If you have ever wondered if your broker or investment adviser has been sued by a customer, there is a great online tool called BrokerCheck that allows you to research the background of your financial professional. BrokerCheck is a free online database provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
A BrokerCheck report will include educational background, licenses, work history as well as customer complaints. If a customer has ever brought a suit against a broker it should also show up on their BrokerCheck report. In addition to customer complaints, the report may include other types of disclosure events such as regulatory actions, employment terminations, bankruptcy filings and criminal or civil judicial proceedings.
It is not uncommon for a broker or investment adviser to have a few disclosure events on their record. For example, if your broker was arrested for stealing a rival schools mascot in college, it will likely show up on their BrokerCheck report. While such disclosure events may raise red flags, disciplinary actions from securities regulators such as the SEC or FINRA provide a much stronger reason to reconsider who you’re doing business with.
Even if you have been working with the same financial professional for years, it is a good idea to run a BrokerCheck report. Often investor have no idea who they are really dealing with until they have suffered significant financial losses.
To conduct a BrokerCheck report, visit FINRA’s website at www.FINRA.org or click on the BrokerCheck icon below to begin your search now.
In addition to researching the background of your financial professional it’s important to ask them the right questions. For a list of recommended questions you should always ask your broker, click here.
The foregoing information has been provided by The White Law Group. The White Law Group is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration and investor protection law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Boca Raton, Florida. For more information on The White Law Group, visit www.WhiteSecuritiesLaw.com.