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Public Protection Cabinet

Investment Help

Investing in your future is important at any age. The Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) works to keep your money safe by registering and examining brokerage firms, investment advisers and agents and the securities they offer. DFI also takes complaints and investigates suspected wrong-doing on the part of the industries we regulate. We want to give you tools to help you make choices that are right for you.
Before investing, find out if the product and the person selling it are licensed/registered with DFI, and see if there have been any complaints or orders filed. Call the Securities Division at 800-223-2579 or visit the online search services in the Quick Links at right.
Investor Alerts



6/26/2019 Investor Alert


​11/16/18 Investor Alert
Promissory Notes Advisory
Promissory Notes Infographic


3/23/18 Investor Alert

 Financial "Unicorns" 

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Kiplinger's Financial Field Manual: A Personal Finance Guide for Military Families 

This financial guide can help military families make the most of the special financial benefits open to them, including tax breaks, low-cost investments, legal protections, education opportunities and insurance programs. This newest edition includes information on the new 2018 retirement plan rules. Men and women who join the armed forces between 2006 and the end of 2018 must decide whether to stick with the retirement system that has been in place for decades or choose a new, blended plan that includes both a pension and contributions to the government's Thrift Savings Plan. Those who enlist after 2018 will automatically be in the blended system. The Financial Field Manual is authored by Kiplinger's Personal Finance columnist and Contributing Editor Kim Lankford, who has years of experience as a military spouse. This guide is available here and is made possible by Kentucky DFI, the Investor Protection Trust and the Investor Protection Institute

Conversation Starters 
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To help all Kentucky families start the discussion about their finances, DFI offers Conversation Starters. Each conversation starter includes questions designed to help families kick-start an ongoing dialogue about budgeting, saving, investing and avoiding investment fraud. The series includes sets of questions for couples just starting out, families, working adults and employers, retirees and seniors, military families, and for difficult times in life. This resource was developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association. Start the conversation at


Senior Scam Jam Events 
Find out how to protect yourself from investment fraud by becoming a wise and safe investor. DFI is co-hosting Senior Scam Jam events across Kentucky to help senior citizens guard against various types of fraud. However, investors of all ages would benefit from learning the tricks to watch out for and tips to protect yourself.
Kentucky Saves Week and America Saves Week
Kentucky Saves Week 
The last week of February each year is Kentucky Saves Week. But it's never too late to commit to save money. Enroll now to become a "Kentucky Saver." Make this personal pledge to save money for your own future benefit and receive free newsletter with tips on saving money and reducing debt.
How to File a Complaint or Seek Damages
If you believe you have been wronged or that securities laws have been violated, there are two separate actions you can take:
1. You can file a complaint about potentially fraudulent activities. Contact DFI to file a complaint, report potential fraud or receive additional information regarding a securities entity or individual regulated by DFI.
2. To recover damages like money or securities, you may consider an arbitration or mediation case. Investors can get information about the arbitration and mediation processes through a Financial Institution Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Webcast video that describes what it's like to be a party in an arbitration or mediation case. The webcast depicts an arbitration and a mediation in progress so that viewers can see what the processes are like.
DFI is responsible for protecting Kentucky investors from financial predators and investment fraud through enforcement of the state’s securities laws.
The information provided on this site and in DFI publications is designed to provide a basic understanding of investment concepts. It is not intended to give investment advice, and it will not tell you what to invest in or who to invest with. 


 Games and Quizzes


FSI: Fraud Scene Investigator – Shows how to detect and stop a million-dollar investment fraud and put a con man behind bars. This investment fraud detective game shows players how to research companies and understand the warning signs of fraudulent investment pitches.


Financial Football Training Camp – Features an interactive game with four modules where financial savvy leads to touchdowns. Choose your favorite National Football League team and answer questions correctly to advance down the field.

Credit, Investing, Banking

Investment Fraud Awareness Quiz – Helps you identify your vulnerability to fraud. This 12-question quiz by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) tells you how to avoid becoming a victim.


Investor’s Practice Track – Teaches lessons about investing through game activities like skateboarding, rock climbing and golf.


Money Smart - An Adult Education Program – Provides access to the Money Smart Computer-Based Instruction, an easy-to-use, interactive learning tool that teaches the 10 modules of the Money Smart curriculum through the computer. The program is available online or on CD-ROM in both English and Spanish.
Credit, Investing, Banking

OnGuard Online Games – Provides interactive games such as Invest Quest, The Case of the Cyber Criminal, Friend Finder and more. The site also provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer and protect your personal information.

Investing, Identity Theft

 Investment Help Brochures and Booklets

10 Dos and Don'ts for Investors.pdf10 Dos and Don'ts for InvestorsAvoiding Fraud575 KB
Affinity Fraud.pdfAffinity FraudAvoiding Fraud313 KB
Investor Traps of 2006.pdfInvestor Traps of 2006Avoiding Fraud88 KB
Top 10 Investor Traps 2009-10.pdfTop 10 Investor Traps 2009-10Avoiding Fraud96 KB
Top 10 Investor Traps of 2007.pdfTop 10 Investor Traps of 2007Avoiding Fraud99 KB
Top Investor Traps of 2008.pdfTop Investor Traps of 2008Avoiding Fraud89 KB
Top Investor Traps of 2010-11.pdfTop Investor Traps of 2010-11Avoiding Fraud92 KB
Unsuitable Investments.pdfUnsuitable InvestmentsAvoiding Fraud628 KB
Oil and Gas Investor Checklist.pdfOil and Gas Investor ChecklistAvoiding Fraud, Oil and Gas332 KB
A Primer for Investing in Bonds.pdfA Primer for Investing in BondsBonds555 KB
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