Picking the right financial adviser, being vigilant pays off
Nashville, TN – “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” the saying goes. To help Tennesseans avoid common investment pitfalls, the Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) Securities Division would like to provide some tips for investors.
It is crucial that investors and would-be investors maintain the right perspective about their money. Consumers who make rash, poorly informed investment decisions often fall prey to fraudulent activity – especially when investing with people who are not registered with the State to sell securities or who are selling unregistered securities products.
“Tennesseans should contact the division to see if a prospective financial adviser is registered with the State as the securities agent of a broker-dealer firm,” says TDCI Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak. “Some individuals use titles such as ‘financial adviser’ or list professional certifications or designations, but still lack the appropriate State license. The State regularly disciplines individuals who engage in unlicensed securities activity.”
“Tennesseans also must be sure their investments are being handled appropriately,” Securities Division Assistant Commissioner Daphne D. Smith says. “If a person has made investments with a registered securities agent affiliated with a broker-dealer firm, that person should be making payments to the firm (not to the agent) and should be receiving regular statements from the firm that detail the status of those investments.”
If fraudulent activity is suspected – as opposed to the poor performance that can accompany investments – the customer should alert both the firm that employs the broker-dealer and the Securities Division.
Sometimes, possible victims of fraud are too embarrassed to file complaints with the Securities Division. But complaints start the process of looking into a person or company. And, according to State law, investigations initiated by the Securities Division are confidential until the division takes official action against a person or company.
Tennesseans may verify disciplinary histories and investment registrations, and may file complaints by contacting the Securities Division at , http://tn.gov/commerce/securities/ or 1.800.863.9117.
The Department of Commerce and Insurance works to protect consumers while ensuring fair competition for industries and professionals who do business in Tennessee. www.tn.gov/commerce/, @TNCommerceInsur (Twitter), http://on.fb.me/uFQwUZ (Facebook), http://bit.ly/ry1GyX (YouTube)