FINRA Arbitration and Mediation

Stockbroker Law - Wednesday, October 21, 2015
FINRA Arbitration and Mediation

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) maintains the predominant dispute resolution forum in the United States. Notably, due to mandatory arbitration clauses contained in new account forms presented to investors by brokerage firms, investors are required to have their disputes with their brokers resolved in arbitration as opposed to the courts. This means that instead of a jury trial, disputes will be resolved by one or several arbitrators appointed to hear your case. 


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Required Minimum Distribution Calculator

Stockbroker Law - Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Required Minimum Distribution Calculator

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority maintains a required minimum distribution (RMD) for purposes of helping investors determine their required minimum distribution from an IRA or 401(k) account. Investors in these types of accounts are required to begin withdrawing money by April 1st of the year following the year in which they turn 70 1/2. Failure to make the timely required minimum distribution withdrawals can subject you additional taxes. Also notable, a retiree with a spouse more than ten years younger is required to use a separate joint life expectancy table (IRS Publication 590) which generally produces a lower required distribution. 


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SEC Issues Investor Bulletin on Non-Traded REITs

Stockbroker Law - Wednesday, September 30, 2015
SEC Issues Investor Bulletin on Non-Traded REITs

On August 31, 2015, the SEC Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issued a bulletin to educate investors about the risks of non-traded REITs. The bulletin noted many of the downsides associated with non-traded REIT’s for small investors, including the following:   


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FINRA Issues Bond Liquidity Investor Alert

Stockbroker Law - Wednesday, September 23, 2015
FINRA Issues Bond Liquidity Investor Alert

The past several years have seen a volatile bond market in which many investors have sustained unanticipated bond principal valuation losses. While a bond is typically designed to afford investors the full value of their original investment at the time of their maturity, volatility in the bond in the financial markets has seen many investors unable to liquidate their bonds prior to maturity without sustaining significant losses. Typically, when interest rates rise, bond prices fall. This is something that can cause a sellout in the bond market, which depresses bond prices and makes it more difficult to sell a bond - especially bonds with a longer maturity date.  Other factors, such as credit scores, can cause the same problem. 


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Investors Sustain Catastrophic REIT Losses

Stockbroker Law - Thursday, September 17, 2015
Investors Sustain Catastrophic REIT Losses

The past ten years has seen an explosion of brokerage sales activity largely involving non-traded REIT investments. REIT’s are Real Estate Investment Trusts which are not publicly traded in the conventional securities markets and exchanges and thus they can be illiquid and an inappropriate investment for any investors. Popular REIT investments include:  


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