The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently released a warning to investors to thoroughly check a financial advisor’s purported credentials.
The SEC recently issued a warning to investors and it is something that we at Meyer Wilson have touched on in the past – beware of trusting a financial advisor solely on the basis of their claimed credentials. Sadly, many brokers and financial advisors use false or exaggerated credentials to gain trust from potential customers.
In addition to cautioning investors about credentials, the SEC also warned against perceiving a financial advisor as legitimate or successful on the basis of claimed results. Before you invest, don’t be afraid to really dig into your financial advisor’s background to uncover what credentials they actually have and what they have actually accomplished.
How to Check Your Broker’s Background
Investors have multiple avenues for learning more about their financial advisor, or a potential advisor.
- Run a background check
- Search FINRA’s database by using the BrokerCheck tool
- Use the SEC’s Investment Adviser Search
- Find out what a credential means by viewing a complete list of professional designations
- Find out about a financial advisor by contacting your state’s regulator
There is no law, federal or state, that requires an investment adviser to have credentials. Many of them do have credentials, such as “Certified Financial Planner” or “Chartered Financial Analyst” but these are optional.
Simply because an investment adviser claims to have credentials, doesn’t mean they actually have them or that those credentials are any indication of that advisor’s quality. While credentials are certainly something to consider when making an investment decision, it is best to look at these in conjunction with other, more pertinent characteristics such as registration through FINRA and/or a state agency.
If you lost money through investment fraud or misconduct, Meyer Wilson is here for you. Contact our team of investment fraud lawyers today and you will receive a free, confidential evaluation of your case.
Watch the video below to hear Attorney Courtney Werning explain more about these credentials.