Check Your Investment Professional
Investment Professional Search
Investment professionals are divided into two basic categories, brokers (agents) of a broker-dealer and investment adviser representatives of an investment adviser. The websites listed below offer information about these investment professionals that an investor might find helpful, such as:
- Civil judgments
- Criminal history
- Employment history
- Material disclosures relating to customer complaints
- Regulatory actions
- Whether the individual is registered in a given jurisdiction
- Broker-Dealer & Agent Search – Use this to obtain information on broker-dealers and brokers (agents).
- Investment Adviser Search – Use this to obtain information on investment advisers and investment adviser representatives.
If your investment professional does not appear under either of these internet sites, the individual may be an insurance agent marketing insurance products as investments. If so, please utilize the Kansas Insurance Department’s Company Search tool.
If, after conducting a search, you need assistance in interpreting the information you found or you cannot find the individual or company listed, you may call our staff for further assistance.
Best Practices for Investing
No matter your level of investment knowledge or if you rely on the advice of an investment professional, you must continually devote time to educate yourself on investment opportunities presented to you. You should ask questions, read the offering prospectus and product brochures, and conduct your own research. You should understand costs, such as sales charges, redemption penalties, margin interest, account fees for setup and termination, and any annual fees. You should also make sure you understand the level of volatility in your investments and how each investment fits together as part of your overall diversified portfolio.
Have a Financial Plan
You must have a financial plan that is reasonable based on your current and future personal financial needs and goals. Your investments should be chosen on the basis of your investment knowledge and individual time horizon. Do not invest in products that you do not understand. You must revisit your plan periodically to determine what, if any, adjustments need to be made.
If you enlist the aid of a investment professional, you should understand the extent of the services offered as well as all charges associated with the service. You should always conduct a background search on the company and investment professional to determine if there is any material information that would prevent you from engaging them.
Monitor Your Investments
You must review each account statement for activity. You should address in writing any unauthorized activity immediately to the home office of the company. You should meet periodically with your individual investment professional to review your account and review all recommended changes in investments.
The goal of the Investor Education program is to provide Kansans of all ages with prerequisite information about investing as well as standard practices investors should expect when working with a registered investment adviser representative or agent of a broker-dealer. Having a basic understanding of investment products and an awareness of the responsibilities industry professionals have to their clients is key to gaining confidence about investing. This due diligence is essential to protecting your nest egg against fraud and for creating enduring wealth for your family.
The FINRA Foundation, AARP, the SEC and state securities offices across the country have teamed up to promote a researched-based awareness campaign to reduce the incidence of investment fraud in the United States.
The presentation, Outsmarting Investment Fraud, teaches participants to:
- Recognize their vulnerability to fraud
- Recognize persuasion tactics
- Reduce risky behaviors by asking and checking
- Report to the proper authorities potential cases of fraud
Defend Yourself Against Investment Fraud by visiting NASAA’S Investor Education Resources for Military Servicemembers
State securities regulators are thankful for the service and sacrifice of military service members and their families. Unfortunately, unscrupulous scam artists often prey on military families. Education and awareness are the best weapons against investment fraud.
Do You Have a Complaint?
Typically, market losses on an investment are not grounds for a complaint, but operational mistakes can happen. If you notice errors in your account, you should send a letter describing the problem to your broker-dealer or investment adviser. Use information from your account statements to support your claim. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.
Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner
1300 SW Arrowhead Road
Topeka, KS 66604
If you feel that you may have grounds to file a complaint, you may contact us to discuss your issue. You may wish to contact a private attorney to determine what additional courses of action are available to you.