Before Investing: “Ask and Check”

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Investor Education and
Advocacy has issued a web-based advisory to the investing public entitled, “Ask
and Check”
. This article suggests that before investors hire an investment professional or
purchase securities, they such research and verify all information about the investment professionals
they may be dealing with, as well as the investments the companies they may be suggesting that you
invest in. 

The tools available to investors include the following:

  • Brokercheck – maintained by the Financial Industry
    Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Investment
    Advisor Public Disclosure
    (IAPD) – This allows investors to search an individual
    investment adviser, representative or their company to find out whether they are properly
    registered. This site will also direct you to their Form ADV, which includes information about
    the adviser’s business, whether the adviser has had problems with regulators
    or clients, as well as a copy of the investment adviser’s brochure describing
    the adviser’s business practices, fees, conflicts of interest and disciplinary
    information. 
  • Professional Designations
    database
     – This link can be an essential tool as it may help you get a better
    understanding of whether or not your investment professional is utilizing a legitimate or proper
    professional designation.
  • State Securities
    Regulators
     – the United States has 50 States and each State maintains their own
    separate 
    State Securities
    Regulators and essential information can be accessed in this database. 
  • The Securities Investor Protection
    Corporation
    (SIPC) – Is the firm that you plan to do business with a member of the
    Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)? While it does not insure against losses
    attributable to any decline in the financial markets, SIPC does offer certain limited customer
    protection if a brokerage firm becomes insolvent and/or your securities are stolen. Firms which
    are not members of SIPC oftentimes do not afford this coverage.

We offer a free initial consultation to investors who feel they
may have been victimized in financial markets.  For an appointment, contact The Law
Offices of Timothy J. O’Connor at (518) 426-7700.

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