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Finance Dictionary and Glossary of Investment Terms
A Registered Investment Advisor is an individual who has registered with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and holds himself or herself out to be an investment advisor. Registration is required of anyone who, for compensation and as part of a business, gives advice, makes recommendations, issues reports or furnishes analysis on securities either directly or through publications. If a planner is an employee of an advisory firm such as a brokerage house, the brokerage house will have a blanket registration with the SEC for all employees. They are required to present a copy of the filing. RIA is not a credential. It simply means that an individual or a firm has submitted certain filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission and paid a modest fee. They can become registered without passing a test or demonstrating a degree of skill.