How can I find out if my advisor has regulatory violations or complaints have been filed?
This process allows you to see if your financial advisor is registered with the proper authorities and if she or he has had any regulatory violations.
With few exceptions, most financial advisors and financial advisory firms must be registered with a regulatory agency. In some circumstances, they may be required to register with more than one.
You must know the full name of your financial advisor (e.g. James B. Smith) as well as the full name of the firm he or she works for (e.g. ABC Financial Management LLC).
Your advisor or advisor’s firm may be required to register with one or more of the following regulatory organizations. Log into each of the sites listed below to view your advisor’s registration.
If your advisor is not listed on ANY of the sites below, this is a cause for concern and your state securities administrator should be contacted: http://www.nasaa.org/about-us/contact-us/contact-your-regulator/
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
This non-governmental regulator has jurisdiction over all financial advisors and firms who are licensed to sell securities: http://brokercheck.finra.org.
The Securities and Exchange Commission
This government regulator has jurisdiction over all financial advisors and firms who sell advice for a fee: http://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/.
Check out both brokers and investment advisors here: https://www.sec.gov/investor/brokers.htm
State regulators of financial advisors
Each state requires state registration for any financial advisory firm who manages less than $25 million dollars and also works with 5 or more clients in that state. http://www.nasaa.org/2709/how-to-check-out-your-broker-or-investment-adviser/