AdvisorCheck Website

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Aug 31, 2009 12:46 am

i just googled my name  and it came up under AdvisorCheck Website. The site does all of the finra stuff -and performs background check. fortunetly i dont have anything to hide, however this concerns me as the general public having this information so easily accesible. Its one thing for clients or prospects wanting to do a broker check, but why should everyone else?

 
Any thoughts suggestions...
Aug 31, 2009 8:52 am

Was any of your info actually listed? My understanding is they only have access to the FINRA brokercheck database. They use a intimidation to get the rest of the information.

A person will go on the site, sign up and request info. Advcheck will contact the broker with the idea of "if you don't submit your info then you must be hiding something". The person/client gets a email telling them that the broker refused to provide the info.

I refuse to update my info and support this type of operation.

Aug 31, 2009 10:47 am

Yeah, this site sucks.  As Cali said, if you don't PAY and submit to allowing people to review your data, they basically tell the client that you refused to divulge information about your compliance record.  How does THAT sound??  It's basically extortion.  I would have no problem with it if the client had to pay for it, but making the broker pay (or else!) is ridiculous.

Aug 31, 2009 3:45 pm

hmm...thats interesting. it just sucks that it comes up like # 3 under my name


so if anybody request info on the site we get notified? thats kinda cool -i guess..
Aug 31, 2009 4:16 pm
Vin Diesel:

hmm...thats interesting. it just sucks that it comes up like # 3 under my name


so if anybody request info on the site we get notified? thats kinda cool -i guess..
 
Yeah, real cool....this is how you get notified...."Mr. Nir Vus is requesting your compliance background.  If you would kindly pay us $150, we will release the information.  If you do not, we will let the client know that you are unwilling to release your compliance info."
 
Real Cool.
Aug 31, 2009 4:22 pm
B24:
Vin Diesel:

hmm...thats interesting. it just sucks that it comes up like # 3 under my name


so if anybody request info on the site we get notified? thats kinda cool -i guess..
 
Yeah, real cool....this is how you get notified...."Mr. Nir Vus is requesting your compliance background.  If you would kindly pay us $150, we will release the information.  If you do not, we will let the client know that you are unwilling to release your compliance info."
 
Real Cool.
 
 
Don't forget about the one time set up fee.
Aug 31, 2009 5:40 pm

Yeah, that too.

Aug 31, 2009 7:11 pm

If you know who Mr. Nervus is, just call him and explain the situation and give him the finra brokercheck info, which should be enough. If not he probably is not a good prospect anyway. I certainly will not be paying for someone to see the info. If the prospect wants to see it that much, offer to authorize it if he wants it bad enough to pay the $150.00 fee. If you don't know Mr. Nervus, he probably is not a good prospect anyway. 

Aug 31, 2009 9:23 pm

No, I agree.  I don't think it will be widely used.  I think it is just the principle of the service that irritates me.  It's f***ing extortion is what it is.

Sep 1, 2009 9:06 am

B24, it is extortion, and another example of someone  trying to control people using their livelihood as the means to do it. I for one will not allow it.

Sep 1, 2009 10:51 am

If any prospect decided to not do business with me because I didn't sign up for that website, I'd tell them we're not going to work together.  Then I'd go out and find a prospect worth my time.

 
If you're worried about what one dumbsh1t thinks about you not posting confidential information about yourself, you don't have a big enough pipeline.
Sep 1, 2009 1:08 pm

DK, I agree to an extent.  I don't so much have a problem with the prospect, so much as the service.  They can get all the information (it's public info) from FINRA's website.  So if I had the opportunity, I would link them directly to the site on FINRA's website.  The problem is, investors are getting the bejeebers scared out of them from the media, and they are doing what they think is right.  I don't blame an investor for wanting to do their due dilligence on an advisor - otherwise they have nobody else to blame when they get rooked by some rogue FA with a dirty U5.

But AdvisorCheck is preying on them, and using our career (and our money) as a pawn.
 
Personally, I am not worried about losing a prospect because of this service - it's the service that pisses me off.
Sep 1, 2009 1:14 pm

I believe it is the legal definition of extortion. I wonder if you get one of these emails and then forward it to the FBI, what would happen?



Probably nothing. But what if you had two friends at the FBI, one who works in White-Collar Crime?

Sep 1, 2009 3:29 pm

We appreciate your post and I wanted to address one of the 'misconceptions' of our site.  You are correct that Consumers are wanting full background checks on their advisors/reps and many are learning that the information out there (FINRA, state sec. dept, etc) is not always correct since there have been so many cases in which advisors/reps have failed to 'self report' items on their U4.   As you yourself are probably aware, your b/d has probably never done a background check on you since you were licensed because you are 'expected' to report violations.  The sad part for good advisors like you and consumers is the 'shady advisors' out there do not report violations or they depend on the fact that there are really 8 places for consumers to go in order to find out all the facts on an advisor/rep.  Even then, the question of if the rep/advisor is having any personal financial issues is undetermined (liens, judgments, bankruptcy, foreclosure).  Consumers can go to a site like www.ussearch.com and pay $59 for a background check that is run by 'name only' so the reports can be rather unclear if you have the right person (ie, no ss# or dob to verify the search).  They also only report civil and criminal along with some 'credit items.'  These checks are very inaccurate and frankly we believe Advisors/Reps would like a more controlled system in which their information is presented.  Reps/Advisors that are member 'rave' about how the ability to send consumers to our site

