FAQs

General FAQs

HOW SAFE IS MY MONEY?

Your accounts are insured against lost or stolen cash or securities at Pershing LLC or Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. by the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), a U.S. government-chartered corporation. As a member of SIPC, securities in your account are protected up to $500,000 for lost or stolen securities. For details, please see www.sipc.com.

In addition to SIPC protection, Pershing provides additional coverage for client assets:

  • An aggregate loss limit of $1 billion for eligible securities-over all client accounts.
  • A per-client loss limit of $1.9 million for cash awaiting reinvestment-within the aggregate loss limit of $1 billion.

Note: This does not protect your account from market loss.

WHO HOLDS MY MONEY?

Our custodian is Pershing LLC, located in Jersey City, New Jersey. Pershing was founded in 1936 and is the largest independent clearing/custody firm. Pershing is a division of The Bank of New York Mellon Financial (NYSE BNY). The Bank of New York, founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton, is the oldest bank in the nation.

BNY Mellon Financial Highlights as of December 31, 2020

  • $2.2 trillion in assets under management
  • $41.1 trillion in assets under custody
  • $469.6 billion in total assets
  • $45.8 billion in total shareholders’ equity
  • $37.6 billion market capitalization
  • $15.8 billion total revenue

Source: The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation Financial Supplement Fourth Quarter 2020.

WHO IS ROYAL ALLIANCE ASSOCIATES?

Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. is an independent broker-dealer and an unaffiliated third party. While giving us access to the securities markets, Royal Alliance provides compliance and supervisory oversight of Cassaday & Company, Inc. for our clients.
www.royalalliance.com

ARE YOU EMPLOYED BY ROYAL ALLIANCE OR PERSHING?

No. We are employees of Cassaday & Company, Inc. Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. and Pershing LLC are independent third parties that provide services to us.

WHO OVERSEES CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC.?

Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. provides Cassaday & Company, Inc. with legal, compliance, and supervisory oversight. Representatives of Cassaday & Company, Inc. must demonstrate that the firm has followed industry standards in terms of investment recommendations and their suitability for clients. We have an on-site audit conducted by Royal Alliance on an average of twice per year. At this audit, our books and records are reviewed over several days to ensure that we are complying with all industry rules and regulations as well as adhering to Royal Alliance’s strict procedural requirements.

Royal Alliance also surveils our email traffic to make sure there are no misrepresentations or violations of regulations surrounding email communications with clients.

WHAT IS YOUR TRACK RECORD?

Cassaday & Company, Inc. is an investment advisory firm registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  Cassaday & Company, Inc. primarily invests in no-load and load waived mutual funds, pursuant to an asset allocation model. Cassaday & Company, Inc claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) which are a globally recognized set of standardized, ethical principles that provide investment management firms with guidance on how to calculate and report their investment results.

We prepare composite presentations that reflect our performance after fees and expenses. Our composite presentations are available upon request.

For more information about GIPS, please click here.

We are verified by an independent third party:

ACA Compliance Group
1370 Broadway, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10018
www.acacompliancegroup.com

Verification assesses whether the firm has complied with all the composite construction requirements of the GIPS standards on a firm-wide basis and the firm’s policies and procedures are designed to calculate and present performance in compliance with GIPS. Verification does not ensure the accuracy of any specific composite presentation.

HOW CAN I BE ASSURED THAT I WILL RECEIVE THE SAME ATTENTION AS YOUR LARGER ACCOUNTS?

Based on our systematic management process, our clients all own what we believe are the very best choices in all categories. Irrespective of size, our accounts generally own the same investments. Therefore, we manage your accounts based on our opinion of a specific holding. If our opinion changes, we make adjustments on all of the accounts at once. No account gets preferential treatment.

DO I HAVE TO SELL ALL OF MY CURRENT INVESTMENTS TO WORK WITH CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC.?

