+ Which organization oversees and regulates your firm?
Charleston Financial Advisors, LLC is a Registered Investment Advisor Firm regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
To verify the firm’s status as a Registered Investment Advisor Firm, follow this link to the Security and Exchange Commission’s Website here: https://www.sec.gov/check-your-investment-professional
You can review our firms Disclosure Document which is designed to provide new and prospective clients disclosure of our business practices, potential conflicts of interest and backgroud of the firm and firm's employees who provide investment advice.
+ What does Fiduciary mean?
Investment advisors who are held to the fiduciary standard must act in the best interests of their clients. Advisors who bear the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation must swear to a fiduciary standard. Registered Investment Advisor firms (RIA) follow a fiduciary standard as well. Therefore, when recommending investments, representatives of RIA firms are required to act in your best interests.
Even with the best intentions, it is difficult for advisors not to be influenced by how they are compensated. Fee-only advisors take the fiduciary standard a step further by foregoing third-party compensation that might influence recommendations they give to clients.
+ How do I verify the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP ®) designation?
To verify the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP ®) designation, visit the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Board of Standards website: https://www.cfp.net/
+ How do I verify your status as a Fee-Only financial planner?
We are members of NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) which has strict business and ethical standards for its members in addition to allowing ONLY those planners who accept no commissions from the sale of insurance or investment products. To verify membership status as a NAPFA member, visit NAPFA’s website and click the link to “Find a NAPFA Registered Advisor”, then search Charleston, SC area.
+ Is my information safe with your Firm?
The Firm uses security policies, physical security measures, and security technology that are the best practices for financial firms. While no guarantees can be made in the current day and age of cyber hackers and other criminals, we have consulted with leading computer and physical security experts. We continue to update our security practices as new threats emerge. We are very concerned with computer security and take this matter very seriously.
+ Do you guarantee returns?
No. We absolutely do not guarantee returns. Rather we put together solid and focused financial and retirement plans for our clients designed to help them achieve their goals. Financial and investment planning is more of an art than it is a science, and we cannot predict the future nor guarantee returns in any form.
+ Can I speak to some references?
Absolutely! Contact us directly, and we will be happy to contact Firm clients for permission to pass along their names and contact numbers to you.
+ Do you hold my money directly?
Absolutely not. We will not take possession of cash or securities in any form. We encourage clients to send deposits via our office: we will forward deposits to our custodians, tracking their progress. Alternately, we will provide you postage paid envelopes to forward cash and/or securities directly to your custodian, and of course provide you detailed instructions on the safest manner for doing so.
+ Is my money safe at Charles Schwab?
Charles Schwab is a members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), the assets you custody with Schwab are insured by SIPC up to $500,000 for each separate account including up to $100,000 in cash. Such insurance DOES NOT protect your investment principal from market fluctuation or volatility; however it does provide an amount of protection in the event of your custodian going out of business. You can learn more here: https://www.schwab.com/public/schwab/nn/sipc_account_protection.html
+ Do you have a minimum portfolio size?
There are no minimum asset requirements for financial planning or investment managemnet clients. We do have a minimum fee for asset management and investment advisory service of $250 per quarter or $1,000 annually.