An investment adviser is a person or firm that is engaged in the business of providing investment advice to others or issuing reports or analyses regarding securities, for compensation. Investment advisers may include money managers, investment consultants, financial planners, general partners of hedge funds, and others who are compensated for providing advice about securities.

Advice about securities not only includes advice about specific securities (such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, limited partnerships, and commodity pools), but may also include advice about market trends, the selection or retention of other advisers, the advantages of investing in securities over other types of investments (such as coins or real estate), the furnishing of a selective list of securities, and asset allocation.

Investment advisers generally must register with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or state securities authorities. To find out if your investment professional is licensed and registered, you can use the free Check Out Your Investment Professional search tool available on

For information on how to register as an investment adviser, please visit the SEC’s web page on IARD registration.

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