Although most cases of stockbroker and investment fraud may be difficult to detect, there are measures investors can take to minimize their chances of becoming a victim.
- Educate yourself on investments and how the stock market works.
- Follow stock market activity and your specific investments closely. Be aware of actions that affect companies you've invested in, like mergers or reorganizations.
- Seek outside sources for additional information or opinions on potential investments.
- Track your own account activity. Make sure to save all records of your investment activity.
- Get to know the ins and outs of risk. Do not blindly invest without studying risk. Acknowledge which investments carry greater risk and make sure you know what is at stake when deciding to invest.
- Trust your instincts. If your broker is leading you into an investment you are uncomfortable with, you should be cautious and make decisions only after you fully understand the risks.
- Realize that security investments are not insured against loss.
- Do not invest more money in the stock market than you can afford to lose!
- Read over your statements closely and verify all activity.
- Make sure the trades listed on your account are confirmed, and that the prices are correct.
- Report any inaccurate charges immediately.
- Before choosing a broker to manage your portfolio, investigate the broker and brokerage house fully.
- Do not write a check to a sales representative based on a phone call.
- Never send money to an address that differs from the business address.
- Ask that risk assessment, tax details and cost of each investment be submitted to you in writing.
- Investigate the broker or brokerage house on www.finra.org
- Make sure your fully detailed account statements are sent directly to you each month.
- Be wary of investments aggressively pitched as "sure things" or that sound too good to be true.
For more tips on protecting future investments, visit the FINRA Investor Center: http://www.finra.org/investors
Learn what you can do to protect your investments. Seek the experienced stockbroker and investment fraud advice of securities attorney Thomas C. Bradley, serving San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland, California and Reno, Nevada. Contact us online or call (775) 323-5178 today for your free legal consultation.