January 4, 2020
A stockbroker who willfully omitted to state a material fact on a Form U4 will likely be deemed statutorily disqualified. You may have settled for $1. You may agree to a 1 day suspension. You may think you dodged the bullet -- however, if you agreed to having willfully failed to update your U4, after the dollar is paid and the day served, you may be in for a nasty surprise. Many of those shocked folks didn't retain a lawyer and thought they had negotiated a great deal with FINRA. All of which explains why FINRA often admonishes in its settlement agreement that an industry disqualification is a likely consequence of any finding of willful omission, regardless of the fines or suspensions imposed. In a recent case, however, FINRA didn't seem to issue its typical warning.
In today's featured FINRA Arbitration case, we have the double-negative issue of a respondent not not being not allowed to not speak. Although the associated person Respondent's testimony was not allowed by the arbitrators, he was, in fact, not allowed to not testify through the brokerage firm Claimant's non-attorney representative, who is likely not not his representative but, in fact, not the Claimant firm's representative, who, as it turned out, was allowed to not not speak. Oh and another thing, although the Panel says it would not have mattered if the non-attorney rep had not spoken about what he was not supposed to not speak about, the Panel would not have changed its Award had it not not heard all of the not allowed information!
We are now able to merge serious investing with all the passion of the office Fantasy Football League. You form your own Fantasy Football League and Perth Tolle, the founder of the Life + Liberty Indexes, forms her own Index. You do your homework on which players you want to draft, and Tolle applies her research to which countries will be included in her Index/ETF. You pick your players in a draft and Tolle competes in the marketplace with other ETFs. Each week your fantasy team rises or falls in the standings, and each day Tolle's ETF rises or falls in price. As needed, you add players; and, as needed, Tolle will adjust her holdings. Football seasons and the stock markets are filled with disappointment. The seemingly unbeatable can't win. On the other hand, the underdog and the under-appreciated often have their day.