The Spring Update from BrokeAndBroker and Bill Singer

April 9, 2009

Being There is an absolutely wonderful gem of a movie starring Peter Sellers as Chance the Gardener. I'd tell you more about the plot, but that would ruin the film for those of you who haven't seen it. Rent this one tomorrow. Aficionados of this 1979 cult classic often quote the famous scene between Sellers and Jack Warden (President Bobby).  For those of you unfamiliar with the film, the scene is on the right. 

Watch a trailer of the film.

President "Bobby": Mr. Gardner, do you agree with Ben, or do you think that we can stimulate growth through temporary incentives?
[Long pause]
Chance the Gardener: As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden.
President "Bobby": In the garden.
Chance the Gardener: Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
President "Bobby": Spring and summer.
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
President "Bobby": Then fall and winter.
Chance the Gardener: Yes.
Benjamin Rand: I think what our insightful young friend is saying is that we welcome the inevitable seasons of nature, but we're upset by the seasons of our economy.
Chance the Gardener: Yes! There will be growth in the spring!
Benjamin Rand: Hmm!
Chance the Gardener: Hmm!
President "Bobby": Hm. Well, Mr. Gardner, I must admit that is one of the most refreshing and optimistic statements I've heard in a very, very long time.
[Benjamin Rand applauds]
President "Bobby": I admire your good, solid sense. That's precisely what we lack on Capitol Hill.

 
Perhaps the roots have not been severed and all will eventually be good in our garden.  It is now spring. There will be growth in the spring!  Wall Street may yet survive the frost and bloom.

ONLINE DOINGS

I have certainly been busy the past couple of months.  As many of you may have noticed, my online empire is growing into something bordering world dominance.  Soon, I will be setting my sights on control of the Milky Way.  RRBDLaw.com, BrokeAndBroker (the Blog), and the new BrokeAndBroker site will be beamed out to the known and unknown galaxies.  

However, let me briefly deal with the more mundane concerns of my life on Earth.  

The Beta version of the new BrokeAndBroker site is now up and running, and we're expanding daily.  The initial response has been very encouraging and I'm glad to see so many industry participants willing to help us with the launch.  I've been listening to what you want, and every day we're adding new features and services. Many of you want help on starting your own BD or RIA.  We've started to list some service providers, with more to come. Some of you want to buy a BD or RIA, or want help in dealing with a so-called franchise set-up. That too is in the works. Then there is the simple request to bring a lot of industry related content under one page -- we're doing it and trying to filter out the garbage.

TRADE GROUPS

I have recently completed discussions with a number of industry trade groups.  In recent years, many of you folks have urged me to join one or another organization.  I appreciate the compliment inherent in that request and I hope that you appreciate (or at least understand) my candid replies. Not every existing trade group is a good fit for me or the member firms and registered persons in the FINRA Dissident/Reform Movement with which I maintain personal/professional relationships.  Moreover, I am not the easiest person to get along with -- I hold strong opinions about the need to reform Wall Street and I am not given to compromising my core beliefs.  

Some trade groups have been too radical (yes, even for a firebrand such as me). Other groups have been too compliant with the industry's regulators and have acted as counter-productive proxies. Some groups pretend to far more influence than is justified by their number of claimed members. Other groups just don't seem to be more than a logo and a handful of unhappy campers.  Clearly, the FINRA indie/regional community needs to coalesce under one effective trade group--and the agenda and goals must aspire to far more than an annual outing and a meet-and-greet the regulators seminar.  We need an umbrella under which we can all huddle. It's okay for us to disagree -- most families and partnerships do -- but once we vote and the majority wins, then it's time to join together and make common cause. The trick is to ensure that the trade group abides by democratic principles.  As long as the doors are open to elective office and the Board, as long as no one person maintains a stranglehold on management and the agenda, then the playing field is level.

I'm not sure if I will ultimately be asked to join any of the groups with which I have recently spoken.  I'm not sure if I will accept any offers that may come my way.  Nonetheless, if and when I make a decision, I'll let you all know.  It's time that we in FINRA's indie/regional community all join forces under one powerhouse trade group. Together we can accomplish much. In our presently divided state, we are marginalized.

Shhh!!!!!!!!!!  Don't tell everyone yet, but there are some big goings-on going on at http://BrokeAndBroker.com  We've been listening to what you want and we're starting to build it. It's going to be new. And different. 

Bottom line: If you are a registered person, a Broker-Dealer, an RIA, or a participant in the markets, you must bookmark http://BrokeAndBroker.com as your one-stop, all-in-one, must-visit Wall Street resource.

Http://BrokeandBroker.com is under construction and that means lots of noise and debris. For the next few weeks, it may not be pretty to look at. We're going to fiddle around with lots of things -- stuff will be here, then there, then disappear, and maybe reappear.  But don't just stand there peering through the hole in the fence!  Send us your thoughts and suggestions. After all, what we're building is for all of us on the Street to use and enjoy as a valuable resource.
How can you help us?  How can you join us?  

Well, we're going to make this really simple--as it should be. 

BLOGGERS

Do you have a Wall Street blog and are looking to reach a wider industry and investor audience?  Great -- send a copy of your link to  rrbdlawyer@aol.com  and we'll look it over.  If we like what we see, we'll call you and offer you a window on our site. Visit this sample page for an idea of what we're offering: http://brokeandbroker.com/blogs.html  

Why join our community?  For one thing, we reach a lot of folks through http://RRBDLaw.com and the BrokeAndBroker Blog. For another, there is power in numbers and if we're all on the same page, that's going to make this special.

WRITERS

You have something to say but not the time to set up a full-fledged blog on your own? Okay, we can offer you a Guest Blog column on the popular http://brokeandbroker.com/index.php blog.  If you look through the BrokeAndBroker Blog archives at http://www.brokeandbroker.com/index.php?a=archive, you'll see some Guest Blogs.  Send your proposed guest blog entry to rrbdlawyer@aol.com and maybe you'll earn a coveted spot on this popular platform.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE PROVIDERS

Are you a professional who services the industry? A CPA, Consultant, Lawyer?

  • Can you help set up or acquire a Broker-Dealer or RIA? 
  • Do you offer clearing services or state-of-the-art platforms?
  • Can you help draft written supervisory procedures or facilitate the expansion into a new business line? 
  • Are you a recruiter with retail producers or compliance staff? 
  • Are you a lawyer handling public customer fraud cases or industry defense?

Send the link to your website to rrbdlawyer@aol.com, and we'll see if we can fit you in on http://BrokeAndBroker.com For guidance on what your posting may look like, visit http://www.brokeandbroker.com/professional-services.html

VENDORS

Times are tough but we have a great demographic at BrokeAndBroker.  Our visitors need office services/supplies, corporate gifts, and consumer goods.  If you think our community will buy it, let us know at rrbdlawyer@aol.com and we will discuss the placement of your company in our Shopping Center at http://www.brokeandbroker.com/shopping-center.html.