Prescreen Your Advisor:

A Financial Professional Evaluation Checklist

You’ve worked hard to accumulate your assets. Before entrusting them with someone else, do your homework and make sure the advisor is qualified to help you with each of the various components of your financial strategy.

Here’s what we recommend checking on before you sign on to work with a financial advisor:

  • Check to see whether your advisor is held to a fiduciary standard (meaning, they are legally required to put your interests ahead of their own). Confirm this by searching for them on the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure site.
  • See whether their firm is registered with regulatory agencies such as FINRA and the SEC, what information they have disclosed to regulators and what services the firm is legally allowed to provide using FINRA’s BrokerCheck.
  • Use the state of California’s Department of Insurance license name search to look up what licenses your financial professional has. This will help you determine what financial products they are qualified to offer.
  • Is your financial professional a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™? Look them up on the CFP Board website.
  • Can your advisor legally give you tax advice? You can check by searching for them on the California Tax Education Council website.
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