No, we will not force you to sell any investments. Although, some investments may need to be sold in order for Cassaday & Company, Inc. to manage them for you.  However, most investments will transfer to Pershing in kind without having to be sold. We will recommend changes that we believe could improve your portfolio with an eye toward the tax consequences, penalties, and charges associated with any sale transaction.

WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND CONSOLIDATION?

As part of Cassaday & Company, Inc.’s consolidation, integration, and simplification strategy, we highly recommend that you consolidate all of your investments with one institution. Consolidation is an important step in simplifying your portfolio. The good news is that you do not have to sell your investments to consolidate them and Cassaday & Company, Inc. will take care of all the paperwork for you.

There are some costs associated with consolidation and we will discuss those with you before we begin the process. These costs are typically diminutive. There are many benefits associated with consolidation including:

  • Reduction in paperwork
  • Chances of errors are reduced
  • Simplified tax preparation and record keeping
  • Easily manage your money flows
  • Opportunity to review title issues, beneficiary designations
  • Estate administration in case of death or disability is centralized
IN THE EVENT OF A NATURAL DISASTER OR OTHER MAJOR REGIONAL EMERGENCY, WILL I STILL BE ABLE TO CONTACT CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC. TO CONDUCT BUSINESS?

The desktops and servers at Cassaday & Company, Inc. are housed on a highly secure, advanced virtual cloud environment. This environment is accessible from anywhere, has unlimited storage capacities, 24/7 monitoring (of both the server operations and data center), and failover protection with daily backups. If operations are disrupted at our office, we are able to work with full capabilities at any location with Internet access (this includes mobile devices). Our servers are housed at multiple data centers in different areas of the country, ensuring near-100% uptime if there is a regional emergency.

WHAT IS YOUR AVERAGE SIZED MANAGED ACCOUNT?

Our fee-based managed accounts average more than $1,500,000 per household.

DO YOU HAVE A MINIMUM ACCOUNT SIZE?

Yes, $1 million. These are investable assets and should not include your real estate, life insurance, or personal assets.

WHAT ARE YOUR INVESTMENT ADVISORY FEES?

Our fee schedule:

  • 1.20% on the first $500,000
  • 0.95% on the next $500,000
  • 0.75% on the next $1,000,000
  • 0.50% on the next $3,000,000
  • $5,000,000 and above = Negotiable

For Example:

If you have a $1.5 million dollar account, the fee would be calculated as follows:

  • The first $500,000 would be billed at 1.20% or $6,000
  • The next $500,000 would be billed at 0.95% or $4,750
  • The final $500,000 would be billed at 0.75% or $3,750.

This would be a total annual fee amount of 0.97% or $14,500.

There may be wholesale transaction charges associated with changes to the portfolio; Cassaday & Company, Inc., receives no commissions in this arrangement. These are usually, but not always, less than $100 per year per account.

WHAT ABOUT 12B-1 FEES?

We refund 100% of 12b-1 fees to our clients in our fee-based arrangement.

DO YOU CONFER WITH ME BEFORE DOING ANY TRANSACTIONS?

Initially, we will develop an investment policy for you, explain our initial recommendations to you, and get your input and approval. However, all future transactions will be done at our discretion and you will be notified of trade confirmations. These transactions will be done within the parameters of your Investment Policy Statement as discussed and agreed upon by you in our initial meetings. Any investments that you bring to us and specify should not be sold will remain in the account until we receive instructions or permission to sell.

WHAT IS A FIDUCIARY AND WHY IS HAVING A FINANCIAL ADVISOR THAT ACTS AS YOUR FIDUCIARY IMPORTANT?

A fiduciary is an individual in whom another has placed the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect property or money. It describes the relationship wherein one person has an obligation to act for another’s benefit in that person’s best interests. Cassaday & Company, Inc. acts in a fiduciary capacity for its investment advisory clients.

When advisors recommend investments that pay commissions, a fiduciary relationship does not exist. Clients of Cassaday & Company, Inc. in fee-based accounts do not pay commissions, hence a fiduciary relationship exists. You will be required to pay transaction fees pertaining to the trades done in your account, however Cassaday & Company, Inc. does not keep any of these fees.

