Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

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!

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.

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. To learn more, visit our Fiduciary Standard and Best Practices page.

Our fees are financial planning and wealth management fees that you pay directly to us. We do not receive any product-based fees, referral fees, or kick back fees of any kind. The fee you pay encompasses the full spectrum of financial planning and investment management services that we provide. You can view our fee structure here.

CFA – Chartered Financial Analyst

CFP® – Certified Financial Planner

CPA – Certified Public Accountant

PFS™ – Personal Financial Specialist

EA – Enrolled Agent

CEPA – Certified Exit Planning Advisor

CTS® – Certified Tax Specialist 

CDS – Certified Divorce Specialist 

FPQP® – Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional 

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.

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.

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.

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a designation provided to licensed accounting professionals. The CPA license is provided by the Board of Accountancy for each state. A CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, provides a wide variety of financial services to individuals, businesses, organizations, and government agencies. CPAs are not only knowledgeable about tax strategy and investing, but also auditing records and processes, analyzing data, and conducting fraud investigations. To become a CPA, you must pass a rigorous exam, known as the Uniform CPA Exam, hold a bachelor’s degree in business administration, finance, or accounting, and complete 150 hours of education.

An enrolled agent is a person who has earned the privilege of representing taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service by either passing a three-part comprehensive IRS test covering individual and business tax returns, or through experience as a former IRS employee.  Enrolled agent status is the highest credential the IRS awards. Individuals who obtain this elite status must adhere to ethical standards and complete 72 hours of continuing education courses every three years.

Enrolled agents, like attorneys and certified public accountants (CPAs), have unlimited practice rights. This means they are unrestricted as to which taxpayers they can represent, what types of tax matters they can handle, and which IRS offices they can represent clients before.

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.

There is no cost and no obligation associated with your first visit. Click here to contact us and set up an appointment.

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.

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.

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.

The primary custodian used by Tobias Financial Advisors is Charles Schwab, 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. 

In addition to SIPC coverage, Charles Schwab has additional protections that exceeds SIPC limits through an agreement with Lloyd’s of London. Additional Protection is necessary and available only if assets are not fully recovered when SIPC protection limits have been reached. The additional SIPC coverage is a total of $600 million across all Charles Schwab brokerage clients.   

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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.

Our investment management strategy is an evidenced-based approach. It is scientific in nature and is deeply rooted in academic, Nobel Prize research. We monitor macroeconomic and market data as well as keep abreast of the individual investments selected for your portfolio. As a result, we do not make investment decisions based on predictions, emotions, or hot tips. Having a solid investment management approach is extremely critical to managing your overall financial plan and goals.

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If you go through the Tobias Financial Advisors tax process, you will upload your tax documents directly to your Tax Dome portal. You will create a login and password for your portal, allowing you 24/7 access to upload important documents or download sensitive information Tobias Financial Advisors’ tax team shares with you.

Sign in to your Tax Dome below:

Tax Dome is a process management and portal software that Tobias Financial Advisors has implemented for our Tax Process clients.  Tax Dome allows our clients to securely upload their tax documents to their encrypted portal, sign tax documents electronically and store returns or other important documents.

Yes, it does! The “Tax Dome Client Portal” app can be downloaded for free in the App store on your Apple or Android device. The Tax Dome app allows you the same features as the desktop log in but also allows you to take pictures of tax documents on your smartphone.  The pictures are automatically converted to PDF and saved in your encrypted portal. 

We wanted to streamline the tax preparation process for our clients. The goal was to stay current with all data encryption and cyber security measures. By making this investment, we have done just this while allowing our clients to have more contact with the tax team and send/receive information in a more efficient way.

TFA Portal Login Instructions
1. Visit our website at and click Client Login > Click Client Center 
2. Enter your username (your email address)
3. Enter password and click Sign In  
4. If this is the first-time logging in, the client will be asked to choose a delivery method for a registration  (email or text). After you enter the code, you will be required to log back in.

You can also view your account/s using the Tobias Mobile app:

The Tobias Financial Advisors app may be downloaded and used via your smartphone or iPhone using the same login information.  

For Apple phones, please click HERE
For Android phones, please click HERE

The same login credentials for the portal are used to log into the app.

To upload all documents (except for tax-related documents) such as statements, driver license, and anything that needs to be sent in a secure manner, follow the instructions below:

Enter applicable information Name, email

Drag & Drop Files or Click “Browse Files” to attach and submit

How We Protect You

At Tobias Financial Advisors, we are dedicated to keeping your accounts safe. We review our insurance policies annually and based on the number of transactions and the value of those transactions, our internal controls and those of our custodians, as well as the size of our staff, we hold the recommended levels. We currently have cyber, crime, professional services, and general liability coverage. Our custodian also holds their own insurance or has policies to protect client assets. We partner with Charles Schwab to ensure quality online security and reduce the risk of theft or unauthorized usage of your account. The best way to keep your information secure, and your identity protected, is through collaborating together to achieve the highest level of security.

We verify the authenticity of every request for information, trades, or fund transfers, ensuring they originate from the legitimate client. If you wish to enhance your protection with Voice ID, please contact our Client Service at 954-424-1660.

Our team undergoes ongoing internal training and receives regular reminders to remain vigilant against malicious actors and phishing attempts, ensuring our staff maintains a high level of awareness.

We employ advanced encryption protocols to safeguard sensitive client data, preventing unauthorized access and data breaches.

