The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to provide investors with a short overview of the SEC’s IAPD database. The IAPD database can be accessed through the Check Out Your Investment Professional search tool on Investor.gov. For information about checking out the background of financial professionals more generally, please see our Investor Bulletin, How to Select an Investment Professional.
The IAPD database contains registration documents filed by investment adviser firms that register electronically using the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD). (The SEC typically regulates larger investment adviser firms, while the states generally regulate smaller investment adviser firms). IAPD also contains registration information filed with the states by individuals acting as investment adviser representatives. Information concerning investment adviser firms no longer registered with the SEC or states is made available on IAPD for 10 years.
We recommend that investors always research a financial professional before deciding to work with them. Registration information and other useful data about investment adviser firms and individual representatives can be found on IAPD. Investors can use IAPD to:
- Search for an investment adviser firm or individual representative.
- Check the investment adviser firm or individual representative’s registration status.
- View the investment adviser firm’s current Form ADV filing, including the Form ADV Part 2 narrative brochure and the Part 3 relationship summary that are provided to clients.
- View information on an individual representative’s professional background and conduct, including current registrations, employment history, and disciplinary events.
- Link to a state regulator’s website.
- Link to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck website for information about broker-dealers and brokerage firms.
We offer educational materials so that investors can develop an understanding of the securities industry and learn how to avoid costly mistakes and fraud. Our educational materials also provide tips on how investors can invest wisely. Investors can order our free publications by calling (800) SEC-0330, or access them on the Internet through the SEC’s Investor.gov website.
This bulletin represents the views of the staff of the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy. It is not a rule, regulation, or statement of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”). The Commission has neither approved nor disapproved its content. This bulletin, like all staff guidance, has no legal force or effect: it does not alter or amend applicable law, and it creates no new or additional obligations for any person.