Thinking of hiring a financial adviser? Do your homework first. Be sure to check out an adviser's Form ADV, which details an adviser's disciplinary history, background and experience. To find this form, check with the advisers' regulatory board.

Investment advisers who manage $25 million or more in client assets must register with the

Securities and Exchange Commission

, while those who manage less than $25 million must register with the state securities agency in the state where they have their principal place of business.

You can find out how to get in touch with your state securities regulator through the

North American Securities Administrators Association's

Web site. If the SEC registers the investment adviser, you can get the Form ADV at a cost of 24 cents per page (plus tax and postage) from the SEC at:

Office of Public Reference

450 5th Street, NW, Room 1300

Washington, D.C. 20549-0102

Phone: (202) 942-8090

Fax: (202) 628-9001


Form ADVs are expected to be available online in the third quarter of this year at the Investment Adviser Registration Depository, a new electronic

system developed by NASD regulation.