Broker Check

The Independent Difference

What Does Being Independent Mean?

Independence. Objectivity. Integrity

In a profession based on objective advice, true independence offers many choices intended to benefit you, the client. Your choice of an independent financial professional is the first step in getting recommendations with impartial guidance based directly on your needs and goals.

What is an independent financial professional?

Objective advice on achieving your financial goals may be best delivered by an independent financial professional. The independent financial professionals at CFS are not employees of an investment or financial services firm—we are independent business owners. We have the freedom to structure our business in a manner that best serves our clients. CFS utilizes various support firms to bring the best investment options, technology, research and support to our clients.

What is an independent broker/dealer?

There are many different types of firms for CFS to consider in choosing a broker/dealer and RIA. You may be familiar with broker/dealers or RIA's that are subsidiaries of conglomerates such as commercial banks, investment banks, and investment companies. Independent broker/dealers are different from such firms because they generally do not underwrite securities, they do not create research, and they do not engage in investment banking thus creating an environment free of conflicts.

Our model allows our financial professionals to offer nonproprietary products, such as mutual funds or life insurance, from a wide variety of companies. CFS has chosen to work with an independent broker/dealer and RIA in order to offer you impartial and unconstrained investment advice compensated in the form of fees, commissions, or both.

Why is independence important?

Just as you have the opportunity to choose your financial professional, we in turn choose our independent broker/dealer. CFS has chosen CoreCap Investments, Inc as our independent broker/dealer and CoreCap Advisors as our RIA creating a "hybrid" model to best serve our clients. CFS serves your best interests because we, too, are independently owned, allowing CFS the freedom to offer you objective guidance. This means we are not forced to sell proprietary products or meet any sales quotas, and, therefore, the professionals at CFS are not pressured or distracted by corporate interests and can focus on what is best for you and your financial goals.

CFS also believes in the entrepreneurial spirit of our firm. Instead of asking our financial professionals to fit into a mold, CFS empowers us with a panoramic menu of compliance-friendly programs, products, and services. This enables your financial professional to customize an investment strategy designed to meet your unique long-term financial needs.

Quality firms safeguarding your assets

An independent broker/dealer can choose a clearing firm to provide the trade execution, clearing, custody, and other related services for clients of their financial professionals. Clearing relationships are typical throughout the industry and allow your financial professional to focus on helping you achieve your investment goals while taking advantage of the clearing firm’s safeguards for the physical protection of your assets.

Securities regulations are designed to protect clients’ funds and securities when they are in custody at a registered broker/dealer. The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) is an agency of the U.S. government that oversees the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which in turn oversees broker/dealers, clearing firms, and your financial professional. Both the SEC and FINRA require members to comply with various rules intended to minimize the chance of financial failure and maximize the protection of your assets. The SEC also requires a registered broker/dealer to segregate fully paid, investor-owned assets—meaning that if the broker/dealer fails, investors’ assets will remain safe, separate from the broker/dealer’s assets.   Additionally, any assets that may not be covered may be lost.   Neither the SEC nor FINRA guarantee or endorse any broker-dealer or investment adviser.   

Client assets are protected by the Securities Investor Protection Act for those assets held in client accounts at registered broker-dealers, which is administered by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). SIPC is a nonprofit, nongovernment membership corporation funded by member broker/dealers. SIPC’s primary role is to return funds and securities to investors if the broker/dealer holding these assets becomes insolvent. SIPC does not insure against the rise and fall of the market but does insure your funds against theft, up to $500,000 in securities.

In our independent model, the financial professional, investment firm, and custodian are all separate entities that work together to process a client’s financial transaction creating multiple checks and balances to protect our client's best interests:


  • Now, more than ever, a client wants peace of mind when it comes to the safety of financial assets.

Financial Professional Wears Two Hats

  • A registered representative may be an independent business owner who provides financial guidance to their clients and is typically paid a commission when you purchase a financial product being registered with a broker-dealer.
  • An Investment Adviser Representative (IAR) may be an independent business owner who provides financial guidance to their clients and is generally paid a fee for either managing assets, giving advice, or both being registered with an advisory firm.

Investment Firm Wears Two Hats

  • A broker/dealer processes the commission business of registered representatives registered with the firm and holds responsibility for regulatory compliance and adherence to securities laws.
  • A Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) processes the fee-based business of IARs regiswtered with the firm and holds responsibility for regulatory compliance and adherence to securities laws.


  • We use multiple custodian firms (i.e.-TD Ameritrade, RBC Capital Markets, etc) to provide the trade execution, clearing, custody, and other services for securities and related transactions.
  • Broker-dealer client accounts are held at, and transactions for broker-dealer clients are processed through, RBC.   RBC, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab are the custodians for investment advisory accounts.

Your Investments

  • These include ETF's, mutual funds, managed accounts, stocks, bonds, alternative investments and the like.