It is for this reason that AdvisorCheck or www.advisorbackgroundcheck.com was created in order to give 'Peace of Mind' to consumers and return the industry to a higher level of disclosure and transparency.  As of August 25th, we began doing the background screenings FREE OF CHARGE to consumers and advisors (prior to that we asked the advisor to pay $50 and at the end the consumers name is released to them) knowing that the word of mouth would grow the company substantially and many advisors would end up becoming a member of AdvisorCheck (almost like the BBB) and support our cause to bring transparency and disclosure back to the industry.  Everyone agree's the current system is broken.  In doing so, they position themselves as an open book and frankly are two steps ahead of other advisors.  Have advisors still refused to the free background checks?  Absolutely.  Why?  Many have been because they do have things on their FINRA report but others I would guess are refusing because they do have other issues.  An isolated few may have 'privacy issues' but all you need to do is go to the site I mentioned above--run a report on yourself---and you will see what privacy you really have.  There is no such thing as privacy in today's technological world. 

So what do we tell consumers if a Rep refuses a FREE background check?  The advisor has declined to submit to a 100% Free Background Check.........If that is extortion as someone noted in a post...the definition of the TRUTH has really changed.

And yes, if you google me you will find I am in the industry, am a registered investment advisor, real estate investor and entrepreneur.  Why do I believe in this and serve as the "Spokesman" for AdvisorCheck? Well yes I do get paid and have stock options but I've seen first hand how consumers have no idea who they're dealing with and if they'd only do a little checking it could avoid potential issues.  How?  My parents lost over $100,000 to a rep. that was having financial difficulties and through my parents stupidity, wrote checks directly to him.  Would our system have caught it? Yes. Would the consumer (my parents) have listened and still used him?  Maybe but then if definately would be their fault....not the industry or the rep.
Here was one of our recent releases picked up by forbes on the system.
http://www.forbes.com/feeds/businesswire/2009/07/29/businesswire127267313.html

Sep 1, 2009 4:02 pm

Ok a couple of things...

I think the theory behind the idea is great.. I think your application is terrible.



Your parents are morons. Why would you write a check to someone else that isn't a custodian?



Third people have no right to know what i do with my money, nor do they need to know that we have a hospital bill because my wife had a stroke and exhausted her insurance benefits(she didn't but I am sure it has happened). Nor do they need to know how much I paid for my house,cars, property taxes in order for me to be a good advisor...



Lastly.. you don't even handle people's money, you funnel it to that clown, Mark Matson at Abundance Technologies(by the way how are those DFA funds doing).. So why are you so concerned about protecting the industry when you don't actually do anything.



PS... your house is ugly... yeah sucks when people look into your private life doesn't..



By the way wouldn't try to insult too many people, you might get a call from someone(has happened before ask Windy)



Sep 1, 2009 4:08 pm

"FREE OF CHARGE to consumers and advisors (prior to that we asked the advisor to pay $50 and at the end the consumers name is released to them)"

So how do you make money? Are you selling the emails out to people? And what advice does the prospect/client get if the advisor does not hand over his personal information.

One last question - as an advisor, how can we be sure this information is not being used for identity theft reasons. No offense, but if I get an email/call from a website asking me to allow a stranger access to my credit report I'm not going to do it without know what safeguards are in place.

Sep 1, 2009 4:11 pm

"Your parents are morons. Why would you write a check to someone else that isn't a custodian?"

Wait -I just caught this. Ryan, if you are also a RIA, and are looking out for people's best interest, why did you not help your OWN parents with their investments????

I try to be nice to everyone on this board, but this seems to be one big scam to take advantage of advisors and play on the fear of investors.

Sep 1, 2009 4:21 pm

I cry foul on his parents losing $100K.  I think its a lie.  Prove it.

Sep 1, 2009 4:55 pm

He will if you check his website, he has to

Sep 1, 2009 9:53 pm

"FREE OF CHARGE to consumers and advisors (prior to that we asked the advisor to pay $50 and at the end the consumers name is released to them)"

What happened that you suddenly decided not to ask for the $50? Did you suddenly get religion? Did you finally decide that you did not want to be accused of extortion? Or was it the complaint filed against you with the Missourri Attorney Generals office. See link -

http://www.investmentnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090816/REG/908149969&ht=advisorcheck

If you read the full article, you will see that Advisor check not only charged $50 to do the background check, but $139 for the Advisor to "subscribe"

If you read the full article you will find that the following is the text of what Advisorcheck communicated to the inquiring client if the Advisor declined to pay:
"“After contacting the adviser about the inquiry, he has unfortunately
chosen not to allow us to disclose any of his background information to
you. As you may be aware, to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act,
we must obtain a release from the adviser to disclose any data. We also
encourage the adviser to become a member of AdvisorCheck to show
his/her ‘Full Disclosure and Transparency' to consumers. The adviser
has chosen not to do either. Hence we suggest you exercise caution in
any dealings with this adviser.”

If our friend Brian Blinkholder really believes that this is not extortion, then i have an Auction Rate Security i would like to sell him.
I havent posted much lately, but this kind of sh*t really gets my goat. What a full of sh*t post, Brian.