We do have the ability to earn commissions on certain transactions, but these cannot be executed in fee-based accounts. If a client wants to purchase an investment that carries a commission, we can facilitate in a separate, non-fee based account.

HOW DO I KNOW YOU WON'T RUN OFF WITH MY MONEY?

Clients’ assets are held by a third party public custodian, Pershing LLC. All checks from clients must be made payable to "Pershing, LLC FBO Client Name."

Cassaday & Company, Inc. employees do not have access to client assets. We can generally only move money from your account in the following fashion:

  • A wire transfer to another account in the exact same name at another institution with your written permission.
  • A check payable to the parties listed on your account registration (e.g. Mr. & Mrs. Jones) and mailed to your address of record.
  • Other transfers are possible but only with the client’s express written permission and back-up verification and authorization from Royal Alliance and Pershing.
WHAT LICENSES AND DESIGNATIONS DO YOUR PROFESSIONALS HAVE?

Our team members hold various professional designations including:

  • CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™   (CFP®)
  • Certified Financial Analyst (CFA)
  • Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Certified Fund Specialist (CFS)
  • Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA)
  • Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®)
  • Chartered Mutual Fund Counselor (CMFC)
  • Accredited Estate Planner  (AEP®)
  • Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®)
  • Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC®)
  • Certified Long Term Care  (CLTC)
  • Certified Annuity Specialist (CAS®)
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®)
  • National Social Security Advisor (NSSA®)
  • Certified Estate Specialist (CES)
  • Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP)
  • Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS)
  • Series 7 Registered Representative designation
  • Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law designation
  • Series 65 Investment Advisor designation
  • Series 24 Securities Firm Principal designation
THE CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC. EMPLOYEES SEEM VERY YOUNG. WHY IS THIS AND WHAT IS THEIR LEVEL OF EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING?

You are right! The average age of Cassaday & Company, Inc., employees is 33 years. This is by design and we believe our young staff distinguishes us from our competition in a positive way. Here’s why:

  1. Our average client is 63 years old.  When these clients are 83, our current employees will be 53 and still actively involved in the practice. This more fully assures that current clients will not be forced to look for a new advisor when they are older.
  2. Proper wealth management spans decades and, if done properly, generations.  Younger employees are more likely to provide continuity of advice through life’s transitions and establish relationships with our clients’ heirs.  Ongoing guidance coupled with a long term personal connection provides a more secure, comfortable, and complete wealth management package.
  3. Our advisors and subject matter experts and their staff receive systematic training through continuing education, continuous improvement programs, and attainment of industry certifications. This is a major component of the recognition we have received from the media, our peers, and the community.
  4. Our proprietary training programs for our advisors last 5 years and include intense study, testing, and experiential learning. Advisors spend more than one year each in the financial planning and investment management departments working on real-world client issues with hands-on guidance from our experienced staff. The next 3 years of training involve crafting and implementing comprehensive solutions directly for clients under direct supervision of our professional staff and senior advisors.
  5. At Cassaday & Company, Inc., we practice a culture of collaboration. All processes affecting clients are governed by this approach. All ideas that are implemented for our clients are a result of collaboration among our employees. This includes investment management, financial planning, and corporate governance.  As a consequence, before implementation, all ideas and strategies are vetted, thoughtfully considered, and voted upon by a group of highly trained and experienced stakeholders.
  6. Our business model has been to hire outstanding people at an early age, before they develop bad habits, usually right out of college. We look for individuals who have innate skills that cannot be taught.  We then build positions around them based on their talent, passion, and aptitude.  We have repeatedly witnessed that people who are young are eager to learn can be inherently smart despite their lack of experience.  When empowered to do their jobs by acting and thinking independently, they become self-sufficient, highly motivated, and loyal employees, irrespective of their age. This cultural environment is cited by our employees as a primary benefit in surveys that have led to our regular recognition* as a Best Place to Work (Washington Business Journal), a Great Place to Work (Washingtonian), and one of the Best Places to Work in Virginia (VA Business Magazine). To view information and criteria on these awards, click here.

