Consumer Protection And Investor Education: Check Before You Invest
Search the Database
When it comes to protecting your hard-earned savings, you can never be too careful. Before working with a loan broker or investing with a broker-dealer or investment adviser, it’s important to do your homework. Listed below are databases you can use to check the licensing and registration of individuals and/or firms in the financial services industry. Taking time to do this research could save you in the long run and help you avoid falling victim to fraud.
As you conduct your searches, if an individual or firm does not appear in the database, call the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, Securities Division at 1-800-704-5533.
Broker-Dealer Firms and Agents
Broker-Dealers are people or firms who buy and sell securities on their own behalf or on the behalf of their clients. Broker-Dealers are licensed through FINRA on the federal level and the New Mexico Securities Division on the state level. Using FINRA’s BrokerCheck® database, you can access the following information about broker-dealers:
- Employment history for individual agents
- List of exams individual agents have passed to become licensed
- List of states the agent or firm is registered in
- List of disclosures such as disciplinary action taken by a state regulator and/or FINRA, criminal charges or convictions, bankruptcies and consumer complaints against agent or firm
How to Search
- Go to FINRA’s BrokerCheck®
- Click on the blue “Start Search” button
- Read through the terms and conditions, check the box stating that you agree and click on the blue “Continue” button
- Type in the name of the agent or firm, select the corresponding “Broker” or “Brokerage Firm” button below and click on the blue “Start Search” button
- A list of search results will come up. Carefully read through the list as there may be multiple agents and/or firms with similar names. Click on the appropriate name to view the report.
- You will see a summary report for the agent or firm. To view the complete report, click on the blue “View Full PDF Report” button in the top right corner of the page
Investment Adviser Firms
Investment Adviser Firms give investment advice and sell securities; investment adviser representatives are individuals who work for these firms. The SEC regulates firms managing more than $25 million in assets; all other firms are regulated by the New Mexico Securities Division. Using the SEC’s Investment Adviser Search, you can access the following information about investment adviser firms:
- Registration application and status (i.e. approved, suspended, revoked)
- List of disclosures such as disciplinary action taken by a state regulator and/or the SEC and criminal charges or convictions
- List of states the firm is registered in
Using the search, you will also find the following information about the individual investment adviser representatives: customer complaints, criminal or regulatory disclosures, professional qualifications, exam information and employment history.
How to Search
- Go to the SEC’s Investment Adviser Search http://www.adviserinfo.sec.gov/IAPD/Content/IAPDMain/iapd_SiteMap.aspx
- Choose Investment Adviser Representative (IAR) to search for an individual or Investment Adviser Firm to search for a company
- For Investment Adviser Representative searches:
- Type in the name of the individual or their CRD number if you know it.
- A list of search results will come up. Carefully read through the list as there may be multiple representatives with similar names. Click on the appropriate name to view the report.
- To view a full report, including a list of exams the IAR has taken and the states where they are registered to practice, click on “View Detailed Report” in the top right corner.
- For Investment Adviser Firm searches:
- Type in the name of the firm and click on the grey “Go” button
- A list of search results will come up. Carefully read through the list as there may be multiple firms with similar names. Click on the appropriate name to view the report.
- You will see the application for registration with the firms responses listed in red text. On the left side of the page is a menu that allows you to jump to certain parts of the application. The following sections are important to look at: Registration Status: this page lists the status of the application (i.e. approved, suspended, revoked) as well as states the firm is registered in Part 1A Item 11 Disclosure Information: this page lists any disciplinary action taken by a state regulator and/or the SEC and criminal charges or convictions.
- To view the complete application, click on “View All Pages” in the menu.