Is your financial adviser asking you for a “trusted contact”? Are you wondering why?

The firm may request that you give them the name and contact information of a trusted contact. While it is not mandatory that you do so, the Missouri Securities Division is encouraging you to consider providing the name of someone you trust as a contact on your accounts.

A trusted contact is a person you authorize your financial firm to contact in limited circumstances, such as if there is a concern about activity in your account and they have been unable to get in touch with you. A trusted contact may be a family member, friend, attorney, accountant or another third-party who you believe would respect your privacy and know how to handle the responsibility. You may establish more than one trusted contact.

Why would you add a trusted contact to your account?

Among other things, having one or more persons listed as a trusted contact provides another layer of safety on your account and puts your financial firm in a better position to help keep your account safe.  

Additionally, naming someone as a trusted contact does not give that person any authority to act on your behalf, access your money, execute transactions or engage in activity in your account.  

How would having a trusted contact help me?

Maybe you are traveling or you have been displaced by a natural disaster. Maybe there is a concern about fraud or maybe you are having a health issue. A trusted contact can help your firm connect with you and may be asked to confirm your current contact information, health status or the identity of any legal guardian, executor, trustee or holder of a power of attorney. Broker-Dealers are required to provide a written disclosure that lays out these details.

By designating a trusted contact, you are authorizing the firm to contact someone you trust and disclose information about your account only in limited circumstances. A firm may only disclose limited categories of information to a trusted contact, including information that will assist the firm in administering the customer’s account and serving you.

You can also ask your financial firm to change or update your trusted contact information at any time.

For more helpful information or additional resources go to Missouriprotectsinvestors.com or contact the Missouri Securities Division’s Investor Protection Hotline at 1-800-721-7996.