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Financial News from Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)

  • American Renters Face Financial Stress Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - 10 hours ago
    American Renters Face Financial Stress

    Many renters in America are under financial strain and face difficulties in making ends meet. Coming out of the mortgage crisis and Great Recession, a growing number of Americans are living in rental properties—apartments, rental homes and townhouses—and exhibit greater levels of financial stress relative to homeowners. …

  • Stay Cyber Safe This Month Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Wed, Oct 15, 2014 10:10 AM EDT
    Stay Cyber Safe This Month

    October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month—and there is good reason investors should pay heed to cybersecurity threats and safety measures. "Phishing" attacks—scams that use spam email or a fake website to lure you into revealing your bank or brokerage account information, passwords or PINs, Social Security number …

  • What Buying Jam Can Teach Us About Saving for Retirement Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Oct 7, 2014 1:35 PM EDT
    What Buying Jam Can Teach Us About Saving for Retirement

    Today's consumers have far more choices—for everything from mayonnaise to mutual funds—than existed in the past. A recent survey by WorldatWork and the American Benefits Institute found that more than half of the companies offering 401(k) plans reported offering 16 or more investment options to employees. Dr. Sheena Iyengar, …

  • Age Matters When it Comes to Retirement Planning Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Sep 30, 2014 9:45 AM EDT
    Age Matters When it Comes to Retirement Planning

    It seemed to be the only number people looked at when it came to retirement. Keep all of the following mileposts in mind as you plan for your retirement. At 55 you also may be eligible to receive pension benefits from some employer plans, if you've accumulated enough years of service at your company. • When you turn …

  • Be Careful Who You Trust Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Sep 23, 2014 10:45 AM EDT
    Be Careful Who You Trust

    Laura Astorga works longer hours these days. She lost most of it in a Ponzi scheme aimed at the Hispanic community in Los Angeles. It was orchestrated by Juan Rangel. He convinced people to take equity out of their homes and invest their hard-earned savings in his company.

  • Frontier Funds—Travel With Care Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Thu, Sep 11, 2014 1:20 PM EDT
    Frontier Funds—Travel With Care

    "Frontier funds" that invest in securities of companies in countries with developing securities markets—like Argentina, Lebanon, Nigeria, Slovenia and Vietnam—are gaining investor attention. Some see investing in frontier funds as a way to diversify assets—going beyond funds that invest in established international and …

  • Slow Down When You See High Yield Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Sep 9, 2014 12:00 PM EDT
    Slow Down When You See High Yield

    Interest rates have been low for some time. So, it's tempting in this low interest-rate environment to seek higher-yield bond investments. Don't make your investment decision based solely on a bond's yield. This is referred to as "reaching for yield," and it is one of the most common mistakes bond investors make.

  • 5 Important College Savings Tips Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Sep 2, 2014 2:20 PM EDT
    5 Important College Savings Tips

    The College Board reports that half of all full-time public and private nonprofit four-year college students attend institutions charging tuition and fees of $10,281 or less. Use FINRA's College Savings Calculator to see how early and regular saving can make your money grow. Consider tax-advantaged savings options such …

  • 3 Questions to Ask Before You Get a Prepaid Debit Card Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Aug 26, 2014 12:20 PM EDT
    3 Questions to Ask Before You Get a Prepaid Debit Card

    Prepaid debit cards are more popular than ever. Prepaid cards are often marketed to people who don't have bank or credit union accounts as a way to get banking-like services. If you're considering a prepaid debit card, here are three questions to ask to help you decide if one is right for you. If so, a prepaid card might …

  • 7 Ways to Spot Potential Marijuana Stock Scams Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Aug 19, 2014 10:20 AM EDT
    7 Ways to Spot Potential Marijuana Stock Scams

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently uncovered a den of stock promoters "pumping and dumping" small company stocks, including some that claimed to be in the medical marijuana business. The SEC charged four promoters with manipulating marijuana-related stocks and the stocks of other tiny companies through …

  • Viral Disease Stock Scams: Don’t Let Them Infect Your Portfolio Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Thu, Aug 14, 2014 3:00 PM EDT
    Viral Disease Stock Scams: Don’t Let Them Infect Your Portfolio

