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New Jersey Bureau of Securities

Frequently Asked Questions for Investors

    Dealing with the New Jersey Bureau of Securities

  1. How do I file a complaint with the Bureau?

    To file a complaint with the Bureau go to the Bureau's File a Complaint webpage.

  2. Can the New Jersey Bureau of Securities get my money back?

    The Bureau investigates complaints against individuals and firms selling securities or offering investment advice, as well as companies issuing securities investments.  The Bureau is empowered to bring administrative actions or civil lawsuits to enforce the registration and anti-fraud provisions of the New Jersey Uniform Securities Law.  The Bureau may also refer certain matters for criminal prosecution. 

    While in certain instances the Bureau may recover restitution for harmed investors, please be advised that the Bureau does not have the authority to order restitution or the repayment of any monies which you believe are due you.  You may wish to speak with an attorney about pursuing a case through arbitration, litigation or other legal action.

  3. Will I receive information or updates about an ongoing investigation?

    No.  Pursuant to the New Jersey Uniform Securities Law, information about an investigation is deemed private and not open to the public. 

  4. How do I find out if the Bureau has taken action on a matter?

    Go to the Bureau's Orders & Filed Complaints webage. Actions taken by the Bureau against individuals and entities are posted here in alphabetical order.  If you cannot find the information you are looking for, you can contact the Bureau at either  ​ or at 1-866-I-INVEST

  5. How can I check on the reputation of a securities agent or a financial adviser?

    Weigh the qualifications of a financial professional the same way you would a doctor, lawyer or accountant.  Look for several years of experience, combined with a stable record of employment, appropriate educational credentials and solid references from people you know and trust.

    Once you narrow your search, go to the Bureau's Check Before You Invest webpage to check on the background, education and disciplinary history of the financial professionals, as well as to determine whether the Bureau has issued any orders or taken any action against the financial professionals in the past. 

  6. What are the Central Registration Depository (CRD) and Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD)?

    The Central Registration Depository (CRD), a national database of broker-dealers and broker-dealer agents and the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD), a national database of investment advisers and investment adviser representatives contain information regarding financial professionals such as disciplinary history, education and employment background.  The New Jersey Bureau of Securities participates in both the CRD and IARD systems. 

  7. Where can I obtain a copy of a CRD or IARD record of a broker-dealer, broker-dealer agent, investment adviser or investment adviser representative?

    To obtain a copy of a financial professional's CRD or IARD record complete the Bureau Form Request for CRD or IARD Information.  Additionally visit the Bureau's Check Before You Invest webpage to assist you in your review of your financial professional.

  8. Can you recommend a broker-dealer or an investment adviser?

    The Bureau will provide a copy of any financial professional's CRD or IARD record that you have requested.  However, the Bureau cannot recommend a particular broker-dealer, stockbroker, investment adviser, or investment adviser representative. 

    For more information, read What Type of Investment Professional is Right for Me? in the investor education section of the website.

  9. Dealing with Your Financial Professional

  10. How do I resolve a dispute with my securities agent or investment adviser?

    First, attempt to resolve the problem by speaking directly with your agent or investment adviser representative.  Second, attempt to resolve the problem by speaking with the branch office manager.  If you are not satisfied with their response, contact the legal and compliance department at the firm's headquarters.  Keep written notes of conversations and copies of all correspondence.  If you cannot resolve the problem within a reasonable period of time, you may wish to speak with an attorney about pursuing arbitration or other legal action, and you should also file a complaint with the Bureau. 

  11. Securities

  12. I am handling the estate of a deceased relative.  How do I transfer ownership of the securities from the name of the deceased to the person inheriting the securities?

    If you currently do business with a brokerage firm, ask if they will handle the transfer for you.  Otherwise, call the company's shareholder relations department for the name and telephone number of the company's transfer agent.  The transfer agent can provide specific information about the documents required for legal transfer. 

  13. I have an old stock certificate, and I do not recognize the name of the company.  How do I find out if it has any value?

    If you currently do business with a certified public accountant or brokerage firm, ask if they will trace the company name and quote the market price for you on a complimentary basis.  Otherwise, call or write to the office of the Secretary of State in the state of incorporation to ask whether the company is still in business, or is doing business under a different name (expect to pay a fee).  For companies incorporated in New Jersey, write to the

    Department of State
    Division of Commercial Recording
    820 Bear Tavern Road
    Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0308. 

    Other resources may be found on the Internet, at public libraries, or stock exchanges.  There are also services that may charge a fee.  You may want to check if your library has:

    Financial Stock Guide Service: Published by Financial Information, Inc. since 1927, this comprehensive guide is a good starting point for all research on old stock certificates.  This listing, updated annually, contains a directory of actively traded stocks and obsolete securities.   The Bureau subscribes to this service and you can contact the Bureau at 1-866-I-INVEST (i-866-446-8378) to consult this service.     

    For more information about old stock certificates you can contact For a fee, this company through its website: or by phone at (703) 787-3552  can  provide information in tracing the value of very old stock certificates. 

    A search of unclaimed property in the state of the last address the company in which you are researching had on file is also a good place to look.  New Jersey's Unclaimed Property Administration can be contacted at:

    Unclaimed Property Administration
    P.O.  Box 214
    Trenton, NJ 08695-0214
    Phone: (609) 292-9200
    Fax (609) 984-0593

  14. Mutual Funds

  15. No-load, back-end load. . . how do I select the mutual fund fee structure that is right for me?

    Start by reading the mutual fund prospectus thoroughly.  Make a list of all items described as fees, charges or expenses.  These include front-end loads, back-end charges (or contingent deferred sales charges), redemption fees, exchange fees, management fees, 12b-1 fees and a category called "other expenses."  Then, visit your public library or search online to consult a mutual fund rating reference such as Morningstar, which publishes cost averages for the various fund categories.  If your fund's fees exceed the average, ask your agent or mutual fund company representative to explain why. 

Last Modified: 11/20/2019 9:16 AM