Information from the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

What To Do If You Have Problems With Your Investment Professional

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Most dealings with investment professionals are straightforward and trouble free. Provided the investment was appropriate for you, was presented to you fairly, and purchased by you knowing the risks involved, you cannot blame your investment professional if it is not as successful as you hoped.

However, sometimes problems do arise. Here are some steps to take to protect yourself.

What To Do

  • Keep a diary of all phone calls and contacts with your investment professional. Just simple notations of date, time, and basic content is fine.
  • Keep an investment notebook with all account statements.
    • Read and understand all account statements. If you don't understand something, or it is inconsistent with your investment strategy, call immediately. Don't delay.
    • Make sure nothing happens in your account without your prior authorization.
  • Put incoming and outgoing correspondence between you and your investment professional in your investment notebook.
    • Read and understand all correspondence from your investment professional or his/her firm. If you don't understand something, call immediately and check it out. Don't wait!
    • If you receive a confirmation from your investment professional of stock trades you do not recall authorizing, call immediately.

File a Complaint with Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

If you problem is not resolved, you may file a complaint with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions Securities Division at or by calling 1-877-RING DFI (1-877-746-4334).

If you do not live in Washington state, contact your state securities regulator.