Questions About Products

  • Is this investment product registered with the SEC and my state securities agency?
  • Does this investment match my investment goals? Why is this investment suitable for me?
  • How will this investment make money? (Dividends? Interest? Capital gains?) Specifically, what must happen for this investment to increase in value? (For example, increase in interest rates, real estate values, or market share?)
Advertiser Links for Financial Products
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  • What are the total fees to purchase, maintain, and sell this investment? Are there ways that I can reduce or avoid some of the fees that I'll pay, such as purchasing the investment directly? After all the fees are paid, how much does this investment have to increase in value before I break even?
  • How liquid is this investment? How easy would it be to sell if I needed my money right away?
  • What are the specific risks associated with this investment? What is the maximum I could lose? (For example, what will be the effect of changing interest rates, economic recession, high competition, or stock market ups and downs?)
  • How long has the company been in business? Is its management experienced? Has management been successful in the past? Have they ever made money for investors before?
  • Is the company making money? How are they doing compared to their competitors?
  • Where can I get more information about this investment? Can I get the latest reports filed by the company with the SEC: a prospectus or offering circular, or the latest annual report and financial statements?
For mutual funds:
  • How has this fund performed over the long run? Where can I get an independent evaluation of this fund?
  • What specific risks are associated with this fund?
  • What type of securities does the fund hold? How often does the portfolio change?
  • Does this mutual fund invest in any type of securities that could cause the value to go up or down rapidly in a short period of time? (For example, derivatives?)
  • How does the fund perform compared to other funds of the same type or to an index of the same type of investment?
  • How much will the fund charge me when I buy shares? What ongoing fees are charged? How much will the fund charge me when I sell shares?
  • Is the fund portable? If I move my assets to another firm, will I be able to continue holding the fund or will I need to liquidate it?