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. An easy way to check out a financial professional is to use the free search tool available on Investor.gov, which will direct you to the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website (IAPD website). You can also visit the IAPD website directly, FINRA’s BrokerCheck program, and/or your state securities
You can find out if your financial professional is currently registered or licensed, or has been suspended, as well as the individual’s qualifications and employment history. 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.