Form ADV Part II [The Essential Document]

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Lifting the “Veil of Secrecy” on Selecting Financial Advisors

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™]

DEM white  shirtBy law, financial advisors 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. Today, it may even be online.

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.

Types of Advisors

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.

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.

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Lifting veil of secrecy

[The Author in Chicago Seeking Fiduciary Transparency]

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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.

  • SEC Headquarters
  • 100 F Street, NE Washington, DC 20549
  • (202) 942-8088

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Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

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

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