How We Work

Fiduciaries | Fee Based | Rules Based Investing

At Topsfield Financial Group, we are a fee based fiduciary practice using state-of-the-art financial planning tools, a commitment to low fees, and rules-based investing for portfolio construction and maintenance.

What does that mean? Read on below for an overview in plain English, or check out our comprehensive Investment Philosophy Statement for a full explanation of our beliefs, technologies, and methodologies.

Fiduciary Investment Advisors

It’s important to note that not all advisors are fiduciaries; we are. As fiduciaries, we are held to the highest standards for client service for advice and planning — we are required to place your best interests over ours. 

Yet our compass isn’t guided by external demands. We want to help people because it’s the right thing to do. Our process involves carefully considering your financial situation and offering the most economical solutions with the best performance.

We’re independent investment advisor representatives of Novem Group, an SEC Registered Investment Advisor firm based in Rochester, NY.  Novem Group provides fiduciary and compliance oversight to our fee based practice, which currently comprises more than $160M of assets.

Fee Based Financial Advisors

Topsfield Financial Group is compensated on a fee basis by our clients — we have no sales quotas and we don’t sell insurance products or receive incentives for suggesting certain investments. 

Though our current business model focuses primarily on fiduciary fee based portfolio management, it may be in the best interests of a client who holds assets directly at a mutual fund company (for example) to leave them there. If it makes sense for the client, that’s what we’ll advise. In fact, we still have legacy clients that remain in accounts through our broker dealer, American Portfolios Financial Services.

Rules Based Investing

Rules-based investing aims to deliver the best of both worlds: a mixture of active and passive investment strategies.  The success of this approach lies in our belief that investing in a diversified portfolio of stocks and bonds is the best way to create wealth and hedge against inflation over time. 

It’s our job to diversify your investments with identifiable parameters to either increase or decrease your exposure to stocks.  At Topsfield Financial Group, we don’t rely on guesswork. A financial plan will evaluate the impact of assuming too much risk with the consequences of not taking enough.

What is it like working with a Topsfield Financial Group Advisor?

Since our inception, we‘ve grown organically through client-generated referrals and sustainable business practices.  Our clients refer their family, friends and colleagues to us for planning and portfolio management, but equally important are the personal relationships and trust we develop.

What Our Clients Say About Topsfield Financial Group

In the process of refreshing the Topsfield Financial Group to brand, a third party conducted interviews with our clients. Here are some representative excerpts.


“They’re incredibly dependable and respectful. I don’t feel like a customer. They’ve become friends and I feel totally confident that they’re taking care of me.” -Robin M.


“They spent a lot of time just talking about me and what was important to me and what my personal goals were, and then obviously, what I had done up to that point. I felt like they listened. I felt like they understood. I didn’t feel pressured in any capacity. So there was trust and camaraderie. I mean, this may sound crazy, but I enjoy going to see them.” -Shirley J.


“They’re a rare breed, I think, because they still value the relationship more than the business. Let’s face it, everyone has to make money, but they don’t ever come across like that. I feel like they genuinely care about me and my family. When I was just starting out, it wasn’t like Jim and Cyndi said, “You don’t make enough money for us to take care of you.” They never once did. They never care about that.” -Robin M.


“They want to explain what’s going on in the marketplace and what they’re seeing and how that impacts my portfolio, and just things that I should be thinking of and things that I should be aware of. And they will take the time to listen and have that conversation every time, which is important to me.” -Shirley J.


“My past advisor had received many awards, however,- it seemed like he just didn’t want to invest the time in me because I didn’t have a lot of money going. When I switched to work with Jim and Cyndi at Topsfield Financial, I was like, wow, these are what financial advisors are supposed to be like. It didn’t matter to Topsfield Financial how much money I was investing with them.” -James K.


“It’s excellent working with Jim and Cyndi. They’re smart. They know what they’re doing. I invest a lot of money with them. I trust them. They set me straight and know what to do. They are my personal and financial advisors. I don’t really do anything, or make a decision on most things, without talking to them first.” -Mark S.

Our Process

We understand that it’s not always easy to discuss your finances. Economic decisions can be stressful and often bring up very personal issues. That’s why our team focuses on explaining everything in simple terms and connecting our ideas to your specific circumstances. As we learn about you and you learn about us, we can begin to forge a relationship built upon trust and an understanding that we place your interests — whatever they may be — before our own.


Open and Honest Discussions
We love talking to people and hearing their stories. At the beginning of our relationship, we dedicate our time to understanding your personal and financial circumstances, as well as learning about your goals and values.


Creating Your Financial Picture
Working together on a financial plan is a visual experience. In this stage, we bring everything together and we help you SEE how you can achieve your goals.


Making Your Goals a Reality
Once your plan is in place, we manage your investments so that your only job is to keep us updated on life changes that may impact your financial plan.