Depending on who they work for and the kind of work they do, financial advisers are indeed somewhat screened by regulators. After all, there are education, training & licensing requirements both up front and annually.
But does this mean that you can just trust any licensed "adviser"? According to a recent article in Financial Advisor (a Financial Times service), the answer is . . . "no". The title of one article appearing in today's issue is, "Half the FAs Fired for Misconduct are Rehired in a Year". (by Alex Padalka). He goes on to say, "Getting fired over misconduct doesn’t necessarily mean an advisor’s career is over — in fact, almost half of them are back and advising clients within a year of termination, according to a study cited by WealthManagement.com". In addition, 8% of FINRA registered advisors have a "disclosure event" on their records. [I would provide both links but both sites are subscription services] Finally, they found that "some firms specialize in misconduct and cater to unsophisticated consumers". Amazing.
If I were looking for an adviser* I would want to use every tool available to screen them. So should you. In addition to simple Google searches, here are two essential background check sites:
Your Constructive Comments are Welcome!
*You'll note I spell "adviser" ending in "er" while most places you'll see it spelled "or". The regulators want us to spell it "adviser". So I do.