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Investor Education and Protection

Becoming an educated investor not only offers the best means to achieve your financial goals, but also helps you avoid costly mistakes and falling victim to fraud. The most important step you can take to protect yourself from investment fraud is to avoid it in the first place. Before you invest, do your research!

The OFR can give you background information on investment professionals and products registered in Florida. If you feel you have been victimized, you can also File a Complaint with us.

To request a presentation on investor education for your group, visit our Request a Speaker page.

Learn to Spot the Warning Signs:
  • Be wary of unsolicited investment pitches. Ask yourself, "What's in it for the person trying to make a sale?" Investment Fraud Risk Meter
  • If the investment opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is (unrealistic or higher rate of return than the market rate of return). Investment Fraud Risk Meter
  • Don't invest in a product you don't understand or do business with a professional you haven't researched (see below). When Your Broker Calls, Take Notes
  • Make sure you understand how the investment professional is compensated. Ask, "How do you get paid? By commission? Amount of assets you manage? Another method?"
  • Don't feel pressured to make a decision immediately. A legitimate investment opportunity will be available after you have had time to research it.
  • Make sure the investment is appropriate for your risk tolerance, financial goals and life stage. Just because someone you know is investing in a certain product, doesn't mean you should. Although the OFR cannot give you investment advice, we can give you the tools to make an informed investment decision.
Professional or Product Research
Investment professional or product (Florida) Florida Office of Financial Regulation
Investment professionals or products (Other states or Canadian provinces) North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)
Investment adviser or product U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Investment Adviser Public Disclosure
EDGAR System (Company filings)
Brokers Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
Insurance agents (Florida) Florida Department of Financial Services
Commodities and Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
National Futures Association (NFA)
Investor Education Websites and Resources:
  • A Salute to Smart Investing
  • North American Securities Administrators Association Investor Education Library
  • SaveandInvest.org
  • Investor Protection Trust
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
  • Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Building Wealth
Tools & Calculators for Investors:
  • U.S. Financial Literacy and Education Commission
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority