The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Investor Education and
Advocacy has issued a web-based advisory to the investing public entitled, “Ask
and Check”. This article suggests that before investors hire an investment professional or
purchase securities, they such research and verify all information about the investment professionals
they may be dealing with, as well as the investments the companies they may be suggesting that you
The tools available to investors include the following:
- Brokercheck – maintained by the Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
Advisor Public Disclosure (IAPD) – This allows investors to search an individual
investment adviser, representative or their company to find out whether they are properly
registered. This site will also direct you to their Form ADV, which includes information about
the adviser’s business, whether the adviser has had problems with regulators
or clients, as well as a copy of the investment adviser’s brochure describing
the adviser’s business practices, fees, conflicts of interest and disciplinary
- Professional Designations
database – This link can be an essential tool as it may help you get a better
understanding of whether or not your investment professional is utilizing a legitimate or proper
- State Securities
Regulators – the United States has 50 States and each State maintains their own
separate State Securities
Regulators and essential information can be accessed in this database.
- The Securities Investor Protection
Corporation (SIPC) – Is the firm that you plan to do business with a member of the
Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)? While it does not insure against losses
attributable to any decline in the financial markets, SIPC does offer certain limited customer
protection if a brokerage firm becomes insolvent and/or your securities are stolen. Firms which
are not members of SIPC oftentimes do not afford this coverage.
We offer a free initial consultation to investors who feel they
may have been victimized in financial markets. For an appointment, contact The Law
Offices of Timothy J. O’Connor at (518) 426-7700.
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