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Choosing an Investment Professional

A qualified investment professional can help you make sound investment decisions. Investment professionals include registered financial professionals, also known as registered representatives or stockbrokers, investment advisers and financial planners. The person or team of professionals you work with will depend on the type of financial help you seek. When you choose an investment professional, it always pays to Ask and Check.

Registered Financial Professionals

Buy and sell securities for their customers, including individual investors. They are regulated by FINRA and the SEC. Learn more.

Investment Advisers

Provide advice about securities tailored to the needs of their clients. They are regulated by the SEC or state securities regulators. Learn more.

Financial Planners

Provide an array of financial services that vary from provider to provider. Regulation and licensing depends on the services offered. Learn more.

Insurance Agents

Sell life, health and property insurance policies, and other insurance products, including annuities. They are regulated by state insurance commissions. Learn more.


Provide professional assistance with taxes and financial planning, tax reporting, auditing and management consulting. They are regulated by national and state licensing standards. Learn more.


Offer legal assistance to clients related to financial planning and investment decisions, and may represent clients in disputes with firms or investment professionals. They are regulated by state bar associations. Learn more.