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What is a bond really worth?

September 26, 2014

The age old question of what a bond is really worth was raised again this week when it was reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission is asking serious questions about how the world's largest bond shop, Pimco, valued some securities...

B-Ds taking it on the chin from regulators

August 8, 2014

Broker-dealers have been taking it on the chin from regulators lately, with three retail firms in the past couple of weeks disclosing disappointing earnings related to compliance and regulatory issues. Where does this rash of regulatory actions...

Claiming bad oversight, ex-rep urges investors reject REIT offer

July 25, 2014

A former registered representative who sold $1.6 million of a now-moribund private real estate investment trust is frustrated with the REIT's history of related-party transactions and thinks results could be better if the REIT were managed better....

Opinions on bull market split following most recent run-up

July 10, 2014

Financial advisers are facing a schism in the current perception of the stock market. After the S&P 500 closed at an all-time high of 1,985.44 on July 3, the question now facing advisers is whether the bull market in stocks that began in March...

Why did Sterne Agee fire its CEO?

June 8, 2014

Sterne Agee Group Inc., a private holding company with a number of broker-dealer subsidiaries, two weeks ago gave the heave-ho to its longtime chairman and chief executive, James Holbrook Jr., and replaced him with company veteran Eric Needleman....

Is AIG Advisor Group the next big fish Schorsch wants to land?

May 23, 2014

To build a network of 20,000 advisers, RCS Capital Corp. and Larry Roth, the newly anointed chief executive of its retail brokerage umbrella unit, Cetera Financial Group, are undoubtedly considering another big and bold move. Cetera will have...

In this Finra program, the eyes have it

May 11, 2014

The financial advice industry is becoming increasingly fascinated — some would say preoccupied — with robo-advisers. Hardly a week goes by when at least one story doesn't appear in InvestmentNews or other media serving the financial advice...

Nontraded REIT returns: Where to put cash now?

April 27, 2014

The independent broker-dealer industry fattened up last year on the sale of nontraded real estate investment trusts. The question hanging over IBDs now is whether advisers are prudently reallocating the money of clients who are invested in nontraded...

A better TIC?

April 13, 2014

Some independent broker-dealers over the past few years have increased their sales of complex real estate private placements known as Delaware statutory trusts for wealthy investors. These deals allow investors who are selling commercial real...

Envestnet gets a lot of love from advisers and the Street

March 16, 2014

Investment advisers are flocking to Envestnet Inc. and have turned the asset management and technology company into a market darling. The company's stock price has soared in the past year. Shares of Envestnet traded at $15.55 on March 13, 2013....

Finra arb panel sends reps a message

March 2, 2014

A Finra arbitration panel last month hit a former registered representative with a stinging order to pay a client $250,000 in punitive damages, an almost unheard-of award for a client. The steep punitive damages ordered by the Financial Industry...

Regulators have an uphill battle to bring transparency to illiquid investments

February 7, 2014

Securities regulators and the alternative investment industry are working together to bring more transparency to illiquid investments, including nontraded real estate investment trusts — a positive for financial advisers and their clients....

Schorsch's pickup of J.P. Turner: "Such a bargain!"

January 22, 2014

Nick Schorsch has been snapping up broker-dealers with the fervor of Carrie Bradshaw from “Sex and the City” chasing down her next pair of Manolo Blahniks. But last Friday, Mr. Schorsch's latest deal sounded an odd note to some, as if Carrie...

How many more wolves are left on Wall Street?

January 5, 2014

Stratton Oakmont, the notorious Long Island, N.Y., boiler room brokerage, was shut down by securities regulators at the end of 1996. Almost two decades later, “The Wolf of Wall Street” has brought the firm back to life, with drugs, sex and...

Is it time to rethink the price-earnings ratio?

December 12, 2013

Prudent financial advisers shudder when stock market pundits chatter about discovering new paradigms for measuring stocks, particularly during the heady days of a bull market — for good reason. Such prattle about “paradigm shifts” in the...

The ghost of private placements past

December 1, 2013

As the year comes to a close, it is evident that independent broker-dealers are racking up a bonanza from the sale of alternative investment products, namely nontraded real estate investment trusts. As noted in this column two weeks ago, independent...

As nontraded REIT sales sizzle, have firms learned from past mistakes?

November 30, 2013

As the year comes to a close, it is evident that independent broker-dealers are racking up a bonanza of commission dollars and marketing cash from the sale of alternative investment products, namely nontraded real estate investment trusts. As...

Mountain of money in nontraded REITs continues to hold Wall Street's attention

November 15, 2013

Wall Street continues to intensify its loving gaze on the once homely and overlooked domain of independent broker-dealers and the hot alternative investments those firms are selling, this time nontraded real estate investment trusts. And why...

Seinfeld star's adviser Bambi Holzer sued by Finra over Provident deals

October 24, 2013

Bambi Holzer is infamous in the securities industry as a Beverly Hills, Calif.-based broker who aggressively courted Hollywood stars as clients, along with the less glamorous rich, before and after the tech bubble burst in 2000. She wrote books,...

Soaking the rich is institutionalized

October 13, 2013

The very rich are different from you and me, F. Scott Fitzgerald once observed. He obviously never talked to financial advisers about the sleight of hand that investment banks and wirehouses play when charging fees to the very rich for investment...

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