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Investment Advisors (Stock Brokers/Financial Advisors)


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There are two types of investment advisors: a financial planner and a person known as a Stockbroker, Financial Advisor or Investment Advisor (we'll refer to this person as a Stock Broker). In general:

  • Stockbrokers buy and sell stocks bonds, mutual funds and other securities on your behalf. They also provide investment advice in one form or another and other services.
  • Financial planners survey and provide advice about your entire financial picture including investments, taxes and debt management. To learn more about financial planners, see: Financial Planners

If you decide to engage a stockbroker, the first question is what type you should use: a Discount Broker, a Premium Discount Broker or a Full Service Broker.

The next step to find a brokerage house that provides the service you need, is financially sound and has a good track record. If you use a full service broker, then find a broker in the firm that provides good advice (particularly for people in a similar situation to yours), who understands your needs and goals, and with whom you feel comfortable. You can check to see if a securities professional has any pending disputes or disciplinary actions at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, offsite link an independent organization that regulates the securities industry.

It is advisable to tell the broker everything that's relevant to your investment decisions (including about your health condition).

No matter how much you trust a broker, keep in mind that you have final control - and that no one is more concerned about how well your investments do than you are.

Consider changing brokers if bumps appear such as churning: making transactions primarily for the purpose of making commissions.

If a broker harms you beyond normal investment losses, there are steps to take to get your money back.

For information, see:

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