You work hard for your money. You're diligent about saving for retirement. But when it comes to choosing an investment advisor, are you really being careful enough with your life savings? Do you really know who's managing your money? How do you know they're as reliable as they say they are. Well, the first step you should take before you even think about handing your hard-earned money over to an investment advisor is to use FINRA's BrokerCheck® to make sure you're not dealing with a known crook or fraudster.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the nation's largest independent regulator of securities firms, and it's BrokerCheck® should be your first stop for pre-qualifying any prospective financial advisor. Through BrokerCheck®, you can now:
- Search for information about brokers and brokerage firms
- Search for information about investment adviser firms and representatives
- Obtain online background reports, if available
- Link to additional resources such as educational tools for investors
Better still, it's really easy to use. All you need is the broker's name and his or her CRD number. If a broker has run afoul of FINRA in the past, you'll find out about it here--and naturally we at The Green Firm urge you to strongly reconsider working with the offending broker, even if you've heard what a rainmaker he or she is!
FINRA is so committed to getting BrokerCheck® out there that it recently filed a proposal to force member firms as well as affiliated brokers to include a link and description of BrokerCheck® on their websites, social media pages, and any other presence on the internet. Pending SEC approval, you should start seeing direct links to BrokerCheck® popping up everywhere on financial websites. We encourage you to use them!
At The Green Firm, our position is and has always been that we want as much public awareness as possible about FINRA's BrokerCheck® because financial advisors rarely if ever advise their clients that they can search their employment background and complaint history--and the bad ones especially don't suggest it. Most of the clients we've worked with who have been victims of investment fraud or other forms of stock broker mismanagement had no idea that they could background check their broker.
f you or anyone you know has been a victim of investment advisor misconduct, please contact us immediately for a free consultation.