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Banks and Trust Companies - Tips

Investment Fraud*

  • Before making a securities investment in stocks, bonds or mutual funds, you should get enough information to make an informed decision.
  • Never invest in a product that you don't fully understand. Ask questions.
  • Investments ALWAYS entail some degree of risk. Do you understand the risk involved in this investment? Are you comfortable with the risk involved?
  • Avoid high-pressure sales pitches.
  • Select a broker who understands your financial objectives. Interview two or three to compare experience, education and professional background.
  • Understand how the sales representative is paid. What fees will you pay to purchase, sell or maintain the account?

If you buy a mutual fund, what are the expenses to buy, sell or manage the fund?

  • To find out about the disciplinary history of the sales representative, call the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., 1 (800) 289-9999
  • If you have a problem with your sales representative or your account, talk with the firm's manager. If you can't resolve the problems with the firm, contact the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission at 1 (800) SEC-0330, or the Illinois Secretary of State's Securities Department at 1 (800) 628-7937.
  • For free publications "Invest Wisely: Advice from Your Securities Industry Regulators" and "Invest Wisely: an Introduction to Mutual Funds," call 1 (800) SEC-0330.

* Courtesy of The U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs

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