Can Google Regulate Financial Advisors?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011 19:07
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Can Google Regulate Financial Advisors?

Tags: Dodd-Frank | fiduciaries | FINRA | NAPFA | Search Engines | sec

What if FINRA and the SEC opened their advisor databases to search engines?

 
With all this talk about investors’ need for transparency and the high cost of regulation, why not let Google index Form ADV? Why not open up FINRA’s database?
 
It would clean up bad sales practices in the advisory business pronto, and it would help move the financial advice business toward becoming a profession.
 
Alowing Google to index your fee schedule, assets under management, and other publicly-filed informatoin is scary. I understand.
 
But services where consumers review your firm, such as Google Places and Yelp, are going to allow your clients to post comments about you anyway. Why not get on the right side of this?
 
Advisors need to know that Google and others like it are enabling customers to talk about you. On A4A, we offer a similar services where advisors review their software, the same way Amazon provides customer reviews of everything you might ever consider buying.
 
Please don't post comments blaming me for opening up unwanted floodgates of information about your business.
 
However, search engines should index advisor disclosure documents because it's the right thing to do and the right thing to do will eventually win anyway.
 
This is the way the world is headed. So let’s just get on with it.

 

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Comments (4)

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johnd508
Excellent idea and may be a money saver for the agencies.

JFD
johnd508 , April 06, 2011
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brentb843
A good start; however regulation of RIA firms and their advisors means matching the Form ADV/Investment Policy statement to procedural prudence. Keep in mind, Madoff investors were thrilled until the money was gone.
brentb843 , April 06, 2011
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agluck
Enabling Google to index Form ADV on RIAs and U4s for registered reps would allow consumers and companies to compare advisors as never before. Apps would sprout up for that.
agluck , April 07, 2011
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brentb843
@Andy - how so? and IAR may do business under more than 1 RIA, especially if outsourcing investment management. There are several like Paladin, etc who already charge advisors to list them as 'good' but really no due diligence is made on their skill level at the client to advisor level.
brentb843 , April 07, 2011

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