Investor

Investor section for Securities

Crowdfunding

The Internet has become an inexpensive and easy way for individuals and businesses to raise money for their activities. Congress recently passed the JOBS Act, which directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to create rules exempting crowdfunding from the securities registration laws. Once implemented, these rules will remove restrictions on start-up companies seeking investors over the Internet. Investors should be on the lookout for unscrupulous issuers and intermediaries who may attempt to engage in crowdfunding before the rules are written or misuse crowdfunding to steal from investors through false and misleading representations.

Before you invest, investigate

Introduction

You May Find This Guide Helpful If…

Investors Beware

Becoming an informed investor is the best defense against investment scams.

Here is some useful investor information on two popular types of investment fraud. You should be on the lookout for these when investing.

Making the Right Decisions

Opening an Account

    • Be honest when filling out a new account form.  Your broker or representative cannot recommend investments to you unless he or she understands your complete financial picture and the level of risk you are willing to accept.
      • Do not sign the form until it is completed, the information is accurate and you understand and are willing to accept the terms and conditions it imposes upon you.  Take your time.  Ask questions and read the fine print.

          Commonly Used Designations

          Explanations of Common Investment Professional Designations


          Certified Financial Planner, CFP:

          Types of Brokerage Firms

          As an investor, you should shop for a brokerage firm just as you would for any other professional service.  Brokerage firms come in all sizes, from "one-man" firms to international corporations.  Similarly, the services offered by each firm and the commissions they charge vary significantly.
           
          Brokerage firms may be classified into three basic types:  full-service, discount and limited products.
           
          Full-Service brokerage firm:

          Verify Your Investment Professional

          You can verify your Investment Professional by doing the following:

           

          ASK - About the Firm and Financial Professional

          Are you and your firm registred or licensed with?

          • State Securities Regulator - Vermont Securities Division
          • FINRA - Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
          • SEC - Securities and Exchange Commission

          CHECK - Verify the answers by checking out their background

          Investor Checklist

          Before making any investment, always verify that you are using a legitimate Investment Professional.


          How do I know what sort of license a seller or advisor is supposed to hold?

          Risky Investments

          Both legitimate brokers and con artists offer many investment opportunities.  A legitimate investment can offer excellent returns, while a deal with a con artist is guaranteed to result in financial loss.  Con artists typically use the following techniques:

          Pages