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  • NASAA: Protecting Main Street Investors - 16 October 2014
  • With its membership consisting of 67 administrators from United States territories, districts and states, as well as from the provinces of Canada and Mexico, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has as its main aim the protection of consumers who purchase investment advice and/or securities. To this end, the NASAA has jurisdiction over a wide range of intermediaries and issuers offering securities to members of the public. The Association also facilitates information sharing and multi-state enforcement actions for the state securities agencies it represents, and arranges training and education programs and seminars for securities agency staff at state, district and provincial level. The Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam, referred to as 'Series 63', required as a qualification for securities agents in most states, was formulated by the NASAA and is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

  • First SEC Investor Advocate Appointed - 13 February 2014
  • As part of the Dodd-Frank law signed in July 2010, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has set up the Office of the Investor Advocate and appointed the current deputy general counsel for the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), Rick A. Fleming, to head up the new department, starting February 24. The new investor advocacy office aims to educate members of the public who are considering making investments, by making investment information and decision making tools freely available. As stated on their website: "The SEC cannot tell you what investments to make, but we can offer unbiased information about investing." Topics covered by the SEC include Introduction to the Markets; Investing Basics; Researching and Managing Investments; Employment and Retirement; and Life Events.

  • Pre-Dispute Mandatory Arbitration Challenged - 18 April 2013
  • On Wednesday April 17 up to seventeen members of the North American Securities Administrators Association Inc. (NASAA) met with lawmakers in Washington to garner support for ending, or at the very least restricting, the use of pre-dispute mandatory arbitration clauses in client contracts with investment brokers. With these clauses generally being presented as standard procedure, investors may not be aware that they are, in effect, losing their right to use the judicial system in any dispute arising out of agreements entered into with brokers. In other words, they cannot sue a broker who violates the terms of the agreement or neglects to act in the best interests of a client, the investor. Critics of mandatory arbitration clauses note that investors should be given the choice of omitting the clause from an agreement, thereby giving themselves a greater measure of protection should the client/broker relationship go sour.

  • Is the "Kodak Moment" Fading? - 29 September 2011
  • The brand name Kodak is synonymous with occasions we want memorialized, and the term "Kodak moment" is readily understood to describe a moment in time that either has been, or should have been, captured on film. Used as a promotional gimmick back in 2008, the "Kodak moment" concept has become part of our vocabulary. But the digital world has eclipsed the traditional world of photography, and it is becoming quite rare for photographers to use film that needs to be developed and printed. While the majority of photographers may still make use of a professional service to print their memories, home printing is becoming more popular and using a computer or mobile device and social media sites as a photo album is now commonplace.

  • Double Dip Fears Return - 13 June 2011
  • As last week drew to a close, the Dow ended below the 12,000 mark amidst increasing concerns regarding the rate of recovery of the US economy. The Dow was down 172.45 points to close at 11,951.91, while the S&P 500 ended the week down 18.02 points on 1,270,98 and the Nasdaq composite dropped by 41.14 points to 2,643,73, being 1.4 percent, 1.4 percent and 1.53 percent respectively. This is the sixth week in a row that markets on Wall Street suffered losses, making it the longest consecutive weekly loss since 2002.

  • Stock Exchanges – Linking Investors and Public Companies - 9 may 2011
  • The manner in which stock exchanges conduct business continues to evolve, with rapid advances in technology making today's exciting discovery yesterday's old news, and mergers and buyouts narrowing the competition. However, the importance of stock exchanges has not diminished as they fulfill a number of roles in big business, which in turn affects the economy, and ultimately the man on the street.

  • FINRA – Protecting and Educating Investors - 17 June 2010
  • FINRA – Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. – is contracted by brokerage firms and trading markets to perform the function of market regulation in the United States, with the aim of maintaining market integrity and protecting investors by means of efficient regulation, ensuring compliance and technology-based services. It is a common misconception that FINRA is a government entity, when in fact it is a private corporation. It is the largest independent regulator for all securities conducting business in the US, with close to 4,700 brokerage firms, approximately 167,000 branch offices and roughly 635,000 registered securities representatives under its wing. Major exchanges contracting FINRA to oversee market regulation include the American Stock Exchange, the NASDAQ Stock Market, the Chicago Climate Exchange and the International Securities Exchange.

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