AARP and the North American Securities Administrators Association have published an online tool designed to help clients decide whether or not to hire a particular advisor.
AARP Interview an Advisor includes questions about advisors’ licenses, compensation, services and products, along with whether any regulators have disciplined them. Public databases already make many of the answers available for any advisor, but such inquiries by clients would make the issues express up front.
The tool stops short of suggesting clients avoid non-fiduciaries, noting in a disclaimer that AARP is not providing advice nor promoting any individual planners. The choice of advisor “is a personal decision that should made after careful consideration of your individual financial situation,” the disclaimer says.
The website gives identical “successfully submitted” messages in response to users who select either “best interests” or “suitability” in a section of the interview on the standards. It also refrains from correcting wrong answers, such as a “yes” to whether investment returns are guaranteed.