Cybersecurity FAQs

HOW MANY PLACES DOES CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC. STORE MY FINANCIAL AND PERSONAL DATA?

Data that could be considered sensitive is held at Royal Alliance/Pershing LLC., Tamarac, and in our Document Management platform (SharePoint by Microsoft). 

HOW DOES CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC. HOLD EACH THIRD-PARTY ACCOUNTABLE FOR CYBERSECURITY?

Client data is essentially “insured” in the case that there is any compromise not at the fault of a Cassaday & Company, Inc. employee, the vendor takes full responsibility and will take necessary action. This has never happened to us or our vendors. Any and all vendors who may handle sensitive data are thoroughly vetted from a compliance and safety standpoint, and anyone we use is domiciled in the United States. Our lawyers also get involved in every vendor sign-on process to ensure everything checks out. 

IS THE DATA SHARED BETWEEN PARTIES ENCRYPTED IN TRANSMISSION AND AT REST?

It is. Sensitive information is left out of the body of emails, and transmissions are encrypted through an encryption certificate on the email itself or sent using our encrypted document transmission software, Sharefile by Citrix. Data uploaded or downloaded from our Cassaday Portal is encrypted with bank-level 128bit SSL protection in both directions. 

HAS THE CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC. SECURITY POSTURE BEEN REVIEWED BY ANY OUTSIDE FIRMS FOR COMPREHENSIVENESS AND POTENTIAL EXPOSURES ACCROSS ALL ORGANIZATIONS THAT HANDLE CLIENT FINANCIAL DATA?

Yes. We have scheduled (and surprise) technology audits performed by FINRA and Royal Alliance on a yearly basis, ensuring we are following all SEC standards. We consistently score perfectly on these audits and surpass what is required by the SEC from a security standpoint. We also use a full-time Managed Service Provider who does a quarterly audit on the fidelity of our systems. We were recently required by Royal Alliance to install automated cybersecurity compliance software on any device that accesses client data, in and outside of our office. 

HAS THERE BEEN ANY THIRD-PARTY PENETRATION TESTING ON CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC., ROYAL ALLIANCE, AND TAMARAC SYSTEMS?

We do various forms of penetration testing on a consistent basis. These include internal “tests” to ensure employees are educated on keeping data secure. Since we have no physical servers on-site, our penetration tests revolve around the hardening of our cloud environment(s). While we can't speak to the frequency that our vendors perform these, we know all of them make massive investments into the security of their data. 

DOES CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC. STAFF AND THOSE MANAGING CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC. SYSTEMS HAVE APPROPRIATE EXPERTISE IN CYBERSECURITY?

Chad Cassaday, Director of Information Technology for Cassaday & Company, Inc., is a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) as a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) in Windows 7 configuration and security, a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) in Windows 10, and a Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) in Security Fundamentals. He also has a Security+ certification from CompTIA and is currently studying for the ISACA CSX Cybersecurity Fundamentals certificate. Our MSP requires that its employees have a full range of designations and certifications. 

DOES CASSADAY & COMPANY, INC. TRAIN ITS STAFF ON CYBERSECURITY DO'S/DON'TS?

We do. We regularly distribute and update computer policies, and our penetration tests include ‘pop quizzes’ that focus staff training on things like spotting fake emails, downloading malicious files, etc. On the advice of our Technology Client Advisory Board, we will also require employees to take regular cybersecurity exams, with training and testing provided by professional testing services. 

AS A CLIENT, DO I CARRY ANY FINANCIAL RISK IF A SYSTEM IS BREACHED?

The odds of losing money in a breach with us are very slim, but you are insured by the SIPC up to $500,000, with additional insurance provided by Pershing LLC. to an unlimited amount.