Iowa Insurance Division Iowa State University Extension Investor Protection Trust


How to evaluate possible financial advisors

Radio Transcript, 2 minutes 55 seconds, for use during week of May 5.

Description: Penny, Susan, and Ira discuss where to find good investment information online.

Announcer: Invest Wisely comes to you from Iowa State University Extension through a grant from the Investor Protection Trust, providing investor education on the web at:

Ira: Penny, I've really enjoyed our talks about investing and about how to make wise  investment decisions.  I know I'll have more questions in the future.  Can you tell us some good places to look for information on investing and other financial topics?

Penny: You've probably already discovered that there are lots of websites with the names 'investing,' 'money,' or 'finances' in the title.

Susan:  Thousands!  But how can I tell which ones are useful to me and contain information I can trust?

Penny: That's a good question.  Especially since  a study conducted by Consumer Reports Webwatch showed that people are more likely to evaluate a site on color and layout than on content.

Ira: When we're looking for information that's new to us, what are some good ways to evaluate website content?

Penny: One thing you can do is look at the web address.  If the address ends in .edu for example, it's an educational domain; .org indicates an organization; .gov, government sites, and .com are commercial sites.

Susan: So, checking the web address can tell us something about whose website it is.

Penny: Yes and while there are lots of good sites, I'm going to talk about some websites that I use regularly.

Ira: That would be really helpful, Penny.  Thank you!

Penny: The Investor Protection Trust's website provides independent, objective information.  That's  where you'll find an independent source of non-commercial investor education materials.

Ira: I'll definitely check that out.  What other sites do you recommend?

Penny: Another site you may find useful is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  That's  offering unbiased information on a full range of issues.  For example, FINRA recently issued an investor alert urging homeowners to carefully weigh their options before  taking out a reverse mortgage.

Susan: Thanks!  This gives us some great places to start looking for more information on investing.

Penny: Great.  Maybe next time we can discuss some additional websites that I think you'll find useful.

Ira: That would be great, Penny.  Meanwhile, Susan and I will check out the ISU Extension website at and look for ‘Invest Wisely.’


Updated May 5, 2008