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Annuity Warning #2: FINRA Broker Lookup

Before putting your trust and financial future in the hands of a financial advisor, do a quick, free background check with the FINRA. Here’s how.

The FINRA provides a free online background check where you can look up a broker’s employment history and professional qualifications, including exams that they have passed. But perhaps most importantly, you can see if any individuals have filed complaints against the broker, as well as any disciplinary actions taken against the broker. It takes about two minutes to get a full report. Follow these simple instructions:

  1. Go to the FINRA’s BrokerCheck by clicking here.
  2. Click the button that says “Start Search.”
  3. Check the box to agree to the terms and click on “continue” at the right of the screen.
  4. Enter the name of the broker or brokerage firm, and click “Start Search.” If you do not know the correct spelling of the name, try the “advanced search” option at the top right of the current screen.
  5. Your search results will appear. Click on the desired Broker’s name to select it.
  6. You can view the full report in .pdf format by selecting this option at the top right of the page.

The absence of any investor complaints or disciplinary actions against a broker is not reason alone to invest with that broker. This is just a simple first step in qualifying a broker before entrusting them with your financial future.

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