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Ask Kim

What to Do When Your Broker Goes Rogue

If contacting the broker's superiors doesn't produce resolution, you could try escalating your complaint to FINRA or the SEC.

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Q My broker invested my money in a stock I had never heard of and we had never discussed. Unfortunately, I did not immediately confront him, and the stock plummeted. I assume that because I did not immediately contest the trade, I am out of luck financially. But how do I lodge a complaint?

A

First, contact the broker and the broker’s manager. If that doesn’t yield results, contact the compliance officer at the brokerage firm. The firm may reverse the trade and discipline the broker.

You can also submit a complaint to Finra, which regulates brokers. Finra may investigate the complaint and could take disciplinary action against the brokerage firm or broker, and you may be able to get your money back through arbitration or mediation (see www.finra.org/investors). You can also file a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm could reverse the trade or make a settlement offer. Customer disputes and disciplinary actions will appear on the broker’s or adviser’s record through Finra or the SEC.

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Got a question? Ask Kim at askkim@kiplinger.com.