Problems with your investments

When things go wrong

If your investments have fallen in value or your investment company has become insolvent, you will be feeling anxious and worried. The investment loss may be due to various factors, a fall in the overall market, problems with one investment, poor advice or breaches of the law.

Here we discuss what to do if:

Your investment value falls

If your investments have fallen in value, see keep track of your investments.

If the company's accounts have large unexplained or unusual expenses, it may be a sign of director fraud.

If you need to meet a margin call, see margin loans.

If you have an adviser, talk to them. See working with an adviser

Your investment company becomes insolvent

If a company is insolvent it cannot pay its debts when they are due.

You should contact your investment company immediately if:

  • They stop paying your interest payment
  • They stop paying the distribution you expect to receive
  • You see something in the media about your investment company going into administration or liquidation

The most recent prospectus or the product disclosure statement (PDS) will have your investment company's contact details.

If you want to make a complaint to ASIC about a company that you have invested in, use ASIC's online complaint form.

Will you get any money back?

Whether you will get any money back will depend on what type of investment you have and the financial status of the company. For example, if you own shares in the company, any money that is recoverable will first go to the company's creditors and then to shareholders.

For more information see ASIC's insolvency webpage.

If you have invested in a managed fund that has been frozen, see check your withdrawal rights.

Get legal advice

It's a good idea to get legal advice about your rights and whether you are entitled to any compensation. The reasons for the company's insolvency may include misconduct or a breach of the law, and you might be able to be compensated.

Case study: Bill and Judy get some legal advice

Couple Reviewing Papers With Adviser

Bill and Judy invested in a company which collapsed in 2009. They heard that a class action was being run against the company and they decided to join it. The lawyers running the class action said that Bill and Judy would only have to pay their legal fees if the class action failed. After a lengthy court case they were able to recover some of their money.

You think you've been scammed

Investment scams are often so professional, slick and believable that it is hard to tell them apart from genuine investment opportunities. The scammers set up a fake business and websites to trick people out of their money. For more information see investment scams.

You think you've been given bad advice

If you think the financial advice you've been given was inappropriate then you have a right to complain. For more information see working with an adviser.

When there are problems with your investments, work out what your options are and if you can recover any money. It's important that you focus on the future to get your finances back on track.

Related links

Last updated: 29 Aug 2018