Independent Registered Representative What "independence" really means... Regulatory Compliance The US Government requires that a person be appropriately licensed to earn a living by completing transactions or giving financial advice. + All registered representatives (RR) are subject to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules, and all investment advisor representatives (IAR) are subject to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules. + FINRA requires that registered representatives be affiliated with a Broker-Dealer (BD) that provides the needed oversight and helps ensures compliance with FINRA and BD Policies and Procedures. Therefore, a rep should seek out a BD where they feel comfortable. They must comply with the rules and strive to deliver ethical, compliant service for their clients. + SEC requires that Investment Advisor Representatives be part of a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). An individual may create their own RIA, but that is usually the course for a large group of representatives because of the administrative requirements and substantial expense. The representative could also choose an established RIA to affiliate with, which is my chosen path. Representatives should never have direct access to client money + It is essential that you trust any advisor you plan to pay for guidance, but unless you write a check to them directly, your money should be safe from a mental breakdown resulting in a beach house in a non-extradition country! + IARs choose a "custodian" to hold client accounts. That is sometimes a vast organization you'll know from TV commercials every few minutes. However, it can also be a boutique trust company or bank focused on elite clientele. The latters' clients come from referring IARs and needn't waste money buying advertisements when 98% of the public will never have use for them. In most cases, both offer "sweep" options that now include FDIC coverage (often with much higher limits). It is important to note that this coverage does not protect accounts from market risk including the potential for loss. Broker/Dealer Branch Audits + United Planners conducts branch audits at rep offices to help ensure compliance with policies, procedures, and regulations. In addition, mandates require branch processes, administrative records, and public communications to be accurate to help ensure reps conduct business in the best interest of the client. Operational Security + The internet has improved so many facets of daily life, but not without risk. We now fear a hacker will figure out our 28-character Cyrillic passphrase and get into our email! We rarely even consider how awful it could be if they got more than our email. United Planners spearheaded a company called Cleverdome which provides a secure environment in which we can operate in total anonymity, preventing a hacker from even knowing there is data to attack.+ My technology requires (2FA) Two-factor authentication or security keys. Vendors I use must submit to a thorough due diligence process to ensure they employ sufficient security to protect client information. Two applications are installed on our office computers and mobile devices to ensure we remain compliant with UP security policies. Technology was one driving factor for my choice to affiliate with United Planners. Primary Strategic Partners Axos Advisor Services serves as our custodian. United Planners Financial Services is my RIA.