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Investment Advisors (Stock Brokers/Financial Advisors)

How To Keep Control If You Use A Stockbroker

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Even if you use a professional, it is advisable to keep control of the situation. After all, the professional works for you. No one cares more about your financial situation than you do.

You can keep control by doing the following:

  • Do your own basic research about your investments and whatever investments the professional suggests. It's easy to do on the internet. For example, see:
    • Value Line Investment Survey,
    • A Bloomberg Terminal,
    • Check out the web site of any company in which you're interested.
    • You can obtain an annual report and other financial documents from the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission), offsite link
  • Read magazines geared to help people with their finances such as Smart Money and Money.
  • Don't buy investments you don't understand.
  • If you have securities at more than one firm, consider consolidating them. You are likely to get lower fees and possibly better service.
  • Ask for all recommendations in writing.
  • Take notes about the important parts of each sales call, including date and time
  • Limit the broker's discretion to make trades on his or her own - possibly to zero.
  • Check each statement within days after receipt. It only takes a few minutes. (If you're traveling, you can likely check your statement online).

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