This year has brought immense challenges for our country, our clients, and businesses around the globe. At Financial Strategies Group we are committed to providing the highest level of service in good times and in tough times. In order to ensure our service level stays at the highest possible level we continually evaluate our offering and make adjustments as necessary. As part of our offering we have developed key relationships with leading financial services firms and many of you are familiar with those firms such as TD Ameritrade. Today I am excited to announce we have chosen to add Fidelity Investments as an option for custody and protection of your accounts.
What is a custodian and why is this relationship important?
As a registered investment advisor, our firm is required to have a custodian. Investments that you entrust to our firm are placed in custody with one of our custodians such as TD Ameritrade or Fidelity’s clearing firm, National Financial Services LLC. A clearing firm is an organization that, among other things, handles the execution, clearance, and settlement of transactions. A custodian also provides statements, confirms, and tax forms for your financial accounts.
Does this mean that I have to move my account?
No. For some clients depending on your investment strategy and personal situation Fidelity may present a better option for your account(s). If your FSG advisor feels it is in your best interest to move one or more accounts to Fidelity they will reach out to you to discuss those options.
How does the TD Ameritrade Schwab merger impact my accounts?
As you may be aware TD Ameritrade has been acquired by Schwab. We expect no impact on your accounts in the near future. These companies are expected to take between 18-36 months to complete their integration. As the integration comes to fruition there may be small changes such as statement branding however we will do our best to keep you actively notified of any significant changes. We believe the both TD Ameritrade and Schwab are great custodians and the combination of these two companies will ultimately be beneficial.
Why did we choose to add Fidelity as a custodian?
• A history of putting the client first. Fidelity has a 78-year heritage of doing what is right for its clients. Their private structure allows them to put our needs ahead of company shareholders. Because of this philosophy, Fidelity has earned a reputation as the most recognized and one of the most trusted brands in the industry, as evidenced by over 42,000 new accounts opened in the month of March alone.1
• Size, scale, and safety of your assets. Fidelity is one of the largest financial services providers with $7.9 trillion in assets under administration. 2 Helping to safeguard your assets, Fidelity has arranged for insurance protection beyond the coverage available through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). While your assets are covered by SIPC up to $500,000, including cash claims limited to $250,000, Fidelity provides supplemental protection that covers your account over and above this SIPC coverage. Additionally, Fidelity adheres to a system of internal controls, led by experienced industry professionals, that include risk oversight, corporate audit, security and compliance.
• Deep investment in technology infrastructure and cybersecurity. Fidelity makes a multi billion dollar enterprise technology spend annually to ensure their systems and infrastructure meet the needs of their clients. They also have a team of several hundred employees who are charged with combating cyber fraud by seeking to anticipate and prevent attacks before they happen.
• Access to an extensive range of investment products and services. Working with Fidelity enables us to offer both Fidelity and third-party investment, planning, and wealth-building products and services to help us achieve your investment objectives, in addition to other goals such as: cash management and charitable giving.
• Award winning web portal Fidelity.com/portfolio to access your accounts. Fidelity has made viewing your account information simple via its mobile-friendly website and app. Fidelity was named the best overall online broker in 2020 by Investopedia.3
• Recordkeeping that helps simplify your life. The need to keep track of your transactions, including capital gains and losses, can be a burden—especially at tax time. Through our relationship with Fidelity, you will receive a simplified, consolidated statement each month reflecting all your investment positions and transactions. During tax season, you will receive one consolidated 1099 tax form per account which includes a Supplemental Summary which can make preparing your tax return much easier.
I have a retirement plan at Fidelity. Can my advisor help me with that plan?
Possibly. Each plan is different and each employer sponsor may have different rules regarding advisor access. Please reach out to your FSG advisor and they can help guide you through any questions regarding existing plans or Fidelity accounts.
Once again, you are not required to move your accounts from your current custodian to Fidelity, and no action is currently required on your part. Your advisor or a team member here at FSG will be in contact if we feel it is in your best interest to move some of your assets to Fidelity. If you have any particular questions regarding our custodial options, please feel free to reach out to us.
Brice Carter and your FSG team
1. New investor accounts opened on behalf of institutional firms working with Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions® as of 3/31/20, the second highest amount of new accounts opened in a month on record.
2. As of 4/30/20
3. Investopedia 3/31/20
There is no form of legal partnership, agency affiliation or similar relationship between your financial advisor and Fidelity Investments, nor is such a relationship created or implied by the information herein. Fidelity Investments is a registered service mark of FMR LLC. Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions® provides clearing, custody, or other brokerage services through National Financial Services LLC or Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Members NYSE, SIPC.