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Form ADV updates are due in just a few short months (by March 31st).

Now is the time to rethink your RIA firm’s compliance and regulatory support. As we regain our footing in 2021, are you confident that your firm’s filings are in order?  In such turbulent times, regulators require RIAs to exhibit organizational resiliency. The pandemic brought about new issues, such as PPP loan disclosures, and it added urgency to business continuity matters, …

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When setting up a new RIA firm, should advisors use template services or professional compliance teams?

Launching your own registered investment adviser (RIA) firm is an exciting, but complicated, new chapter in your career as a financial professional. From drafting the ADV to communicating with regulators, registering a new RIA firm can be an overwhelming task. Although online document template services are cheap and simple to use, those services don’t come without their drawbacks.  This past …

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AdvisorLaw’s new “Rideshare Program” helps financial advisors expunge customer disputes and U5 termination disclosures

AdvisorLaw is now offering a “Rideshare Program” for financial advisors seeking to expunge customer dispute or U5 termination disclosures for the entire month of December.  With over 40 million visitors to BrokerCheck® every year, you and your teammates can’t afford to lose a client over a meritless disclosure on your record. But we can help to restore your good name. If you …

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Succession: Who will inherit your book of business?

Advisory practices around the U.S. have been faced with a new priority focus: succession planning. With many of the youngest baby boomers approaching their 60s, it’s alarming to learn that only one-fourth of all advisors have a succession plan in place. Without a plan, many retiring advisors risk losing decades of efforts spent building their client relationships to another advisor who may not provide the level of service that their clients have come to expect.

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Putting a Succession Plan in Place

When a retiring advisor’s clients know their advisor’s plan for retirement and have started to build a relationship with the successor, success that the book will transition and stay with the successor is much more likely. On the flip side, if an advisor is nearing retirement, and clients are left wondering what will happen next, the retiring advisor is sending a message to the clients that they should start looking for a new advisor. This is precisely why having a clearly-defined succession plan helps to ensure that advisors maintain both business and personal relationships as they transition.

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What if Compliance Accuses You of a Firm Policy Violation?

On Wednesday, while on vacation, an advisor got a call from his broker-dealer’s compliance department. It was from a young woman who was fairly new to the compliance team. She accused him of altering client-signed documents and cutting and pasting a client signature. In essence, the financial advisor was being accused of fraud.

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7 Transition Tips for Leaving With a Clean U5

​We’ve all been there: A new and better opportunity presents itself, we’re looking to move up in our careers, or we’re just sick of working for Susan, a hapless manager who is a terrible person on all counts. Regardless of why we pursue newer and better options, it’s essential to act strategically, know your rights, and have a career transition plan in place.

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Auction Rate Securities: The Conservative’s Conservative?

For over 25 years, Auction Rate Securities (ARS) products were considered safe and sound investments. Then, everything changed in 2008 when investment banks stopped purchasing ARS products at the beginning of the Great Recession. The pause in ARS purchases caused an overall market freeze that snowballed into a massive influx of investor complaints against brokers who were making investment recommendations …

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The Other Costs of Having FINRA U4 Disclosures on Your BrokerCheck

Losing potential business due to customer complaints on your BrokerCheck report is bad enough, but it isn’t the only cost of having FINRA U4 disclosures on your CRD.   Today, most clients search online before setting up an initial meeting with a financial advisor. I’ve heard people say, “You don’t go to lunch in a new part of town without …