Table: Finding and Vetting Advisers

Adviser Sites

Searches for certified financial planners by zip code; includes some planners' resumes

Most advanced search site, but includes only 500 advisers; verifies credentials of some

Advisers have five years' minimum experience and clean records, but they pay to be included

Allows zip code search and provides links to fee-only advisers' individual sites

Detailed adviser referral search, but no credential verification

Regulatory Sites

Checks the background of certified financial planners for violations

Provides violation records of insurance advisers

Researches violation records of investment advisers managing less than $25 million

Reveals actions against brokers or advisers managing more than $25 million in assets

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