Confused About FSPs?

Confused About Financial Service Providers?

Much confusion exists regarding various service providers in the financial services industry. This confusion is partly the result of terminology. Many financial services firms use the same or similar terms to describe a broad range of services. For example, some brokers or brokerage firms use such terms as “financial consultant,” “financial advisor,” or “investment consultant” – despite the fact that they may not in fact perform investment adviser activities. As mentioned above, investment advisers may use terms such as “investment manager,” “asset manager,” “investment adviser,” or “advisor.”

Confusion also is caused by the fact that some firms engage in more than one financial service activity. For example, a brokerage firm, in addition to its primary business of executing securities transactions, also may provide investment adviser services to certain clients or accounts (and may also be a registered investment adviser). For many people, it may not be readily apparent which type of service is being performed (or what laws or regulations govern such activities). Investors should ask questions of financial service providers to determine whether the provider would suit the investor’s needs. For additional information, download Cutting Through the Confusion: Where to Turn for Help with Your Investments, or go to the Reports & Brochures section of our Website.

For further information, please contact the IAA:
Investment Adviser Association
818 Connecticut Ave. NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20006
Telephone: (202) 293-4222
Fax: (202) 293-4223