FINRA urges investors to look closely at their statements and ask questions about anything they don’t understand. According to a news release on their website, “FINRA issues (a) new investor alert to help investors understand their brokerage account statements.” It can be daunting for investors to open those account statements and figure out what everything means if they don’t have a financial background. After big losses in the financial markets as well, many investors would prefer to just ignore their mediocre statements. But FINRA wants to remind everyone how important it is to look over your account statements and any trade confirmations.
Even if you are losing money in your investments, it is important to be aware of what is happening in your account. You also want to make sure that there are no errors or unauthorized trades or transactions with your account. By looking over your statement, you ensure that the correct fees are charges and that your trade of 100 shares didn’t accidentally get entered as 1,000 shares. Whether you have annuities, IRAs, stocks, or another investment; it is crucial to look over your statements. Most firms issue quarterly statements as well as a written notification of any trading either before or right when a trade is to take place.
It Pays to Understand Your Brokerage Account Statements is FINRA’s guide to making it easy to understand those statements. They use simple language and alert you to the specific items that raise caution and need your attention. Your most basic objective should always be listed on the statement, which is whether you are conservative or riskier with your investing. It’s important to confirm that your firm has that correct. You also want to see if trades are done with your broker acting as your agent or with the firm acting as its own account principal. If that’s the case, you need to monitor the commission charges closely. FINRA just wants to remind investors to contact their brokerage firms with any questions and report problems immediately.
Written by Rachel Summit
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