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The Stakes for a Clean Record are Now Even Higher

Effective June 30, 2020, the SEC is enforcing sweeping reform, titled “Regulation Best Interest”. What does the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest mean for brokers? The New Requirements​Effective June 30, 2020, the SEC is enforcing sweeping reform, entitled “Regulation Best Interest: The Broker-Dealer Standard of Conduct,” commonly referred to as “Reg BI.” At the same time, the SEC is also enforcing the …

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A Stacked Deck: Inside the 2019 FINRA New Customer Dispute Expungement Process

The House always wins. FINRA has filed rule changes to strip financial advisors of a critical right. News that expungement of qualified customer disputes was under fire from the regulators first became known on December 6, 2017; when FINRA published Regulatory Notice 17-42. Since then, the industry has been anxiously waiting for the FINRA Board of Governors to tell the industry precisely …

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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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FINRA’s Goal: Investor Protection?

When you click on the “About FINRA” hyperlink located at the very top of FINRA’s website, the first sentence you will see is:

“FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation of broker-dealers.”

In fact, you will see the words “investor protection” countless times on FINRA’s website and throughout its regulatory notices and guides. The names below are changed but the very true case you are about to read really begs the question of to what, exactly, FINRA is “dedicated.”

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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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FINRA’s Focus on Advisors With Customer Disputes

We’ve known for some time that FINRA ranks their brokers based upon negative disclosures on their Form U4 and CRD.  However, that information has never been released to the public en masse due to instances where many non-adjudicated claims have never actually proven a sales-practice violation by the advisor.   A firm that represents customers in drumming up these investor complaints, …