Broker Check

Form CRS


DeFrehn Consulting July 20th, 2023 Investment Advisor


DeFrehn Consulting is registered with the State of Maryland Securities Division as an investment adviser. 

Brokerage and investment advisory services and fees differ, and it is important for you to understand these differences. Free and simple tools are available to research firms and financial professionals at, which also provides educational materials about broker-dealers, investment advisers, and investing.

What investment services and advice can you provide me? 

We offer investment advisory services to retail investors.  Our services include, but are not limited to, non-discretionary investment advisory services (including investment portfolio monitoring, financial counseling, review of accounts, and securities research), “wrap fee” programs (an account where no separate transaction charges apply and a single fee is paid for advisory services and trading costs), retirement plan consulting services and products, consulting services, and financial planning.  In addition, advisory services include an investment advisory program that provides you with periodic reviews of workplace retirement plans like your 401(k).

When providing advisory services, we are held to a fiduciary standard that covers our investment advisory relationship with you. As fiduciaries, investment advisers are required to act in the best interest of their clients and not place their own interests ahead of their clients. However, at times our interests can conflict with your interests. When we provide recommendations, we must eliminate, mitigate or inform you of these conflicts, depending on the nature of the conflict.

For our advisory services, you will pay an ongoing assetā€based fee. As part of these services, we will offer you advice on a regular basis, discuss your investment and overall financial goals, design a strategy to help achieve those goals, and regularly monitor your account.  When you use us for financial planning, the fees will be agreed upon between you and us based on the detail and complexity of your financial situation.

For all accounts, we give you advice and you make the ultimate decision regarding the purchase and/or sale of investments. These are non-discretionary services.  Investment monitoring is offered as part of our standard services and is provided at least annually regarding asset allocation, investment portfolio construction, investment selection, or other services as agreed upon by both parties.  There may be limitations on investment offerings.

The advisory services may also have account/investment minimums, which are further detailed in the applicable Form ADV Brochure.  Our investment advice only covers investments that are allowed according to the terms of each advisory program, and other firms could provide advice on a wider range of choices, some of which might have lower costs.

Conversation Starter: Ask your financial professional:                  

  • Given my financial situation, should I choose an investment advisory service?  Why or why not? 
  • How will you choose investments to recommend to me? 
  • What is your relevant experience, including your licenses, education, and other qualifications? What do these qualifications mean? 

What fees will I pay?

Fees and costs affect the value of your account over time. Please ask your financial professional to give you personalized information on the fees and costs that you will pay.

For most advisory services, you will pay an ongoing recurring fee based on the value of cash and investments in your advisory account. The more assets there are in your advisory account, the more you will pay in fees, and we may, therefore, have an incentive to encourage you to increase the assets in your account.

The amount paid to us does not vary based on the type of investments we select on your behalf or recommend to you. The asset-based fee reduces the value of your account and will be deducted from your account.  For wrap fee programs, the asset-based fee will include most transaction costs and custody services, and as a result wrap fees are typically higher than non-wrap advisory fees. For non-wrap fee programs, there are asset-based fees for investment advice, but separate transaction fees. Some investments (such as mutual funds and variable annuities) impose additional fees that reduce the value of your investment over time. 

For financial planning and consulting services, the fees will be agreed upon between you and us. Some fees vary and are negotiable. The amount you pay will depend, for example, on the services you receive and the value of assets in your account.  For additional details on how fees are calculated, refer to your investment advisory agreement and the applicable disclosures specific to your advisory account.

You will pay fees and costs whether you make or lose money on your investments. Fees and costs will reduce any amount of money you make on your investments over time. Please make sure you understand what fees and costs you are paying.

For additional information, please see our Form ADV, Part 2A brochure.

Conversation Starter: Ask your financial professional:

  • Help me understand how these fees and costs might affect my investments.  If I give you $10,000 to invest, how much will go to fees and costs, and how much will be invested for me? 

What are your legal obligations to me when acting as my investment adviser? How else does your firm make money and what conflicts of interest do you have?

When we act as your investment adviser, we have to act in your best interest and not put our interest ahead of yours. At the same time, the way we make money creates some conflicts with your interests. You should understand and ask us about these conflicts because they can affect the investment advice we provide you. Here are some examples to help you understand what this means:

Commissions or other compensation related to one financial service provider, product, investment, or service may be higher than commissions or other compensation related to a comparable provider, product, or service. Those higher rates of compensation could provide us incentives to recommend certain providers, products, or services over those with lower rates of compensation. It is important to note that while we will take reasonable care in developing and making recommendations to you, securities involve risk, and you may lose money. There is no guarantee that you will meet your investment goals, or that our recommended investment strategy will perform as anticipated. Please consult any available offering documents for any security we recommend for a discussion of risks associated with the product. We can provide those documents to you or help you to find them.

Conversation Starter: Ask your financial professional: 

  • How might your conflicts of interest affect me, and how will you address them? 

For additional information, please see our Form ADV, Part 2A brochure

How do your financial professionals make money?

We offer various types of advisory and brokerage programs, platforms and services, and can earn more or less if a certain type of service, program or platform is recommended. We are also compensated in a variety of ways, and the compensation can be based on factors such as the amount of assets being serviced, the time and complexity required to meet your needs, the product sold (i.e., differential compensation), product sales commissions, or revenue we earn from advisory services or recommendations.

In our day-to-day business, it is not uncommon for us to face decisions about whether a particular action or circumstance constitutes a conflict of interest.  While many conflicts can be avoided, there are some conflicts that are unavoidable. Since our compensation for the services we provide, this presents an inherent conflict of interest.  

Commission-based financial professionals are compensated solely through commissions. In contrast, fee-based financial professionals charge an asset-based or flat fee directly to their clients for their services. This fee can be structured in multiple ways, such as an hourly rate, a flat monthly or annual fee, or a percentage of assets under management. Financial professionals that offer both brokerage and advisory services can be compensated as commission-based or fee-based depending on the type of product or service offered.

We may have conflicts of interest beyond those disclosed by us, including the potential to receive expense reimbursement and we will disclose, when appropriate, any additional material conflicts of interest no later than the time of a recommendation.

Disciplinary History 

Do you or your financial professionals have legal or disciplinary history?   No

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Additional Information 

For additional information about our services, please visit, BrokerCheck (, our website (, and, if applicable, your account agreement. For additional information on advisory services, see our Form ADV brochure on IAPD, on, or on our website ( Additionally, you can request up-to-date information and/or a written copy of Form CRS by calling us at (240)720-5153. 

To report a problem to the SEC, visit or call the SEC’s toll-free investor assistance line at (800) 732-0330. To report a problem to FINRA, call (301) 590-6500. If you have a problem with your investments, account or financial professional, contact us in writing at DeFerhn Consulting 5641 Mountville Rd, Adamstown, MD 21710.

Conversation Starter: Ask your financial professional:

  • Who is my primary contact person? Is he or she a representative of an investment adviser or a broker-dealer? Who can I talk to if I have concerns about how this person is treating me?   Your primary contact person is Sean DeFrehn. 240-720-5153  For concerns about how Sean is treating you email Jamie Fahey at