How to Check a Financial Adviser's Credentials the Right Way

You're looking up a financial professional, but you can't find them on FINRA or the SEC's website. Is that a red flag, or did you just look in the wrong spot?

(Image credit: kushchoff@gmail.com)

When it comes to selecting a financial adviser, researching qualifications, credentials and registrations is something everyone should do. But why is it that you can’t always find the financial adviser you’re vetting on commonly known websites like FINRA and the SEC? While it might seem like a red flag — and occasionally it can be a red flag — usually the answer is a simple one.

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Disclaimer

This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

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Paul V. Sydlansky, CFP
Founder, Lake Road Advisors, LLC

Paul Sydlansky, founder of Lake Road Advisors LLC, has worked in the financial services industry for over 20 years. Prior to founding Lake Road Advisors, Paul worked as relationship manager for a Registered Investment Adviser. Previously, Paul worked at Morgan Stanley in New York City for 13 years. Paul is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the XY Planning Network (XYPN). In 2018 he was named to Investopedia's Top 100 Financial Advisors list.