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Before You Give Someone Your Money, Ask and Check

Ask and Check

If someone contacts you about an investment—even if it is a friend or salesperson recommended by someone you trust and respect—it's important to ask the right questions and check them out by following these steps.

Check Out the Seller

Before you work with a broker or other financial salesperson:

Ask: Are you licensed to sell me this? If so, with whom?

Check: Even if they say they are licensed, check out their license and background.

  • Visit FINRA BrokerCheck or call FINRA at (202) 728-6964.
  • NFL players should also call NFL Security (800) 635-1099.

Check Out the Investment

Before you buy an investment product:

Ask: Is this investment registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)?

Check: If you are told it is, verify that the investment is indeed registered with the SEC.

  • Contact the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at (800) SEC-0330.

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Managing Your Money

Choosing a Professional

You may choose to get help managing your money from many different types of professionals. They may be brokers, investment advisers, certified public accountants, lawyers, insurance agents or financial planners. And they may work in many different settings, from large firms to small private practices. But how should you choose?

Where Do I Start?

Control Debt

Managing your debt carefully can help you maintain good credit, stay within budget and achieve your goals—but it takes positive steps on your part. Get started with these tips and resources.

Fight Identity Theft

Identity theft is much more than an inconvenience—it can devastate your credit rating and derail financial security. With thieves constantly on the prowl for personal information, learn what steps you can take to protect your identity.

About the FINRA Foundation and NFL Partnership

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education. Its mission is to provide Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for financial success throughout life., a project of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, is a free, unbiased resource dedicated to your financial health.

NFL Player Engagement prepares and supports players mentally, emotionally and physically for life on the gridiron and during their transition to post-football careers. Through programming like NFL Prep, NFL Life and NFL Next, the NFL Player Engagement department assists players in adjusting to life within the NFL, while challenging them to prepare for their next careers after their football-playing days are through.

Press Release: FINRA Foundation and NFL Team Up to Help Players Avoid Investment Fraud, Make Smart Financial Decisions