by Bill Singer WEEKLY REVIEW

November 15, 2014

Written: November 14, 2014

Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard captured it perfectly: "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."  

Much the same can be said for so many regulatory problems that bedevil registered representatives.  In hindsight, you see how one error in judgment led to another and that cascaded into a series of compliance issues that resulted in regulatory problems.  You needed to pay overdue bills, so you borrowed from a customer but you failed to disclose the loan to your firm. Then you couldn't quite pay your taxes and got hit with a lien, which you also didn't disclose to your firm. As your financial predicament grew worse, you failed to timely repay the customer's loans. The customer called your firm to complain. Then came the uncomfortable questions from your compliance department. Afterwards, came the more ominous questions from a regulator. You tried your best to move forward while deftly sidestepping all the obstacles but, in the end, it all crashed down upon you. 

Written: November 13, 2014

For the purpose of proposing a settlement of rule violations alleged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), without admitting or denying the findings, prior to a regulatory hearing, and without an adjudication of any issue, Terence Marable submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Terence Marable, Respondent (AWC #20140411667, November 7, 2014).

Written: November 13, 2014

On November 12, 2014, the North American Securities Administrators Association ("NASAA") issued a warning about emerging threats to investors in 2015 posed by:

  • Binary Options
  • Stream-of-Income Investments
  • Digital Currency and Cybersecurity Risks

The Blog urges all its readers to consider these NASAA warnings and to disseminate the advisory to your family and friends.

Key Witness Walks Out Of Finder Fee Arbitration
Written: November 12, 2014

For some companies, there is a buyer out there, somewhere, but for the fact that the identity of that interested party is unknown. To the rescue of these beleaguered organizations are individuals and companies that go out and beat the bushes. Of course, those finders generally want a fee for their efforts.  More often than not, it's a happy marriage of someone in need with someone in the know. In the end, the firm seeking a buyer gets one and the finder earns a fee.  Sometimes, however, there's a dispute about whether the finder found the buyer and earned the fee. Consider this recent example.

Written: November 11, 2014

Stockbroker, Compliance, Legal, and Regulatory Jobs

Written: November 10, 2014

It's an important moment for many stockbrokers. For whatever reason -- age, retirement, market conditions -- you decide to sell your book of business.  Someone likes your client list and the next thing you know, legal documents are prepared, signatures added, and money exchanged. Sometimes all goes well. Sometimes not. Sometimes it's a disaster. In today's Blog we consider the 2006 sale of Claimant's book to Respondent for $150,000. Up to a point, Respondent made the required quarterly payments. Then Respondent terminated Claimant, or so it's suggested; and then Respondent refused to directly pay Claimant the balance due of $105,000 and put the funds in escrow. Dueling six-figure arbitration claims followed. Sadly, exactly what happened here and how everything resolved remains largely a mystery because the FINRA Arbitration Decision fails to provide sufficient context and content. Except, you know, there is that question about ravens and writing desks.