Investor News Newsletter May 2013

May 2013

Investor Resources

Pension or Settlement Income Streams: What You Need to Know Before Buying or Selling Them

Investor Alert: Pension or Settlement Income Streams: What You Need to Know Before Buying or Selling Them

Do you receive a monthly pension from a former employer? Are you getting regular distributions from a settlement following a personal injury lawsuit? If so, you may be targeted by salespeople offering you a lump sum today to buy the rights to some or all of the payments you would otherwise receive in the future.

If you're thinking of selling your rights to an income stream—or investing in someone else's—be sure you know the risks and proceed with caution.

How to Avoid Commodity Fraud

Commodity pool operators are people or firms that raise funds and pool them together to trade commodity futures and options. Most fraudulent commodity pools involve unregistered operators.

To avoid being the next victim of a fraud, ask about the operator's registration status. Visit bit.ly/NFABasic to check the person's background, the background of the business and the disciplinary history of both.

But don't stop there! Here are more questions to ask before investing in a commodity pool:

  • Ask for copies of the account statements that registered trading firms provide to the pool operator.
  • Ask to see the commodity pool's risk disclosure documents and performance history.
  • Ask about all fees and commissions charged by the commodity pool operator.
  • Ask how the financial professional is qualified to provide you with this service.
  • Ask how the product meets your financial needs.

For more information, go to the Commodity Futures Trading Commision's website.

FINRA Investor Education Foundation

Retirees Are Targets of Scams

Like many Americans, Ruth and Len Mitchell worked hard to save for their retirement—but they fell victim to a Ponzi scheme, losing $100,000. The fraudster was no stranger either. He was their accountant—someone they socialized with and trusted to handle their finances. So how did he do it? Listen to their story to find out.

Don't Become a Victim of Investment Fraud

Even if you've never encountered an investment fraudster, you probably know someone who has. Following the legendary Willie Sutton principle, fraudsters tend to go "where the money is"—and that means targeting Americans who are nearing or already in retirement.

In recognition of Older Americans Month, we are reminding older investors about how to protect themselves from fraud. Our brochure, "Fighting Fraud 101," explains the tactics fraudsters use, and simple steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of investment fraud.

FINRA News

5/8/13 – FINRA Fines Three Firms $900,000 for Inadequate Anti-Money Laundering Programs

5/7/13 – National Crime Prevention Council and the FINRA Foundation Partner to Reduce Investment Fraud Among Consumers Nationally  

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