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Post by UNEEK Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:56 am

Do a Background Check Before Hiring Your Financial
Advisor By Jeff Rose

What was the last major purchase you made? Was it car or a
flat screen TV? How much time did you spend researching to make sure you were
getting the best product for the best price? Now, for those of you that have
hired a financial advisor, how much time did you spend doing research on that

The statistics say that over 2/3 of investors do not do a
background check before hiring their financial advisor. Do I even have to
explain why you should? Let me give you one: Bernie Madoff.

While I know in the Madoff scandal a background check would
have done little good, it is still a good idea to make sure there's nothing
incriminating on your soon to be advisor's record. I assure you that you can do
a background check much quicker than researching a HD TV. Don't believe
me? Follow these steps and see for

1. Certified Financial Planner

One of the most coveted marks of all financial planners is
the Certified Financial Planner™ designation. Disclaimer: I am a CFP®
professional. Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal
requirements of CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks. CFP®
professionals agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as
CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, that sets forth
their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers.

By being held to a higher standard, these professionals are
under greater scrutiny than other advisors in the industry. By going to the CFP
website, you can use their search tool to find out if the planner has had any
disciplinary actions against them.

2. FINRA Broker Check®

A financial advisor that is employed by a brokerage firm is
most likely a registered representative and is regulated by FINRA (Financial
Industry Regulatory Authority). To help investors keep tabs on financial
advisors, FINRA has developed a service called FINRA BrokerCheck®.

All you need is the person’s name and you’ll soon have all
the background information of the advisor available to you in a printable PDF
format. You'll be quite impressed on the amount of information that they
provide. Some of the information you might find:

Any complaints
that have been filed against the advisor and what was the outcome

States that the
advisor is licensed to transact business in

Industry exams
that they have passed

All previous
employment history

Affiliations -- this will show if the advisor receives compensation from other
sources or is involved in any organizations

3. Securities Exchange Commission

If your advisor holds themself as an Investment Advisor most
likely they are a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). People or firms that get
paid to give advice about investing in securities generally must register with
either the SEC or the state securities agency where they have their principal
place of business. Investment advisers who manage $25 million or more in client
assets generally must register with the SEC.

If they manage less than $25 million, they generally must
register with the state securities agency in the state where they have their principal
place of business. Remember my one reason why you should do a background check
on your financial advisor? That's right, Bernie Madoff was an investment
advisor. That’s why the SEC has taken a lot of heat over the matter.

If you do decide to
work with an Investment Advisor, the SEC's website would be your first stop in
doing a background check on your advisor. If they are a smaller outfit, you can
check with the state regulator’s. One source is the North American Securities
Administrators Association. The NASAA has helped in preventing investors from
being subject to fraud for over one hundred years.

4. Advisor Check

Advisor Check is a free online service meant to allow
consumers to investigate the professional background of financial advisers. The
service looks into the background of financial advisers through civil and
criminal background checks, credit reports, financial liens and bankruptcy
proceedings, the records of the Better Business Bureau, the Securities and
Exchange Commission, state departments of insurance and professional licensure,
the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. and various other federal,
state and private agencies.

If you are looking to do even more extensive research on
your soon to be financial planner, it won’t hurt to at least check the site

5. FA Beetle

Fabeetle is a new platform where clients can rate, review
and research financial advisors, the firms they work for, and the products and
services they offer. The concept behind FA Beetle is to allow the truly
talented and experienced Financial Advisors and firms to emerge from the
negative perceptions and connect with an educated customer who is actively
seeking that expertise.

The site even offers "falerts" that will notify
you if an advisor that you're monitoring receives a review from another
consumer. The site is still its beta stage, but could prove to be a valuable
resource for consumers.

6. Don't Forget Social Media

Using the above resources is a great way to find some really
good information on your financial advisor, but what about just using Google?
By simply "Googling" the advisor's name, you might be surprised what
you might find. If the advisor is on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you might
also be able to find out some good information, too.

For example, if the advisor has a public profile on Facebook
you can see their latest updates and it may give you a clue on what type of
person they are. That goes for Twitter, too. On LinkedIn, you can view all
their connections and if anybody has recommended them.

As you can see there are plenty of resources to do some
homework on your financial advisor before you hire them.

Don't allow yourself
to be part of the percentage who doesn't take the time to do a background
check. It's much easier to return a lousy TV to Best Buy with little financial
recourse. Choosing a lousy, unscrupulous financial advisor could cost you your
future and leave you in financial ruins.

I hope this proves helpful -- UNEEK BACKGROUND CHECK ON  FINANCIAL PLANNER 4224242810

Greatness lies, not in being strong, but in the right using of strength; and strength is not used rightly when it serves only to carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own -- Bryant

“When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.” ― Wayne W. Dyer

To be persuasive, one must be believable;
To be believable, one must be credible;
To be credible, one must be truthful.


Posts : 525
Join date : 2011-10-23
Location : NC

View user profile http://souljourney.lefora.com/

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