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Financial Advisor SearchBrightScope, a San Diego based financial information company, is just one of a number of startups to create online financial advisor directories and rankings, available to consumers in a more accessible way.

The company collects public records from FINRA and the SEC and re-organizes that data online including more detail on each advisor.

Available to investors for free, the consumer can search by city, type of client, and even average account balances among other criteria. For a fee, financial advisors can add their own details and check for errors. Check it out here.

The Paladin Registry solicits information from the reps. The investor can request data directly from advisors and then “benchmark” one advisor against another using an advisor scorecard.

If an advisor refuses to answer a question, the registry sends an alert to the investor. The premise being that high quality reps have nothing to hide and are comfortable with transparency.

The site also has research on 225 different certifications and their prerequisites so the investor can what the letters after a rep’s name mean and what it took to earn them.