Check an investment company or scheme
Checks make the world of difference
Before you invest you should check to see if the
investment company is operating legally. Proper checks on an
investment company or product can mean the difference between
losing your money to a shonky dealer and getting a great deal from
a legitimate business.
Here are some simple things you can do as part of your
wider checking process.
Check if the company is
A company that sells you investments must hold a licence
from ASIC, which controls what kinds of schemes they can sell you.
Before you hand over your money to someone asking you to join an
investment scheme, ask them: 'Does your company hold an Australian
Financial Services (AFS) licence to sell this investment?' If they
say they don't hold a licence then they could be operating
The ASIC Connect Professional Registers will
tell you if the company managing your investment holds an AFS
Find out what an AFS
You can also check ASIC Connect within the
'organisation and business names search' to see if a scheme is
registered with ASIC. Registered schemes will have an
Australian Registered Scheme Number (ARSN) that can also be
Investment schemes (generally those with more than 20 members)
must be registered with ASIC and comply with obligations under the
Corporations Act. Unregistered managed investment schemes do not
have the same level of obligations and protections.
Check the list of
If a company is on our list of unlicensed
overseas companies then you should not deal with them.
Check the product disclosure
Ask the seller for their product disclosure statement (PDS),
which should give enough information about the scheme for you to
make an informed decision. Registered schemes must have a PDS.
If you're thinking about investing in listed managed investment
products (investments in managed schemes that can be traded on a
financial market), then the PDS must be lodged with ASIC. To check,
you can search ASIC's OFFERlist database.
Find out more about managed funds.
Check if they are a registered
All Australian companies who manage registered investment
schemes must register as a public company (i.e. have Ltd, not Pty
Ltd, after their name). Search ASIC Connect within the 'organisation and
business names' search to see if they have Ltd (and not Pty Ltd)
after their name.
Last updated: 03 Sep 2015