How To Do a Background Check on Your Financial Advisor
Before you make a major purchase -- car, television, refrigerator -- most likely you've done some extensive research to ensure you are making the right decision. One of the most important decisions that investors make is choosing the right financial planner to work with. Surprisingly, more than 70% of all investors do not do a background check on their broker before hiring them. Say what? Yes, approximately 1/3 of people that decide to work with a financial planner do not check the background of that person that they are getting ready to hand over their life savings to.
With the names of Madoff and Sanford making headlines, it's even more important to at least double check your advisor's background. It may not be a sure all prevention method, but you can easily find out if the advisor has had any prior wrong doings on his or her record. To show you how how easy it is to get information on a financial advisor, I thought I would do a little experiment. Today's experiment is doing a background check on myself. I'll show you the different sources you can go to do various background checks and what information to look for. First things first, the unfortunate thing of me doing this is that I have a bit of confession to make. My real name (first name) is not Jeff. *Gasp*
I know, I know. You might be shocked. As you can see if you do a background check on myself, my parents blessed me by naming me Jan Jeffrey Rose. There is no family history behind the name, it was just one that they liked. Growing up I opted to go by my more masculine middle name, Jeff. You don't know how much of a pleasure it is to get phone calls from telemarketers asking for "Mrs. Jan Rose". Now that that is out in the open, we'll continue. That is a pretty good example of what information you'll be able to find when doing a little homework on your financial advisor.
1. Are they a Certified Financial Planner?
Before choosing a financial planner
, one thing you might want to consider is if they are a Certified Financial Planner