Frequently asked questions


  1. How long have you been offering financial planning services?

We have been offering comprehensive financial planning services since 1996.


  1. What is a fee-based Investment Adviser Representative?

As a fee-based Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth, I will be compensated by a percentage of the assets in your account. Being a fee-based professional puts you and me on the same side of the table. When a financial consultant is paid on a commission basis, she makes money just by making transactions on her clients' accounts. There's neither an upside nor a downside for this type of professional. She gets paid either way.

As a fee-based practitioner, I truly have a vested interest in how your investments perform. It eliminates a lot of doubt or second-guessing on your part, because you'll know I'm actively engaged in the outcome. If your portfolio does well, so do I. If it doesn't, I don't either. 


  1. What is a certified public accountant (CPA)?

A CPA is a designation regulated by the board of accountancy in each state. A CPA must pass a wide-ranging and rigorous two-and-a-half-day exam. California CPAs are required to complete a two-year internship, and are required to maintain continuing education courses throughout their careers. Surveys show that CPAs are the most trusted and respected of financial service professionals. Certified public accountants who are serious about financial planning also get a CFP® certification. 


  1. What is a CFP® certification?

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM mark is granted by the CFP Board of Standards to those who have satisfied the CFP Board's four certification requirements, including:

  1. Education — CFP® professionals must first complete an academic program covering 106 financial planning topics including investments, estate planning, individual income tax, retirement planning, risk management, insurance, and finance.
  2. Examination — The candidate must pass a two-day, 10-hour comprehensive exam on his or her ability to apply financial planning principles.
  3. Experience — The candidate must have at least three years of financial planning-related experience prior to receiving the CFP® mark.
  4. Ethics — The candidate must abide by the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Practice Standards.

A CFP® professional must also keep his or her certification current by earning at least 30 hours of continuing education credits every two years.


  1. What is an enrolled agent (EA)?

“Enrolled” simply means EAs are licensed by the federal government. “Agent” means EAs are authorized to appear in place of the taxpayer at all levels of the Internal Revenue Service. Unlike attorneys or CPAs, enrolled agents specialize in taxation. Throughout the year, they advise, represent, and prepare tax returns and other tax-reporting requirements for individuals, partnerships, corporations, trusts, and estates.


  1. Does Kendall Wealth Partners take custody of my money?

No, we do not take possession of your assets. An account will be opened in your name at Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC, and Kendall Wealth Partners will receive the right to manage the account under the terms of a limited power of attorney (LPOA). The LPOA authorizes the custodian, National Financial Services LLC, to share account information with us, accept trading instructions from us on your behalf, and to deduct our management fees directly from your account on a quarterly basis.


  1. Who is Commonwealth Financial Network?

Commonwealth Financial Network was founded to serve as the home office for investment professionals committed to providing independent financial guidance to their clients. Unlike traditional Wall Street firms, Commonwealth does not produce or market any proprietary investment products, nor do they impose any sales quotas on their affiliated representatives. 


  1. Who is National Financial Services LLC (NFS), member NYSE/SIPC?

NFS is the national clearing firm for all brokerage accounts held through Commonwealth Financial Network.


  1. Does NFS insure my account?

National Financial Services LLC is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which protects the securities of the customers of its members up to $500,000 (including $250,000 for claims of cash). For details, see www.sipc.org. NFS has arranged for additional insurance protection for cash and securities to supplement its SIPC coverage.  This additional protection covers total account net equity in excess of the $500,000/$250,000 coverage provided by SIPC.  Neither coverage protects against a decline in the market value of securities.


  1. Will you receive any compensation when you make trades in my NFS account?

No, any transaction fees that result from trading in your account are kept by NFS. 


  1. What services are included with your annual fee-based fee?

Services included are:

  1. Updates to your financial plan
  2. Formulating the investment plan
  3. Investment monitoring, rebalancing, and reporting
  4. Ongoing consultations regarding your personal financial matters
  5. Answering any questions you may have at any time 


  1. Who will be handling my account?

All employees of Kendall Wealth Partners work together as a team to service our client's needs.


  1. Will you work with existing advisors?

Yes, we will be happy to coordinate with your other advisors.


  1. Can you refer me to other professionals if I need them?

Yes, we have a network of attorneys, CPAs, insurance agents, and other advisors to whom we can refer you as needed.


  1. Can you provide references?

Yes, but in consideration of our existing clients to whom we might refer you, we will normally provide references only after all of your other questions and concerns have been addressed.



Photo: Peyto Lake, Banff, Calgary, Canada, July 2004 by Susan L. Kendall