Unsolicited calls from United States based stockbrokers

This notice is issued by the Financial Supervision Commission (“the Commission”) in accordance with the powers conferred upon it under Section 22 of the Financial Supervision Act 1988.

The Commission have been made aware that several local people have recently received unsolicited calls from US based stockbrokers. These calls have apparently been aimed at persuading the recipients to invest in various US stocks using the services of the US based stockbrokers initiating the call.

There are no rules in the Isle of Man governing this, so called, “cold calling”.

The Public should be aware that the US based stockbrokers making these calls are not subject to regulation by the Financial Supervision Commission.

Details of all licenceholders regulated by the Commission, including Isle of Man Stockbrokers, are available.

Cold callers may or may not be genuine. The Commission offers the following advice for people receiving these calls:

Don't warm up to cold callers
Cold callers often try to “warm up” potential customers with flattery or friendship. They might try to put you off guard by chatting about your hometown or the local sports team. Or they might suggest they've spoken with you before. Don't fall for their tactics. And don't feel compelled to be polite or stay on the line. You don't have to listen if you don't want to, and you don't have to tell cold callers about yourself or your finances. Say “no, thanks” or “I'm not interested” – and then hang up. Don't wait for the caller to end the call. YOU are in control and can hang up at any time.

What if I want to invest?
Never buy an investment based simply on a telephone sales pitch. A wise investor will always slow down, ask questions, get written information about the investment, and investigate the background of the firm and broker. Take notes so you have a record of what the broker told you, in case you have a dispute later. Before making a final decision and handing over your hard-earned money, take the time to investigate. Follow these steps:

Ask the caller these questions
· What is the full name of their Company?
· Where are they based?
· Who regulates their activities
· Is the investment registered with that Regulator?
· How long has the company, which they propose you invest in, been in business? Is it making money? If so, how? What is its product or service? Have the people who are managing this company ever made money for investors in the past? Will you send me the latest reports that have been filed on this company? How can I get more information about this investment?
· Where does the stock trade? How can I get information about the stock's trading price? How easily can I sell? What price would I get if I decide to sell immediately?
· How does this match my investment objectives? What is the risk that I could lose the money I invest?
· What are the costs to buy, hold, and sell this investment?

Do your own research
Get as much written information about the investment as you can. Ask for a prospectus, annual report, offering circular, and financial statements. Compare the written information to what you've been told over the phone. Watch out if you're told that no written information about the company is available.

Get a second opinion
Talk to a trusted financial advisor. Consider calling a locally regulated firm for a second opinion on the opportunity.

Monitor your investment
After you've invested, watch your investment closely. Make sure your broker sends you account statements and written confirmation of all trades. Read these documents carefully to make sure they are correct. Be alert for any transactions you did not authorize.