The Hottest News About Education


(A person may appear in both.) U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C. Bill Clark | CQ-Roll Call, Inc. | Getty Images First, check to see that the person appears in either system and that they are licensed or registered with a firm. This means they have met a minimum level of credentials and background to work in the industry, Stoltmann said. "If they're not, that's the uber red flag," Stoltmann said. "If not, it could be some guy cold-calling from his mom's basement." It also makes sense to Google the advisor or broker's name to see if any news news articles about past indiscretions or lawsuits appear. The regulatory databases will also list any disclosures, complaints, arbitrations or settlements involving the individual. "It's the cockroach theory: If you have one or two complaints, there are likely dozens of other times the advisor has engaged in chicanery but hasn't gotten caught," Stoltmann said. Check for nefarious financial behavior like sales abuse practices, unsuitable recommendations, and excessive or unauthorized trading, according to Barbara Roper, director of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America, an advocacy group.

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