Who we are
In simple terms—and we like to keep it simple—we make sure your advisor is empowered to give you, the investor, objective advice and to make recommendations based on your best interest—not ours.
What we do
We take care of advisors, freeing up their time and attention so they can take care of you. We provide them with technology, tools, and guidance to keep them focused on your financial goals. And we've been doing it for 40 years and counting. Beyond our industry accolades, what we're most proud of is that along with our national network of dedicated professionals, people from all walks of life entrust us to invest more than $200 billion to prepare for their future.
Serving you through your advisor is an opportunity to demonstrate why so many independent financial advisors call Commonwealth home. We hope you'll feel at home here, too.
Passionate, caring, and fiercely independent—just like your advisor. Get to know our leadership team.
How we help your advisor
Advisors look to Commonwealth to provide the same level of service that you expect from them as a client. We've built an infrastructure that frees advisors to be the best they can be, including:
- 1Access to a comprehensive selection of investment choices
- 2Objective research from our subject-matter experts
- 3A holistic technology platform built with and for advisors
- 4A low advisor-to-staff ratio for prompt and friendly service
- 5Education resources that keep your advisor in the know
What does this mean for you?
The tools and guidance we provide to your advisor help them offer the best service to the clients they work with—that's you. Here's how the Commonwealth infrastructure works hard to support your relationship with your advisor:
Access your account online through Investor360°®.
Here's what else you should know
Choosing an independent financial advisor involves due diligence and trust. Here are some common questions clients have about Commonwealth:Q
What is a Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer?
A Registered Investment Adviser (RIA), as defined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), provides advice, for a fee, regarding whether to invest in, purchase, or sell investment products, as well as circulates investment analysis and reports. A broker/dealer, as defined by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), buys and sells investment products on behalf of investors.
Commonwealth is dually registered as both an investment adviser and a broker/dealer. This means we supervise and process the investment business of the more than 2,000 financial professionals who have affiliated with us. These professionals, whom we call advisors, are independent business owners who provide financial guidance to clients looking for assistance. Commonwealth functions as the unseen back office that processes client transactions for them.
Because ours is a heavily regulated industry, advisors must register with a broker/dealer and/or an investment adviser to ensure supervision and a clear chain of responsibility.Q
What does it mean to be "independent"?
Commonwealth is an "independent" Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer, which means our advisors work for themselves out of their own offices and are free to help their clients choose the best investment products—without pressure to sell a particular company's products—to meet their financial goals. This business model differs from that of other, large financial institutions, known as "wirehouses," whose advisors (stockbrokers) are employees of the company.Q
Will Commonwealth stay independent and privately owned?
Commonwealth has been 100 percent owned and controlled by the managing partners of the firm since its inception in 1979, and we look to stay that way. First, because we love what we do and the people we do it with. Second, because our independence and thriving culture is a competitive advantage. Building Commonwealth has been our life's work, and retaining the autonomy to manage it while remaining true to our core principles is essential. We value our independence in much the same manner our advisors value theirs.Q
How can I be sure my assets are being protected?
Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions® (FCCS)1 provides clearing, custody, and other brokerage services to Commonwealth through National Financial Services LLC (NFS). Like Commonwealth, NFS is an industry leader with a long and stable history of customer service excellence. We have the utmost confidence in the proficiency with which NFS handles every trade, statement, report, and myriad other transactions for millions of clients—and we believe that you can as well.
Both Commonwealth and NFS are members of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), the nonprofit agency whose primary role is to restore investors' funds in the event that the broker/dealer holding their assets fails financially. As an extra measure to safeguard your assets, NFS supplements its SIPC coverage with additional protection for cash and covered securities from Lloyd's of London, together with other insurers2, for the highest level of excess SIPC coverage currently available.
NFS is a leading clearing firm and is subject to the rules and regulations of the SEC, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), FINRA, and other principal exchanges of which it is a member.Q
Can you tell me more about Commonwealth's relationship with NFS?
We believe that we can deliver substantial benefits from the important service relationship we maintain with NFS. Knowing that every investor's account is being serviced with the commitment and resources of an industry leader allows our advisors to focus on what they do best: provide the personalized guidance and comprehensive investment services you need to reach your goals.
NFS's reputation for delivering quality products and services is made available to you through Commonwealth and your investment professional.
Together with NFS, we offer you these benefits:
The experience of an industry leader
Complete investment reporting on one easy-to-read, consolidated statement
Checkwriting, with detail on the same statement
Comprehensive tax reporting form (1099) for all investments
Asset management accounts
A range of retirement program options, including Premiere Select® IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, Roth IRAs, Profit-Sharing and Money Purchase Plans, and SEP IRAs
Thousands of well-known class shares, including Fidelity Investments
Is there any insurance provided to protect me?
Commonwealth and NFS are members of the SIPC, a federal nonprofit corporation that protects customer assets in the unlikely event that a member Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer should fail to meet its financial obligations.
As a result, if your Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer should fail and NFS fails, cash awaiting reinvestment and all securities held in your account are protected by SIPC coverage up to $500,000 (limited to $250,000 for claims in cash). Coverage does not protect against a decline in the market value of securities.
To supplement its SIPC coverage, NFS has arranged for additional protection for cash and covered securities from Lloyd's of London and other insurers. This additional protection covers up to an aggregate loss limit of $1 billion for all customer claims, of which $1.9 million may cover cash awaiting reinvestment at the individual account level. There is no per-customer dollar limit on coverage of securities. This is the highest level of excess SIPC coverage currently available. For more information on Lloyd’s of London, please go to www.lloyds.com. Neither coverage protects against a decline in the market value of securities.
1 Fidelity Clearing & Custody Solutions® (FCCS) is an independent company, unaffiliated with Commonwealth. FCCS is a service provider to Commonwealth and provides clearing, custody, and other brokerage services to Commonwealth through National Financial Services LLC (NFS), member NYSE, SIPC. 807841.1.0
2 "Excess of SIPC" insurance is provided by Lloyd's of London together with Axis Specialty Europe Ltd., Markel International Insurance Company, XL Specialty Insurance Company, and Munich Reinsurance Co. For more details on SIPC, or to request a SIPC brochure, visit www.sipc.org or call 202.371.8300.