Frequently Asked Questions


  • Who are Crystal Brook Advisors?

    Crystal Brook Advisors is a registered investment advisory firm. We provide a broad range of investment advisory solutions for our clients. Our advisory solutions included: financial planning, cash flow and budgeting, investment planning, education funding, retirement planning, risk management, insurance planning, estate planning, business planning, tax planning. We provide ongoing and continuous supervision of clients’ portfolios through our investment supervisory services offering, as well as providing our clients’ access to institutional investment managers through investment management services engagements. Our broker dealer is TradePMR. Our clearing firm is First Clearing, LLC an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Account Types
  • What is an Individual account?
    Only one account holder/only one signer. Also commonly referred to as a ‘Taxable’ account. No other documentation is required to open, just the application and proper identification.
  • What is a JTWROS (Joint Tenants Rights of Survivorship) account?

    Two or more account holders are required. No other documentation required to open, just the application and proper identification. Once one account holder passes away, the other account holder can open an Individual account to receive the full account balance.

  • What is a Joint Tenants in Common account?
    Two account holders are required. No other documentation required to open, just the application and proper ID. A surviving tenant of the account does not necessarily acquire the rights of the deceased person. Usually the ownership of the account is split 50/50 and the deceased person’s share passes to the deceased estate (not to the other account holder).
  • What is a Tenants by Entirety account?
    Two account holders are required. No other documentation is required to open, just the application and Identification. It allows spouses to own property together as a single legal entity.
  • What is a Wrap Account Program?
    Crystal Brook Advisors manages an investor's portfolio for a flat quarterly or annual fee. This fee covers all administrative, commission, and management expenses. Sometimes this also includes funds of funds. We offer a wrap fee investment program for those investors with an account value of $50,000 or greater of investable assets that are managed by our firm. While our investment management strategies are similar to our unbundled services noted in this brochure, we incorporate our services and associated costs of the investment advisory process into an asset‐based fee, such as our investment management fee and associated transaction charges. We ask that interested eligible parties review our separate Form ADV Part 2A ‐ Appendix 1 Wrap Fee Program Brochure for further details. Forms of payment are based on the types of services being provided, term of service, etc., and will be stated in the client’s engagement agreement with the firm. Payment is made by check or teller’s draft as well as through qualified, unaffiliated third‐party processors or the custodian of record maintaining the client’s account; both requiring prior written authorization. We do not accept cash, money orders or similar forms of payment for advisory engagements.
  • What is a Custodian UTMA/UGMA plan?

    Accounts opened for benefit of the minor. Minor is the primary account holder. The Custodian (adult) is the secondary account holder. Only the Custodian signs. Only one minor and one custodian per account. The current Custodian can complete a Successor Custodian form which would name the next Custodian on the account. It is encouraged that you complete this form. Age of Termination – 18 or 21, depends on the state and the account type. Once this age has been reached, the ‘minor’ has full rights to the funds in the account. Once this age has been reached, the minor must open an individual account with a photo ID, and provide a signed letter of instruction to move the funds. Both the minor and the custodian need to sign the letter of instruction.

  • What are Traditional IRA/Rollover IRA plans?
    Technically Traditional IRAs and Rollover IRAs are the same account type. Your Rollover IRA designate the funds have been rolled over from a qualified plan. Contributions may be tax deductible. One account holder/one signer. The plan requires an IRA Beneficiary Designation form.
  • What is a Roth IRA?

    A Roth IRA is a retirement plan. Contributions are not tax deductible. One account holder/one signer.Requires an IRA Beneficiary Designation form.

  • What is a SEP IRA/SIMPLE IRA?

    A SEP IRA/SIMPLE IRA are separate Retirement plans established by employer. They can have bothemployer and employee contributions. The account is not established in the name of the company – it’s opened just like a regular IRA. However, as the IRA account holder you need to complete the employer name and address section of the new account application. SEP and Simple IRAs have plan documents that need to be filed with the IRS. It is up to you the account owner to establish your company plan document and forward a copy to your tax advisor/ CPA. One account holder/one signer. Requires an IRA Beneficiary Designation form.

  • What is a Custodian IRA/Custodian Roth IRA?

    Traditional IRA and Roth IRA may be opened for a minor. The minor is the primary account holder,custodian is the secondary. Only the custodian signs. Requires an IRA Beneficiary Designation form. Once the minor turns 18, the ‘minor’ can move the funds from the Custodian IRA to an IRA in their name (former minor).

  • What is a Beneficiary IRA/ Beneficiary Roth IRA?

    When someone (other than a spouse) is the beneficiary of a deceased person’s IRA, they need to open aBeneficiary IRA. Spouses can receive money from their deceased spouse in a regular IRA in their own name. Funds in a deceased person’s Traditional IRA would need to move to a regular Beneficiary IRA. Funds in a deceased person’s Roth IRA would need to move to a Beneficiary Roth IRA. Funds cannot be liquidated and distributed in the deceased person’s IRA. They must move to a Beneficiary IRA first. One account holder/one signer. Requires an IRA Beneficiary Designation form. Also known as ‘Inherited IRA’. Consult your tax professional or CPA for Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) calculation about your Beneficiary IRA.

  • What is a 529 College Savings Plan?

    A 529 College Savings Plan is a higher education funding plan for a child’s (college or beyond) education.

