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Considering a Financial Adviser?
Here are some great questions we can help you answer.

What You Need to Know
Before Choosing an Investment Adviser

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) receives many questions about investment advisers—what they are and how to go about choosing one. This document answers some of the typical questions we receive from investors about investment advisers. This Q&A is for the benefit of investors. You should not rely on it to determine if you need to register as an investment adviser.

  • What is an investment adviser?

    An investment adviser is an individual or a firm that is in the business of giving advice about securities to clients. For instance, individuals or firms that receive compensation for giving advice on investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or exchange traded funds are investment advisers. Some investment advisers manage portfolios of securities

  • What is the difference between an investment adviser and a financial planner?
  • What questions should I ask when choosing an investment adviser or financial planner?
  • How do investment advisers get paid?
  • Do investment advisers have to register with the SEC?
  • How do I find out whether an investment adviser ever had problems with a government regulator or has a disciplinary history?
  • What should I do if the financial professional claims that he or she is "certified"?
  • Are investment advisers required to have credentials?