By Christopher Palomo
This year FINRA proudly launched its first ever help line for seniors. The helpline is a source of free information and is FINRA’s latest effort in protecting investor rights. The program is designed to address the unique needs of one of the fastest growing communities of investors – senior citizens. With an estimated 10,000 Americans turning 65 every day and the unique concerns associated with this class of investors, such as lack of income, health concerns, and computer illiteracy, the need for action has never been greater. The helpline aims toward addressing these concerns by expediting the attention given to these investors by placing them a phone call away from the help they need. While the hotline is intended for seniors, no callers are turned away, regardless of their age.
The free hotline provides information ranging from:
- understanding how to review your investment portfolio or account statements;
- concerns about the handling of a brokerage account; and
- investor tools and resources from FINRA, including BrokerCheck.
There is no experience level necessary to use the help line. The staff is not only knowledgeable and friendly, but also more than willing to answer any questions; from simple inquiries about the benefits of an IRA, to more complex questions concerning the suitability requirements for brokers.
While FINRA has and continues to make a variety of informational resources available to all investors, the hotline is specificall geared to address the unique needs of the senior community. Accordingly, it provides a means to cut through both the red tape and hundreds of pages of FINRA packets and instead allows seniors to speak to a real person about questions and concerns. Ultimately, the hotline is a gateway to the FINRA arsenal of resources. For instance, after calling, particular callers may be referred to various departments within FINRA, such as dispute resolution, to better serve their needs. However, most questions can be quickly addressed by the hotline staff.
The hotline information is as follows:
Call 844-57-HELPS (844-574-3577)
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern Time