Archive for the ‘FINRA’ Category

Big Name Brokerage Firms Hurting Baby Boomers

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Mara Der Hovanesian has written a story that all baby boomers should read.  In this week’s BusinessWeek, Hovanesian covers the story that Investor’s Watchblog has been following since our launch and that too few reporters cover.  There is a tidal wave of investment fraud breaking over American baby boomers.  Their nest eggs are disappearing not only into the hands of con artists, but also into the hands of overeager and commission-hungry stockbrokers at America’s largest and best known brokerage houses.  (more…)

Stockbrokers Cheat on Tests

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Like attorneys, doctors, and accountants, stockbrokers are required to take continuing education courses.  For stockbrokers, the course comes in two parts-a regulatory part and a firm part.  The firm part is an on-line course followed by an on-line test that the brokers can take from their own computers.  They receive a user name and password to log into the course and the test and must score 80% or better to pass the test.  (more…)

FINRA Disciplines Five Firms

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has disciplined five broker-dealers for “mutual fund sales and supervisory violations.”  The firms all failed to give mutual fund customers commission discounts to which they were entitled.  The five firms are Prudential Securities, Inc., Pruco Securities, Inc., UBS Financial Services, Merrill Lynch, and Wells Fargo.   (more…)

Elderly Parents At Risk

Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

She trusted him.  He’d been her broker for more than 20 years.  When her husband died in 1999 and she wanted to set up a charitable foundation to benefit the arts, she made the broker an officer and trustee of the foundation.  In 2000, when she entered a nursing home in failing health, she gave the broker her power of attorney, authorizing him to engage in banking transactions on her behalf.  (more…)

The Investment Decision You Can’t Delegate to a Broker

Sunday, February 10th, 2008

As the U.S. economy tumbles and the world economy trembles, businesses will begin laying off workers.  In October, AOL announced that it would be laying off 2000 employees.  Yahoo is planning on laying off hundreds of employees.  Airbus is set to cut 10,000 jobs.  (more…)

SEC Wants to Know Whether a NJ Brokerage Firm is a Ponzi Scheme

Monday, January 14th, 2008

Registered Broker-Dealer.  Member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).  Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).   Every brokerage firm you’ve ever done business with touts those three things.  Let’s admit it-unless you work in the industry, those claims make the firm sound stable, solid, and safe.  They give it an aura of legitimacy.  A case the SEC is investigating should cure us all of that misunderstanding. (more…)

FINRA’s New Expungement Rule

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has approved a rule that will make it tougher for stockbrokers to whitewash their records.  As reported in the New York Times, and covered on Investor’s Watchblog, for two decades many customer complaints have not been added to stockbrokers’ records.  That is because brokers were allowed to negotiate for expungement of their record as a condition of settlement.  Expungement does not mean that a broker is innocent of the charges made by the customer.  It means only that the firm thought it important to keep the broker’s record clean so that he or she can continue to attract customers.  (more…)

GM Employees Beware!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

Today’s Wall Street Journal reports that the GM has begun the first phase of a buyout designed to reduce its workforce by 5200 people.  GM plans to replace those employees with people earning less money per hour.My experience tells me that stockbrokers and investment advisers have already begun crafting their sales presentations to snare the employees leaving GM with the buyout.  Unless they take steps to protect themselves, a significant percentage of these GM employees will find themselves without a retirement nest egg within 7 to 10 years.  (more…)

Another Lesson from The Wolf of Wall Street

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

Jordan Belfort wound up in jail after running wild on Wall Street.  His memoir The Wolf of Wall Street spares no detail in describing how he ran roughshod over almost every securities law ever enacted, while every securities regulator in the country tried to shut him down.  His firm, Stratton Oakmont, lasted seven years. (more…)

New York Times Exposes Deficiencies in FINRA’s BrokerCheck Report

Friday, December 14th, 2007

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (”FINRA“) is in the middle of a media campaign touting themselves as the investor’s friend.  They urge people to check out their broker for free using FINRA’s BrokerCheck report.  Today, New York Times reporter Lynnley Browning reported that FINRA’s BrokerCheck is worth what you pay for it — nothing.  (more…)

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