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article imageWhat investors should be asking their brokers during the pandemic Special

By Tim Sandle     Apr 3, 2020 in Business
With market volatility causing trading volumes to skyrocket, it is recommended that investors check the customer support policies of their broker dealers, according to Dan Pipitone. He provides some advice for Digital Journal readers.
Dan Pipitone is the co-founder of TradeZero America, which is an online commission free broker dealer. During the turbulent times, during the coronavirus pandemic, Pipitone explains: “It’s important to be an informed consumer. We are in unprecedented times due to pandemic concerns. You should become familiar with how your broker dealer handles customer service to prevent problems and make sure your trades are executed smoothly.".
For those who deal with brokers to manage their investment, Pipitone says there are five key questions people should be asking. These questions are:
Does your broker dealer provide a phone number for customer service? Your broker dealer should have a phone number you can call if you have a problem, not just a customer service e-mail or functionality for computer chat.
Who answers the phone? Sometimes customer service lines are answered by bots. You should be able to talk to an actual person .
How fast can you reach someone and is that person qualified? Time is of the essence in fast-moving markets. The customer service rep should answer quickly and be able to handle and resolve your problem promptly, without referring you to a manager.
What are your firm’s margin requirements? Margin calls can be a factor during periods of major market volatility. You should know your margin thresholds.
What are your broker dealer’s contingency plans? Companies are preparing for significant business disruption due to the coronavirus. Does your firm have back-up plans for its systems, technology and personnel?
The key message from Pipitone is to understand and review a broker dealer’s Business Contingency Plan (BCP), which should be found on the broker's website.
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