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How confusing are the fees brokers charge?

November 9, 2017

Financial advisers get itchy when talking about fees they charge clients. They tend to sweat a bit, looking down at the ground like it was littered with hundred dollar bills. In other words, fee chat makes some advisers uncomfortable. It's no...

Wedbush Securities, once again, in trouble with regulators

October 25, 2017

From time to time, this column focuses on firms and individuals in the investment advice business who continue to screw up — those who seem destined to repeat the past and harm investors, damage their own reputations or both. It can be maddening....

Painful end for advisers who bought RCAP shares

October 5, 2017

For advisers and executives who owned shares of RCAP, the defunct, mammoth brokerage firm formerly controlled by Nicholas Schorsch, a painful financial chapter of their lives ended last month. A federal judge in New York approved the settlement...

Odd letter highlights fiduciary concerns in Puerto Rico

September 21, 2017

Even when a broker is a fiduciary, he can certainly fail to act like one. Take, for example, the case of Oriental Financial Services Corp. It is a small broker-dealer that is part of a larger financial services company based in San Juan, Puerto...

Dawn Bennett's alleged Ponzi a sign of dark times

September 7, 2017

"Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble," are lines recited famously by the Three Witches in Shakespeare's "Macbeth," but notorious financial adviser Dawn Bennett has allegedly been calling on similar dark forces to...

Plenty of advisers eager to scoop up 'orphaned' accounts

August 17, 2017

The financial services industry would like to kill the Department of Labor's fiduciary standard. It's expensive to put into place, and the industry's grave fear is that it leaves brokers open to substantial legal risk. As part of its effort...

LPL's new CEO intent on moving beyond problems

August 3, 2017

It's obvious that Dan Arnold, LPL Financial's new CEO, is trying to move beyond problems that have dogged the firm over the last several years, strike a positive tone and, as he emphasized repeatedly, delight the more than 14,000 advisers who...

DOL regulation translates into pay cut for some advisers

July 20, 2017

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule has morphed into a pay cut for some advisers, who are left wondering whether a reduction in their compensation is being used to bolster the bottom lines of the broker-dealers with which they work. Sure,...

Nick Schorsch's presence at Brian Block's trial unseen, but keenly felt

June 25, 2017

Nicholas Schorsch has been physically absent from the courtroom of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York for the securities fraud trial of his longtime business associate Brian Block, which started June 12. But for the...

Are brokers really ready to be fiduciaries?

June 1, 2017

The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule for retirement accounts will take effect Friday, and advisers and their broker-dealers better get ready for a new wave of risk: lawsuits and legal complaints by investors who believe they have been harmed...

Independent broker-dealer Triad Advisors sues former advisers

May 7, 2017

In a highly unusual move by an independent broker-dealer, Triad Advisors Inc. is suing a group of former advisers who left the firm to start their own broker-dealer. Last October, Triad sued the advisers, David Millican, Jeffrey Shaver and Joseph...

Berthel Fisher, once again, in hot water with Finra for failing to supervise sales

April 20, 2017

Three years ago, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. fined a mid-sized independent broker-dealer, Berthel Fisher & Co. Financial Services Inc. and an affiliate firm, a whopping $775,000 for a variety of failures to supervise sales...

Resolving Nick Schorsch's legal problems taking a long time

March 24, 2017

The legal web for Nicholas Schorsch and his partners this month became more tangled. On March 8, the RCS Creditor Trust, the group that now controls the remains of RCS Capital Corp., or RCAP, a bankrupt brokerage formerly controlled by Mr. Schorsch,...

Asking the SEC's Michael Piwowar to reconsider who will end up the real 'forgotten investors'

March 10, 2017

The investment advice industry should pause for a moment and consider acting Securities and Exchange Commissioner chairman Michael Piwowar's recent, potentially disastrous call to loosen up the market for sales of high-risk, illiquid private...

Adviser loses IRS fight, putting tax status for solo practitioners in question

February 23, 2017

In October, I wrote a column about a financial adviser who was squaring off with the IRS in a dispute over using a flow-through tax structure known as an "S corporation" to pay himself. Financial advisers who are solo practitioners have been...

Rogue brokers still pose danger to investors

February 6, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. is making a lot of noise about keeping tabs on what it perceives to be high-risk or recidivist brokers, commonly called rogues in the industry. At the start of the year, Finra placed the monitoring...

And the Golden Bull goes to ...

January 20, 2017

It's awards season in Hollywood, so the editorial staff at InvestmentNews thought it would be a good idea to hand out some prizes to those bad boy and girl brokers who have fascinated readers so with their rule-breaking performances that got...

Cambridge's Eric Schwartz looks into the future of independent broker-dealer industry

December 29, 2016

Eric Schwartz, founder, chairman and CEO of Cambridge Investment Research Inc., is one of the brightest guys in the securities business. One of the most unassuming, too. He started a predecessor to Cambridge in the 1980s but struggled with it...

Trump may kill DOL rule, but financial advice industry still needs fiduciary regulation

November 21, 2016

Many in the financial advice industry reacted with jubilation after Donald Trump's upset victory in the presidential election. As a pro-business Republican, there was little doubt to many investment advisers and brokerage executives who voted...

LPL broker in battle with IRS over how he structures his business

October 30, 2016

An LPL Financial adviser is in a thorny tax battle with the IRS, and its outcome could have wide implications for financial advisers who own their practices and use a flow-through tax structure known as an “S corporation” to pay themselves....

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