Investors

Investor FAQs

Independent financial professionals choosing Cambridge are financial planners, retirement planners, wealth advisors, investment advisors, fiduciary advisors, and succession planners for business owners. As a client, they can offer you a long-term, trusted relationship to help you meet your financial goals.

Through Cambridge, these financial professionals have broad access to many financial solutions and types of products in order to give you choice and provide more personalized service. By working with your trusted financial professional, you can get guidance and advice on how best to develop and manage a plan that works for your goals – including saving for your children’s college funding or saving for your retirement and then spending those hard-earned retirement funds.

Many of these financial professionals work closely with CPAs and attorneys regarding tax planning and estate planning – and several have been instrumental in helping their clients in the immediate aftermath of devastating natural disasters like flooding and fires.

Over 3,700 financial professionals1 throughout the country choose Cambridge, and we have over 800 associates2 on our team to serve them and their clients. Cambridge is proud that financial professionals who share our core values of integrity, commitment, flexibility, and kindness choose Cambridge as their financial solutions firm. These financial professionals live and work in communities all across the country, serving their investing clients who reflect the unique demographics of their communities.

Cambridge has offices in Fairfield, Iowa, where it is among the largest employers with over 800 associates2 in this Midwestern community of about 10,000 residents. Cambridge also expanded to the Southwest with the opening of an office space in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2020. The Phoenix office is designed to support 50 locally based associates in professional roles ranging from digital marketing to technology and other business and service areas.

At Cambridge, our primary focus is the independent financial advisor and you – their client. We believe preserving our commitment to both of you must start with the stability of management and ownership within Cambridge. We’ve spent several decades establishing a flexible business model, a committed senior leadership team, a legal structure, and a formal succession plan – all in order to stay focused on both of you and remain true to our core values.

Maintaining the character and superior quality of Cambridge is the foundation that will sustain independence and internal control for multiple generations. Years ago, we embraced strategic planning to secure long-term independence for Cambridge. Cambridge has a plan in place for independence and maintaining control – designed to enable us to better control our destiny so financial advisors can also better control their future and service to their clients.

  1. Leadership committed to culture and values: Cambridge was founded by Eric Schwartz, our Executive Chairman, more than 40 years ago.3 Over the last 20 years, Eric, along with Amy Webber, our President and CEO, have developed Cambridge’s senior leadership team, which reflects a culture and passion for independence. Together, we serve financial professionals and their clients with an unwavering dedication to our firm’s values of integrity, commitment, flexibility, and kindness.

  2. Financial strength through profitable growth and service excellence: Cambridge has been serving its financial professionals and their clients for over 40 years and has been named ‘Broker-Dealer of the Year’ an unprecedented 13 times4 by Investment Advisor magazine. Controlling our financial stability and future translates into freedom of choice as well as quality of service and expertise for your business and ours.

  3. Internal control: While it may be appealing for founders of some companies to cash out as they get older, this is not part of our succession plan. We have spent several decades perfecting the succession plan now in place, focused around internal control by Eric, Amy, and members of the senior leadership team.

  4. The Cambridge Foundation: Eric has formed and funded family foundations, as well as The Cambridge Foundation, which is focused on community giving at a local level. Various trusts are in place and controlled by Eric, along with Amy, and other senior executives to serve as a plan if he were to pass unexpectedly. This structure is designed to ensure that ownership of the company will remain with Cambridge leadership. Eric continues as executive chairman with Amy as president and CEO, along with a deep, experienced senior executive bench.

Cambridge offers succession solutions for independent financial advisors. At its core, succession planning creates a foundation for relationship building, inspiring action, and creating solutions. Cambridge’s continual drive for innovative solutions and preserving internal control means our efforts are at the forefront of tackling the challenges of succession planning. We strive to proactively transform services and business processes with a visionary view on practical solutions to help independent financial advisors define and execute succession plans. Many financial advisors with Cambridge have a business continuity plan as well as detailed succession plan in place to better serve their investing clients in the event of the unexpected.

Your independent financial advisor is not an employee of an investment or financial services firm – they are an independent business owner. They have the freedom to structure their business in a manner that best serves their clients. Your independent financial advisor utilizes a broker-dealer, who provides services that include processing investment business, marketing assistance, practice management, and education. In addition, a broker-dealer holds responsibility for regulatory compliance and adherence to securities laws.

There are many different types of firms for your financial advisor to consider in choosing a broker-dealer. You may be familiar with broker-dealers that are subsidiaries of conglomerates such as commercial banks, investment banks, and investment companies. An independent broker-dealer is different from such firms because they generally do not underwrite securities, they do not create research, and they do not engage in investment banking.

Just as you have the opportunity to choose your financial advisor, they in turn choose their independent broker-dealer. We are honored that your financial advisor has chosen Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. (Cambridge) as their independent broker-dealer. We believe their choice serves your best interests because we are internally controlled and your financial advisor has the freedom they need to best serve your needs and financial objectives. This means we do not force them to sell proprietary products or meet any sales quotas. Therefore, your financial advisor is not pressured or distracted by corporate interests and can focus on what is best for you and your financial goals.

We believe every journey is important. Cambridge is focused on the financial advisor with an independent mindset and dedication to best serving the needs of their investing clients. Whether you are experiencing major life changes, planning for retirement, or simply deciding where to invest and save your money, a financial advisor can advise you on how to best prepare your finances for the future. Selecting an independent financial advisor is an important step to achieving your goals.

Our purpose is to make a difference in the lives of our financial professionals, their clients, and our associates. We take great pride in the many financial professionals with Cambridge that share our purpose and values of commitment, integrity, flexibility, and kindness. We honor financial professionals with a Spirit of Cambridge award every year – based on voting by our associates of the financial professionals who best reflect our purpose, values, and service excellence to their clients.

1As of December 31, 2021
2As of December 31, 2021
3Cambridge and its predecessor broker-dealer
4Investment Advisor magazine, 2020-2012, 2010, 2008, 2007, Division IV; 2003, Division III. Cambridge received the highest marks from its financial professionals in the Investment Advisor Broker-Dealer of the Year 2020 Division IV category. A broker-dealer becomes eligible for this honor only after a minimum of 10 percent of its producing financial professionals cast valid ballots. These ballots also rate the broker-dealer in 15 different categories defined by Investment Advisor as relevant challenges and concerns by financial professionals. The broker-dealers receiving the highest marks in each of four divisions are declared Broker-Dealer of the Year by Investment Advisor magazine. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of participating financial professionals surveyed in June of the 13 years listed. Your experience may vary. Visit thinkadvisor.com.