Investigate Before You Invest:

How to Check the Background
of a Broker or Investment Adviser

While the vast majority of the stockbrokers, brokerage firms, investment advisers and investment adviser firms are honest and reputable, it pays to remember that just
like many other professions, there are those individuals and firms who are not.

State and federal laws require brokers, advisers and firms to be registered or licensed. Canadian securities laws require anyone trading securities, or in the business of advising clients on securities, as well as the company they work for to be registered with their provincial or territorial securities commission, unless a registration exemption applies.

State and provincial securities regulators should be the first call for an investor before turning over any money to a broker or investment adviser. You can access extensive employment, disciplinary, and registration information about your stockbroker or investment adviser through your state or provincial securities regulator.

To find contact information for your jurisdiction’s securities regulator, click here.

U.S. Resources

  • Working with a broker? Ask for all materials from the Central Registration Depository (CRD) about your prospective stockbroker. This computerized database contains licensing and registration information on more than 650,000 stockbrokers.
  • Using an investment adviser? Ask for all materials from the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD). The IARD has information on more than 260,000 investment advisers.
  • Search the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) website for information on investment adviser representatives and firms registered with state securities regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • Information on brokers is available from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) BrokerCheck website.

Canadian Resources

Senior Connection

Visit our interactive map to contact your state or provincial securities regulator and to find other resources for seniors.

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