You get the mail and see a monthly or quarterly account statement from your brokerage company. Maybe it sits on the counter for a few days. When you get to it, you open it, glance at it for about 30 seconds, and promptly throw it into the shredder (or worse, straight into the trash!) without really knowing what you just read. Sound familiar?
One of the biggest mistakes that we see investors make is failing to carefully read and review their investment account statements each time they come. Not only does an account statement offer insight into your portfolio activity and performance, it’s also a place where you can identify red flags indicating that you’re a victim of investment misconduct or fraud. Read on to understand more about your brokerage account statement and discover what to look out for.
In order to identify red flags you need to first be able to understand your account statement. Most are broken down into these sections:
The first time you receive an investment account statement, you should very carefully review it and make sure you understand each and every section and line item. If something is confusing, ask your broker to walk through it with you.
The more comfortable you become with your account statement, the more likely you’ll be able to spot concerns or inconsistencies. Keep an eye out for these red flags as you review your statements:
First off, contact your broker or brokerage firm. Don’t be afraid to inquire about any inaccuracies or discrepancies. If the problem is not explained or resolved to your satisfaction, file a complaint with FINRA and give the attorneys at ChapmanAlbin a call. If you have a case of broker misconduct or fraud, we may be able to help you recover on your losses.
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