Financial Adviser Legal Information Center

Featured Books

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Securities Law in a Nutshell is an excellent introduction to the United States securities law.

Broker-Dealer Regulation in a Nutshell  is a similar introduction, and while the laws regulating broker-dealers are complex, this book provides an overview of the concepts and regulations.

Investment Adviser Regulation: A Step-by-Step Guide to Compliance and The Law  is an excellent starting point for understanding the regulation of investment advisers.


Recent Blog Posts

UBS YES Losses? Investors who lost money in UBS’ Yield Enhancement Strategy (YES) may be able to recover their losses

Recover GPB Capital Losses After inquiries by the SEC, FINRA and the FBI, GPB Capital has announced significant losses in the value of its investment funds.  Two of its funds, GPB Holdings II and GPB Automotive Portfolio, have reported losses of 25.4% and 39%, respectively according to InvestmentNews.com GPB Capital Holdings is a New York based alternative asset management firm with approximately ...

SDNY Defines Customer under FINRA Rule 12200 Judge Laura Taylor Swain of the Southern District of New York has issued a decision defining a customer, for purposes of FINRA Rule 12200 as being a person or entity who have an account with the member, or who has purchased goods and services from the member. In doing so, it orders some claims in the ...

Brokers Say Moving to RIA Was Positive  A new report from TD Ameritrade Institutional, which gathered data from current and former brokerage reps, illustrates a generally positive attitude toward the RIA channel and signals a continuation of the migration trend.The findings from the 2019 Benchmarking and Independence report showed that 44% of brokers surveyed said the likelihood of them leaving the brokerage ...

SEC Proposes to Improve Disclosures Relating to Acquisitions and Dispositions of Businesses The SEC has voted to propose rule amendments to improve the information that investors receive regarding the acquisition and disposition of businesses.  The proposed amendments are also intended to facilitate more timely access to capital and to reduce complexity and compliance costs of these financial disclosures. “The proposed rules are, first and foremost, intended to ...

SEC Charges Sapphire Glass Manufacturer and Former CEO With Fraud The SEC has charged a New Hampshire-based company and its former CEO with misleading investors about the company’s ability to supply “sapphire glass” for Apple’s iPhones. The company, GT Advanced Technologies Inc., also is found to have misclassified more than $300 million in debt to Apple that resulted from its repeated failures to meet ...

Featured Articles

Customer Claims in Arbitration I have been representing customers and brokers in securities arbitration matters since 1982. In those 35 years I have handled over 600 securities arbitration cases. Since securities arbitration is such ...

Expungement of Customer Complaints The problems associated with FINRA‘s CRD Disclosure System are well known to visitors to SECLaw.com, as we have written about the issue a number of times. The concept of disclosing ...

Insider Trading – The Legal and Illegal Mark J. Astarita is a nationally known securities attorney who represents investors and financial professionals nationwide in securities investigations and arbitrations including violations of the insider trading laws. Have a ...

Introduction to State Securities (Blue Sky) Laws Mark Astarita, Esq. is a nationally recognized securities attorney who represents investors, financial professionals, issuers and financial firms in a wide variety of matters involving federal and state securities laws. ...

Federal Securities Law, a Securities Lawyer Guide The SEC, FINRA, the States, and much more Introduction The history of the securities regulation and federal securities law are well beyond the scope of this work, and the reader is commended to any ...

Securities Arbitration Hearing Overview  Just What Happens at an Arbitration? By Mark J. Astarita, Esq. Past columns have touched on arbitration hearings, and have raised the question just what happens during an arbitration hearing. It seems ...

Finders Explained – Be Careful   A question I am often asked is what is the definition of a finder, or questions that lead to that question. The issue arises when an unregistered person or entity ...

Cold Calling Rules Compliance with securities regulations is only the beginning By Mark J. Astarita, Esq. Introduction Cold calling is a method of marketing a service or product by calling prospective clients “cold” – that is, ...

The Wells Notice SEC/FINRA Investigations By Mark Astarita Being the subject, target, or even a witness in an SEC or a FINRAinvestigation is not a pleasant experience. As I discussed in my column “When the SEC ...

Churned or Traded? Mark J. Astarita is a nationally known securities attorney who represents investors and financial professionals in arbitration, compliance and regulatory matters. If you have a question, email him at mja@sallahlaw.com. Churning ...

Introductory Materials

Introduction to the Federal Securities Laws – written by securities lawyer Mark Astarita, an overview of the federal regulatory scheme for the financial markets. Written for the non-lawyer, with links to more detailed information

Introduction to the Blue Sky Laws (State Securities Laws) – In addition to the Federal Securities Laws, each state has its own securities laws. Those laws vary from state to state, and require registration or notification of securities offerings, and registration of brokers and brokerage firms. Each state has a regulatory agency which administers the law, typically known as the state Securities Commissioner. This introduction provides an overview of the regulatory scheme. A list of state securities commissioners and their addresses is available in our Guide to State Securities Regulators.

Introduction to Securities Arbitration – In general, and in the securities industry, a party cannot be compelled to arbitrate a dispute unless he has contractually bound himself to do so. Registered representatives and their firms are contractually bound to arbitrate their disputes with their customers, even in the absence of a written contract with the customer. The contractual obligation arises, not from a customer agreement, but their registration with FINRA. For customers and financial professionals, an introduction to the process, from start to finish.

Introduction to the Initial Public Offering Process – in the Corporate Finance section, an introduction to the public offering process

Introduction to Private Placements – in addition to public offerings, many companies raise money by selling securities in a private offering. There are many restrictions and caveats to the process.

Introduction to Insider Trading – there is legal insider trading and illegal insider trading. When investors, regardless of their relationship to the company, trade on material, non-public information, there is a risk that the trading is illegal.

Registration of Investment Advisors – one of our featured articles, an introduction to becoming an investment adviser and what you need to know to start an advisory firm

Guide to Broker-Dealer Registration an updated version of the SEC’s original guide is now online.