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Regardless of your investing experience, nobody knows everything there is to know about stock and securities trading. That’s why you have probably enlisted the help of an investment professional, either as a sounding-board for investment decisions or to assist you in facilitating and completing transactions. An investment advisor or a broker-dealer can be a great asset as you build and diversify your portfolio.

However, for all the good they can do, an investment advisor who does not have your best investment interests at heart can pose a serious risk to the health and stability of your portfolio.

How well do you know your investment advisor?

Investing in your future financial security is one of the wisest decisions you can make. Planning for your retirement now can provide you with peace-of-mind for the future. There are many ways you can invest in retirement savings; one of the most popular being through an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). The great thing about IRAs is that there are several different types available, so you can find the one that suits your investment plan.

However, most traditional IRA savings accounts offer a limited selection of investment options. Typically, they offer a selection pre-approved by the firm or entity servicing your investment account. If you are looking for greater flexibility in terms of investment options, you may want to consider opening a self-directed IRA account.

Self-directed IRAs allow you to invest in a broader portfolio of assets than traditional IRAs. What’s important to understand, however, is that with greater flexibility in your investment options, you may be subject to additional risks.

The fundamentals

Cardinal rules; building-blocks, do’s-and’don’ts:

You may know them under different names but they all refer to the same foundational structures that underline all our social and economic systems.

When you entrust the the management of your investment portfolio to a broker, that’s a big deal. If you are going to ask someone to assist you in managing your financial future, you are going to want to know that they have your best investment interests at heart. The relationship between you and your broker should be entirely founded on trust, honesty and transparency. And for many broker/investor relationships, that is true.

Unfortunately, we find that isn’t always the case.

Obviously, selecting a broker is no simple task; you don’t just pick a name out of the phone book and go with them. Finding the right broker takes research and due diligence. You want to know that your broker is properly registered and in good standing.

As an investor, risks are things you have to take into account. Before every investment decision, you need to assess potential risks and recognize ways to mitigate them. While its true that some securities and assets may have more associated risks than others, there is one they all share: the risk of fraud.

However, while you may be able to account for fraud risks, sometimes they can prove tough to disarm and avoid. Even the shrewdest of investors have been victimized by investment scams. The fact is, fraud can be tricky. Scammers have a lot of tools in their arsenal to dupe investors and, unfortunately, they can be quite cunning.

That’s why investment losses happen.

The Fiduciary Rule is Dead! Long Live the Fiduciary Rule!

Well… it didn’t get quite such a commemorative send-off. In fact, it got the sort of ignominious sentence fit for a mongrel animal or a disowned family member. Yes, the Department of Labor (DOL)’s fiduciary rule is dead and it doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing anything resembling a revival.

If you have not been following, the demise of the fiduciary rule follows a months-long saga that has gripped the investment industry. If you have been following but you’re a little lost, that’s okay. The events leading to the recent outcome have been full of so many twists and turns it’s easy to lose the trail.

You know that stock investing comes with risks. Along with anticipated risks associated with the nature of stock trading, you also face risks associated with fraud. Some of the most widespread forms of stock fraud are carried out through fraudulent stock promotions.

What Are Fraudulent Stock Promotions?

In fraudulent stock promotion scams, fraudsters hype a certain stock to generate investor buzz. Once a buy frenzy occurs, fraudsters will quickly sell off their shares, leaving investors to take the hit.

If you’re a senior investor, you’ve likely been planning and saving for years to build your portfolio. You have rightfully earned everything you have accrued over the years and you deserve to realize the fruits of that labor in your golden years.

Unfortunately, your nest egg marks you as a target for investment fraud. Scammers like to prey on what they consider “easy targets” – those without the means to defend or protect themselves against investment fraud. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has regularly cited senior investor scams as a chronic fraud issue. Most recently, the SEC has pointed to Ponzi schemes as a major vehicle for perpetrating investment fraud against seniors.

Ponzi Schemes Targeting Seniors

Investment advice comes from everywhere… even if you don’t ask for it.

Everybody thinks they’ve got “the answer” when it comes to investing and everybody wants to share their secret to success. That’s why you’ve likely been offered quite a few tidbits of investing advice from everyone from your cousin to your neighbor. The truth is (and you’ve probably realized) that most of these sources aren’t actually qualified to be giving investment advice.

While you should definitely take unsolicited investment advice with a grain of salt, there are some tried-and-true pillars of investment knowledge that you should keep in mind. These common investment rules can help you on your investment journey. Not only can they help you map out your investment goals, but they can help you plan and manage for the future. Keeping in mind these investment rules can help you maintain a focused investment strategy and avoid common pitfalls.

In the past 70 years, stocks have risen more than 1,000 fold.

No one can say for certain when stocks will collectively rise or fall. This means there’s never a better time than the present to get in the investment game.

But before you start putting your hard earned money into this risky game, there are a few tips for smart stock investments that you need to know. Keep reading to learn the tips and how they can help you succeed in the stock market.

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