  • Do states have more than one 529 offering? Do you have to pick a 529 plan in the current state you live in?
    Each state has multiple 529 offerings and you can select virtually any state’s plan. There is nothing that dictates that you have to choose the state’s 529 plan e.g. New York State you reside in, although there may be some benefits such as state tax savings if you do.
  • Are there multiple categories of 529 plans? Where can I find additional information available to me about 529 plans?
    The two categories of 529 plans are Savings Plans and Prepaid Plans. Savings plans or College Investment Plans usually have a broker (advisor) sold offering, Company direct offering or sometimes State direct offering.
  • What is a Coverdell Educational Savings Plan?

    An account created as an incentive to help parents and students save for education expenses. Contributions to a Coverdell ESA are not deductible, but amounts deposited in the account grow tax free until distributed.

    Distributions from the account are not taxable if they’re used for qualified educational expenses. The account can remain open until the ‘minor’ is 30 years old. The minor is the primary and the custodian is the secondary. Only the custodian signs. An IRA beneficiary form is required.

  • What is a Business Accounts (Sole Proprietor, S Corp, C Corp, LLC, and Partnership)?
    The business entity is the primary account holder and the business’s tax ID number, name and address is used. The secondary account holder would be an authorized signer. Any additional account holders would complete and sign the Additional Account Holder Form. All business applications require Corporate Account Agreements before the account can be opened. Corporate documents are required if the entity cannot be verified by our CIP vendor and we will verify the business name, entity type, address and the association of the account holders associated with the account.
  • What is a Non-Profit Business plan?

    The business entity is the primary account holder and they would list the business’s tax ID number,name and address. The secondary account holder would be an authorized signer. Any additional account holders would complete and sign the Additional Account Holder Form. All business applications require Corporate Account Agreements before the account can be opened. Corporate documents are required if the entity cannot be verified by our CIP vendor and we will verify the business name, entity type, address and the association of the account holders associate with the account.

  • What is an Estate account?

    An estate consists of all of the property a person owns or controls. An estate account contains deceased investments. The Estate is the primary account holder. An Executor or Personal Representative (depending on the state) is the signer for the account. The account must be opened under the estate tax ID (not a Tax ID Number). A copy of the client account holder's death certificate and a court appointment (Letters of Testamentary) for the Executor/Personal Representative is mandatory. The Executor/Personal Rep provides the instruction to move the funds from the deceased person’s account to the Estate account. Once completed, the account can be liquidated and distributed at the Executor’s instruction. Assets can never be liquidated in a deceased person's account.

  • What is a Trust account?

    A trust agreement is a document that spells out the rules you want followed for property held in a trust for your beneficiary(s). Common objectives for trusts are to ensure property passes to beneficiaries you choose, reduce the estate tax liability, protect property, and to avoid probate. The trust entity is the primary account holder and the trust’s tax ID number, name and address is mandatory. Only trustees can be account holders. Trustee Certification is required.

General Questions
  • What are the financial risks I should think about when making an investment?

    Equity (Stock) Risk, ETF and Mutual Fund Risks, Fixed Income Risks, Credit Risk, Duration Risk, Interest Rate Risk, Liquidity Risk, Reinvestment Risk, Index Investing Risks, Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) Risks, QDI Ratio Risks, Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) Risks, Failure to Implement, Financial Risk, Company Risk, Core + Satellite Strategies Risk, Inflation Risk, Market Risk, Political Risk, Technical Analysis Risk.

    Expected returns and risk characteristics are no guarantee of actual performance. Your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will discuss the definitions of these risks in greater detail with you.

  • Do you offer Socially Conscious Investing and would you recommend it?

    Yes. If you are interested in your portfolio to be invested according to socially conscious principles, it isimportant to note that returns on investments of this type may be limited and because of this limitation you may not be able to be as well diversified among various asset classes. The number of publicly traded companies that meet socially conscious investment parameters is also limited, and due to this limitation, there is a probability of similarity or overlap of holdings, especially among socially conscious mutual funds or ETFs. Therefore, there could be a more pronounced positive or negative impact on a socially conscious portfolio, which could be more volatile than a fully diversified portfolio. Expected returns and risk characteristics are no guarantee of actual performance.

  • Are their risks involved in investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)?

    Yes. Risks involved in REIT investing may include (i) following the sale or distribution of assets an investor may receive less than their principal invested, (ii) a lack of a public market in certain issues, (iii) limited liquidity and transferability, (iv) fluctuations involving the value of the assets within the REIT, (v) a reliance on the investment manager to select and manage assets, (vi) changes in interest rates, laws, operating expenses, and insurance costs, (vii) tenant turnover, and (viii) the impact of current market conditions. Expected returns and risk characteristics are no guarantee of actual performance.

  • What are the U.S. IRS taxes I need to be aware of?

    Crystal Brook Advisors will follow the Capital Gains and Tax Policy established by the U.S. IRS (Internal Revenue Service)

  • Do you offer data feed?

    Yes. A data feed is a service offered via First Clearing LLC that has the ability to send your information by FTP or DTS via a Secure HTTPS:// Site.

  • What data feed formats are supported?

    The only formats supported by First Clearing LLC are Generic and Portfolio Center.

Opening an Account
  • Who is eligible to open an account?

    A legal U.S. resident, 18 years of age or older. A resident will possess a valid Social Security Number or Tax Identification number. Non-US citizens are eligible if pending U.S. immigration documentation is filed, or an Individual (non-US citizen) is married to a U.S. citizen.

  • How do I get started?
    Sign-Up at our website Click on any of the SIGN-UP buttons on our website and complete the questionnaire. Upon completion of the questionnaire, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will reach out to you via email to schedule a call, skype, google hangouts or an in-person meeting; whatever works best for you. Contact a Crystal Brook Advisors CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ by Scheduling a Call or Appointment at:
  • How may I contact Crystal Brook Advisors to speak to a live Customer Service Representative in the U.S.?

