Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Form ADV


Form ADV is a mandatory submission to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by a professional investment advisor which specifies the investment style, assets under management, and key officers of the firm. It serves as a registration document and includes the firm’s services, fees, and strategies. The public can access the information contained in this form to make informed decisions about hiring an investment advisor.


The phonetics of the keyword “Form ADV” is: /fɔrm æd-viː/

Key Takeaways

<ol><li>Form ADV is a mandatory submission by investment advisers in the United States. It’s used by regulators to monitor and supervise the activities of these advisers, ensuring that they follow the appropriate guidelines and regulations.</li><li>This form contains crucial information about the investment advisor’s operations, including business practices, affiliations, disciplinary events, and the asset management company’s financial industry affiliations. It’s a valuable tool for investors who are considering the services of an investment advisor.</li><li>There are two parts to the form. Part 1 is filled out online via the Investment Advisor Registration Depository (IARD) system and contains mostly logistical and operational information. Part 2, also known as the “brochure” , which is a narrative explaining the advisor’s services, fees and strategies, plus any disciplinary information.</li></ol>


Form ADV is a crucial document in the field of business and finance because it is the standard form used by advisers to register with both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state securities authorities. This document is important for potential clients as it provides pertinent details about an investment adviser’s business, such as ownership, clients, employees, business practices, affiliations, and any disciplinary events. Potential clients can access Form ADV to understand the adviser’s qualifications, business practices, and potential conflicts of interest, thereby enabling them to make informed decisions and select a financial adviser that meets their needs. The disclosure nature of the form increases transparency and trust between investors and advisers.


Form ADV primarily serves as a disclosure document for customers and clients involved in investment decisions. It ensures transparency and assists in maintaining trust between investment advisors and their clients. This form discloses critical information about an investment advisor’s business, any potential conflicts of interest, and their disciplinary information. It enables potential clients to understand an advisor’s practices, and examine whether the advisor’s investment philosophy aligns with their financial goals and needs. Advisors are obliged to update this form annually and whenever any major changes occur in their business.Moreover, Form ADV is utilized as a regulatory tool by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and state securities authorities. These regulatory bodies use the form to monitor and regulate the practices of investment advisors to protect the interests of investors. The information provided on the form allows the SEC to track data about the industry over time, identifying emerging trends and risks. These entities examine this form to ensure that investment advisors are adhering to guidelines and are not involved in fraudulent activities.


1. Investment Advisory Firm: If you decide to hire an investment advisory firm to manage your assets, they would be required to fill out a Form ADV. This form would provide you with critical information about their business, including their fee schedule, disciplinary history, types of clients they serve, and the number of assets they manage. It serves as an essential tool for transparency.2. Financial Planner: Let’s say you are planning for retirement and seek the services of a financial planner. Before you engage with them, they would present you with a Form ADV, which serves as a disclosure document. This document would give you insights into their services, fees, strategies, and whether they’ve ever been penalized by regulators for unethical or illegal behavior.3. Robo-Advisors: Even online advising platforms or robo-advisors are required to submit Form ADV. For instance, if you decide to invest using a robo-advisor, they must provide you with their Form ADV which includes information about their algorithms, fee structure, and business operations. This ensures that even digital platforms adhere to the transparency guidelines in the financial sector.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Form ADV?

Form ADV is a document that investment advisors must submit to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), providing information about their investment style, assets under management (AUM), and operational information. This form is required for investment advisers that manage $25 million or more.

Who needs to file Form ADV?

All investment advisors who manage $25 million or more in client assets must file Form ADV. This includes both individual advisors and firms.

How often does Form ADV need to be updated?

Form ADV must be updated at least once a year. However, if any significant changes occur in an investment advisor’s business, they must update the form promptly.

Where can I find a company’s Form ADV?

The form is available for public viewing on the SEC’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (IAPD) website.

What information does Form ADV include?

Form ADV provides information about an investment adviser’s business, ownership, clients, employees, business practices, affiliations, and any disciplinary events of the adviser or its employees.

Are there different parts to Form ADV?

Yes, Form ADV consists of two parts. Part 1 requires information about the investment adviser’s business, ownership, clients, employees, business practices, affiliations, and any disciplinary events of the adviser or its employees. Part 2 requires investment advisers to prepare narrative brochures written in plain English that contain information such as the types of advisory services offered, the adviser’s fee schedule, disciplinary information, conflicts of interest, and the educational and business background of management and key advisory personnel of the adviser.

How do I file Form ADV?

Form ADV can be filed electronically through the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) system, which is operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) on behalf of the SEC.

What happens if I don’t file or update my Form ADV?

Failing to timely file or update your Form ADV can result in penalties, including fines, censure, or the loss of your registration as an investment adviser.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More