What is a Form ADV Filing?

How’s it going, fellow fund managers? Today, I want to answer this tricky question: What is a Form ADV filing?

If you ever plan to run a fund over $25M then you will need to understand and fill out this form.

The Securites and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) requires investment advisors to complete and submit Form ADV.

What is it?

The Uniform Application for Investment Advisor Registration and Report by Exempt Reporting Advisor (“Form ADV”) is a registration document for fund managers/investment advisors.

What’s inside?

Form ADV consists of 2 parts, each part laying out key details of the fund.

Part 1

According to Investopedia, the first portion is organized as a fill-in-the-blank, which makes it easier to complete. It contains details about the following:

  • the business/fund entity as a whole
  • ownership/fund structure and breakdown
  • affiliations, clients, and key employees
  • disciplinary events involving the firm/employees

It also asks for information on the company’s history, certifications, education, and work history.

Part 2

This portion is a longer narrative that is written in plain English.

SmartAsset.com says that the first half of part 2 contains…

  • overview of the fund
  • details on the founders, owners, and services they provide
  • fee structure: performance-based or side-by-side

The other half goes over policies, disciplinary info, activities, affiliations, brokerage practices, code of ethics, and other relevant financial information.

What to Look for as an Investor

If you’re a potential investor or just wanting some candid information about the fund/person/company, you need to know what to look for.

Here are some things to pay close attention to, provided by NerdWallet:

  • Fees charged and compensation
  • Anything risky (ex. volatile securities)
  • potential conflicts of interest
  • whether the firm has filed for bankruptcy

How to Find a Fund’s SEC Form ADV

Because every investment firm must complete a Form ADV, you can find it on the company’s website or request it from them.

You could also find the form on the SEC’s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure website


So, what is a Form ADV filing?

It’s the process of filling out one of the many required documents investment advisors (over $25M aum) must adhere to.

The document contains an overview of the fund, including filled-out boxes and a written summary.

Visit Fund Launch to learn more of what it takes to become a successful fund manager!

That’s it for today!


Bridger Pennington

Want to get direct guidance for your fund? Schedule a time with my Fund Advisors!

DISCLAIMER: This content is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not to be taken as tax, financial, or legal advice. You should always consult a legal professional before taking action. Furthermore, this is not a recommendation to buy or sell any security. The content is solely just the opinion of the author

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