    Telephone: 212-579-5813 – Monday – Friday - 9:00 am – 6:00 pm EST Email:

  • How much does it cost to open an account?

    There are no fees to open an account. There are two options in signing your new account agreement. 1) Your application will be sent electronically for your signature via DocuSign, this will create your account instantly. 2) Or, you may elect to sign your application manually in-person. Option 2 will take 3-5 business days to get your account open. Note* Trusts, Custodial Accounts, Qualified Plans, Business Account signed by a Power of Attorney is prohibited from submitting the application electronically. Manual in-person submission is required.

  • What types of accounts may I open at Crystal Brook Advisors?

    Individual Account, Joint Accounts, Wrap Account, JTWOS (2 or more account holders), Joint Tenants in Common (2 account holders), 529 College Savings Plan, Coverdell College Savings Plan, Traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account), Roth IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, 401 (k), Individual 401 (K), 403b, 457, Deferred Executive Compensation, Employee Benefits (401 (k), Health, Disability, Life Insurance), Defined Benefit, Estate Account, Trust Account. Advantage Account (Debit Card and Checking Writing).

    Insurance Accounts: Life Insurance, Disability Insurance and Long Term Care Insurance. Business Insurance. Financial Planning for Non-US Citizens.

    A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and New Accounts Department representative will assist you in opening your new account. If your account is held at another organization, we will seamlessly help you transfer your account to Crystal Brook Advisors.

  • How may I access my accounts?

    After you have opened your account and completed an access on line application, you will have online access to your personal account. With Access Online, you will have immediate online access to your account Statements, Trade Confirmations and Tax Documents/1099s - (as soon as they are created) etc..

    Here is how you can sign up for Access Online (you must have an account open first to gain Access Online):

    1. Visit:
    2. Click on “Sign Up” link below the User ID and Password boxes.
    3. You will have to enter information pertaining to your identification and your open account.
    4. 4. Once your login and password is set, you can opt-in to paperless statements and confirms.
    5. If you have multiple accounts, you can connect to the same login. Ask your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ how to connect all accounts.

    If you are having any trouble signing up for Access Online, call 877.488.3748 (24 hours/7 days) for Client Services Support, provide your name, account number and any other additional identification information requested of you.

  • May I link more than one of my accounts at Access Online?
    Yes. Linking your accounts through Access Online enables you to view your accounts with different account holders, under one Access Online username and password. This may also be used to provide a third party (bookkeeper, CPA) access to view your accounts online.   Here’s how: There are two ways of linking accounts in Access Online. 1) The first happens initially when you set up your User ID and Password. You are then able to add all your accounts under your Social Security Number. 2) Secondly, you can fill out an Account Linking Application after establishing a User ID and Password for at least one account to manually link additional accounts. All authorized signers to your accounts being added must sign the Account Linking Application. Email us at: if you have any questions.
  • Where is my account held?

    Your account is held at our Custodian Broker Dealer, Trade PMR and clearing firm First Clearing LLC, an affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

  • Is my Account protected?

    Yes. Your account is protected by SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) which protects securities and cash of client/investor account up to a maximum of $500,000 of which $250,000 may be in cash. Above and beyond SIPC coverage, our clearing firm, First Clearing maintains additional insurance coverage, currently through the Customer Asset Protection Company. Effective January 1, 2009, the additional insurance coverage will be provided through London Underwriters (led by Lloyd’s of London Syndicate) (“Lloyds”). For clients who have received the full SIPC payout limit, First Clearing’s policy with Lloyd’s provides additional coverage above the SIPC limits for any missing securities and cash in client brokerage accounts up to a firm aggregate limit of $1 billion (including up to $1.9 million for cash per client). In other words, the aggregate amount of all client losses covered under this policy are subject to a limit of $1 billion, with each client covered up to $1.9 million for cash.

  • How do I withdraw money from my account and transfer to my bank account?

    The most common method of withdrawing funds is via ACH (Automated Clearing House), a direct deposit into your bank account. You will have to complete an ACH Account Agreement form, see your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ for this form. There is no charge associated with this function, and most ACH requests process within 1 (one) business day. On-Demand ACH require one-time setup, and enables requests for funds to be placed at any time. Alternatively, periodic ACH instructions may be set up to distribute funds to you at a set interval time. Periodic transfers of earned dividends and interests can be requested with the ACH. If you choose to withdraw funds via check you will receive it within 3-5 business days without additional charge, or choose to expedite the check via FedEx Overnight Delivery for $15. All requests will be mailed to your account address of record. For more information on third-party check requests for alternative investments or custodial transfers, please refer your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and discuss Funding Alternative Investments & Custodial Transfers.

  • What payment options do I have for my Managed Account?

    Asset-based-pricing is available for you to pay a periodic asset-based fee in lieu of paying commissions at the time of each transaction. The pricing of this schedule varies depending upon your assets under management. Your Financial Planner will go over this before you open your account.

  • How do I deposit money into my account?

    You may choose to fund your account by making out a check payable to "First Clearing, LLC". If it is made out in your name, we can still accept the check if you or your company endorses the check and writes "Make Check Payable to First Clearing, LLC" beneath your signature. Please make sure your account number is clearly written on the check or on an attached letter of instruction. IRA Contributions should be clearly marked with the contribution year. Simple IRA Contributions should denote a breakdown of employee and employer contribution amounts.

  • Are there any prohibited types of payment?

