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How Well Do You Know Your Broker?

It’s easy to do your homework and find out what’s happening at your brokerage firm.  Simply go to

FINRA Broker Check.  You can check out your broker or brokerage firm by typing the name in the New Search box at the top of the page.  You can also search recent news atSEC.GOV.  You might be surprised by what you find.

Just to give you an idea, here are a few recent disciplinary actions

Washington, D.C., Nov. 16, 2012 — In coordination with the federal-state Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group, the Securities and Exchange Commission today charged J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Credit Suisse Securities (USA) with misleading investors in offerings of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).  The firms agreed to settlements in which they will pay more than $400 million combined, and the SEC plans to distribute the money to harmed investors.

…J.P. Morgan received fees of more than $2.7 million, and investors sustained losses of at least $37 million…Credit Suisse made $55.7 million in profits and losses avoided from its bulk settlement practice, and its investors lost more than $10 million

Washington, D.C., Aug. 14, 2012 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Wells Fargo’s brokerage firm and a former vice president for selling investments tied to mortgage-backed securities without fully understanding their complexity or disclosing the risks to investors.

…Wells Fargo did not obtain sufficient information about these investment vehicles and…The firm’s representatives failed to understand the true nature, risks, and volatility behind these products before recommending them to investors with generally conservative investment objectives…

A number of customers purchased (mortgage-backed securities) as a result of Wells Fargo’s recommendations, and many of them ultimately suffered substantial losses.

Washington, D.C., Jan. 17, 2012 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged an investment advisory arm of UBS with failing to properly price securities in three mutual funds that it managed, resulting in a misstatement to investors of the net asset values (NAVs) of those funds…

“UBS Global Asset Management failed to fulfill one of its core delegated responsibilities on behalf of mutual funds it advises – to price securities in the mutual funds accurately”.

Make sure you understand who you entrust with your money. “Your retirement depends on it!”


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