Frequently Asked Questions

What is a registered investment advisory (RIA) firm?

As a registered investment advisory firm, SYM Financial Advisors acts in a fiduciary capacity – that means we put the interests of our clients ahead of our own interests. Under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, any firm that is engaged in the business of providing financial advice for a fee is considered to be an “investment advisor.” These firms are required to be registered with the appropriate federal or state agency. As such, SYM Financial Advisors is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Why choose a fee-based financial planner?

A fee-based financial planner is compensated solely by the client. Commission-based advisors receive commissions from product sales such as insurance and investment products. Often these products may offer a high commission but may not be best for you. We put your interest first, always. We receive no commissions from any investment, insurance vehicle, or other financial product we recommend to you. Our only source of compensation is the fee you pay us, ensuring that you get objective advice about your finances.

What is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®)?

To become a Certified Financial Planner, advisors must complete training and pass comprehensive exams certifying them to advise clients in the areas of estate planning, risk management (insurance consulting), investments, retirement planning, income taxes and tax planning, and general financial planning. CFPs also are tested in the regulations that must be abided by to maintain the license. Once certified, CFPs are required to complete a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years.

What does the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation indicate?

Investment fiduciaries are exposed constantly to legal and practical scrutiny. It is likely that complaints and/or lawsuits alleging investment mismanagement will continue to increase. Although some of these allegations may be justified, many can be avoided by having clear knowledge of who is a fiduciary and what is required of one. The AIF® training/designation helps to mitigate this liability by instructing in practices that cover pertinent legislation and best practices. The Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation represents a thorough knowledge of and ability to apply fiduciary practices, including the legal and best practice framework upon which they are built. AIF® designees have a reputation in the industry for the ability to implement a prudent process into their own investment practices as well as being able to assist others in implementing proper policies and procedures.

Do I really need a financial advisor?

Did you know that many millionaires have hired the assistance of a planner? These highly successful and disciplined people know that accountability is vital to success. However, many people with the knowledge and experience to manage their own assets will procrastinate when it’s time to make a decision. Often their own needs take a back seat to jobs or family. As a financial advisor, we add value not only by helping you develop a plan, but also by implementing and adjusting it when necessary. Our knowledge and accountability as your advisor can help you take the necessary actions to meet your goals.