    Yes. Cash or Currency, Travelers Checks, Money Orders, Cashier’s checks, bank drafts, certified bank checks or official checks, etc. which have no remitter identified on the face of the check or have a remitter that is different than the account title are prohibited forms of payment. Checks drawn on foreign banks in U.S dollars is prohibited form of payment.

  • How may I make payments to my accounts by check?

    Mail (US Postal or Overnight) check to:

    US Regular Mail
    Trade PMR, Inc.
    Attn: Cashiering
    PO Box 358230
    Gainesville, FL 32635-8230

    Overnight Mail
    Trade PMR, Inc.
    Attn: Cashiering
    2511 NW 41st Street
    Gainesville, FL 32635-8230

  • How may I Wire transfer money into my account?

    Your accounts may be funded via wire into your account by using the following information:

    Wells Fargo Bank
    420 Montgomery Street
    San Francisco, CA 94104


    First Clearing, LLC
    1 North Jefferson
    St. Louis, MO 63103
    Account: 4122023377
    FBO: Add your account number, (your 8 (eight) digit account number)

  • How may I make periodic payments into my account?
    ACH You may choose to fund or make payments to your accounts via ACH by completing our ACH Authorization Agreement. Alternatively, if you are enrolled in Advantage Check Writing you may initiate an ACH from “your bank” side using the following information: Bank: JP Morgan Chase Bank 1111 Polaris Parkway Columbus, OH 43240 ABA: 044000804 Beneficiary: Include your name Add your Advantage Account 10 Digital (DDA) Number
  • How is my account transferred from another Brokerage firm to Crystal Brook Advisors?

    Electronic Transfers

    Most account transfers between brokerage firms are made using the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service ("ACATS") system. The National Securities Clearing Corporation operates ACATS, and both the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. require their member firms to use ACATS.

    TradePMR Transfer Department initiates ACATS transfers for both new accounts and existing. If all information is in good order and accurate, the transfer should take no more than 6 (six) business days to complete from the time our department enters your account transfer request into ACATS.

    During this time, the contra firm compares the information provided on the transfer form with its information. If the information matches, First Clearing LLC,TradePMR and the delivering firm review the transferable assets, ACATS will be initiated. If there are any rejections or positions that cannot be transferred, a member of our Transfer Department will contact your Certified CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ who will then notify you of the rejection and discuss how to remedy or correct any misinformation which may have been a result of the ACATS rejection.

    Manual Transfers

    Sometimes, a transfer is made manually. This occurs when your assets are with a bank, mutual fund, credit union, insurance company, or limited partnership that does not participate in ACATS. This may also occur if you request a liquidation of assets other than the standard money market fund in your account. There are no set time frames for completing a manual transfer with the respective financial institutions.

  • How do I Rollover my Direct Qualified Retirement Plan (401(k)) to my Individual IRA at Crystal Brook Advisors?

    A Direct Rollover is generally performed by the Plan Administrator of the plan. In most cases, the Plan Administrator will require documentation from you, the former employee. You should first contact your former employer to see if the Employer/Plan Administrator has a specific form that is required for Direct Rollovers to Trade PMR, our broker dealer and if the rollover can be processed through the ACAT system. Here are the 2 (two) steps to open your account: 1) Open up an IRA account at Crystal Brook Advisors/TradePMR (the account does not have to be a Rollover account). 2) Request a distribution form and most recent account statement from your 401(k) provider plan administrator, “delivering firm”. Your 401(k) plan administrative provider is your former employer’s plan administrator. This is where your 401(k) is currently held. Complete your 401(k) plan administrator provider form to rollover your 401(k) to First Clearing LLC, the “Receiving Firm” to be rolled over. Include your new IRA account you will receive from TradePMR on the “Receiving Firm” area of the form. Your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will provide you with your new IRA account number.

    US Postal mail the forms to:
    TradePMR, Inc.
    P.O. Box 358230
    Gainesville, Florida 32635-8230
    Note* If you elect not to U.S. Postal mail the form, you may forward the form to your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ for processing. If you have any questions, contact your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™.

  • May I make an IRA Distribution withdrawal from my account?
    Yes. You may request an IRA withdrawal at any time; however the IRS has very specific documentation and reporting requirements. In order to comply with those requirements, there are several policy items regarding distributions from an IRA.   Required Documentation:
    • A completed and signed Distribution Request from an IRA Form must be obtained from investor before any distributions can be issued. The IRS requires that your withholding election be in writing. Additionally, a new Distribution Request from an IRA Form must be completed for every distribution unless you have established On-Demand distribution, periodic distributions or check writing privileges.
    • A separate form is required for account terminations, to request a one-time partial or to change on-demand instructions.
    • To request the removal of an excess contribution or to re-characterize a contribution, an IRA Re-characterization or Removal of Excess Contribution Form is required.
  • Are there performance based fees and side by side management?
    No. Our firm’s advisory fees will not be based on a share of capital gains or capital appreciation (growth) of any portion of managed funds, also known as performance‐based fees. Our fees will also not be based on side‐ by‐side management, which refers to a firm simultaneously managing accounts that do pay performance ‐ based fees (such as a hedge fund) and those that do not.
  • What are Crystal Brook Advisors method of compensation and fee schedule?

    Financial planning and investment consultation engagements are conducted under an hourly fee. Our rate is $250 per hour; billed in 10‐minute increments, and a partial increment (e.g., six minutes) is treated as a whole increment. Prior to entering into an agreement with our firm the client will receive an estimate of the overall cost based on their requirements and the time involved. To initiate the engagement we require a deposit of $250 or one half the estimated fee, whichever is greater, and the remaining fee is due upon our delivery of the plan or investment advice. Engagements lasting more than 30 days may be billed at the end of each month for time incurred during that period. The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will discuss what your comfort level and ability to invest based on the information provided by you.

