Tuesday, July 12, 2011

BrightScope.com - An Easy Way To Check Up On Your Financial Advisor

New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New ...Image via WikipediaIn the wake of the Madoff scandal it's always in the back of your mind the integrity of your financial advisor. For the most part, our financial advisors are upstanding and honest people. It's the bad apples that we hear about in the news, not the good ones. But it's always best to do due diligence on the people we trust with our money.

Checking out our advisor doesn't require costly investigators or large amounts of time. There are sources online to get plenty of information.

BrightScope.com. This site offers an easy interface to check out an advisor. Just enter your advisors name. You will be shown a page to narrow down to your specific advisor if there are multiple people by that name. Once you arrive at the page of your specific advisor, you will see a short summary of the firm, location, address, phone # and assets managed. Followed by metrics on the advisers qualifications, experience, and conduct. The types of clients the firm handles in a pie chart .

I especially like the listing of the advisors previous employers, licenses held, and industry exams passed. For a quick and easy way to check out an advisor, BrightScope.com is the way to go.

Finra.org. Is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA’s mission is to protect investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly. All told, FINRA oversees nearly 4,535 brokerage firms, about 163,620 branch offices and approximately 631,640 registered securities representatives. FINRA has approximately 3,000 employees and operates from Washington, DC, and New York, NY, with 20 regional offices around the country. Here you can look up a brokerage firm or individual broker to see their status with FINRA.

Nasaa.org. The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. NASAA is a voluntary association whose membership consists of 67 state, provincial, and territorial securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Mexico. From here you can go to your states Office of Financial Regulation to check out the advisors license status.

Adviserinfo.sec.gov. Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) provides information about current and former Investment Adviser Representatives (IARs) and Investment Adviser firms registered with the SEC and/or state securities regulators. Here you can check on the your advisors status.

Learning a little information about your advisor will reveal any red flags or show you that everything is fine and you can relax a little.

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