SEC seal

Regulation Best Interest is really Regulation Status Quo

April 24, 2018

Regulation Best Interest ? Under the SEC’s proposed Regulation Best Interest, the SEC says a broker-dealer would be required to act in the best interests of a retail customer when making a recommendation of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities to a retail customer. This is the SEC’s plan to displace the Department of Labor’s uniform fiduciary standard for retirement accounts which was adopted after YEARS of analysis.

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Bernie Madoff

Madoff ponzi scheme victims to recover more

April 12, 2018

$504 million more to victims of Madoff ponzi scheme. Madoff ponzi scheme victims are to receive another $504 million from assets that government seized after the collapse of one of the largest frauds in history. Payments to victims could reach $4 billion. Much of these funds were recovered from Madoff’s family and friends, Madoff’s bank J.P. Morgan Chase, and from wealthy investors who had cashed out billions of what turned out to be fictitious profits.

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Martin Shkreli

Martin Shkreli investor to recover losses

April 11, 2018

Shkreli investor to recover losses. A NJ federal court ordered convicted fraudster Martin Shkreli to pay one defrauded hedge fund investor about $388,000 in restitution. 

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Nun with ruler

Wells Fargo shamed by Nuns

April 6, 2018

Wells Fargo shamed by Nuns. Wells Fargo has been taken to task for failing to publicly report on the root causes that led to a rash of ethical lapses in recent years by an investor group led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and including about 20 religious organizations as well as state officials from Rhode Island and Connecticut.

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Knight in armor on horse

State unfair deceptive trade practices – what you should know

April 5, 2018

The National Consumer Law Center has issued its report on the unfair deceptive trade practices laws in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP) laws that prohibit deceptive and unfair practices in consumer transactions, such as sales of cars and other goods, loans, home improvements, and mortgage transactions.

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Cover of US Senate Committee on Aging Report Top Ten Elder Scams

Elder financial abuse is one of top 10 elder scams

March 21, 2018

Top 10 Elder Scams The US Senate Committee on Aging released its report of the top 10 elder scams reported by callers to the Committee’s hotline number. While this is not a scientific methodology, it does give us an idea of some of the scams that folks are reporting. Elder financial abuse makes the list. This is useful information for anyone with a phone, email address, bank account, brokerage account, credit card, … basically anyone.

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Wells Fargo stagecoach

Shocking news! Investigation of customer abuse by Wells Fargo broker/advisory unit

March 1, 2018

If you think that today’s Wells Fargo is different from the old Wells Fargo, think again. Emily Glaser of the WSJ reports that Wells Fargo’s brokerage/investment advisory practice — its Wealth Management Unit — is being investigated by DOJ for improper sales practices. Hard to believe, isn’t it?

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Peter DInklage and Morgan Freeman

Persuasion behind those super expensive Super Bowl commercials

February 5, 2018

What is the thinking behind those super expensive Super Bowl commercials? I love the creativity that goes into these commercials, but let’s not forget that no company would use them if they were not effective persuasion. So how are the companies trying to persuade us? I like to read books on the science of persuasion and behavioral economics, but not everyone is a nerd like me. One of my favorite authors, Robert Cialdini, has this awesome video that explains the factors that persuade us to do the things that advertisers want us to do. This is a really interesting and easy way to learn about how commercials and other persuasive techniques get us to do something we otherwise would not do.

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Uncle Sam

Securities Law in the Trump Administration – Has Anything Changed?

January 26, 2018

Please join the Chicago Bar Association Securities Law Committee on February 27, 2018 from 3-6 p.m. for three great panel discussions of what in securities law has changed and what has not during the first year of the Trump Administration while getting continuing legal education credits.

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pipe leaking excessive fees

Excessive fees in small/medium employer retirement plans

January 22, 2018

Would you fix a pipe if you thought it might be leaking? Just like pipes in your home, your retirement accounts can be leaking excessive fees — which is money you could use in retirement. If you have a retirement account — like a 401(k) or 403(b) account — with a small or medium sized employer, your hard-earned money may be leaking. According to Barron’s, “the industry’s priciest funds are in accounts that are too small to get much attention. Sometimes they’re in the 401(k) plans of small businesses. Sometimes they’re in target-date funds. Sometimes they’re simply in portfolios with less than the $1 million needed to command the attention of advisors.”  https://www.barrons.com/articles/the-great-fund-fee-divide-1515214360

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