  • Are there Fixed Planning Fees?

    Yes. Our fixed fee planning services are typically designed for those who prefer a broad‐based plan,involving multiple service components. The fee ranges from $250 to $5,000 per plan, and is determined by the complexity of the engagement, time involved developing the plan, number of accounts involved, etc. To begin the engagement we require a deposit of $250 or one half the estimated fee, whichever is greater, and the remaining fee is due upon our delivery of the plan or investment advice.

  • What are your Asset‐Based Fee for your Investment Supervisory services?

    Fees for investment supervisory services are assessed an annualized asset‐based fee that is paid quarterly, in arrears, per the following table. The calculation is based on the reporting period ending value of the client’s account(s) as of the last US market day of the previous calendar quarter. In the rare absence of a reportable market value, our firm may seek a third‐party opinion from a recognized industry source (e.g., unaffiliated public accounting firm), and the client may choose to separately seek such an opinion at their own expense as to the valuation of “hard‐to‐price” securities if they believe it to be necessary. We assess our asset‐based fee based on straight tier; all of the client’s assets managed by our firm are assessed a single percentage rate that declines as asset levels increase.

    Assets Under Management Annualized Asset‐Based Fee

    $0 ‐ $249,999

    1.25% (125 basis points)

    $250,000 ‐ $499,999

    1.00% (100 basis points)

    $500,000 ‐ $999,999

    0.80% (80 basis points)

    $1,000,000 ‐ $4,999,999

    0.55% (55 basis points)

    $5,000,000 ‐ Above

    $5,000,000 ‐ Above 0.50% (50 basis points)

    We will concurrently send the client and the custodian of record a written notice (“invoice”) each billingperiod that describes the advisory fees to be deducted from the client account at our direction. This notice will be delivered prior to the deduction of fees. The client notice will include the total fee assessed, covered time period, calculation formula utilized, and reference to the assets under management in which the fee had been based.

  • Do you Aggregate Account Fees?
    Yes. For the benefit of discounting the asset‐based fee, we will aggregate investment supervisory services accounts for the same individual or two or more accounts within the same family, or where a family member has power of attorney over another family member’s or incompetent person's account. Should investment objectives be substantially different for any two or more household accounts, requiring different investment approaches or operational requirements, fee schedules may be separately applied. We will inform the client in advance whether a third‐party investment manager(s) will allow for account aggregation for the purpose of fee discounts.
  • When are Payment of Asset‐Based Fees due?

    The first billing cycle will begin once our agreement is executed and account assets have settled into the client’s account held by the custodian of record. Fees for partial quarters will be prorated based on the remaining days in the reporting period in which the firm and/or third‐party manager services the account. Fee payments will generally be assessed within 15 days of the beginning of each billing cycle. By signing our firm’s and/or the third‐party investment manager’s engagement agreement(s), as well as the selected custodian account opening documents, the client will be authorizing the withdrawal of transactional (see following section) and advisory fees from their account. The withdrawal of these fees will be accomplished by the selected custodian, not by our firm, and the custodian will remit your fees directly to our firm. We do not entertain requests for direct payment of our advisory fee for our portfolio management services in lieu of the advisory fee being withdrawn from an investment account. You share in the responsibility to verify the accuracy of fee calculations; the custodian may not verify the accuracy of advisory fee assessments for the client.

  • Are there Discounted Fees?
    Yes. The advisory services to be provided and there specific fees will be detailed in the client’s engagement agreement. Published fees may be discounted at the discretion of our firm, but they are not negotiable. Our firm strives to offer fees that are fair and reasonable in light of the experience of our firm and the services to be provided; similar services may be made available from other firms and potentially at a lesser fee.
  • Are there any Additional Fees?

    There may be depending on type of account. Any transactional or service fees (sometimes termed brokerage fees), individual retirement account fees, qualified retirement plan fees, account termination fees, or wire transfer fees will be borne by the account holder per the custodian of record’s separate fee schedule. We will ensure the client receives a copy of our custodian’s fee schedule at the beginning of the engagement, and the client will be notified of any future changes to these fees by the custodian of record and/or third party administrator for certain tax‐qualified plans. Fees paid by our clients to our firm for our advisory services are separate from any of these fees or other similar charges. In addition, advisory fees for our firm’s services are separate from any transactional charges a client may pay, as well as those for mutual funds, exchange‐traded funds (ETFs), exchange‐traded notes (ETNs), or other investments of this type. Per annum interest at the current maximum statutory rate may be assessed on fee balances due more than 30 days; we may refer past due accounts to collections or legal counsel for processing. We reserve the right to suspend some or all services once an account is deemed past due.

