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Do Financial Planning Firms have to be Registered by the SEC?

by Chris Cooper, Financial Planning Expert
June 08, 2017

Question: Does the financial planning firm you choose have to be registered by the SEC?

Answer: No, trust companies and trustees are exempt from registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission but must obey the laws and regulations of the SEC.   Thus a trustee, a private fiduciary or an employee of a trust company (which does not have to be a bank or a financial product manufacturer) are eligible to give investment advice.

Law firms and CPA firms are very limited in giving investment advice so they may not give investment advice on an ongoing basis, but you may see law firms and CPA firms offering financial planning advice.

Chris Cooper is the owner and founder of Chris Cooper & Company, Inc., a fee-only financial planning firm for elderly persons and the owner and founder of ElderCare Advocates, Inc. a private geriatric care management and long term care consulting firm. As a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, Chris can serve as  Conservator of the Person and Estate under court appointment,  as Agent under a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial matters and Health Care matters.

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