Research Your Investment
Do your “due diligence” by researching before you invest. Companies, bond issuers, mutual funds, and ETFs must regularly provide information to the public. Carefully review these disclosures, which are available for free on EDGAR and can help you decide if an investment is right for you.
Search the Database
Research Your Investment Professional
Never invest your money with someone who is not licensed and registered. If you choose to work with an investment professional, start by learning about the investment professional’s background, registration status, and any disciplinary history.
- Search the Database to check out an investment professional
- Investor Bulletin: Top Tips for Selecting a Financial Professional
Know the Fees You’re Paying
As with anything you buy, there are fees and costs that come with investments. These fees may seem small, but over time they can have a major impact on your investment portfolio.
Monitor Your Accounts
Monitor your investment accounts for any suspicious activity. You should confirm that you authorized all of the transactions that appear in your account statements and trade confirmations. Also, look out for any changes to your account information that you do not recognize (e.g., a change to your address, phone number, e-mail address, account number, or bank information).
- Updated Investor Bulletin: Protecting Your Online Investment Accounts from Fraud
- Investor Bulletin: Understanding Your Brokerage Account Statement
- Investor Alert: Excessive Trading at Investors’ Expense
- Investor Alert: Identity Theft, Data Breaches, and Your Investment Accounts
- Updated Investor Alert: Social Media and Investing – Avoiding Fraud
Where can I go for help?
If you have a question or concern about an investment, or you think you have encountered fraud, contact the organizations below or your state securities regulator.
Report possible securities fraud to the SEC. If you may have been harmed by fraud or other securities law violations, visit Resources for Victims of Securities Law Violations.
Call the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at 1-800-732-0330, ask a question using this online form, or email us at Help@SEC.gov. Visit Investor.gov, the SEC’s website for individual investors.