    Other Annual Fees that you may incur:

    Annual Fee


    Advantage Account (Debit card and Check writing)

    $125 Annual Fee

    Aged non-transferable securities (held in account)


    Basic Check writing


    Custodial Accounts (UGMA & UTMA) Inactivity Fee


    FCC Custodian IRA

    $10 Annual Fee

    Inactivity Fee




    Bond Redemption/Conversions (certificates)


    Cancel & Rebills (post trade date)

    $15.00 (May increase when trades have multiple fills)

    Cash Debit

    Standard Margin Rates

    Confirm Postage and Handling to customer

    $2.50 Paper Delivery

    Deposit/Withdrawal at Custodian (DWAC) Fee

    $150 outbound

    Direct Registration Reject Fee

    $75 per item

    Electronic Confirm Delivery


    FCC Custodian IRA Termination Fee


    Lost Certificate

    Issued by FCC Within 90 days


    Issued by FCC After 90 days

    $50 plus transfer bonding

    Lost by Customer

    $50 plus transfer bonding

    Limited Partnership/Alternative Investments

    Initial Purchase


    Subsequent purchases for same CUSIP same a/c


    Transfer and/or Re-registration (per CUSIP)


    Annual Fee (per CUSIP)

    $100.00 (max $600 per account)

    Non-Sufficient Funds (Advantage Checks drawn on account)


    Option Exercise/Assignment Surcharge

    $0.00 (standard ticket charges apply to trades generated)

    Overnight Delivery

    pass through

    Overnight Saturday Delivery

    pass through

    Physical Certificate Reject Fee

    $50 per item

    Pledge Account Setup Fee



    Standard Margin Rates

    Processing ACAT Transfer Out


    Reorganization Activity



    Instructions received after expiration cut-off

    $250.00 per item

    Reg. T Extensions


    Return of Deposited Checks


    Safekeeping Fee

    $25 per security; $250 max/yr per acct

    Stop Payment


    Transfer & Ship (per item)

    Standard Delivery


    Non DTC Rush Delivery


    DTC Rush Delivery


    Re-registration of Physical Certificate


    GNMA Certificate Issuance


    Foreign Security Certificate Issuance


    Transfer on Death Establishment


    Transfer on Death Termination


    Wire Transfers


  • Do you charge or receive external compensation for the sale of securities?

    No. We do not charge or receive commission or mark-up on a client securities transaction, nor do we receive “trailer” or SEC Rule 12-b fees from an investment company we may recommend when we are engaged to provide portfolio management services. Fees charged by insurers are detailed in prospectus or product descriptions and you are encouraged to ready these documents before investing.

  • How is my transaction trade cost determined?
    Transaction charges are handled on a per-trade cost net from proceeds or cost of the transaction and is determined by the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and you, the client. The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will discuss payment cost options.
  • Do I pay any commissions?

    No, we are a fee-based organization only.

  • What is the minimum to open an account?

    This will be discussed with your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. The minimum is determined by your personal or company’s financial situation and comfort level and ability to invest.

  • Are there any fees for closing my IRA account?

    Yes, there is a $105 fee for the closure of an IRA account.

  • Are there any fees for closing non-qualified accounts?

    No, you will not be charged for closing non-qualified accounts.

  • What we do?
    Financial Planning   There are 3 (three) approaches to financial planning – single issue, multi-purpose or comprehensive. Your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, will determine which approach best meets your financial needs, goals and objectives and based data-gathering information. Here are specialized services our CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ based on the CFP Board of Standards offers: investment planning and advice, pension/retirement planning, comprehensive planning, estate planning, portfolio management, income tax planning, insurance planning, education planning, elder/long term care planning, closely-held business planning, financial planning employee education, income tax preparation (note* consult with your tax professional for filing of your taxes), divorce planning. Additional financial planning and investment advice and management services include: business and employee benefits planning for the following business entities: Sole Proprietor, S Corp, C Corp, LLC, LLP.   Below is a general overview of the Financial Planning process:   Step 1 - An assigned CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will first establish your and the Planner relationship. An outline of the responsibilities of the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and what your responsibilities are as an investor. Your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will disclose the length and scope of the relationship (one-time engagement or on-going engagement), as well as the method of compensation. Depending on the complexity of your planning needs, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will determine which planning approach is best for you (single, multi-purpose or comprehensive). Step 2 - The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will gather data from you including broad and specific goals and objectives. You will complete a risk tolerance questionnaire which will determine how much risk you are willing to sign up for and how well you understand investments. No worries, if you are a beginner investor, you will be educated about the different types of investments and accounts based on your situation. Data gathering may include documents such as paystub, tax returns, wills, trusts, investment statements, will be requested (if this applies to you or business entity) to establish constructive outcomes. Your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will ask you questions about what is your comfort level as it relates to money and investing. Step 3 - Your data gathering will be analyzed within the context of meeting your goals, needs and what is important to you. Step 4 - Upon completion of analysis, your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will develop recommendations and alternatives based on the evaluation of your data gathering. Step 5 - Upon completion of analysis, your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will develop recommendations and alternatives based on the evaluation of your data gathering. Step 6 - You and your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will determine what the monitoring responsibilities of your accounts will be. For example, how will your account be monitored - daily, monthly or annually?   Investment Planning and Management   Investment Planning and Management consists of nine steps: 1) Developing an understanding of your goals. 2) Identify a target rate of return. 3) Agree on time horizon. 4) Determine your risk tolerance and capacity for risk. 5) Define asset classes. 6) Determine an appropriate asset allocation. 7) Create your Investment Policy Statement. 8) Select the investments. 9) Monitor and adjust as needed.   Your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will describe the relationship between the number of securities in a portfolio, the types of securities in portfolio and the riskiness of your portfolio. Portfolio rebalancing is key and will be discussed. Aspects of investment selection including investment effort, minimum investment size, ethical and moral issues, different tax treatments, and concentrated portfolios. Dollar-cost averaging plan will be explained; how it works and examples in your plan. Your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will explain to you in a “common sense” way how to look at the portfolio and investment process.   College Savings Plans   College Savings Plans are investment plans for the purpose of funding (paying) your children’s college education. Crystal Brook Advisors will develop a plan which best suits your family education funding planning needs.   Estate Planning   Estate planning encompasses the accumulation, conservation and distribution of your assets. The overall purpose of the estate planning process is to have a planned and orderly disposition of assets to people or organizations of your choosing. Estate Planning can provide financial security during retirement years and ensure your intended beneficiaries receive what your want. Your advisor will develop a plan that best suits your immediate, as well as anticipated needs and desires, with the objective of preparing you to see an attorney that will places your wishes into the proper legal format.   Trust Planning   There are many different types of trusts; individual, family, corporation, social or charitable, to name a few. Trusts may be designed to accomplish one or many goals in respect to family, property, investment distribution. Your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will develop a plan that best suits your immediate as well as anticipated needs and desires. Only an attorney can prepare and execute trusts.   Business Planning   A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ advises businesses how to start a new business entity by defining business entity, e.g. Sole Proprietor, LLC, LLP, S Corp, C Corp and your Business Succession agreement. The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will assist you in in identifying the employee benefits plan that meets your business planning needs. A few employee benefit plan examples include: 401(k), 403(b), 457, Executive Compensation, Defined Benefit to name a few. Advisory solutions include: business strategy, asset allocation management, implementation and monitoring your employee benefit plans. The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will assist you in identifying the risk management (insurances) plan e.g. Health insurance, Life insurance and Disability insurance that meets your employee benefit plan needs. If you are established corporation, we offer confidential comparative analysis of your existing plans identifying administrative, management fees, asset allocation and managers, customer service and support.   Retirement Planning   Retirement planning is the planning one does to be prepared for life after paid work financially but in all aspects of life. The non-financial aspects include lifestyle choices. How to spend time in retirement, where to live, when to completely quit working? There are many different types of retirement investment accounts which will meet your planning needs. Retirement Plans include: Traditional IRA (Individual Retirement Account), Roth IRA, SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, 401(k), Individual 401(k), 403b, 457. Your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will assist you in identifying the Investment Retirement Plan which meets your needs.   Insurance Planning   Insurance provides an individual, family or company with the protection need against the risk, possibility and probability of sustaining a loss, in life, property or value. So what are the risks? There are many types of insurance which will meet your insurance planning needs. Your CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ will assist you or your company in identifying the type of insurance which meets your individual or company protection needs as well as your Estate Planning needs.
  • What tax planning strategies advice do you offer?

