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Recommended Resources for Investors

Know your rights, the relevant laws, and what questions to ask BEFORE you agree to an investment

America’s individual and institutional investors have suffered enormous financial losses in recent years due to misrepresentations, omissions, and investment scams perpetrated by brokers and brokerage firms. The Frankowski Firm is dedicated to standing up for investors’ rights. Our attorneys apply proven legal experience to obtain financial justice for the victims of fraudulent investments, Ponzi schemes, and broker misconduct anywhere in the United States.

Here are some of the resources investors can review. As always, investors who have questions or concerns should make an appointment to speak with an attorney at The Frankowski Firm. Our securities negligence and fraud attorneys are ready to answer your questions, review your individual investments, and advise you if you have a valid legal claim. We also review what damages you may be able to recover. Do not assume market forces cause your financial harm. Often times, brokers and brokerage firms failed their legal duty to protect, advise, and serve you.

Investor Bill of Rights

Victims of investment fraud have a right to seek satisfaction in court or arbitration. Under most financial services contracts, however, consumers are contractually bound to pursue resolution of any dispute through arbitration. The Frankowski Firm has the skill to guide you through this process.

When you invest, you have some basic rights. You should always keep these rights in mind when dealing with your brokers or financial advisors. The more aware you are of your rights, the less chance you have of being cheated. Your Investor Bill of Rights allows you to:

  • Ask for and receive information from a firm about the work history and background of the person handling your account, as well as information about the firm itself.
  • Receive complete information about the risks, obligations, and costs of any investment before investing.
  • Receive recommendations consistent with your financial needs and investment objectives.
  • Receive a copy of all completed account forms and agreements.
  • Receive account statements that are accurate and understandable. Understand the terms and conditions of transactions you undertake.
  • Access your funds in a timely manner and receive information about any restrictions or limitations on access.
  • Discuss account problems with the branch manager or compliance department of the firm and receive prompt attention to and fair consideration of your concerns. Receive complete information about commissions, sales charges, maintenance or service charges, transaction or redemption fees, and penalties.
  • Contact your state and provincial securities agency in order to verify the employment and disciplinary history of a securities salesperson and the salesperson’s firm.
  • Find out if the investment is permitted to be sold or file a complaint.

Questions to ask your broker

You should always ask questions about any investment. Having a strong question base will help you determine the validity and value of both the investment in question and the brokerage firm you are dealing with. You should always write down the responses you receive. Remember that the brokers are supposed to work for YOU, so do not hesitate to get as much information as possible. Be sure to also ask questions tailored to your specific situation, taking into account your level of investing and financial background.

General Investment Questions

  • Is this investment product registered with the SEC and my state securities agency?
  • Does this investment match my investment goals?
  • Why is this investment suitable for me?
  • How will this investment make money?
  • Specifically, what must happen for this investment to increase in value?
  • What are the total fees to purchase, maintain, and sell this investment?
  • Are there ways that I can reduce or avoid some of the fees that I’ll pay?
  • After all the fees are paid, how much does this investment have to increase in value before I break even?
  • How liquid is this investment? How easy would it be to sell if I needed my money right away?
  • What are the specific risks associated with this investment?
  • What is the maximum I could lose?
  • Does this product or investment have a surrender charge or contingent deferred sales charge?
  • Where can I get more information about this investment?

Mutual Fund Questions

This list of questions relates to the purchase of mutual funds. It is important that you find out all the information needed related to the specific fund(s) you are looking to purchase. Risk, previous performance, and fees are key topics to ask about when looking to invest in mutual funds.

  • How has this fund performed over the long run?
  • Where can I get an independent evaluation of this fund?
  • What specific risks are associated with this fund?
  • What type of securities does the fund hold?
  • How often does the portfolio change?
  • Does this mutual fund invest in any type of securities that could cause the value to go up or down rapidly in a short period of time? (For example, derivatives)
  • How does the fund perform compared to other funds of the same type or to an index of the same type of investment?
  • How much will the fund charge me when I buy shares?
  • Is the fund portable? If I move my assets to another firm, will I be able to continue holding the fund or will I need to liquidate it?
  • How many fund classes are available in this fund family? What is the difference between them?

Variable Annuities Questions

Variable annuities are very tricky investments. They are not suited for everyone. You must be sure to get as much Information as possible when researching variable annuity products. Focus on questions relating to fees, penalties, lock-in periods and surrender charges. Variable annuities can even be challenging for the broker.

  • With my retirement goals, how soon will I need to access this money
  • In my current financial situation, do I have enough money to purchase this product?
  • What will I lose if I exchange this product at a later date?
  • What percentage of my assets is appropriate for an annuity given my retirement objectives?
  • What does the annuity guarantee?
  • What are all the fees associated with this annuity?
  • What is the best risk tolerance for my goals?
  • How do the surrender charges work?
  • When will I be able to access my money in the annuity for no extra cost?
  • To whom do you usually suggest buy Variable Annuities?
  • What percentage of my original investment is it possible to lose in this annuity?
  • Do I need an annuity if I already have a 401(k) or an IRA?

Get help now. Talk to an experience investment security liability lawyer today

Investment securities cases are very complex. They require a broad mix of financial, legal, and practical skills. Attorney Richard S. Frankowski, the founder of the firm, has been fighting for investors who lost more than just their money — investors who lost their security and their dreams — for more than 15 years. His legal team is ready to answer all of your questions, investigate your claim, and fight aggressively for you if a broker or brokerage firm failed to meet their duties or, worse, committed securities fraud. To learn if you have a case or claim please contact us at 888-741-7503 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.

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Disclaimer: Mr. Frankowski is licensed in Alabama and Florida. He is not licensed in any other state, including Nevada and California. Mr. Frankowski has represented investors from all over the country in securities cases including: Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas.
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