Ask Questions

That’s the best advice we can give you about how to invest wisely. We see too many investors who might have avoided trouble and losses if they had asked basic questions from the start.
We encourage you to thoroughly evaluate the background of any financial professional with whom you intend to do business—before you hand over your hard-earned cash.
It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or have been investing for many years, it’s never too early or too late to start asking questions. It’s almost impossible to ask a dumb question about how you are investing your money. Don’t feel intimidated. Remember, it’s your money at stake. You are paying for the assistance of a financial professional.

A good financial professional will welcome your questions, no matter how basic. Financial professionals know that an educated client is an asset, not a liability. They would rather answer your questions before you invest, than confront your anger and confusion later.
In this brochure, you’ll find some questions that you should ask about investment products, the people who sell those products, and the people who provide investment advice to you. We’ve also included some tips on how to monitor your investments and handle any problems.
Keep this brochure on hand when considering an investment and use it by asking the right questions before you buy. Have a pen and piece of paper ready to take notes on the answers. They can come in handy if there is a dispute later about what was said during the transaction. Taking notes also sends a signal to your financial professional: I’m a smart and serious investor who wants to know more about the risks and rewards of investing.

Questions About Products

FOR MUTUAL FUNDS

Questions About The People Who Sell Investments

Questions About the Progress of Your Investments

How to Handle Problems

Act promptly! By law, you only have a limited time to take legal action. Follow these steps to solve your problem:

At the SEC, we will research your complaint, contact the firm or person you have complained about and ask them to respond to your specific complaint or question. Sometimes our intervention yields a satisfactory result. If these steps don’t work, you may need to take legal action on your own. We can send you information on mediation and arbitration, and suggest how to locate a lawyer if you need one.