    Advice may include ways to minimize current and future income taxes as part of your overall financial picture. A recommendation will be offered as it pertains to the type of accounts or specific investments should be owned based in part on your “tax efficiency” with consideration that there is the possibility of future changes to federal, state or local tax laws and rates that may impact your situation. Note* Crystal Brook Advisors is not a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or provide Legal advice consult your accountant or attorney for further questions.

  • What investment consultation services do you offer?

    Our investment consultation component involves providing information about the types of investment vehicles available, advice on stock options, investment analysis and strategies, asset selection and portfolio design, as well as assisting you with your investment account if it is maintained at another broker/dealer or custodian.

  • What business consultation services do you offer?

    We are available to assist businesses in a variety of ways to include business strategy, practice management, general financial advice, debt management, as well as assisting matters involving coordination with their financial institution, attorney or accountant. A broad‐based plan is an endeavor that requires detail; therefore, certain variables can affect the cost involved in the development of the plan: quality of records, complexity and number of current investments, diversity of insurance products and employee benefits maintained, size of the potential estate, and special needs of the client or their dependents, among others. We will concentrate on reviewing only a specific area (modular planning) per your request, such as an employer retirement plan allocation, college funding or evaluating the sufficiency of savings plan. Note* when these services focus only on certain area of your interest or need, the overall situation or need may not be fully addressed due to limitations established by you. In all instances involving our financial planning engagements, you retain full discretion over all implementation decisions and are free to accept or reject any recommendation we make.

  • What are your methods of analysis, investment strategies risk of loss?

    When we are engaged to provide investment advice, we will first gather and consider several factors, including: 1) Current financial situation and need. 2) Interim and long‐term goals and objectives. 3) Level of investment knowledge. 4) Tolerance or appetite for risk. 5) Reasonable investment restrictions involving your portfolio.

    Crystal Brook Advisors generally employs what we believe to be an appropriate blend of fundamental and technical analysis. We evaluate economic factors including interest rates, the current state of the economy, or the future growth of an industry sector. We also consider past price patterns and trends in the financial markets to better understand the direction of both the overall market and specific securities before entry into the market in terms of risk and profit potential. Our research is drawn from sources that include: financial periodicals, reports from economists and other industry professionals, inspections of corporate activities, corporate rating services, company press releases, issuer/company annual reports, prospectuses and other regulatory filings.

  • How will you create my investment strategy?
    We recognize that each client’s needs and goals are different; subsequently client portfolio strategies and underlying investment vehicles will vary. Our firm and recommended third‐party investment managers may employ active, Core + Satellite and/or passive account management strategies. The following defines the common strategies utilized within a client’s portfolio. Active Asset Management A portfolio manager engaging in an active asset management strategy believes it is possible to create a profit from identifying or leveraging mispriced securities, or producing similar returns with less risk, or producing returns greater than a stated benchmark, such as a well‐known index. For example, a “large cap stock” fund manager might attempt to outperform the Standard & Poor's 500 Index by purchasing underpriced stocks or derivative instruments representing these positions. At times, a portfolio manager may attempt to preserve capital during times of high risk through the use of cash and cash equivalents, and the percentage of account holdings invested in the market may vary substantially based on what is believed to be the prevailing risk in the market. For example, if a manager feels risk in the stock market is low, he might increase exposure to equities to attempt to take advantage of growth opportunities. When risk in the stock market is considered high, all of or a portion of the portfolio’s equity exposure may be moved to more stable short‐term fixed income instruments and cash equivalent alternatives in order to preserve capital. Passive Account Management Our passive strategy is based on Modern Portfolio Theory; selecting securities whose price movementshave historically low correlations to create efficient portfolios that offer the highest expected return for a given level of risk, or one with the lowest level of risk for a given expected return. This practice does not employ market timing or stock selection methods of investing but rather a long term, buy‐and‐hold strategy with periodic rebalancing of the account to maintain desired risk levels. Recommended Investments We will strive to create portfolios that contain investment vehicles that are diversified, tax‐efficient, andlow‐cost whenever practical; typically holdings are a broad range of mutual funds, ETFs and individual securities (e.g., stocks and bonds). For certain clients we may recommend master limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts, as well as certificates of deposit or other cash equivalents for non‐correlation and/or risk‐expression.
  • What is Research Data?

