Please contact us if you have any questions outside of the list below.
Will my investments be changing?
Your current investment positioning will not change. Most accounts will remain within the same investment program they are in today – including Voya Select Advantage.
Some accounts will need to transfer to a new custodian. Accounts held at Pershing LLC will transfer to National Financial Services LLC (a subsidiary of Fidelity). A new account will be opened, and your positions will be transferred in-kind to avoid tax ramifications. These clients will receive more information about the transfer in a follow-up email from our team.
Is this change related to the Pershing “Managed Account Programs” letter I got from Voya?
For clients who were recently notified by Voya about upcoming changes to their Pershing “Managed Account Programs” accounts, transferring your account to National Financial Services will ensure continued access to the same type of investment program we originally recommended. I feel it is crucial that our clients continue to enjoy access to a wide range of investment options – including low-cost fund families like Vanguard and Fidelity – without incurring transaction fees for trading. Through its partnership with National Financial Services, Commonwealth Financial is a staunch proponent of these programs.
Given the current market volatility, should I really be making changes?
I completely understand that being asked to make changes amidst significant market volatility might feel uncomfortable. Please be assured, regardless of what investment program you are in, you will remain invested in all your current positions. Thus, there will be no time out of the market. These changes are primarily to ensure that I can remain as the financial advisor on your account, and that you and I have access to industry-leading investment programs and technology.
While I know that this bout of market volatility is quite unsettling, I am very comfortable with the investment positioning of each of our clients. Market history has repeatedly taught us that the best course of action in these market downturns is inaction – major changes to your investment positioning during these periods can significantly hinder your long-term growth potential.
How will these changes impact my SUNY retirement plans, or school district 403b, held with Voya?
For clients who I have helped with their NYS-affiliated retirement plans at Voya, regrettably, I can no longer serve as the designated financial advisor on those accounts. These plans include: the SUNY Optional Retirement Program (“ORP”), the SUNY Voluntary 403b, and the Opportunity Plus 403b (K-12 school districts). I requested a “selling agreement” from Voya that would allow me to continue servicing those plans, but unfortunately Voya chose not to grant one. While I may not be able to monitor the daily values or initiate changes on these accounts like I was able to in the past, I feel that we can still have very productive financial planning discussions to ensure that you are on-track to meet your financial goals.
Commonwealth also offers clients and advisors access to an online portal that can pull in updated account balances from multiple accounts – including accounts the advisor does not directly manage, like an employer retirement plan, personal trading account, or bank account. This technology is an example of the tools that I can use to continue to be an effective advisor for clients who I previously managed an employer retirement plan for.