Financial Regulation Offices (by State)

While the gossip of the moment is about the fiduciary standard, it’s important to realize that people can fall victim to bad financial advice, even from a fiduciary.  Most fee-only financial planners are registered as investment advisers.

Every registered investment advisor (RIA) is required to file form ADV, which contains a lot of information.  RIAs are also required to register with either a state regulatory office or the Securities & Exchange Commission.

These regulatory offices are responsible for ensuring that RIAs comply with federal and state laws.  They should also be your first checking point to ensure:

  • The person you’re about to hire is actually registered and that they are who they say they are
  • You know of any disclosures that might impact your decision to hire this person. Disclosures can range from conflicts of interest to financial issues (like bankruptcy), to criminal convictions.  You know, things that might make you want to NOT hire this person.

Below is a list of the regulatory websites by state, as well as the SEC’s website.

Securities & Exchange Commission:  Investment Adviser Public Disclosure  Note:  You can find any ADV on this website.  However, if your adviser is registered with a state (and not the SEC), then you will need to file any complaints with your state’s regulatory office.

Alabama:  Alabama Securities Commission

Alaska:  State of Alaska Department of Commerce, Community & Economic Development-Securities

Arizona:  Arizona Corporation Commission Securities Division

Arkansas:  Arkansas Securities Department

California:  Broker-Dealers, State Investment Advisers, and SEC Investment Advisers

Colorado:  Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies-Investment Advisers & Investment Adviser Representatives

Connecticut:  Department of Banking: State-Registered Investment Advisers

Delaware:  Delaware Investors Protection Unit

Florida:  Florida Office of Financial Regulation:  Division of Securities

Georgia:  Georgia Department of Banking & Finance: Securities/Investments

Hawaii:  Hawaii Business Registration Division: Securities Idaho:  Idaho Department of Finance:  Securities Page

Illinois:  Office of the Illiinois Secretary of State:  State-Registered Investment Advisers

Indiana:  Indiana Secretary of State Securities Division

Iowa:  Iowa Insurance Division

Kansas:  Kansas Office of the Securities Commissioner

Kentucky:  Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions:  Investment Advisers & Representatives

Louisiana:  Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions Securities Division

Maine:  Maine Office of Professional & Financial Regulation: Office of Securities

Maryland:  Maryland Attorney General: Securities Division

Massachusetts:  Massachusetts Securities Division

Michigan:  Michigan Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs:  Complaints

Minnesota:  Minnesota Department of Commerce Securities Unit

Mississippi:  Mississippi Secretary of State: Securities

Missouri:  Missouri Secretary of State Investor Protection & Securities

Montana:  Montana State Auditor Securities Department

Nebraska:  Nebraska Office of Banking & Finance: Investment Advisers & Investment Adviser Representatives

Nevada:  Nevada Secretary of State: Securities Licensing & Registration

New Hampshire:  New Hampshire Secretary of State: Securities Registration

New Jersey:  New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs: Bureau of Securities

New Mexico:  New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department:  Securities Division

New York:  Attorney General:  Investment Advisers

North Carolina:  North Carolina Secretary of State: Securities Division

North Dakota:  North Dakota Securities Department

Ohio:  Ohio Department of Commerce: Securities

Oklahoma:  Oklahoma Securities Division

Oregon:  Oregon Division of Financial Regulation

Pennsylvania:  Pennsylvania Department of Banking & Securities

Rhode Island:  Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation: Securities

South Carolina:  South Carolina Attorney General:  Registration of Investment Advisors

South Dakota:  South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation: Division of Insurance & Securities Regulation

Tennessee:  Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: Securities

Texas:  Texas State Securities Board

Utah:  Utah Department of Commerce: Division of Securities

Vermont:  Vermont Department of Financial Regulation: Securities Division

Virginia:  Virginia State Corporation Commission: Division of Securities & Retail Franchising

Washington:  Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

West Virginia:  West Virginia Securities Commission

Wisconsin:  Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions: Securities

Wyoming:  None.  Wyoming investment advisers are regulated by the Securities & Exchange Commission.

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About the author

Forrest Baumhover

Forrest Baumhover joined Lawrence Financial Planning in 2018 after a rewarding 24-year Navy career. He holds a B.S. in English from the United States Naval Academy and an M.B.A from Old Dominion University. Forrest has been a CFP® professional since 2015. He is also enrolled before the IRS as a tax practitioner.

As a veteran and a financial planner, Forrest understands the difficulties of being financially prepared for the unexpected. His personal experience in helping sailors resolve their own financial challenges inspired him to become a financial planner.

Forrest has been quoted in USA Today,, Christian Science Monitor, Business Insider, and other industry publications.

Originally a native of Dade City, Florida, Forrest has lived in Tampa since 2014. In his spare time, he volunteers as a transportation specialist, transporting his three children from activity to activity.

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