How to understand and find your

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How to understand and find your

Not only do these documents help you stay on top of your investment holdings, but they also provide valuable information that can alert you to errors, or even misconduct by your broker or brokerage firm such as unauthorized trading or overcharging customers for handling transactions.

The accuracy of statements and trade confirmations is something securities regulators take very seriously. FINRA is issuing this alert to guide investors through the key elements of their brokerage account statements and trade confirmations and to provide tips that can help avoid problems.

Have questions? We’ve got answers.

Investors should review their statements carefully—and immediately call the firm that issued the statement or confirmation about any transaction or entry they do not understand or did not authorize, and re-confirm any oral communication in writing with the firm.

In most cases, brokerage firms are required to provide customers with quarterly account statements and written notification of trade confirmations at or before completion of a transaction. Be aware that the brokerage firm you opened an account with may not be the one that sends you your account statements and trade confirmations.

Introducing firms generally make recommendations, take orders and have an arrangement with clearing and carrying firms, which are the ones that finalize "settle" or "clear" trades and hold the funds or securities. If you work with an introducing firm, your statements most likely come from the clearing firm.

Appearance Counts Keep an eye peeled for statements that look unprofessional, crooked or altered in any way. This may signal fraud. Check graphic elements such as logos—if a logo has poor resolution or is inconsistent with other statements or communications from the firm, it is a red flag.

In some cases, fraudsters simply cut and paste the logo of a legitimate firm onto their own bogus statement. Anatomy of Your Account Statement Brokerage account statements provide valuable information, including your account number, contact information for your financial professional and clearing firm, and a summary of your holdings.

Your statement also generally includes the recent market value of your holdings or, in the case of illiquid securities such as direct participation programs or public non-traded REITSan estimated value. Account statements may not all look the same—and can come to you either electronically or in the mail—but they all contain certain common information.

How to understand and find your

Below are some key elements of account statements, why each element is important and red flags that can help you recognize or avert problems. Key Information Red Flags Statement period or statement end date The value of your investments is figured at the end the statement period, so it is an important reference point for how your investments are doing.

No specified end date or statement period. Account number and account holder s name and address Identifies account ownership as well as the type of account for example, an individual account, joint account or UGMA account.

Promptly notify your firm with any change in account ownership status for example, from a personal to a business account, or from an individual account to a joint account or contact information, including a change in your name.

If you receive account information electronically, notify the firm if you change your email address—or if your email account is "hacked" or otherwise compromised.

If there are multiple account holders on the statement, give each holder an opportunity to review the statement. Wrong or outdated address, which could hamper delivery of account information. Incorrect or outdated account ownership information.

Contact information Name and contact information for your financial professional. Statements from online brokerages or other investment firms that do not provide investment advice generally will not include the name of a specific financial professional, but are required to provide a phone number to call for information about your account.

A phone number that is out of service or always busy or not answered. Clearing firm name and contact information The clearing firm holds your securities. FINRA rules require that account statements provide clearing firm contact information, including a phone number.

No clearing firm information on your statement. A phone number that is out of service or calls that do not get answered or returned. Account summary Offers a helpful, high-level picture of your account performance from the end point of the previous statement, including the total value of your account.What is a demon?

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Build a powerful, secure ecommerce storefront with our Online Store Software. Sell, promote, and grow with the Online Store Builder. Key Information Why Is It Important? Red Flags; Statement period or statement end date: The value of your investments is figured at the end the statement period, so it is an important reference point for how your investments are doing.

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