Print

Frequently Asked Questions

What separates Spectrum from other advisors?

Spectrum was created with the single goal of helping our clients to succeed. Because we are independent, all of our advice and each of our recommendations is objective. We answer to no one but our clients.

We provide holistic wealth management—we’re not just interested in beating the market, but helping you achieve the financial goals that are most important to you.

As a legal fiduciary, we are bound to place your best interests ahead of any other consideration. And our fee-based business model helps to ensure that we minimize conflicts of interest and serve as a zealous advocate for you.

What is your investment minimum?

Spectrum’s business model is built to accommodate clients of diverse wealth. Our Enhanced Index Strategy has a minimum investment requirement of $20,000. Our strategy for higher-net-worth clients requires an investment minimum of $250,000.

What is your fee model?

We are a fee-based investment advisor. In order to serve the full range of our clients’ financial needs, we do offer insurance and other products that are only available with a sales commission. In such cases we clearly and fully disclose the costs involved.

Where will my assets be held?

Spectrum’s primary custodian is Fidelity Institutional Wealth Services, one of the most respected custodians serving independent advisors. Thanks to the third-party custodian relationship, your advisor has no direct access to your assets.

Who are your typical clients?

Our typical clients are high-net-worth individuals and families, pension plans, non-profits and charitable trusts.

What is your investment approach?

Spectrum’s approach is Disciplined Active Management. We build and manage customized, long-term investment portfolios that are solidly grounded in modern portfolio theory. For more about our approach, click here.

Which sorts of investments do you use?

Our primary investment vehicles are individual stocks and bonds, institutional mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. We choose among these options based on an investment’s appropriateness in terms of reaching clients’ investment goals and minimizing costs.

What does the professional designation of CFP® mean?

Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®)

The CFP® certification is a voluntary certification; no federal or state law or regulation requires financial planners to hold CFP® certification. It is recognized in the United States and a number of other countries for its (1) high standard of professional education; (2) stringent code of conduct and standards of practice; and (3) ethical requirements that govern professional engagements with clients.

To attain the right to use the CFP® marks, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:

  • Education – Complete an advanced college-level course of study addressing the financial planning subject areas that CFP Board’s studies have determined as necessary for the competent and professional delivery of financial planning services, and attain a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university (or its equivalent from a foreign university). CFP Board’s financial planning subject areas include insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning;

  • Examination – Pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination. The examination, administered in 10 hours over a two-day period, includes case studies and client scenarios designed to test one’s ability to correctly diagnose financial planning issues and apply one’s knowledge of financial planning to real world circumstances;

  • Experience – Complete at least three years of full-time financial planning-related experience (or the equivalent, measured as 2,000 hours per year); and

  • Ethics – Agree to be bound by CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, a set of documents outlining the ethical and practice standards for CFP® professionals.

Individuals who become certified must complete the following ongoing education and ethics requirements in order to maintain the right to continue to use the CFP® marks:

  • Continuing Education – Complete 30 hours of continuing education hours every two years, including two hours on the Code of Ethics and other parts of the Standards of Professional Conduct, to maintain competence and keep up with developments in the financial planning field; and

  • Ethics – Renew an agreement to be bound by the Standards of Professional Conduct. The Standards prominently require that CFP® professionals provide financial planning services at a fiduciary standard of care. This means CFP® professionals must provide financial planning services in the best interests of their clients.

CFP® professionals who fail to comply with the above standards and requirements may be subject to CFP Board’s enforcement process, which could result in suspension or permanent revocation of their CFP® certification.

What does the professional designation of CFA mean?

Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA)

The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA) charter is a globally respected, graduate-level investment credential established in 1962 and awarded by CFA Institute — the largest global association of investment professionals.

To earn the CFA® charter, candidates must:

  1. pass three sequential, six-hour examinations;
  2. have at least four years of qualified professional investment experience;
  3. join CFA Institute as members; and
  4. commit to abide by, and annually reaffirm, their adherence to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

High Ethical Standards

The CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, enforced through an active professional conduct program, require CFA® charterholders to:

  • Place their clients’ interests ahead of their own
  • Maintain independence and objectivity
  • Act with integrity
  • Maintain and improve their professional competence
  • Disclose conflicts of interest and legal matters

Regulator and Educational Program Recognition

Regulatory bodies in many countries recognize the CFA® charter as a proxy for meeting certain licensing requirements, and numerous colleges and universities around the world have incorporated a majority of the CFA Program curriculum into their own finance courses.

Comprehensive and Current Knowledge

The CFA Program curriculum provides a comprehensive framework of knowledge for investment decision making and is firmly grounded in the knowledge and skills used every day in the investment profession. The three levels of the CFA Program test a proficiency with a wide range of fundamental and advanced investment topics, including ethical and professional standards, fixed-income and equity analysis, alternative and derivative investments, economics, financial reporting standards, portfolio management, and wealth planning. The CFA Program curriculum is updated every year by experts from around the world to ensure that candidates learn the most relevant and practical new tools, ideas, and investment and wealth management skills to reflect the dynamic and complex nature of the profession. To learn more about the CFA charter, visit www.cfainstitute.org.

What does the professional designation of CPA mean?

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

CPAs are licensed and regulated by their state boards of accountancy. While state laws and regulations vary, the education, experience and testing requirements for licensure as a CPA generally include minimum college education (typically 150 credit hours with at least a baccalaureate degree and a concentration in accounting), minimum experience levels (most states require at least one year of experience providing services that involve the use of accounting, attest, compilation, management advisory, financial advisory, tax or consulting skills, all of which must be achieved under the supervision of or verification by a CPA), and successful passage of the Uniform CPA Examination. In order to maintain a CPA license, states generally require the completion of 40 hours of continuing professional education (CPE) each year (or 80 hours over a two-year period, or 120 hours over a three-year period).

Additionally, all American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) members are required to follow a rigorous Code of Professional Conduct which requires that they act with integrity, objectivity, due care, competence, fully disclose any conflicts of interest (and obtain client consent if a conflict exists), maintain client confidentiality, disclose to the client any commission or referral fees, and serve the public interest when providing financial services. The vast majority of state boards of accountancy have adopted the AICPA’s Code of Professional Conduct within their state accountancy laws or have created their own.