search Trust Algorithm

500,000+ data points. 100% consumer advocacy. Helping Americans ask the right questions.

Our Research

With a focus on transparency via regulatory data, helps thousands of Americans each month answer the question, “Can I trust you?”

Industry Scope

In the United States alone, there are more than 16,000 registered investment firms and over 680,000 licensed individuals who can provide financial advice.

Trusted Badge

Reviewed financial advisor firms that meet our strict requirements earn the badge of Trust.

What Data is Used?

We collect data from sources which may include:

  • FINRA BrokerCheck
  • State Regulator Databases
  • Professional Designation Websites

Here’s a summary of the regulatory and proprietary data** we collect to review Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms:

Years Registered (SEC IAPD)
Conflicts of Interest
Attorney Conflict (ADV Part 1 Items 6.A.13, 7.A.11)
Broker/Dealer Conflict (ADV Part 1 Items 6.A.1, 7.A.1)
Commissions Compensation Conflict (ADV Part 1 Item 5.E.5)
Insurance Affiliation Conflict (ADV Part 1 Item 6.A.6)
Insurance Agency Conflict (ADV Part 1 Item 7.A.12)
Private Investment Management (ADV Part 1 Item 8.B.2)
Proprietary Investments (ADV Part 1 Item 8.A.3)
Soft-Dollar Benefit Conflict (ADV Part 1 Item 8.G.1)
Trades Recommended Securities (ADV Part 1 Item 8.A.2)
Disciplinary History
Activity Restriction (ADV Part 1 Item 11.E.4)*
Attorney/Accountant Authorization Revocation (ADV Part 1 Item 11.F)*
Business License Revocation (ADV Part 1 Items 11.C.3, 11.D.3, 11.E.3)*
Court-Ordered Investment-Related Prohibition (ADV Part 1 Item 11.H.1.A)
False Statements or Omissions (ADV Part 1 Items 11.C.1 11.D.1, 11.E.1)*
Felony Convictions (ADV Part 1 Item 11.A.1)
Investment Related Misdemeanors (ADV Part 1 Item 11.B.1)
Investment Related Dismissal upon Settlement (ADV Part 1 Item 11.H.1.C)
Monetary Penalty (ADV Part 1 Item 11.C.5)*
Orders Entered (ADV Part 1 Items 11.C.4, 11.D.4)*
Registration/License Revocation (ADV Part 1 Items 11.D.5)*
Regulation Violations (ADV Part 1 Items 11.C.2, 11.D.2, 11.E.2, 11.H.1.B)*

* Disciplinary Actions brought by the SEC, CFTC, a Self-Regulatory Organization, a commodities exchange, other Regulatory Agencies, or a domestic or foreign court.

** Proprietary data varies. For example, our system checks each firm’s website to ensure it is secured with an up to date SSL-certificate.

Recent Research Findings

"99.2% of all financial advisors barred from the industry have been either a broker or dually registered advisor." (, dataset source: FINRA, June 2020)

"In a study assessing 7,079 SEC-regulated Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) over a 12 month period, 24.8% of firms offered funds with 12b-1 fees." (, dataset source: SEC, July 2019 to June 2020)

"In an assessment of 16,500 federal and state Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) firms, 2,157 (13.1%) have a broker-dealer conflict." (, dataset source: SEC, July 2020)

"In a study assessing 16,411 Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs), total AUM was $51.4 trillion, of which 99.5% is managed by SEC-registered firms." (, dataset source: SEC, July 2020)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We have submitted an updated FINRA or SEC ADV filing. When will the changes be reflected on

Primary data checks take place at the beginning of each month and most pages are updated within the first week.

Some of the questions recommended to Americans to ask are addressed in our SEC ADV Part 2 or Form CRS filing. We would like your team to review our regulatory data.

To have your information professionally checked by our data team, visit your profile page, then click the link, “Have your data reviewed.”

We see that we are rated as a top firm in our state, is there an additional fee to license the award badge for external use?

No. As a consumer advocacy project, we do not charge any licensing fees for earned state accolade badges.

Trust Algorithm Review Summary


1. First, we collect all publicly accessible data made available by the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC).


2. Variables are strategically selected to be incorporated into the Trust algorithm.


3. Variables are then sorted and weighted individually based on their significance and the net impact on Americans.


4. Once all the data is collected, sorted, and weighted, the Trust algorithm goes to work to determine a star rating. Firms that earn a 4.5 or 5 star rating also receive the "Trusted by" badge.

Next time you see a financial advisor, ask the question:

"Has your firm been reviewed by"

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