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May 20, 2014

Is Your Broker Honest?

After incidents like the Bernie Madoff scandal, it is extremely hard for investors to trust their brokers. There is no real or possible way to tell if your broker is being 100% honest with you. The Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) recently criticized the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for the measures they’re taking to protecting investors from potentially dishonest brokers. PIABA believes that FINRA’s safeguard, BrokerCheck, is not enough. Critics believe that BrokerCheck should be more comprehensive and include more specific details such as criminal record, terminations, liens, and bankruptcies. Some believe that BrokerCheck would be more helpful if it provided an actual full disclosure of a broker’s complaint history. FINRA defended BrokerCheck by saying, “While BrokerCheck is not perfect, FINRA remains committed to improving the system to help investors obtain free, unbiased information about investment professionals and firms.”

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