Definition of 'Form ADV'
A required submission to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by a professional investment advisor that specifies the investment style, assets under management (AUM), and key officers of the firm. The form must be updated annually and available as public record for companies managing in excess of $25 million.
If past disciplinary action has been taken against the advisor, this must be noted in the first section of a Form ADV. The second section deals with the AUM, investment strategy, fee arrangements and service offerings of the firm.
Investopedia explains 'Form ADV'
Potential and current clients of an investment advisor should always review the Form ADV on file, as it provides transparent evidence of the asset mix within the firm, as well as the professional background of key personnel.
Most advisors will offer a current Form ADV to any potential client early in the marketing process; in fact, investors should be immediately cautious of an advisor that does not freely offer the form upon request.