We calculate the incidence of misconduct among financial advisers at the firm, county, and state level as of 2015 as calculated in Egan, Matvos, and Seru (2017). We compute the average incidence of misconduct among all active financial advisers (“registered representatives”) registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) as of end of 2015.   Data on individual advisers and misconduct are from FINRA’s BrokerCheck website.  Further details on data set construction are available in Egan, Matvos, and Seru (2017).


We calculate the incidence of misconduct among financial advisers based on public disclosure data.  FINRA requires that “all individuals registered to sell securities or provide investment advice are required to disclose customer complaints and arbitrations, regulatory actions, employment terminations, bankruptcy filings, and criminal or judicial proceedings.”  FINRA reports the disclosures on each adviser’s record through BrokerCheck.  Disclosures are categorized into twenty-three different categories.  Not all disclosures are indicative of wrongdoing.  We classify the following six disclosures as being indicative of misconduct: Customer Dispute-Settled, Regulatory-Final, Employment Separation After Allegations, Customer Dispute – Award/Judgment, Criminal – Final Disposition, Civil-Final. In other words, we restrict our attention to those disputes and regulatory events that were resolved against the adviser.


We calculate the incidence of misconduct at the firm, county and state level.  In addition reporting each adviser’s disclosure history, regulators report the firm and location each adviser operates in.  For each firm, county, and state we compute the percentage of financial advisers operating in the firm/location that have one or more misconduct disclosures on his/her record over the sample period.


Egan Mark, Matvos Gregor and Seru Amit, (2017), “The Market for Financial Adviser Misconduct”, Journal of Political Economy (Forthcoming)