Paladin Registry Review: Trustworthy Registry of Financial Professionals
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to manage your own financial plans and investments. There’s also nothing wrong with wanting to seek professional help, since you do need a solid understanding of financial products, services and markets.
Instead of spending a significant amount of time trying to gather and research resources, you can save your energy by paying someone to help you. This person is paid to provide their specialized financial expertise and give you advice for your individual situation.
Unfortunately, with so many experts providing financial advice, where do you turn? And even if you find someone you like, how can you make sure they’re legit?
That’s where Paladin Registry comes in. It’s a service that connects highly qualified financial advisors with investors. These professionals are fiduciaries–they’re bound by law to act on your best interest. It does have its limitations, which we’ll cover in this review.
What Is the Paladin Registry?
The Paladin Registry is a free online directory of registered fiduciary financial advisors–they’re required to avoid certain behaviors that could conflict with your best interest. Users can look up financial advisors for free (advisors have to pay a fee) and get matched up with someone. There’s also the option to search Paladin Registry’s directory yourself.
Founded in 2003 by Jack Waymire, the aim of Paladin Registry is to provide honest and transparent information for investors. It’s an SEC-registered firm that goes through a financial advisor’s credentials, business practices, services and ethics. The company is also a Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) and adheres to a fiduciary standard of conduct.
Vetting Financial Advisors
Paladin Registry holds financial advisors to a high standard and makes sure to only include those in the directory that are able to pass their criteria.
- Certifications – Paladin Registry looks for advisors with the Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation
- Education – Listed advisors tend to have college or advanced degrees
- Experience – The more experience, the better
- Registration – RIAs and Investment Advisor Representatives who are held to a fiduciary standard are preferred
- Ethics – Advisors in the directory need to have a minimum of five years of a clean compliance record
To assess the quality of people applying to be in the directory, Paladin conducts research by looking through data on advisor websites, online web searches, state securities commissioners, FINRA.org and SEC.gov. It also has a questionnaire that financial advisors need to fill out in order to document key facts.
Paladin Registry Features
Like mentioned before, Paladin Registry lets you connect with registered advisors in a few ways. It also offers investors tools to help you pick the right advisor for your needs and learn some investment basics.
Users can find their own advisors by browsing the directory based on preferred location. Keep in mind that only registered advisors are in the directory, so you may not pull up many results, particularly if you live in a smaller town.
Advisor Matching Tool
This is their signature feature that helps users connect with the best advisors for their situation. Since all advisors are vetted in the directory, you can feel safe that no matter which you choose will work in your best interest.
To be matched with an advisor, simply enter in basic information about who you are. Whether you’re searching the director yourself or using the matching tool, you’ll be able to see information on each advisor including their credentials. You’ll also be able to see a research report detailing their education, experience, licensing, registration, firm details, credentials, client experience, services they offer and their fee structure.
Tools and Education
Paladin Registry provides tools that help you understand what you need to look for when finding and working with an advisor no matter where you decide to search for one. These include how to use public databases and checking advisor credentials.
Paladin also provides some basic education on investing–you’ll have access to lessons on how portfolios work and some investing terminology. You’ll also be able to browse through guides and resources should you need it.
How Does It Work?
To use the matching tool, first head to their website and select your requirements–factors like time horizon, available assets and types of services. Then Paladin will match you with advisors in your area and email you a research report of the match results. You can then contact your preferred advisor via email or phone.
If you’d rather use the directory, head to the site–there’s no need to register–and submit your contact details if you want a particular advisor to call or email you. To narrow your search, you’ll be asked to enter your ZIP code.
Remember, there are plenty of advisors that are perfectly qualified that aren’t in the directory–advisors need to pay Paladin to be listed.
Is It Worth Using Paladin Registry?
We like that Paladin Registry is free for investors to use, so that hopefully eases your concerns about any conflicts of interest between the company and advisors. Plus, the matching tool is great in that you’ll only get matched up with vetted advisors using Paladin’s rigorous vetting process.
Plus, the advisors in the directory are fiduciaries, so feel good knowing that you won’t be given advice that’s not in your best interest.
You’re also not going to get high-pressure sales tactics since you’ll be able to narrow down a list of advisors and pick the one you want to call. No need to submit a lot of personal information and be subject to a barrage of emails or phone calls at all hours.
However, one of the downsides is that only paying members are featured–there are many other great advisors who aren’t listed. That being said, using Paladin can save you a lot of time and hassle when it comes to finding a financial advisor since most of the research is done for you. Since it’s free, you’re not losing out on much by giving it a try.