All firms that sell registered securities to the public must themsleves be registered with the state and or through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), formerly the NASD. Any employee or agent of these firms who offers or sells securities, or is involved in the sales process, must also be registered by FINRA and/or the state in which the securities are being sold. (There are some minimum activity exceptions to these general rules.)
Likewise, there are increasing regulations which require that those paid a fee to advise investors to be registered under state laws and/or through the SEC. There are also licensing requirements for those who sell of insurance, annuities and other investment products.
If you have been sold any investment including stock, bonds, options or mutual funds, were sold insurance or annuities or have been enticed to become involved in any other plan to earn a profit for you, it is likely the person and/or firm who sold this to you should be licensed. If you have received investment advice for a fee, is is also likely that the person and/or company involved should be licensed.
Under federal and most states’ laws, if a person or company should have been licensed in investments, but was not, you could be entitled to receive a refund of the funds you invested, plus interest and perhaps even the costs of recovering your funds, including legal fees. If you did not occur losses you obviously would not want a refund, but that choice is yours.
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