Additional controls that we have in place to protect client funds:

  • Upon hiring, verification of all social security numbers, as well as review of licensing and disclosure history
  • Full criminal and credit check on new hires, in addition to education and employment verification
  • Client accounts are ONLY held by qualified custodians. A qualified custodian is required to abide by a set of conditions related to SEC requirements regarding the custody of client assets. These conditions/controls include:
    • Funds can only be disbursed to a third party upon the client providing instruction to the custodian, in writing, which includes the client signature and payee information.
    • All standing instructions, first or third party, require client approval in writing.
    • The custodian conducts signature verification of new instructions and provides prompt notice of all transfers. We also verify all transactions and provide email confirmation when transactions are complete.
    • Clients can change or remove standing instructions at any time, either by contacting the custodian directly or by asking us to remove the instructions.
    • Once the instructions are saved at the custodian, we have no authority or ability to make changes without client written authorization. We would be required to submit a new authorization request.
    • The custodian sends to the client, in writing, an initial notice confirming when instructions are added as well as an annual notice reconfirming any instructions on file.
  • Advisor and/or client service team is required to verbally verify distribution/withdrawal requests that are not recurring in nature, even if going to previously authorized bank or address. Our custodians also perform verbal verification on larger transactions or transactions that appear out of the ordinary.
  • Employees have limited access to trading and cash management capabilities on custodian platforms. Their access is on a needed basis only. Not all employees can transfer funds, and those that can are limited per the controls mentioned above.
  • Wire or other instructions received via email are verified via phone prior to processing.
  • No cash is received or handled by any TFA employee.
  • All checks received via mail must be deposited the same day or returned to the client.

Our compliance manual holds most of our major policies and procedures regarding compliance as registered investment advisors as well as general business practices. The manual includes guidelines and requirements that all employees must follow whether they are physically in our office or at a remote location. Employees are trained on the manual once a year and certain areas are highlighted during our monthly staff meetings. All new employees are trained on the manual within the first several weeks of their start date. Some of the topics addressed in our compliance manual include:

  • Our code of ethics, which outlines our standards of business conduct, including policies around conflicts of interest and outside business activities, gifts and entertainment, access to client information, recordkeeping and disclosures, and the procedure for reporting and addressing violations to the code of ethics.
  • Marketing compliance and disclosure requirements.
  • Guidelines and procedures for our investment and trading policies, including guidelines in the event of trading errors.
  • Policies regarding cash receipts and billing. 
  • Requirements to minimize the risk of client issues or complaints regarding investment recommendations, trading, or other service matters.
  • Our Privacy Policy outlines what the firm and employees do to minimize the risk of client privacy breaches. This outlines our responsibilities in terms of client privacy and is something we take very seriously. All employees are trained and reminded continuously of the requirements of this policy. The policy includes guidelines on physical space access, software use, email use, client account access, etc.
  • Identity theft protection program, which trains employees on the identification of red flags, as well as procedures to prevent and mitigate identify theft.
  • Remote access policy, including guidelines for employees that are telecommuting (temporarily or permanently) or traveling.
  • Cybersecurity policy, designed to address the security and protection of all non-public client information, and to preserve the security of our data and technology infrastructure. The policy includes periodic review of all the hardware accessing our networks, software and applications used, and outlines our cybersecurity training program and response plan.
  • Training is conducted annually and on an as needed basis on cybersecurity topics such as phishing, working remotely and password security. We run random simulated phishing attacks to all employees and address failures with remedial cybersecurity training.
  • All our major service providers (Charles Schwab, Salesforce, NetDocuments) are cloud based and have comprehensive cybersecurity and privacy policies. Annually we review their policies and procedures to ensure alignment with our expectations. Very little client data is saved on physical devices.
  • All electronic communication is recorded, archived, and periodically reviewed/monitored to ensure compliance with company, regulatory, and legal requirements.
  • All transactions in/out of client accounts are reviewed daily by an employee other than the employees processing the requests. All client-related communication and transactions are documented in our CRM.
  • Every two years we hire an outside contractor to perform a penetration test (Pen test). A pen test is intended to identify, test, and highlight vulnerabilities in our technology, which we then work to address. 
  • Includes general security, physical security, electronic records, and remote access standards and procedures. 

Charles Schwab’s SchwabSafe Guarantee uses advanced technology and expert specialists to protect your accounts from unauthorized activity, ensuring you’ll be reimbursed for losses across all Charles Schwab products. To work together more effectively, it’s important to take preventive steps like activating security alerts, advanced authentication, and Voice ID password features at Charles Schwab. If you notice any unauthorized activity, reach out to Charles Schwab promptly to start the recovery process. 

Teaming up with Tobias Financial Advisors, Charles Schwab emphasizes strong security practices, follows regulations, and prioritizes safeguarding your assets and privacy, providing an extra layer of protection against rare instances of asset theft.

You can view the Charles Schwab protections here:

Charles Schwab has a security guarantee where they will cover any loss in your Charles Schwab accounts due to unauthorized activity. You can learn more here:

  • Protect your computer and network: Install and regularly update antivirus and anti-spyware software, use the latest web browser with strong encryption, and install a firewall to control traffic and hide your computer’s presence.
  • Create secure passwords: Use combinations of letters and numbers, avoid using personal information, dictionary words, or common substitutions, and change passwords frequently.
  • Know the threats: Familiarize yourself with potential threats, including identity theft, phishing, stock spam, spyware, and various malicious software like viruses, worms, and Trojans.
    • Identity theft targets personal and financial information, including name, address, Social Security number, and financial account details.
    • Phishing involves attempts to steal sensitive information via deceptive emails.
    • Spyware invades privacy and affects computer performance.
    • Viruses, worms, and Trojans can harm your computer, spread spam, spy on you, and compromise data.

Do you have more questions or want to start a conversation?

Review our Client Expectations Agreement to see what you can expect from us once retained as well as what we expect from you.

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