Broker Check


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What do you do?
Founders Investment Services specializes in providing personalized financial services for members of Founders Federal Credit Union. Many of our members are either approaching or already in retirement. Others are planning for children’s education and other financial goals. Our Financial Professionals are under no obligation to recommend specific investments or financial products. We simply want to help put our members on the correct path to reach their financial goals.

2. How do I become a client?
If you are a member of Founders, simply make an appointment with one of our Financial Consultants by calling 1-866-739-7064. After an initial meeting, you will have a good idea how we can help you. Some clients come to us for investment management and may transfer existing investment accounts to us. Others come in for a consultation on a specific investment or financial question. If you are not sure who to meet with, we can guide you to an advisor who will fit your needs.

3. Is there any cost for an initial meeting?
No, there is no fee for an initial meeting. The initial meeting is a chance for you to meet a Financial Consultant, ask questions and share information about your financial goals and expectations. At that point, you will decide how to proceed further.

4. What are the fees?
We can manage your investments in either of two different compensation arrangements: a traditional, transaction-based, commission brokerage account or fund direct account, or a fee-based, asset management account. Either model may be appropriate in a particular set of circumstances. In a traditional commission account, the client pays and Founders receives compensation based on specific transactions in the account. In a fee-based, asset management account, the client pays a periodic fee which is a percentage of the value of the account. The fee is not connected to the activity in the account. It is based on the value of the account, so our fee increases only if your account increases in value. Certain conditions may require the use of a traditional brokerage account, and there are minimum values for fee-based accounts.

Our Financial Consultants are able to recommend the most suitable investments for your situation. Neither our Financial Consultants nor Founders receives incentive to work with proprietary products and we have no quotas to fulfill.  

5. Who is Pershing?
Pershing LLC supports Cetera Advisor Networks with clearing, execution, settlement, custody, reporting, and trading services. Pershing is the world’s leading provider of comprehensive, financial business solutions to broker-dealer firms, registered investment advisors, and investment managers. Pershing has nearly $1 trillion in assets under administration. Its parent company, the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, has more than $23 trillion in assets in custody.

6. Who is Cetera?
Financial Network, established in 1983, recently changed its name to Cetera Advisor Networks LLC. It is one of the largest independently-managed broker/dealers in the US, with more than 2,500 financial professionals and an excellent reputation in the securities industry. A full-service registered securities brokerage firm, Cetera Advisor Networks is headquartered in California and offers a wide variety of investments and services through independent financial consultants.

7. What is the relationship between Founders, Carroll Financial and Cetera Advisors Network and Pershing?
Cetera Advisor Networks is the highly regulated avenue by which we can offer you securities such as mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. Carroll Financial in Charlotte, NC acts as our OSJ, which means they oversee our compliance efforts. Pershing provides Cetera Advisor Networks with custody of client assets, client account statements, trade execution, reporting, and other services related to securities accounts. Some representatives are advisory registered through Carroll Financial Associates, Inc.

8. What does SIPC mean? How does this help me?
The mission of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation is to restore funds to investors with assets in accounts at bankrupt or financially troubled brokerage firms. When a brokerage firm is closed due to bankruptcy or other financial difficulties, and customer assets are missing, SIPC steps in quickly and works to return customers’ cash, stock and other securities. Without SIPC, investors at financially troubled brokerage firms might lose their investments forever or wait years while their assets are tied up in court. Established by Congress in 1970, SIPC estimates that 99% of persons who are eligible have been made whole in the failed brokerage firm cases that it has handled. Our broker/dealer firm, Cetera Advisor Networks, is a member of SIPC.

9. What is FINRA?
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is a regulatory organization for all securities firms doing business in the United States, including nearly 5,000 brokerage firms and more than 676,000 registered securities representatives. Created in July 2007 through the consolidation of NASD (National Association of Securities Dealers) and the regulatory functions of the New York Stock Exchange, FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective regulation and compliance services.

FINRA’s scope encompasses nearly every aspect of the securities business — from registering and educating industry participants to examining securities firms; writing rules; enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws; informing and educating the investing public; providing trade reporting and other industry utilities; and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. It also performs market regulation under contract for The NASDAQ Stock Market, the American Stock Exchange, the International Securities Exchange and the Chicago Climate Exchange.

10. How are my accounts protected?
The Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC) provides $500,000 of coverage, including $100,000 for claims for cash. That means $400,000 is for securities and $100,000 is for cash in the account. Most of our clients¹ securities are held in advisory or brokerage accounts at Pershing. Assets held in custody by Pershing for clients are protected through Lloyd¹s of London with the following coverage in excess of the limits as defined by SIPC: (1) an aggregated loss limit of $1 Billion for eligible securities across all client accounts, and (2) a per-client loss limit of $1.9 million for cash awaiting reinvestment, within the aggregate loss limit of $1 Billion. This excess account protection is the highest level of coverage available in the industry. The account protection provided by SIPC and Lloyd¹s only applies when a SIPC member firm fails financially and is unable to meet obligations to securities clients, but it does not protect against losses from the rise and fall in the market value of investments. 

11. How do I access my account online?
You will notice when you login to view your accounts online you will be redirected to a new site. Your login credentials will stay the same. We hope this new site improves your online experience. If you would like to go ahead and view the new site, you can visit it directly at Please call your Investment Services Financial Consultant if you experience any problems with your online access.