An experienced broker who is fully compliant with securities regulations, who has a stellar industry reputation and who is a top-performer with one of the most highly-regarded global firms seems like a reasonably solid choice for an investor who is considering financial advisors. 

What if this same financial advisor has a scary and violent reputation in his personal life? Is he still a reasonably solid candidate?

"Mr. Greenberg is in the top 2 percent of brokers at the firm by revenue produced. Last month, he made a Forbes list of Oregon’s top wealth managers."

"Over 15 years, four women in Lake Oswego, Ore., a wealthy Portland suburb, sought police protection against the same man, court filings show."

As an investor, it's impossible to know if bad and/or violent behavior by brokers in their personal lives actually impacts professional behavior and decision making. However, it's not a stretch to assume that 15 years of serious allegations and police involvement is at a minimum, distracting for the accused. 

More importantly, it's impossible for an investor to know about the existence of allegations and troubling behavior without conducting significant due diligence. Even if an investor has the time and interest to dedicate to proper due diligence and she/he is a sophisticated investor, key findings are illusive. Without industry expertise, effective evaluation tools and investigative resources, adequate due diligence is unattainable.

Knowledgeable, experienced, objective financial experts who do not manage assets are the key to comprehensive and proper financial advisor due diligence.

--Courtney Altemus, CEO and Founder of TeamAltemus, Investor Advocacy and Financial Literacy experts.