Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) refers to a self regulatory body formed in 2007 when the NYSE and NASD merged. FINRA is the principal regulator for securities firms doing business in the United States. According to the FINRA website, FINRA oversees nearly 4,900 brokerage firms, about 173,000 branch offices and approximately 651,000 registered securities representatives. FINRA oversees both the regulation and operation of the NASDAQ and the over the counter (OTC) markets. The organization is managed by a Board comprised of both individual investors and representatives from the securities industry.

Financial Advisor Licensing, Appointments and Affiliation

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Annuity Digest Buying Guide: Financial Advisor Regulation

All annuity sales require an insurance license, and some require both insurance and securities licenses.  Licensing is not a huge challenge, but there is time, effort and cost involved in the process.


Variable Annuity Related FINRA Arbitration Cases Triple in 2009

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (" FINRA ") has reported that the number of arbitration cases related to the sale of variable annuity products increased from 47 cases in 2008 to 123 cases in 2009. Overall, the number of arbitration cases surged 43% to 7,137. This increase in investor grievances is not surprising given what a difficult year 2009 was for many. Investment News reports that many of the variable annuity cases involve "products with risky subaccounts and clients over age...
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Finra Oversight of Investment Advisors Could Weaken Existing Fiducuiary Standards

The House Financial Services Committee recently approved a proposed amendment to the Investor Protection Act. The amendment has raised concern among many as it would provide the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ( Finra ) to broaden its regulatory reach and cover investment advisors who are currently regulated by the SEC. A primary concern is that Finra's relatively weak fiduciary standards would be applied to investment advisors who, at the moment, are subject to higher levels of...
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Sheryl Moore on Fixed Indexed Annuities and the SEC Proposed Rule 151A

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed Rule 151A would change the securities status of indexed annuities from fixed insurance products to registered, securities products.

The proposed rule would have a significant impact on their entire industry landscape.  SEC 151A would affect the way in which insurance companies develop...


Battle Lines Being Drawn Over Fiduciary Status of Financial Advisors

There is a key point of distinction that exists in the world of financial advice and vast majority of people are unaware that it exists. 

The defining issue is whether a...