The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission and FINRA are issuing this alert to warn investors about potential scams that exploit the Gulf oil spill, which began in April 2010 with a blowout at an oil-drilling platform off the coast of Louisiana, and related cleanup efforts. While some of the companies touting their role in the cleanup may be legitimate, others could be bogus operations that are only looking to clean out unsuspecting investors.
FINRA updated and is reissuing our 529 saving savings plan investor alert to highlight Jobs Act changes, and to remind investors to closely consider both their state of residency and the applicable fees—including fees associated with share classes—when making 529 investment decisions.
FINRA is issuing this Alert to warn investors about green energy investment scams that dangle the promise of large gains from investing in companies purportedly involved in developing or producing alternative, renewable or waste energy products. To avoid putting your portfolio in the red, learn how to spot potential green energy scams and know where to turn for help.
FINRA is issuing this Alert to warn the public about a recent auction rate securities (ARS) “phishing” scam that promises compensation from ARS settlements in exchange for personal information. The email looks like it originated from FINRA—although it did not.
The current financial crisis has not only battered the portfolios of many investors, but it has also placed a spotlight on investment fraud. FINRA is issuing this Alert to warn investors about classic types of investment fraud and to help investors spot and avoid the types of persuasion tactics fraudsters use.
The marketing efforts used by some variable annuity sellers deserve scrutiny - especially when seniors are the targeted investors. Sales pitches for these products might attempt to scare or confuse investors.
Lately, more and more seniors are hearing about opportunities to sell their existing life insurance for cash in transactions known as life settlements. A life settlement, or senior settlement, as they are sometimes called, involves selling an existing life insurance policy to a third party--a person or an entity other than the company that issued the policy--for more than the policy's cash surrender value, but less than the net death benefit.
The SEC and FINRA are issuing this Alert because we believe there may be widespread misunderstanding by investors that stock in the “old” General Motors Corporation (now known as Motors Liquidation Company) is related to the “new” General Motors Company (new GM).
Especially in a down market, investors may be tempted to try and avoid the trauma of seeing the reduced value of their holdings by not opening their statements for their brokerage, mutual fund, or 401(k) or other retirement plan accounts.
Buying mutual funds through a broker or other investment professional usually means choosing among different mutual fund classes. The only differences among these classes is how much you will pay in expenses and how much your broker will be paid for selling you the fund.
As an investor, you may have read about "Class A," "Class B," Class C", or other classes of mutual fund shares. If you are thinking about choosing one of these classes, it is important for you to understand the differences between them. FINRA regulates broker/dealers and their registered representatives, and we provide investors with information about securities products and services.
Before you consider investing in a registered fund of hedge funds, you should understand the features of these investments, how they are regulated, what risks are involved, and how you can get more information on them.
When you think of investments and brokerage firms, you probably think of opening an account and buying stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. When you enter into a subordination agreement, you are making an investment, but the investment is in the brokerage firm itself.
Rising costs of food and fuel, declines and volatility in the housing and financial markets, and an ever-tightening credit crunch have gathered to form a perfect storm that could lead some Americans to make poor financial choices.
In another variation of the identity theft tale, stock traders posing as employees of a made-up Latvian brokerage firm appear to have stolen personal information from individuals who thought they were applying for a job through the popular classifieds website, Craigslist (www.craigslist.org).
We are issuing this Alert out of a concern that employees who have the opportunity to invest in company stock may be concentrating too much of their retirement savings in a single security. Of particular concern are employees who have all or most of their 401(k) assets in their employer's stock. If the stock takes a beating, so does your retirement savings.
Email is likely a new twist on the old "Pump and Dump" scheme. Pump and dump scams involve the recommendation of a company's stock through false and misleading statements (the pump). Misled investors then buy the stock, creating demand for the stock and often causing its price to soar. Fraudsters then sell off their shares (the dump), usually leaving investors with worthless, or near worthless, stock.
Early retirement is an alluring prospect. When faced with a pitch that promises that you can cash in your company retirement savings in your 50s, reinvest the money, and live comfortably off the proceeds for the rest of your life, many simply can't say no.
If you have a life insurance or annuity contract, you may have been approached to exchange it for a new model, one with better or the latest features. You need to know that even though tax law makes the exchange income tax free and the new contract may sound better for you, you may be losing - not gaining - if you make the exchange.
The threat of bird flu is fueling stock scams touting large gains from companies that claim to be poised to capitalize on helping the world avoid a global pandemic. We are issuing this Alert to warn investors that fax and email investment scams may come your way trumpeting the promise of large gains for companies with products and services aimed at fighting bird flu.
You get text messaged on your cell phone. You check it—and it's not from anyone you know. Instead, it's an unsolicited promotion for a low-priced "hot stock." The short message includes a stock symbol and reads: HOT BUY. 200% Profit Mon. 100% IN 2WKS. You've been cell phone spammed!