Definitions

Certified Public Accountant (CPA) – In order to become a Certified Public Accountant, almost all states require that an individual meet educational, experience and ethical requirements and pass the Uniform CPA Examination. Only then are individuals granted licenses to practice by state boards of accountancy. Also, only CPAs can perform the S.E.C. mandatory audits of all publicly traded U.S. companies.

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification– A professional financial planner who has completed a series of correspondence courses and has passed examinations in subject areas such as securities, estates, taxes, retirement plans, and insurance and has completed other initial and ongoing requirements. The certification is awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) – The CFA designation is reserved for investment professionals with at least three years of experience collecting, evaluating, or applying financial, economic, and statistical data as part of the investment decision-making process. In addition to the three years of experience, Chartered Financial Analysts must pass three levels of the CFA examination and meet all other professional and academic requirements.

Form ADV – The uniform form for use by investment advisors to register and update registrations with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the jurisdictions that require advisors to register. The form is also used to comply with SEC Rule 206(4)-4, which obligates investment advisors to disclose relevant financial and disciplinary information to clients. All new clients to the firm are provided the most recent version of our form ADV Part II.

Licensed Insurance Agent – After completing educational requirements and a comprehensive exam, people who are licensed insurance agents at our firm are able to sell insurance products such as life, disability, long-term care and health insurance.

Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) – The financial planning specialty accreditation held exclusively by certified public accountants (CPAs) who are members of the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). A CPA must demonstrate experience and expertise in a wide range of personal financial matters before being qualified to take the examination and be awarded this designation.

Professional Investment Manager – A person who, for a fee, offers professional advice on the development of an investment plan and buys and sells securities on behalf of the customer to implement that plan. A professional investment manager may hold qualifications such as Certified Financial Planner, Registered Investment Adviser and/or Registered Broker.

Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) – A person who, for compensation, engages in the business of advising others as to the value of securities or the advisability of purchasing or selling securities. RIAs are required to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Retention Rate – As represented here, retention rate is compiled exclusively by SignatureFD. The retention rate should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if SignatureFD is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services, nor should it be construed as a current or past endorsement of SignatureFD by any of its clients.

Series 6 (Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative) – The Series 6 exam covers stocks, debt securities, investment banking, securities markets, taxes, mutual funds, self-regulatory organizations (SRO’s), securities analysis, retirement plans, variable annuities and variable life insurance. Successful completion of the series 6 exam entitles the representative to solicit and sell mutual funds, variable annuities and variable life insurance contracts.

Series 7 (Registered Representative Stockbroker) – The series 7 is the FINRA exam required by most broker-dealers for their registered representatives. The series 7 exam covers Stocks, Debt Securities, Investment Banking, Securities Markets, Taxes, Securities Analysis, Self Regulatory Organizations (SRO’s), Mutual Funds and Investment Companies, Annuities, Margin, Options, Money Market Instruments, Direct Participation Programs and Municipal Securities.

Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination) – The Series 63 examination is required for most individuals who solicit orders for any type of security. This license is required in addition to the Series 6 license. It covers registration requirements (broker-dealers, agents and investment advisors), regulation of securities, rule enforcement, and fraudulent and prohibited practices.

Series 65 (Uniform Investment Advisor Law Examination) – The Series 65 exam covers state and federal securities laws and regulations as well as questions on economic analysis, recommendations and investment vehicles, which apply to investment advisors and their representatives. The series 65 is required of individuals acting as or soliciting for the service of investment advisers. Successful completion of this exam is required to become a licensed investment advisor.