FORM ADV is a Must Read for Selecting a Financial “Advisor”

Form ADV – The Essential Document

Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA - WEGO Health Awards Nominee

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP©


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Under law, financial advisors and planners must provide you with a form ADV Part II or a brochure that covers the same information.  Even if a brochure is provided, ask for the ADV.  While it is acceptable, even desirable, for the brochure to be easier to read than the ADV, the ADV is what is filed with the appropriate state or SEC.  If the brochure reads more like a slick sales brochure or the information in the brochure glosses over the items on the ADV to a high degree, one should consider eliminating the advisor from consideration.


Registering with a state or SEC gives an advisor a fiduciary duty to the client.  This is a high standard under the law. 

There are several types of advisors who are exempt from registering and filing an ADV. 

First, there are registered representatives (brokers).  Brokers have a fiduciary responsibility to their firms regardless of whether they are statutory employees or independent contractors. Not the client.

Second are attorneys and accountants whose advice is “incidental” to their legal or accounting practices. But, why would one hire someone whose advice is “incidental” to his primary profession?  A top-notch advisor is a full-time professional and should be registered.  One should insist that their advisor be registered.


The ADV will describe the advisor’s background and employment history, including any prior disciplinary issues.  It will describe the ownership of the firm and outline how the firm and advisor are compensated.  Any referral arrangements will be described.  If an advisor has an interest in any of the investments to be recommended, it must be listed as well as the fee schedule.  There is also a description of the types of investments recommended and the types of research information that is used.

ASSESSMENT: A review of the ADV should result in an alignment of what the advisor said during the interview and what is filed with the regulators.  If there is a clear discrepancy, choose another advisor.  If it is unclear, discuss the issue with the advisor.

Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

Form ADV | | Registered Investment Advisor ...

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Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™





PODCAST: How are Hospitals Doing after the Pandemic?

The Pandemic is Ending?

How Are Hospitals Doing?

Interview with Brian Peters 

Rich Helppie brings back Brian Peters, the CEO of The Michigan Health and Hospital Association to talk about the current state of Covid-19; what we may have gotten right, what we may have gotten wrong and how to move forward.


EDITOR’S NOTE: I first met Rich in B-school, when I was a student, back in the day. He was the Founder and CEO of Superior Consultant Holdings Corp. Rich graciously wrote the Foreword to one of my first textbooks on financial planning for physicians and healthcare professionals. Today, Rich is a successful entrepreneur in the technology, health and finance space.
-Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA CMP®



ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are appreciated.



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