There are a number of resources available to consumers who want to research their advisor before moving forward with an engagement.
This tool is a that allows you to find out:
- Whether a firm is registered to sell securities, offer investment advice, or both.
- See a broker’s employment history, regulatory actions, and licensing information.
- View any complaints or arbitration.
Every advisor should have a Form ADV available for you to view. You can see anything from disciplinary or regulatory disclosures to fees and firm structure on this form. You can also compare their ADV to the services listed in their marketing to see if they align. If it’s hard to find an advisor’s ADV, you can ask TFS Advisors for assistance.
Although not every firm has information on the BBB, you can see if there are any complaints registered. BBB isn’t as widely used among advisors, but it’s still a useful tool to use in combination with other resources.
This search feature allows you to look up information about individuals who have been named as defendants in SEC federal court actions or respondents in SEC administrative proceedings.
#5: Existing Client Referrals
If you can, try to find an existing client of the firm. If you’ve been referred to them by a friend or colleague, their word often will hold more weight than a referral the advisor hand-picks for you to speak with.
#6: Google Search to look for content
#7: Read through disclosures on their ADV