You should check out the registration status and background of any financial professional before becoming a client.  Even if a close friend or family member recommends a financial professional, you should still check out that person to make sure they are licensed and for signs of potential problems.  Anyone registered to sell securities or provide investment advice generally must disclose certain customer complaints, lawsuits and arbitrations, regulatory actions, employment terminations, bankruptcy filings, and certain other criminal or civil legal proceedings.  You should also be able to find out whether the individual is currently registered or licensed, or has been suspended, as well as the individual’s qualifications and employment history.  You can search for this information through  and/or through your state securities regulators.  For additional, information on how to check out your financial professional please read the SEC’s Investor Alert: Check Out Your Financial Professional.