Educational Resources for Investors
Check out our new Podcast: The Advisor and the Widow - Investigators and lawyers from the Connecticut Department of Banking’s Securities and Business Investment Division, discuss how an unscrupulous financial advisor took advantage of a widowed client and drained her investment account to pay down debt and spend on personal expenses, including limousines, expensive dinners and sporting events.
This podcast is the first in a series, entitled Real Life Regulators, produced by DOB staff in coordination with the North American Securities Administrators Association.
Preparing to Invest
Red Flags of Investment Fraud
Protect yourself by learning to recognize the warning signs of a fraudulent investment pitch. Familiarize yourself with common phrases that can lure you into the fraudster’s net of opportunity.
Before investing in a cryptocurrency or related product, do your homework. As with any new type of product, fraudsters are willing and ready to exploit the hype for their own purposes. Make sure to understand fully what these products are, and the common crypto-related schemes.
Initial Coin Offerings
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are very risky and are not suitable for many investors. Before risking your hard-earned money, make sure you know what they are all about and what you are getting into.
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission launched this web page designed to inform investors about virtual currencies, including possible risks associated with investing in this commodity.
Know the risks before you invest in cryptocurrencies, by the Federal Trade Commission, provides information that you should know if you are considering investing in cryptocurrency.
Understanding Broker-Dealer Fees
Every investor should have clear and easy access to the information regarding the fees brokers charge for services and maintenance of their brokerage accounts. This advisory will help investors understand those fees and ask questions of the broker-dealer.
The Informed Investor
Before investing, it's wise to think about your overall financial situation and investment goals. You are not ready to invest until you have carefully considered these basic questions.
How to Be an Informed Investor
Prior to investing, think about what questions to ask yourself and your potential adviser. Risk tolerance, types of securities and common red flags are all addressed in this informative presentation.
Online websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn have become more popular than ever, and allow people to connect to one another more quickly and easily than ever before. Be informed when it comes to online investing through social networks, and learn how to protect yourself from fraud.
The Informed Investor Radio Spots
The Department of Banking's Securities Division teamed up with AARP-Connecticut to develop a series of public service announcements to provide investor education and protection to Connecticut investors.
Fraud Scene Investigator
Check out our on-line interactive program that teaches students and adults alike how to detect and stop investment fraud. Find out if you can identify common investment scams!
Investor Bill of Rights
Whenever you invest your money, you are entitled to these ten basic rights.
Cutting through the Confusion
This brochure, produced by the North American Securities Administrators Association, explains the differences between brokers, investment advisers, and financial planners and identifies questions investors should ask themselves and potential providers before making a choice.
Five Keys to Investing Success
This booklet, produced by Kiplinger's Personal Finance presents a bird's-eye view of five keys used by successful investors.
Your Financial Future Together: Saving and Investing for Newlyweds
The transition from a single adult to part of a married couple is a considerable life change. This guide provides common sense information to encourage couples to discuss money issues and financial planning before tying the knot.
The Security and Exchange Commission developed this website to provide a user-friendly internet resource that includes tools and information for investors. The site includes sections designed especially for teachers, students and parents.
A free, unbiased online resource dedicated to proving easy-to-use tools and resources for all investors - from youth to adult - and special information for the military. The site is a project of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation.
- Choosing a Financial Planner
When you deal with a financial planner, you'll turn over information that reveals a great deal about yourself - how much money you make, how much you have saved, your bills and outstanding loans, whether you own your home and what your tax situation looks like - so it's important to choose someone you can trust and who is qualified to meet your needs. We'll show you how.
- Getting Help With Your Investments
This booklet, produced by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, provides the information you need to find and work with reputable brokers and financial advisers.
- What Every Investor Should Know
Learn how to avoid investment problems and how the arbitration process for resolving problems works.
- Investor's Notepad
It's important to keep good records for your investments. Retaining statements, correspondence or notes detailing your instructions to a salesperson can help in the event of a dispute. Use this handy form to take notes of conversations with a financial professional.
Especially for Seniors
Senior investors are often targets of financial fraud, scams, and exploitation by scam artists, which unfortunately include even family members and other trusted caregivers. Financial professionals are in a unique position to have early knowledge of financial abuse through regular contact with clients. The Department of Banking is pleased to offer this free training to help investment professionals recognize and report possible elder financial exploitation.
Guard Against Financial Exploitation
Use these "Conversation Starters" to start a dialogue with your investment professional, and help prevent yourself from becoming a victim of financial fraud or exploitation.
Guarding the Guardians
Financial abuse by guardians occurs when the guardian improperly uses the protected individual's funds, securities, property, or other assets. This publication provides the red flags of financial guardian abuse and who to contact if you suspect financial abuse.
Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation (EIFFE) Prevention Program Patient Brochure
The Patient Brochure is an important resource for senior patients and their families highlighting ways to protect themselves from elder financial fraud and where to get help. The EIFFE Prevention Program was created to increase awareness among doctors and medical professionals of an under-recognized and underreported form of elder abuse: financial fraud.
Feeling Good About Investing: An Rx For Baby Boomers - And Beyond
If you're age 50 or older, you may have more money to invest following a lifetime of savings and employment. Unfortunately, many mature investors have lost money in unsuitable investments or by being victimized in fraudulent schemes. Use these common sense tips to adopt a healthy investment lifestyle. Printable PDF
Maximize Your Retirement Investments
This booklet, produced by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, gives you an overview of different investment options to help you maximize your retirement portfolio.
Senior Investor Resource Center
Visit the Senior Investor Resource Center on the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) website for more information on investor fraud targeted at mature investors.
Visit Serve Our Seniors.org, a new website launched by NASAA, which features an interactive map to help investors, caregivers, industry and policymakers quickly and easily find local contact information for senior-focused resources.
Investor Bulletin: Savings and Investing Basics for Military Personnel
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission offers a list of ten suggestions that may help military personnel – and any investor – make better investments and avoid fraud.
Financial Field Manual: The Personal Finance Guide for Military Families
The booklet focuses on the key issues that can help military families protect their money and their families, make informed investing decisions and take charge of their financial lives.
Salute to Smart Investing
The guide was written for service men and women and their families to give them basic, practical information that can help protect their financial assets and security. The booklet explains the basics of financial security, including investing, saving for retirement, and balancing risk and return, while helping identify and avoid investment frauds and other scams that specifically target the military and their families.
Personal Finance Guide for Military Families
The guide provides practical easy-to-understand information about being financially prepared for deployment, buying a home, minimizing taxes, holding down insurance costs and avoiding financial schemes that too often target military families.
- On-line Investing
Review these hot tips before opening an online brokerage account and starting to trade online.
- The Facts About Online Investing
Are you ready to be an on-line investor? See if you're a good candidate for online investing at the Investing Online Resource Center Web site.
Victims of Internet Crimes Empowered
Anyone can be a victim of cybercrime, and there are many different types of scams to which you can fall victim. Learn how to stay protected and act as quickly and efficiently as possible if you do become a victim of cybercrime.
- How to Spot a Con Artist
Investing in securities is risky enough without worrying about whether your salesperson is trying to fleece you. Learn which danger signs can be tipoffs to possible trouble.
- How to Avoid Boiler Room Scams
High-pressure telephone sales operations, or "boiler rooms," cost American investors billions of dollars a year. Learn these self-defense tactics to protect yourself against fraudulent and abusive investment scams.
- A Conversation with a Cold Caller
Sit in on an actual "cold call" made by a broker-dealer agent to a sales prospect. Read through a transcript of the conversation, as taped by the broker-dealer agent's firm, with annotations made by the Securities Division for your benefit.
How can you protect yourself when investing or shopping at an e-commerce web site? Learn the warning signs that indicate possible trouble and follow our recommended precautions to avoid scams.
- "What's in your e-Wallet?" is an investor alert which provides important information about virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin. Consumers should consider the risks involved before buying or investing in virtual currencies.
- International Investment Fraud
International investments can be particularly risky. Learn to recognize common danger signs before sending your money overseas on a one-way trip, never to return.
- Nigerian Fraudulent Business Proposals
Americans have lost millions of dollars to creative and outlandish scams that convince victims to send money to Nigeria for a variety of reasons. Learn more about how to avoid these "4-1-9" schemes.
- Prime Bank Scams
Monthly returns of 20 to 200 percent on your money "risk free" can sound like a great opportunity. Unfortunately, investments in "prime bank" instruments are fraudulent and cost investors millions of dollars. Learn how to recognize and avoid these schemes.
- Promissory Note Scams
Promissory notes can appear to be safe, lucrative investments. But many investors have been left with only broken promises.
- Understanding Business Opportunity Investments
Intrigued by the notion of starting your own business? Before you commit yourself to a long term business relationship, investigate first.
Contact the Department of Banking to learn whether a salesperson or firm is licensed and whether an investment opportunity is registered with the State of Connecticut:
Connecticut Department of Banking
260 Constitution Plaza
Hartford, CT 06103-1800
Telephone: (860) 240-8230 or Toll-free: 1-800-831-7225
Fax: (860) 240-8295
The North American Securities Administrator's Association (NASAA) offers a wide variety of investor alerts and tips on its website focusing on fraud awareness, senior citizens and investing online.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has an online investor center with investor alerts, tools, news and FAQ.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of Investor Education and Advocacy provides a variety of services and tools to address the problems and questions you may face as an investor.