No matter where you get your trading insights, and whether you are following a recommendation to buy stocks, bonds, options or something else, know this: where there is opportunity, there is also risk. Here are 10 tips.
- If you view market volatility as an opportunity to purchase more stock at a favorable price, make sure you look beyond the ticker symbol to confirm you are buying the right company. Many companies have similar names.
- One of the best ways you can protect your investment portfolio is to monitor your holdings and activity. You should make it a habit to review online or paper account statements and trade confirmations on a regular basis. You should review your statement as soon as you receive it to confirm it correctly reflects your investment decisions and any actions you made or authorized during the time the statement covers.
- FINRA and the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy are issuing this Investor Alert to inform investors about social sentiment investing tools and highlight their risks. This Alert provides tips to consider before using tools that analyze or aggregate information from social media sources to make investment decisions or attempt to predict changes in the stock market’s direction or in the price of a security.
- FINRA is issuing this alert to inform investors that investments in digital assets, such as ICO tokens and cryptocurrencies, can involve significant uncertainty, as well as risks that are different from more conventional assets like stocks or bonds.
- Fraudsters continue to impersonate FINRA executives, offering bogus investment "guarantees" to investors as part of an advance-fee scam. Read more about the lengths these fraudsters go to in creating a false sense of security.
- FINRA is re-issuing this alert to remind investors about the key elements of their brokerage account statements and trade confirmations and to provide tips that can help avoid problems.
If putting all your financial information online and in one place sounds like a good idea, there are many companies—often called data aggregators—ready to help you organize your financial life. However, before you share your account information and other sensitive financial details with data aggregators, it pays to know how these services operate, and how to protect yourself from potential privacy and security risks.
- You may not be able to control if or when your company closes a plant or lays off workers—but you can take steps to manage the financial impact of those events. We have updated this Alert with the latest annual IRS contribution limits for retirement plans.
- FINRA is issuing this Alert to warn investors that scammers are posing as regulators to separate you from your money. We want you to know that neither FINRA, nor any of its executives, will ever provide a "guarantee" on an investment or offer to facilitate your participation in any sort of money-making scheme.
- FINRA is re-issuing this alert because we are concerned that many investors may underestimate the risks of trading on margin and misunderstand the operation of, and reason for, margin calls.
- In today’s “hot” cryptocurrency environment, it’s easy for companies or their promoters to make glorified claims about new products, services and other cryptocurrency-related connections. And, even when legitimate companies flock to a hot, new sector, fraudsters almost always follow suit, exploiting the news to launch their latest frauds du jour. Follow these tips to avoid costly mistakes.
- Some companies and recruiters use online video call technologies such as Skype as a convenient and cost-effective way to interview job applicants. Unfortunately, fraudsters are using them too, and they aren't looking to offer you a job. FINRA is issuing this Alert to warn the public that individuals claiming to be involved in the hiring process for legitimate organizations have turned to online video call platforms as a way to phish for your personal information and money.
- "Crowdfunding" generally refers to the use of the Internet by small businesses to raise capital through limited investments from a large number of investors. Under SEC rules, the general public can invest in capital raising by start-up companies. This advisory is designed to help the public understand the crowdfunding rules and processes so they can make informed decisions about the risks and rewards of investing in these early-stage businesses.
- FINRA is issuing this alert to warn anyone involved in binary options trading—specifically through unregistered non-U.S. companies offering binary options trading platforms or services—to be on guard for potential follow-up frauds.
- This Investor Alert focuses on a type of call center called a customer advisory center. It is a center that is staffed by securities professionals who may provide financial planning services, sell securities products, and receive commissions or other financial incentives for doing so. These centers have become common and, in some instances, can be sales-orientated.
- FINRA cautions investors who are considering binary options to be alert to potentially fraudulent schemes, and particularly wary of non-U.S. companies that offer binary options trading platforms.
- FINRA is issuing this alert to inform you about order types commonly available when you buy or sell securities. Understanding the benefits and risks of various types of orders can help you avoid unintended losses and better ensure your trades are executed in a timely manner and at a price with which you are comfortable.
- Your brokerage firm has an obligation to safeguard your personal financial information. And every investor should take time to understand their firm’s cybersecurity procedures. But even the best procedures cannot prevent all instances of identity theft—especially if the vulnerability lies with you, the customer. Here are critical steps you can take to safeguard your financial accounts and help prevent identity theft.
- An increasing number of securities firms are marketing and offering securities-backed lines of credit, or SBLOCs, to investors. SBLOCs can be a key revenue source for securities firms, especially in times of solid market returns and growing investment portfolios, when investors may feel more comfortable leveraging their assets. Firms market SBLOCs as a type of financing and liquidity strategy that can unlock the value of your investment portfolio.
- FINRA is issuing this investor alert to help investors better understand smart beta products.
- If you're like many investors, your portfolio contains bonds. When you purchased those investments, you may not have given much thought to whether you'd be able to sell them when you want to. FINRA is issuing this alert to educate investors about bond liquidity, and the potential for decreased liquidity and investment losses for those who sell their bonds before maturity at a time of market stress.
- FINRA is issuing this alert to inform brokerage account holders, family members and other beneficiaries about the value of preparing for the inevitable, and the general process firms follow when an account holder passes away. We also provide tips for making the transfer process as efficient and trouble-free as possible for account holders and also for heirs and beneficiaries.
- Automated investment tools may offer clear benefits—including low cost, ease of use, and broad access. But it is important to understand their risks and limitations before using them.
- A range of programs and lawsuit settlements have resulted in new money coming into Indian Country. If you are a recipient or potential recipient of this new money, you may have questions about how to manage and invest the assets, and how to select and work with an investment professional. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and First Nations Development Institute teamed up to develop the following tips to help you confidently manage this new money, as well as avoid financial fraud.