Sometimes it really helps to know what somebody’s worth financially, i.e, to conduct an asset search. Maybe you’re considering going into business with somebody, or maybe you’re becoming romantically involved with him/her.
Whatever the reason, you’ll be glad to learn that, thanks to the Web, it’s now easier than ever before to get an accurate gauge on somebody’s net financial worth. Asset search is a somewhat complicated subject but I can hit the high points in this brief Guide — you’ll learn enough to do some informed research, anyway. If you want to go beyond what I tell you here, you’ll probably need a good P.I., or maybe if there’s a lot at stake (as in a major court case) a forensic accountant.
First, let me emphasize there’s nothing unethical about conducting an asset investigation, provided you play by the rules. You can not, for example, use pretexting to determine how much money somebody’s got in the bank or in a brokerage account (i.e., masquerade over the telephone as the account holder). This is illegal. It’s important to respect your subject’s privacy and state and federal privacy laws like the Fair Credit Reporting Act.