Choosing whether to work with a professional – and deciding which type is best for you – is a very important decision. The information below provides a few key tips to help you make a well-informed choice. Should you have any questions for us, feel free to call our toll-free investor assistance line at 1-800-SEC-0330 or use our online question web form at https://www.sec.gov/oiea/QuestionsAndComments.html.
The most important question that you should consider before hiring an investment professional is whether the person is registered with us or with a state securities regulator. It is really risky to invest with someone who isn’t licensed and we urge you not to do it. In addition, SEC-registered brokers and investment advisers are required to provide a customer or client relationship summary (also called Form CRS) to retail investors. Visit Investor.gov/CRS to learn more about the relationship summary and the differences between brokers and investment advisers, including how they are paid for their services.
Investor.gov has a free and simple search tool that allows you to find out if your investment professional is licensed and registered and view their Form CRS/relationship summary. Here are some additional resources that can help you select the investment professional that is right for you:
- How to Select an Investment Professional
- Director’s Take: Which Financial Professional is Best for You?
- Questions to Ask When Hiring an Investment Professional
- How to Check Out Your Investment Professional
- How Fees and Expenses Affect Your Investment Portfolio
- Making Sense of Financial Professional Titles