Form ADV - Investment Advisors

Florida Securities Fraud, Misrepresentation and Mismanagement FINRA Arbitration and Litigation Attorney, Russell L. Forkey, Esq.

If you are an investor who is considering hiring an investment advisor to either assist you in making investment decisions or retaining such a company to manage your assets on a discretionary basis, the first thing that you should do is review, in advance of your meeting, a complete copy of the firm's current ADV Form.  You can obtain a copy of this document from the firm itself or print out a copy from the below highlighted websites.

The Form ADV is the uniform form used by investment advisers to register with both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state securities authorities. The form consists of two parts. Part 1 requires information about the investment adviser's business, ownership, clients, employees, business practices, affiliations, and any disciplinary events of the adviser or its employees. Part 1 is organized in a check-the-box, fill-in-the-blank format. The SEC reviews the information from this part of the form to process registrations and manage its regulatory and examination programs. Although designed for a regulatory purpose, investment adviser filings of Part 1 are available to the public on the SEC's Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) website at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.

Beginning in 2011, Part 2 requires investment advisers to prepare narrative brochures written in plain English that contain information such as the types of advisory services offered, the adviser's fee schedule, disciplinary information, conflicts of interest, and the educational and business background of management and key advisory personnel of the adviser. The brochure is the primary disclosure document that investment advisers provide to their clients. When filed, the brochures are available to the public on the IAPD website.

Investment advisers are required to deliver annually to clients a summary of material changes to the brochure and either deliver a complete updated brochure or offer to provide the client with the updated brochure. In addition, an investment adviser must deliver to clients a brochure supplement that provides information about the specific employees, acting on behalf of the investment adviser, who actually provide the investment advice to the client. The brochure supplement also includes contact information for the person's supervisor in case the client has a concern about the person. The brochure supplement must be delivered either before or at the time that the employee begins to provide investment advice to a client. An updated supplement must be delivered to clients when there is new disclosure of a disciplinary event, or a material change to disciplinary information that has already been disclosed.

In conclusion, the form ADV will provide you with significant information about the investment advisor that will be critical in making a decision as to whether or not to retain such company.

Because of the fact that most individuals to not understand all of the terms and requirements for the information called for in the form ADV, you can follow the highlighted link to review the instructions and glossary for the form.