What should the average investor do if he or she is having a problem with a securities, commodities or precious metals broker/dealer or account executive? Obviously, the first thing that needs to be done is for you to attempt to correct the issue yourself. However, in doing so, it is important that you document your efforts. You should note the date and time of the call, who you spoke to and what was discussed. This should be followed up with a brief – I reiterate brief – email (sent to a firm address) or written letter sent to the firm. The reason for this is that if you only spoke to your account executive, the email or note will alert the firm’s management to the problem. The account executive will then not be allowed to just pay you lip service.
It is usually ok to wait for a few days for the matter to be investigated and resolved. However, if you don’t get a satisfactory resolution within a short period of time, you should either call the manager of the firm to make sure he is aware of problem or contact a qualified attorney to follow up for you. Generally, it does not make sense to write a long letter detailing your issue for a number of reasons, including the fact that you might not explain your issue correctly, know what your rights are or even know the full extent of what has happened to you. This is especially true if you are not dealing with one isolated incident but the overall performance of your account.