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Investor Bulletin: What is IAPD (Investment Adviser Public Disclosure)?

May 21, 2014

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to provide investors with a short overview of the SEC’s IAPD database.  For additional information about IAPD, please visit the IAPD website on For information about checking out the background of financial professionals more generally, please see our Investor Bulletin, Top Tips for Selecting a Financial Professional.

The IAPD database contains registration documents filed by investment adviser firms that register electronically using the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD). (The SEC typically regulates larger investment adviser firms, while the states generally regulate smaller investment adviser firms).  IAPD also contains registration information filed with the states by individuals acting as investment adviser representatives. Information concerning investment adviser firms no longer registered with the SEC or states is made available on IAPD for 10 years.

We recommend that investors always research a financial professional before deciding to work with them. Registration information and other useful data about investment adviser firms and individual representatives can be found on IAPD.  Investors can use IAPD to: 

  • Search for an investment adviser firm or individual representative.
  • Check the investment adviser firm or individual representative’s registration status.
  • View the investment adviser firm’s current Form ADV filing, including the Form ADV Part 2 narrative brochure that is provided to clients.
Form ADV is the form used by investment adviser firms to register with the SEC and state securities regulators.  It contains information about an investment adviser firm and its business operations, including business practices, conflicts of interest, and fees.  It also contains disclosures about certain disciplinary events, if any, involving the firm and key personnel.  For more information about Form ADV, read our Investor Bulletin: Amendments to Form ADV – New Disclosure Requirements for Investment Advisers.
  • View information on an individual representative’s professional background and conduct, including current registrations, employment history, and disciplinary events.
  • Link to a state regulator’s website.
  • Link to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) BrokerCheck website for information about broker-dealers and brokerage firms.


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We offer educational materials so that investors can develop an understanding of the securities industry and learn how to avoid costly mistakes and fraud. Our educational materials also provide tips on how investors can invest wisely. Investors can order our free publications by calling (800) SEC-0330, or access them on the Internet through the SEC’s website. For additional educational information for investors, see the SEC’s website or the Office of Investor Education and Advocacy’s homepage.




The Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has provided this information as a service to investors. It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy. If you have questions conce
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