides deposit and lending services and products. Access to Electronic Services may be limited or unavailable during periods of peak demand, market volatility, systems upgrade, maintenance, or for other reasons.
PLEASE NOTE: This information is being provided strictly as a courtesy. When you link to any of the web-sites provided here, you are leaving this site, with the exception of Tobias Financial Advisors. Our company makes no representation as to the completeness or accuracy of information provided at these sites. Nor is the company liable for any direct or indirect technical or system issues or any consequences arising out of your access to or your use of third-party technologies, sites, information and programs made available through this site. When you access one of these sites, you are leaving Tobias Financial Advisors’ Website and assume total responsibility and risk for your use of the site to which you are linking.
Fiduciary Standard Best Practices: A Professional Code of Conduct
The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard’s Best Practices, a professional code of conduct for fiduciary advisors, outlines what advisors agree to do for clients. Here, each Best Practice is listed and the requirements of each practice is put in italics below it. These are the specific actions that aim to uphold a high standard. A firm subscribing to Best Practices affirms with these actions, that:
- Affirm the fiduciary standard under the Advisers Act of 1940, common law and, if applicable, ERISA and DOL’s COI Rule, govern all professional advisory client relationships at all times.
Fiduciary status, as required in law, applies at all times in all client engagements and this affirmation is stated in writing.
- Establish and document a “reasonable basis” for advice in the best interest of the client.
Advice is given on a “reasonable basis” and a summary of this “reasonable basis” will be provided by your advisor in writing upon request.
- Communicate clearly and truthfully, both orally and in writing. Do not mislead. Make all disclosures and important agreements in writing.
All important client agreements and disclosures are put in writing and that no written or verbal statements are misleading.
- Provide a written statement of total fees and underlying investment expenses paid by the client. Include any payments to the advisor or the firm or related parties from any third party resulting from the advisor’s recommendations.
Your advisor provides a good faith estimate of fees and expenses in writing during the starting phase of the engagement when the investment policy is agreed to. Thereafter, your advisor will offer to all clients and will provide, upon request, an annual good faith estimate in writing of total fees and expenses incurred by each client and paid to the firm or related parties because of my advice.
- Avoid conflicts and potential conflicts. Disclose all unavoidable potential and actual conflicts. Manage or mitigate material conflicts. Acknowledge that material conflicts of interest are incompatible with objective advice.
Your advisor seeks to avoid conflicts of interest. For unavoidable conflicts, your advisor 1) affirmatively discloses the conflict with ‘sufficiently specific facts’ to allow client understanding, and 2) manages the conflict to preserve the clients best interests. For material conflicts your advisor 3) obtains informed written client consent. Also, 4) your advisor affirms the transaction remains consistent with the client’s best interests. Further, he or she provides clients and prospective clients a written description of conflicts and steps to manage them.
- Abstain from principal trading unless a client initiates an order to purchase the security on an unsolicited basis.
Your advisor abstains from principal trading – unless specifically requested by a client without your advisor’s urgings.
- Avoid compensation in association with client transactions. If such compensation is unavoidable, demonstrate how the conflict is managed and overcome and the product recommendation and compensation serves the client’s best interest.
Your advisor does not receive compensation in association with a client transaction.
- Avoid gifts or entertainment that are not minimal and not occasional. Avoid third party payments, “benefits” and indirect payments that do not generally benefit the firm’s clients and may reasonably be perceived to impair objectivity.
Gifts and entertainment received are minimal and occasional. Any third party compensation or benefits received by the firm generally benefit the firm’s clients and do not impair my objectivity.
- Ensure baseline knowledge, competence and ongoing education appropriate for the engagement.
Your advisor’s education, professional certifications and ongoing education are appropriate for client engagements, and, at minimum, include an undergraduate degree and either a relevant post graduate education or a specialized designation or certification requiring significant additional education.
- Institute an investment policy statement (IPS) or an investment policy process (IPP) that is appropriate to the engagement and describes the investment strategy. Have access to a representative universe of investment vehicles that provide ample options to meet the desired asset allocation in consideration of generally accepted criteria.
An investment policy statement or investment policy is developed and furnished in writing to each client, and a sample copy of each document is available on request to any prospective client.
- Consider peer group rankings or apply specific procedures in ensuring underlying investment expenses are reasonable.
Your advisor benchmarks the fees and costs clients incur with reliable services or surveys other resources and / or has procedures to determine that client expenses are reasonable.
- The advisor affirms in writing adherence to Best Practices, and attains written affirmation from the firm that these business practices may be met by the advisor.
Your advisor affirms adherence to Best Practices and no firm policy interferes with this adherence.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why use a Financial Advisor?
Investing, when done properly, is a long term commitment requiring research and measured analysis. Emotions must be kept level when approaching the investing arena. Many fortunes have been destroyed by decisions made in a moment of fear or an instant of fearlessness. A financial advisor is trained to maneuver with deliberation through the increasingly complex financial markets with their client’s financial plan and well-being in mind.
Why should I choose a fee-only advisor?
