I always check my investment statements for accuracy on a monthly basis and compare them to my transaction slips. I don’t really expect any fraudulent activity on my account but mistakes can be made, even by a large discount brokerage such as the one I use.
As an example, when I first opened my Tax Free Savings Account with them I was assured that the annual $50 fee would be waived if (1) I kept a combined total balance of over $100,000 in all my accounts or, (2) I signed up for on-line investment statements instead of mailed paper investment statements.
Review Your Investment Statements
Since I qualified on both counts I thought nothing of it again. Until that is I reviewed my statement a year later and saw a fee of $52.50 (including GST) hidden among my transaction fees.
A representative informed me that I had not integrated my three accounts (direct trading, RRSP and TFSA) like this was my own fault.
But one advantage of the integrated total was reduced trading fees ($9.99 vs $29) which is what I was paying so I knew the three account totals had been combined. Another time an expected dividend was not recorded in my account and I knew the company had not suspended their dividends.
Even minor errors such as these should be reported. You don’t want to ignore your investment statements or sit on an error and then have to try to sue the firm when things don’t work out to your satisfaction, such as the case recently reported in the news.
Reviewing your investment statements is an important part of being a good, informed investor. You can’t know you’re on track or make any necessary adjustments to your portfolio if you don’t look at what’s been going on.
And you can’t build your investments expecting everything will turn out in your favour by accident or luck, and then cry about how bad the market is (or your advisor is) when you’ve lost money. Be responsible for your own wealth.