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
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.
- Financial Industry Regulatory Authority – 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.
Best Practices for Investing
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.
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 and 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.
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.
Purpose of Investor Education
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 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.
Request A Speaker
Our office is staffed by seasoned subject matter experts that are willing to share their experience and perspective on a variety of securities-related topics. The commissioner or staff is available to speak, at no charge, to your business, church, school, or civic group. Please use our Speaker Request Form to submit information about your upcoming event. All requests will receive prompt attention.
Outsmarting Investment Fraud
Elder financial abuse is becoming the crime of the 21st century as the growing senior population is increasingly targeted by con artists. 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
Participants learn about real-life examples of investment scams that have taken place in Kansas cities and towns, as well as the Securities Commissioner’s role in protecting investors, and investigating and prosecuting fraud. To bring this 45-minute presentation to your community, please complete the Request A Speaker form.
In lieu of an in-person presentation, the office can mail copies of the award-winning documentary, Tricks of the Trade: Outsmarting Investment Fraud and complementary hand-outs to interested parties. The DVD and hand-outs are available free of charge and can be requested by contacting the Director of Investor Education.
Military Men & Women
Military Personnel & Their Families
IPT and Kiplinger’s collaborative booklets A Salute to Smart Investing and Personal Finance for Military Families have been distributed to military bases around the world.
Both booklets offer information on investment issues that are specific to members of the military.
Investor Education Packet
We are pleased to offer you quality financial literature through our relationship with the Investor Protection Trust and the editors of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. The subjects below represent the most prevalent investor education topics and comprise our Investor Education Packet. Click the titles below to view these publications.
Financial Literacy Partners
Financial Education Information
Our office partners with organizations that increase investor confidence through financial education. Thus, investor education in our office is achieved through a variety of means:
- We contribute to the Kansas Council on Economic Education (KCEE) in support of the Stock Market Game. The Stock Market Game has been offered in Kansas since 1977. Last year through the agency’s involvement with KCEE, over 10,000 Kansas students were able to compete in the game, learning about the stock market, navigating real-life investment scenarios, and through simulation, purchase and sell stock in real-time.
- The HCCI Women and Money Series, developed by women for women of all ages, encourages and empowers women to take greater control of their financial lives. We have cosponsored and participated in this event for the past several years.
Online Financial Tools
The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) provides a helpful booklet that answers some questions regarding investing: Cutting Through The Confusion: Where to Turn for Help with your Investments
Basics of Personal Finance
It can be difficult to find financial websites that offer information about investing in an easy-to-understand manner. The websites listed below have been selected by agency staff for their use of simple yet informative language to explain the basics of personal finance.
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.
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.
Office of the Kansas Securities Commissioner
1300 SW Arrowhead Road
Topeka, KS 66604