As a fee-only investment manager, Tobias Financial Advisors is beholden to no one other than our clients. Totally independent from outside sources; our only compensation comes from our clients. “Fee-only” means that we receive no other compensation other than the fee you pay; we do not sell products. This arrangement ensures that our recommendations are made with your best interests at heart!
What is the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification?
The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification is a professional certification (no federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold CFP® certification) that represents a high level of professional education which requires passing a rigorous examination with 89 financial and legal topics, fulfilling experience and education metrics, and acting in an ethical manner.
What is a Registered Investment Advisor?
A Registered Investment Advisor is a firm that is registered with the state in which it does business, or with the Securities Exchange Commission, to provide investment advice. A Registered Investment Advisor is held to a Fiduciary Standard, meaning they are expected to act in the best interest of their client at all times. As fiduciaries, an advisor must employ a policy of full disclosure with their clients to help avoid potential conflicts of interest. As a fee-only investment advisor, Tobias Financial Advisors removes potential conflict by accepting compensation only in the form of client fees.
What Is The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Credential?
The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional credential offered by the CFA Institute to investment and financial professionals. A candidate who successfully completes the program becomes a “CFA charterholder”. To earn the CFA charter, a candidate must pass three six-hour exams and have at least four years of qualified professional investment experience. The CFA exams are widely considered to be extremely difficult and the CFA Institute reports that successful candidates take an average of four years to complete the process.
Matt Saneholtz, of Tobias Financial Advisors, has earned the right to use the CFA designation, which illustrates he is trained to lead the investment profession by promoting the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence for the ultimate benefit of society.</span
What Is The Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) Credential?
Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) is a specialty credential awarded by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) to CPAs who specialize in helping individuals plan all aspects of their wealth. Every three years, PFS professionals must complete 60 hours of continuing professional education. PFS applicants study estate planning, retirement planning, investing, insurance, and other areas of personal financial planning. To become a PFS, candidates must be active members of the AICPA, have at least three years of financial planning experience, meet all the requirements for being a CPA, receive professional recommendations, and pass a comprehensive written exam.
Ben Tobias and Marianela Collado of Tobias Financial Advisors have earned the right to use the CPA/PFS credential, which illustrates their experience and objectivity as advisors, with the powerful combination of extensive tax expertise and comprehensive knowledge of financial planning.
Who will I work with at Tobias Financial Advisors?
Tobias Financial Advisors employs a proactive team approach, which means that any of our seasoned financial planning and investment management experts will be meeting with you and will be available to answer your questions and address any of your concerns. You may, of course, develop a relationship with one senior member and we will do our best to keep that consistent throughout.
As a client, will my children be able to use the Tobias Financial Advisory services as well?
Yes, we believe that it is important and crucial to financial success for the entire family to be involved. In many cases, our clients have children who are just finishing college or starting out in their careers, and we welcome the opportunity to offer coaching and guidance with the many financial decisions they need to make. This offer may include assistance with employer benefits, budgeting, establishing retirement accounts, tax planning, etc.
Why use our firm in lieu of a larger, institutional advisory firm?
Tobias Financial Advisors provides an advisory relationship that exudes the “personal” touch. We are a boutique firm that keeps in close touch with our clients. Our financial advisors get to know our clients as individuals and not just “accounts.” This personal interest creates a level of service which we believe cannot be matched by the larger financial companies and banks.
Is my private information confidential & safe with Tobias Financial Advisors?
Tobias Financial Advisors maintains strict guidelines for the confidentiality of personal client information. Though we are a “paperless” office, what minimal physical records we maintain are kept under secure conditions. We implement several layers of safeguards for both hard and soft copy records including encryption, firewalls, employee and third party confidentiality agreements and the delegation of an in-house Compliance Officer, as well as an independent Compliance Firm.
Who does Tobias Financial Advisors use as custodian for my assets? Are my funds safe?
The primary custodian used by Tobias Financial Advisors is TD Ameritrade, a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC); securities in each of your (separate) accounts are protected up to $500,000 per account, including coverage for up to $250,000 in cash.
TD Ameritrade also provides additional coverage. This supplemental coverage provides $149.5 million of coverage for each client; this coverage limits coverage on cash in the account to an additional $900,000. Each client is limited to a combined return of $150 million from a Trustee, SIPC or other supplemental insurance. TD Ameritrade has an aggregate total coverage of $250 million. This coverage provides you with protection against brokerage insolvency.
To be clear, SIPC does not protect your investment principal from market volatility; however, it does provide protection in the event the custodian of record – TD Ameritrade – goes out of business. For more information, go to https://www.sipc.org/
What is a fiduciary duty?
As a Registered Investment Advisor, we have a fiduciary obligation to act at all times in the best interest of our clients. This is the highest duty of loyalty, trust and care established by law.
Does your firm pick individual stocks and bonds?
Typically not. We employ a mix of passive investments such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and actively managed mutual funds to build a broadly diversified portfolio designed to withstand market volatility and meet your financial goals.