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You need to keep in mind that your investments must please you, not just your trading representative. A good trading representative will provide you with information and will take as much time as necessary to explain a proposed transaction until you understand.
Remember that this is your investment—you have every right to understand exactly what is going to happen with it. Before you fill out your new account form and begin to invest, think about exactly what you want to accomplish by investing. Your goals can range from a desire to put your money in as safe a place as possible where it can grow at, at least the inflation rate, to a desire to risk everything for the chance to hit it big. When you have your investment goal clearly in mind, explain your ideas to your trading representative.
This will help your trading representative to help you translate those goals and ideas into an investment strategy that meets your requirements for both risk and return. After every transaction, you should receive a trade confirmation and every month you should receive a monthly statement. Review those documents carefully and make certain that they are correct in reflecting what happened in your account and that what happened was what you wanted to have happen. Keep your own complete set of records about your account, and include notes of conversations with your trading representative and any correspondence from your broker or trading representative.
If you notice that something seems wrong on your statements or in your account, complain immediately to your trading representative and your broker. Always follow up every telephone call complaint with a letter to confirm the matters discussed on the telephone. If you do not receive a satisfactory answer to your complaint from your trading representative, complain to the branch manager of the broker, then to the Compliance or Legal Department.
You will be tempted to invest in particular securities because of good rates of return or apparent safety, but you should also take a moment to consider other factors that will become more important as you continue to hold the securities.
One such factor to consider before you invest is whether there is a ready market for the securities should you decide to sell them. Another factor may be voting rights that do or do not attach to the securities voting rights can affect management decisions, and in the long run, your return. You should find out whether the securities are restricted in any way. Your trading representative should be able to answer your questions and, in many cases, you will be provided a prospectus that should contain all material facts about a proposed investment.
If you are given a prospectus, take the time to read it, or at the very least, read the risk factors and history. Whenever you purchase securities, there will always be a risk of loss. Although in some cases the risk will be extremely small as is the risk of the Singapore Government being unable to meet its debt obligations , in some cases it will be very great as is the case of certain options transactions where the chance of unlimited loss is almost , depending on the type of transaction.
There is always a risk, when investing in a private company, that the company might go bankrupt. Bankruptcy happens to all sorts of companies, even old, reputable companies that seem like they would provide a rock-solid investment.
For this reason, it is usually a bad idea to invest all of your money in any one security. If safety of investment is one of your goals, you and your trading representative should explore diversification of your account to increase safety. You can also consider the use of exchange traded fund for convenient diversification. You should also explore this with your trading representative.
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