Securities markets may operate on Wall Street, but stocks, bonds and other securities are sold on Main Street, in our neighborhoods and even over our kitchen tables from branch offices throughout the United States. Today roughly half of all U.S. households rely on the securities markets to plan and prepare for their financial futures. And the number of firms and individuals holding themselves out as investment professionals has grown significantly in the past two decades.

NASAA members believe it is critical that information about these individuals and firms be readily accessible to the investing public, industry, and regulators. Two of the more notable success stories in accomplishing this accessibility have been the Central Registration Depository (CRD) and the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) systems.

CRD at a Glance
Developed by NASAA and NASD (now FINRA) and implemented in 1981, CRD consolidated a multiple paper-based state licensing and regulatory process into a single, nationwide computer system. Today, the CRD is arguably the best licensing system in existence. Its computerized database contains the licensing and disciplinary histories on more than 650,000 securities professionals and 5,200 securities firms.

IARD at a Glance
The IARD, developed jointly by NASAA and the SEC, and built and operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), is to investment advisers what the CRD is to broker-dealers. Its database helps promote uniformity, through use of common forms, and efficiency through a paperless environment. It helps investors research the employment and disciplinary histories of more than 31,000 investment adviser firms and more than 300,000 individual investment adviser representatives.

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