UK USA Pension Planning

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We all work hard to earn our money so when it comes to investing and planning for the future its important have peace of mind and confidence in your chosen financial adviser.

If you are contacted by a financial adviser or an investment adviser representative whilst residing here in the USA, it is important that you check that the individual adviser is licenced and the company is registered here in the US.

Many people aren’t aware that there are currently a multitude of “so called” adviser companies who call in to the US, and actively targeting British expats (and other nationalities). These outfits are mainly from European and middle east locations, and whilst these companies may be licenced and or registered in their home jurisdiction’s, it does not automatically mean that they are licenced and regulated to give advice to a US resident.

Choosing which adviser to work with here in the US can be a difficult decision to make, below are a list of questions that you should always ask any potential adviser before engaging their services.

USA Choices
  • What experience do you have dealing with people in a similar situation to mine?
  • Where are you based and where is your office based in the United States.
  • What licenses do you or your firm hold? Are you registered with the SEC, a state, or FINRA?
  • Can you recommend only a limited number of products or services to me? If so, why?
  • How are you remunerated?
  • Can you send me a copy of both parts of your Form ADV?

Ultimately it is the individual’s responsibility to do your own due diligence, simple checks may save you from dealing with an unscrupulous financial professional, disreputable firm or paying higher fees than are allowed in the USA.

It’s worth checking any disciplinary problems or disputes, this can be easily done by visiting the broker check website and searching for either the firm or the individual adviser.

Any FINRA/SEC registered adviser firm will be able to provide you with the companies CRD number which will help you identify them. https://brokercheck.finra.org/

Checking on laptop
Carrying out these checks is important, because if you do business with an unregistered firm that later goes out of business or if you have a dispute regards the advice given, there may be little recourse — even if an arbitrator or a court rules in your favour.

If you are approached by a firm that is not properly licenced and registered here in the US or not authorised to offer advice here, there is a government whistle blowers website you can visit and report any company that is not registered.

The SEC (Securities Exchange Commission) takes this very seriously and in some cases, offer a reward for information leading to successful action https://www.sec.gov/whistleblower

© 2017 Guardian Wealth Management