Blog by Bill Singer WEEK IN REVIEW

October 15, 2016

by Larry Klein, Publisher, the Retirement Income Blog

While I do not know the precise dollar amount that retirees unintentionally sacrifice (because of unfortunate decisions on their part) involving Social Security (SS), the sum is still a lot of money.   Sadly, most people do not even know that the information they get from the Social Security Administration (SSA) is wrong, outdated and insufficient.

Most SS claimants are unaware that there are 12 different SS benefits they are eligible to collect:  parent benefits, child benefits, spouse benefits, widow benefits, divorce benefits for spouses and for widows, etc. READ

You know those jerks who always arrive for a meeting 30 minutes late or show up for the 7 p.m. dinner around 8 p.m.? With some folks, you make an appointment in advance and they show up at the appointed hour; for others, appointments are not commitments but merely aspirations. As a recent FINRA arbitration demonstrates, even an appointment as serious as a first arbitration hearing isn't always honored. Then again, life is filled with consequences. READ

At first blush, it's an eye roller or an issue. We have brokerage firm employees submitting personal expenses under the guise of business expenses. The legal term for such subterfuge is conversion. The more common description would be theft. Whatever it is, we don't always take it seriously because popular culture typically presents the circumstances as some little guy evening the score. When we're all done smirking, however, it ain't funny and it ain't about some noble Robin Hood stealing from the rich and bestowing the loot on the poor. More often than not, it comes down to a steak dinner, a manicure, tickets to the playoffs, or school supplies for the kiddies. The larger issue is why can't Wall Street detect this crap sooner? And what does that failure of oversight say to the investing public? READ

Today's Blog presents a story, which appears to have an ending in terms of a FINRA arbitration -- or maybe the ending was the expulsion and barring of certain key players.  As puzzling as it is to figure out just where the matter terminates, the further in the past we look, the more difficult it becomes to discern just where this tale begins. The more we focus, the more detail emerges. In the end, we are still hunting for the beginning and wondering what the folks under scrutiny were thinking (or not). READ

You've been called to Blog jury duty. Judge Bill Singer, our blog's publisher, presents for your consideration a lawsuit by brokerage firm Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. against one of its public customers. The case was argued before a panel of arbitrators in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority forum. The industry member firm demanded six figures in damages and then some. The public customer represented himself. What Judge Singer asks you to consider is not whether the proceeding was fair because, Spoiler Alert, the public customer won; what you are asked to deliberate about is whether the published FINRA Arbitration Decision provides sufficient content and context. READ

For BrokeAndBroker.Com Blog Guest Contributors

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I don't open attached files from unknown senders, so make sure that your pitch is in the text portion of the email. I welcome all views and perspectives, even when they erroneously conflict mine. Please do not send me puff or marketing pieces. I am looking for serious regulatory/legal/compliance commentary on important cases and developing issues. Also, I am seeking thoughtful observations about investing and market trends. Customer advocates and unrepentant industry apologists are all welcome. 

There is no compensation; however, I am happy to include in any article your direct contact information and professional biography. See these recent GUEST BLOGS:

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