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Consumer Alert:


Consumer Alert: Investment Best Practices



For Immediate Release                                 
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Contact: Jamie Mongiovi
(850) 410-9709
Consumer Alert: Investment Best Practices
Tallahassee, Fla. – Putting Investors First Month is coming to a close and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) is reminding consumers of best practices related to investing. It is important to do business with an investment professional that is knowledgeable, affordable, and trustworthy. We encourage Floridians to become educated about the individuals and businesses with whom they are investing. Below are a few tips that will help.
• Know your financial goals before hiring an investment professional and evaluate the financial products that will work best for you. Numerous types of professionals are available; however the products and services they provide are different. Therefore determining your individual financial needs plays an important role in getting ready to invest. Written financial goals are useful to your investment adviser so they can understand your objectives, and assess and advise you on particulars of an investment.
• Take your time choosing the right investment professional. Interview multiple professionals and find one who communicates well with you and is best suited for your needs. Don’t rush to build an investment plan or “jump” into the market immediately. Take your time and make informed decisions.
• Verify the registration of your investment professional and check the history of their firm or individual practice before investing. Never invest with any firm or individual that is unlicensed, as they may be operating illegally. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers a free tool for investors called BrokerCheck. This tool performs checks on brokerage firms, individual brokers and investment adviser firms. The U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) also offers licensing information on investment advisers registered with their agency. When verifying a registration, it is always a good idea to check with the OFR as we may have additional information and are happy to assist with questions.
• Read contracts before signing them. Never sign an investment contract without thoroughly reading it. After you sign a contract with an investment professional, you are responsible for everything inside it including payment methods and interest rates. Verify that the contract covers everything you want and protect yourself by asking questions and thoroughly reviewing all of the contract information. Always keep copies for your personal records.
If you feel that may be a victim of fraud or to report suspicious activity, please file a complaint with the OFR online, www.flofr.com, or call (850) 487-9687.
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