One of FINRA's main goals is to protect the investing public. These alerts provide you with information to help you avoid problems in today’s complex world of investing—and to help protect your and your family from investment scams.
The economic uncertainty of recent years continues to make this a challenging time for many consumers and investors. Military families are especially vulnerable due to regular PCS moves, interrupted spouse careers, and frequent deployments. The FINRA Investor Education Foundation has put together 5 tips that can help America’s military families successfully navigate turbulent conditions and keep your finances under control.
Check out investor alerts from other regulators, agencies and organizations.
With investor purchases of securities "on margin" averaging more than $406 billion for the first nine months of 2013 (a 27 percent increase over the same period last year), we are re-issuing this alert because we are concerned that many investors may underestimate the risks of trading on margin and misunderstand the operation and reason for margin calls. Investors who cannot satisfy margin calls can have large portions of their accounts liquidated under unfavorable market conditions. These liquidations can create substantial losses for investors.
Closed-end funds have become popular products because some offer high distribution rates—as high as 6 percent or more. But be aware that a fund’s distribution rate is not the same thing as its return—even if the numbers might look similar. And before you invest, be sure you understand where the closed-end fund is getting the money to pay distributions. In some cases, part of the distribution comes from the return of principal.
One of the most important consumer tips is know what you are buying. This maxim certainly applies to investing in stocks. There are well over 20,000 companies whose shares trade either on a U.S. exchange or over-the-counter. FINRA is issuing this Alert to caution investors that, with so many companies and trading symbols, there is ample room for confusion—and good reason to carefully research any investment before making a purchase.
Each year, companies raise billions of dollars selling securities in non-public offerings of securities that are exempt from registration under the federal securities laws. These offerings, known as private placements, can be a key source of capital for American businesses, especially small or start-up companies. But investing in private placements is risky and can tie up your money for a long time. As with other investments, you can also lose some or all of your money.