    When research and analysis are based on commercially available software, rating services, general market and financial information, or due diligence reviews, a firm is relying on the accuracy and validity of the information or capabilities provided by selected vendors, rating services, market data, and the issuers themselves. Therefore, while our firm makes every effort to determine the accuracy of the information received, we cannot predict the outcome of events or actions taken or not taken, or the validity of all information researched or provided which may or may not affect the advice on or investment management of an account.

  • Do you offer Cash Flow Analysis and Debt Management services?

    Yes. A review of your income and expenses will be conducted to determine current surplus or deficit along with advice on prioritizing how any surplus should be used, or how to reduce expenses if they exceed your income. Advice may also be provided on which debts to pay off first based on factors such as the interest rate of the debt and any income tax ramifications. Recommendation may also be made with respect to appropriate cash reserves for emergencies and other financial goals, and a review of accounts (such as money market funds), plus strategies to save desired amounts. Note* Crystal Brook Advisors is not a Debt Consolidating company and does not offer Loans or Credit Services.

  • Do you offer Risk Management (Insurance) advice?
    Yes. A risk management review includes an analysis of exposures to major risks that could have a significant adverse impact on your financial picture, such as premature death, disability, property and casualty losses, or the need for long‐term care planning. Advice may be provided on ways to minimize such risks and about weighing the costs of purchasing insurance versus the benefits of doing so and, likewise, the potential cost of not purchasing insurance (“self‐insuring”).
  • Do you offer Employee Benefits advisory services?
    Yes. A review and analysis is made for you, as an employee, by taking maximum advantage of your employee benefits available to you. For corporations, we offer advice, plan design and investment management of employer‐sponsored retirement plans: 401(k), 403(b), 457, executive compensation plans, stock options, life insurance, disability insurance, long term care insurance.
  • Do you offer Retirement Planning advisory services?

    Yes. We offer periodic complementary educational sessions in general advice on personal finance and investing. Topics may include but not limited to: retirement planning strategies, general financial planning, educational funding, estate planning, retirement business planning, planning changes in marital status, and various other current economic or investment topics.

  • Do you offer Portfolio Management services?
    Yes. You may choose to engage our firm to implement investment strategies we recommend. Depending on your risk profile, goals and needs, among other considerations, an investment portfolio will involve the employment of one or more strategies as well as either a broad range or more narrowly focused choice of investment vehicles. Where appropriate, we will prepare written investment guidelines reflecting your objectives, time horizon, and tolerance for risk. These guidelines will be designed to be specific and provide future guidance while allowing flexibility to work with changing market conditions. We will also account for any reasonable restrictions you may require for the management of your account. It remains your responsibility to promptly notify us if there is any change in their financial situation and/or investment objective for the purpose of our reviewing, evaluating or revising previous account restrictions or firm investment recommendations.
  • Do you offer Investment Management Services (Third‐Party Investment Managers)?

    Yes. Following our consultation session and plan development, we may recommend you engage a third‐party investment manager to implement a portion or the entire portfolio. Prior to recommending a third‐ party investment manager, we will conduct what is believed to be an appropriate level of due diligence to include ensuring the third‐party investment manager is appropriately registered or notice‐filed within your state of residence. Annually thereafter a review will be performed from both a compliance and performance perspective to determine whether the selected third‐party investment manager remains an appropriate fit for your portfolio.

    Under this type of engagement, we will gather information from you about their financial situation, investment objectives, reasonable restrictions they may want to impose on the management of the account, and we will then provide this data to the third‐party investment manager to develop the portfolio. Third‐ party managers will invest on behalf of your account in accordance with the strategies set forth in their own requisite disclosure documents which will be provided to you by our firm prior to their portfolio employing their strategies. The selected third‐party investment manager typically assumes discretionary authority over your account, and some of these programs may not be available for those who prefer an account to be managed under a non‐discretionary engagement or who may have other unique account restrictions.

  • Do you offer Investment Supervisory services?
    Yes. We may recommend your account be managed by our firm through our investment supervisory services under a non‐discretionary agreement. The engagement typically includes: 1) Determination of 2) Risk Tolerance. 3) Investment strategy. 4) Investment guideline development. 5) Asset allocation. 6) Asset selection. 7) Regular monitoring. 8) Periodic re-balancing.
  • Do you offer Educational Workshops?
    Yes. We offer periodic complimentary educational sessions for those desiring general advice on personal finance and investing. Topics may include issues related to general financial planning, educational funding, estate planning, retirement strategies, implications involving changes in marital status, and various other current economic or investment topics. Our workshops are educational in nature and do not involve the sale of insurance or investment products. Information presented will not be based on any one person’s need nor do we provide individualized investment advice to attendees during our general sessions.

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