What You Need to Know About Using BrokerCheck
When it comes to investing, there is nothing more important than ensuring that you are working with a qualified (and trustworthy) broker. Are you confident that you can trust your investment adviser? It is reasonable to be concerned as it can be difficult to be certain that you are working with the right person. The issue is made all the more challenging by the discouraging fact that there are so many unscrupulous financial advisers still in the industry. The good news is that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) provides a tool that can help. The tool, known as BrokerCheck, allows investors to research the backgrounds of investment brokerage firms as well as the professional backgrounds of individual financial advisers. By using this tool proactively, you will be able to dramatically reduce your risk of becoming a victim of investment fraud.
What Will BrokerCheck Tell You?
BrokerCheck gives investors a considerable amount of important information. For example, when you research the background of an individual broker, you can find out information pertaining to:
- Employment history: This includes both current employers and all other employment history from the last ten years. You will be given a comprehensive employment history, it will not be limited simply to jobs held within the financial industry.
- Qualifications: BrokerCheck will also give you access to information about an individual investment broker’s qualifications. This includes a list of all relevant licenses and certifications as well as the results of any exams that have been passed.
- Adverse information: Finally, BrokerCheck provides extensive information about an individual broker’s disciplinary history. This also includes other relevant negative information. Specifically, you will be able to access a list of any felony charges or convictions, a list of any misdemeanor charges or convictions for investment-related crimes, information about any adverse financial filings such as bankruptcy, and any other records of financial industry disciplinary action.
BrokerCheck Must Be Easy to Access
Recently, FINRA passed Rule 2210 in order to help facilitate access to BrokerCheck. The rule officially went into effect on June 8th, 2016 and it imposes several important requirements on all FINRA regulated firms. Most importantly, the rule requires that all brokerage firms include an easily visible link to BrokerCheck on their official website. The link should be on the first page of the website that retail investors are meant to visit. FINRA has some specific regulations for how this link should look. The key thing that investors need to know is that they have a right to access all of the information provided by BrokerCheck. Choosing a broker is a very important decision and you need this information to make an informed choice.
Do You Need Legal Assistance?
At Carlson & Associates, P.A., our Miami investment fraud attorneys have helped many victims recover the compensation that they deserve. In the unfortunate event that you have been victimized by a financial broker, we can help. Our office is located in Miami and we represent clients throughout South Florida. Please do not hesitate to give our team a call today at 1-(305)-372-9700 to learn more about what we can do for you.