Thinking about handing over some of your hard earned cash to an adviser or firm? Or have you already handed over your cash to an adviser or firm? Do a background check on the person to see if their on the up and up by using these resources:
NASD’s BrokerCheck  system has “the professional background, registration/license status and disciplinary history … [of] nearly 5,100 registered firms and more than 660,000 brokers.” This only works for brokers, most advisers won’t be on this unless they’re a registered broker as well. It basically gives you the skinny on the firm, prior names, where they’re registered, what licenses they have, tc.
- NASD Arbitration & Mediation  search site will let you do a search on all the disputes over a certain time period anyone has had with any financial institution that went through the NASD arbitration process.
North American Securities Administrators Association  will list the regulators in your state and if you contact your state’s regulator  they can provide all sorts of juicy information on that broker or firm. Not 100% sure how powerful this is because you actually have to contact someone to use it.