Central Registration Depository or CRD

The Central Registration Depository, called the CRD, is a computerized database that contains information about most brokers, some investment advisers, their representatives, and the firms they work for. For instance, you can find out if brokers are properly licensed in your state and if they have had run-ins with regulators or received serious complaints from investors. You'll also find information about the brokers' educational backgrounds and where they've worked before their current jobs.

You can ask either your state securities regulator or NASD to provide you with information from the CRD. Your state securities regulator may provide more information from the CRD than NASD, especially when it comes to investor complaints, so you may want to check with them first. You can find out how to get in touch with your state securities regulator through the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc.'s Web site. You can go to NASD Web site to get CRD information or call them toll-free at (800) 289-9999.

Some investment advisers and their representatives are on the CRD because they are also brokers, but many are not listed there. To check out investment advisers and their representatives, you'll have to talk with your local state securities regulator or the SEC to get a copy of their registration form, the Form ADV, and other important information about them.

It’s easy to get information from the CRD and other sources about your investment professional. Many investors who have lost money to con artists or bad brokers could have avoided trouble by taking the time to check out the person asking for their money. Read our page, Check Out Brokers and Advisers, for all the details.