FINRA BrokerCheck is a database of registered financial advisors and firms that may or may not be authorized to provide services beyond advice.
To be dated: FINRA BrokerCheck is a free online database of brokers and brokerage firms. It offers information and background check reports on financial advisors registered in the US, detailing the good and bad. Francisco Faraco thinks such checks are necessary before contacting a financial advisor.
According to a report dating back to 2021, there are at least 218,100 financial advisors in the US. This number may have gone up in the months since. Francisco Jose Faraco thinks the FINRA BrokerCheck tool’s detailed reports can reduce a person’s odds of running into the wrong investment representative.”
While listing the steps involved in a financial advisor search, the CFA Charterholder said, “Most people turn to themselves for financial advice; then it’s their financial advisor, a partner or spouse, or extended family, in that order. If the CNBC report where I read this is to be trusted, you’re most likely to trust your gut instinct and research when looking for financial advice.”
“When searching for a financial advisor, your search will probably begin with someone who works or has worked in finance. Someone you trust implicitly to take you in the direction. At the very least, you’ll trust them to direct you to an authorized directory for financial professionals. Unfortunately, none of these options offers much in the way of background checks—that’s where you need FINRA BrokerCheck,” he stated.
Faraco was referring to a study in a CNBC report analyzing who Americans turn to for financial advice. According to the report, financial advisors were the second-most popular avenue for most people.
Faraco recommends using the BrokerCheck tool to verify a financial advisor or firm; to ensure they can rely on their self-proclaimed expert advice by checking their employment history, civil lawsuits, and other accomplishments or possible run-ins with the regulating authority.
As someone who has worked for multiple financial institutions, Faraco is an advocate for end-to-end transparency in dealings of a financial nature. The CFA Charterholder is currently a Teaching Assistant at the University of Chicago, who helps students find their way in the field of finance.
About Francisco Faraco
Francisco J. Faraco is a Teaching Assistant in the Financial Mathematics department at the University of Chicago. He also has a Business Administration degree from Venezuela, along with the CFA designation. It has been 23 years since Faraco moved to the US. During this time, he had worked at several organizations and helped students pursue careers in finance.