Frequently Asked Questions

Have I contacted the right agency?

If your question concerns securities and investing - Yes! We can answer your questions and concerns regarding the registration status of securities, broker-dealers, and investment advisers. Our office, however does not give investment advice, recommendations or referrals.

If you have questions concerning certificates of deposit (CDs), bank trust departments, trust companies, mortgage brokers, consumer credit, or loans, contact the Missouri Division of Finance at 573-751-3242 or go to .

If you have questions concerning consumer products or services, contact the Missouri Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at 800-392-8222 or go to .

If you have questions concerning insurance products or services, contact the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration at 800-726-7390 or go to .

If you have questions concerning Social Security, contact the Social Security Administration at 800-772-1213.

How do I select a good stockbroker? How do I know if my broker is reputable?

Learn the ABC's of Investing: Ask Questions, Beware of Fraud and Call the Investor Hotline! Although we cannot recommend one company over another, we can tell you whether a firm or individual agent is registered in the State of Missouri, and we can also provide you their disciplinary history, if any. Visit the publications section for publications that will help you learn what questions to ask as you search for brokerage firms and investment advisers. After you have selected a few potential options, contact the Missouri Securities Division and ask for a CRD report.

I think I have been defrauded in an investment. Can you help me?

If someone has violated the law, we want to know. The Missouri Securities Division can initiate an investigation and when appropriate, impose sanctions for violations of Missouri Securities laws. Investors may also consider filing for arbitration or civil litigation. Contact your attorney for more information about these remedies. You may also wish to contact the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority , the American Arbitration Association , or the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association for more information.

Do I have grounds for a complaint? If so, what should I do next?

Typically, market losses on an investment are not grounds for a complaint. However, if you perceive that something dishonest or unethical has happened with your account, you should take these steps:

  1. Send a letter describing the problem to the branch manager or compliance officer of your broker-dealer or investment adviser. Use information from your account statements and reports to support your claim. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.

  2. If the problem is not corrected, contact the Missouri Securities Division to file a complaint .

I found an old stock certificate - how do I find out if it still has any value?

First, contact the secretary of state's office in the state in which the business was incorporated to verify that the company is still in business. If the company has gone out of business, the stock likely has no value. However, if the company has merged with another company or simply changed its name, the stock may still have value.

Next, check with a broker-dealer to see if they have any information about the issuing company or contact the Corporations Division of the Missouri Secretary of State.

I lost my stock certificate - what do I do?

Contact the broker-dealer from whom you purchased the stock.

There has been a delay in receiving my stock certificate. What can I do?

Contact your broker-dealer or issuer. Today, many stock investments are held in "street name" at the broker-dealer. Your purchase confirmation and account statements are your evidence of ownership (along with the broker-dealer's records). If you still wish to have a stock certificate, contact your broker-dealer or issuer.

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