Whether it is your New Year’s resolution to start investing or you are hoping to grow your existing portfolio in 2021, it is important to make sure that you invest safely. With this in mind, here are five tips from our investment fraud attorneys for individuals who are planning to invest in 2021:
Tip #1: Make Sure You Know Your Investment Broker or Advisor
As an investor, one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself is to make sure you know your investment broker or advisor. Get referrals from friends or family members, use FINRA BrokerCheck, and make sure you feel confident that the person you choose is capable of helping you make informed decisions and will only provide investment recommendations with your best interests in mind.
Tip #2: Read All Materials You are Provided, and Do Your Own Research
While it is important to be able to rely on the advice of an experienced investment professional, it is also important to do your own research. As a result, you should take the time to read all materials you are provided, and you should do your own research prior to investing. When researching investments online, however, be wary of the fact that some people use social media and other platforms to promote false and misleading information.
Tip #3: Regularly Review Your Account Statements
Another way you can protect yourself as an individual investor is to regularly review your account statements. When reviewing your statements, pay particular attention to any unexpected fees or trades, and raise questions about any activity that you did not approve or that you do not understand.
Tip #4: Be Wary of Unsolicited Investment Offers and Promotions
From direct messages on social media to cold calls from boiler rooms, you should be extremely skeptical of any unsolicited communications you receive regarding investment offers or promotions. These are very frequently scams, and legitimate investment advisors and brokers do not solicit investments from people they don’t know by social media, phone or email.
Tip #5: Know the Warning Signs for Investment Fraud
Finally, as there is a reasonable likelihood that you will encounter at least one fraudulent investment offer during 2021 (if not several), it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the warning signs for investment fraud. While some of these are fairly obvious (such as unsolicited offers, as we just discussed), scam artists are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and investment scams are increasingly becoming much more targeted:
- Common Types of Fraud and Ways Investors Can Protect Themselves
- Warning Signs That Your High-Yield Investment May Be a Scam
- SEC: Look Out for Coronavirus-Related Investment Scams
Speak with a Securities Fraud Lawyer for Free
Our securities fraud lawyers represent individual investors nationwide in FINRA arbitration and class action lawsuits. If you believe that you may be a victim of investment fraud, you should seek help promptly, and we encourage you to call 212-742-1414 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.