Consider adding a trusted contact to your brokerage account
When you open a new retail account or update your account information, your brokerage firm will ask you to provide them with the name and contact details of a “trusted contact person”. You are not required to do this – but there are a number of very important reasons for naming your broker the name of someone you trust, and FINRA and the Office of Education and the SEC’s investor defense urge you to review the application.
What is a “trusted contact person?”
A “trusted contact person” is someone you authorize your brokerage firm to contact in limited circumstances, such as if your broker is having trouble reaching you or has reasonable grounds to believe your account may be exposed to possible financial abuse. A trusted contact person must be 18 years of age or older.
Appointing someone as a trusted contact person does not give that person any authority to act on your behalf, execute transactions, or engage in any activity in your account.
Why would you add a “trusted contact person” to your brokerage account?
- If your brokerage firm cannot reach you, adding a trusted contact to your brokerage account can help your firm ensure that your current address and contact information is correct.
- Adding a trusted contact person to your brokerage account can help your brokerage firm respond to potential financial abuse or fraud in your account and help protect your account assets.
- If your brokerage firm suspects that you are having a medical condition, adding a trusted contact person to your brokerage account can help your brokerage confirm your current medical condition.
- Adding a trusted contact person to your brokerage account can help your brokerage firm verify the identity of any legal guardian, executor, trustee, or power of attorney holder on your account.
How can you add a “trusted contact person” to your brokerage account?
You may be prompted to add a trusted contact person when logging into your online brokerage account. Many brokerage firms send you notifications, via email or regular mail, which include instructions for adding a trusted contact person to an account. Before clicking on a link in a “trusted contact” notice email, be sure to verify that your brokerage firm sent the email.
If you do not receive a notification or if your brokerage company has not yet requested a trusted contact person and you wish to add a trusted contact person to your brokerage account, contact your company or your financial professional and ask how to add a trusted contact person. contact person for your account.
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