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FINRA Press Release: Auction Rate Securities

FINRA Fines Nuveen $3 Million for Use of Misleading Marketing Materials Concerning Auction Rate Securities

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a press release this week announcing that

"it has fined Nuveen Investments, LLC, of Chicago, $3 million for creating misleading marketing materials used in sales of auction rate preferred securities (ARPS). The Nuveen Funds' ARPS were a form of auction rate securities, which are long-term securities with interest rates or...

In the News: Equity Indexed Annuities

Forbes published an article on equity-indexed annuities (EIAs). It describes the history of and market for EIAs, compares EIAs with other fixed and variable annuities, and briefly weighs the advantages and disadvantages of EIAs.

An annuity makes periodic payments to the holder of the annuity. There are fixed annuities that make fixed payments and variable annuities that make variable payments. EIAs are similar to both fixed and variable annuities in that they pay an interest rate linked...

Reverse Convertibles tied to TiVo Stock

J. P. Morgan's 64% Note Tied to TiVo Stock Shows Risks of Reverse Convertibles

Bloomberg issued a news release reporting on the reverse convertible, a structured product, on TiVo.

A reverse convertible note is a type of structured product that is linked to an equity security or an index. It is a short-term note that pays a relatively high coupon rate compared to traditional notes. The returns of the note at maturity depends on whether the equity, called 'reference asset', falls below a...

FINRA Press Release: HSBC Securities

FINRA Fines HSBC Securities (USA) $1.5 million, US Bancorp $275,000 for Auction Rate Securities Violations

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a press release today announcing that

"it has settled charges with two additional firms relating to the sale of auction rate securities (ARS) that became illiquid when auctions froze in February 2008 - HSBC Securities (USA) and US Bancorp Investments, Inc."

The settlement is detailed in the FINRA AWC No. 20080130571...

FINRA Press Release: Morgan Keegan

FINRA Files Complaint Against Morgan Keegan & Company for Misleading Customers Regarding Risks of Bond Funds and Advertising, Other Violations

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a press release today announcing that

"it has filed a complaint against Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc., charging the firm with marketing and selling seven affiliated bond funds to investors using false and misleading sales materials - costing investors well over $1 billion. In addition...

SLCG Research: Mutual Fund's Term

SLCG released today 'What Does a Mutual Fund's Term Tell Investors?'

Bond mutual funds are classified by Morningstar as ultra short, short, intermediate or long-term. Bond mutual funds have found a way to hold long-term bonds while being classified as ultra-short or short.

In this paper, we demonstrate how the losses suffered by these funds in 2008 can be explained by the increasing credit risks of holding long-term bonds. Furthermore, we find that the classification of these funds as...

FINRA Press Release: Provident Asset Management

Dallas-based Provident Asset Management Expelled for Marketing Fraudulent Private Placements Offered by Affiliate in Massive Ponzi Scheme

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a press release today announcing that

"it has expelled Provident Asset Management, LLC, a Dallas-based broker-dealer, for marketing a series of fraudulent private placements offered by its affiliate, Provident Royalties, LLC, in a massive Ponzi scheme."

A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent scheme...

FINRA Fines H&R Block Financial Advisors

FINRA Fines H&R Block Financial Advisors $200,000 for Inadequate Supervision of Reverse Convertible Notes Sales, Suspends and Fines Broker for Unsuitable Sales to Retired Couple

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a press release today announcing that it had

[fined] H&R Block Financial Advisors, Inc., (n/k/a Ameriprise Advisor Services, Inc.) $200,000 for failing to establish adequate supervisory systems and procedures for supervising sales of [reverse convertible...

FINRA Regulatory Notice: Reverse Convertibles

FINRA Reminds Firms of Their Sales Practice Obligations With Reverse Exchangeable Securities (Reverse Convertibles)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published Regulatory Notice 10-09 reminding financial firms selling reverse convertibles notes (RCN) to provide fair and balanced sales materials and communications, including proper statement on the risks associated with such notes.

In an upcoming SLCG study on RCN, we have found that investors of RCNs have been...

FINRA Regulatory Notice: Variable Annuities

FINRA Reminds Firms of Their Responsibilities Under FINRA Rule 2330 for Recommended Purchases or Exchanges of Deferred Variable Annuities

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published Regulatory Notice 10-05 reminding firms of their responsibilities concerning deferred variable annuities. Annuities can carry costs and risks that many investors may not be aware of because brokers who are incentivized by commission-generation do not make them clear to investors. Costs...

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