    FINRA is issuing this Alert to warn investors to be wary of promotions touting stocks that claim to protect against the spread of viruses or other harmful diseases. FINRA is aware of several potential investment scams involving companies that claim to be involved in the development of products that will prevent the spread …

  • Get to Know Your Brokerage Account Statement Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Aug 5, 2014 9:30 AM EDT
    Get to Know Your Brokerage Account Statement

    It pays in more than one way to always read your brokerage account statements. Just as important, a careful review of your account statement offers valuable information that can alert you to errors or even misconduct by your broker or brokerage firm, such as unauthorized trades or charging you too much for various transactions. …

  • "Phishing" and Other Online Identity Theft Scams: Don't Take the Bait Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jul 29, 2014 11:45 AM EDT
    "Phishing" and Other Online Identity Theft Scams: Don't Take the Bait

    According to computer security experts, economic cyber-crime continues to surge. "Phishing" attacks—scams that use spam email or a fake website to lure you into revealing your bank or brokerage account information, passwords or PINs, Social Security number or other types of confidential information—have increased significantly …

  • Promissory Notes Can Be Less Than Promised Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jul 22, 2014 2:35 PM EDT
    Promissory Notes Can Be Less Than Promised

    In June 2014, a FINRA hearing panel expelled Washington, D.C.-based Success Trade Securities, Inc. and barred its CEO and President for the fraudulent sale of more than $19 million in promissory notes to NFL and NBA players. This investor alert details the risks associated with promissory notes and the continued threat …

  • 5 Things You Should Know about TIPS Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jul 15, 2014 10:30 AM EDT
    5 Things You Should Know about TIPS

    For several years now, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has offered bonds that can help protect against inflation. They're called Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS.

  • Carefully Review Your Trade Confirmations Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jul 8, 2014 10:30 AM EDT
    Carefully Review Your Trade Confirmations

    When you buy and sell securities like stocks and bonds, it's important to review your trade confirmations, which you receive with every transaction. They contain key details about your trades. These include, ...

  • An American Tradition—U.S. Savings Bonds Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jul 1, 2014 12:40 PM EDT
    An American Tradition—U.S. Savings Bonds

    July 4 th is the day we celebrate America's independence. It's also a great time to pay tribute to U.S. savings bonds, which have helped Americans lay the groundwork for financial independence since 1935. ...

  • 8 Tips to Keep Track of Your Investments Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jun 24, 2014 11:00 AM EDT
    8 Tips to Keep Track of Your Investments

    Markets move every day and your investment priorities can change over time, so it's important to stay on top of your investment portfolio. It's essential to keep track of your investments to prevent minor ...

  • Signs an Investment Opportunity May Be a Scam Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jun 17, 2014 10:15 AM EDT
    Signs an Investment Opportunity May Be a Scam

    You've likely heard the timeless warning, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." It's great advice, but the trick is figuring out when a good investment offer becomes too good. It ...

  • At Risk of Investment Fraud? Find Out Fast Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jun 10, 2014 12:15 PM EDT
    At Risk of Investment Fraud? Find Out Fast

    Ever wonder if you're at a high risk for investment fraud? You can find out using this unique—and free—tool. It's the fraud Risk Meter . Created by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, it's based on ...

  • High-Yield CDs: Red Flags That Signal a Scam Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jun 3, 2014 10:45 AM EDT
    High-Yield CDs: Red Flags That Signal a Scam

    Beware of promotions about certificates of deposit (CDs) promising interest rates that are substantially higher than current averages. FINRA has observed offers for "low-risk" products with outsized ...

  • A Perfect Time to Save for College Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, May 27, 2014 12:30 PM EDT
    A Perfect Time to Save for College

    May 29 is an important day for anyone thinking about paying for college. It's National College Savings Day, named for 529 plans—plans designed to help you save for college (5/29, get it?). It's a perfect ...

  • Compare When Shopping for Financial Products Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Thu, May 22, 2014 11:00 AM EDT
    Compare When Shopping for Financial Products

    You wouldn't buy laundry detergent without comparing features and prices among brands. Or a smart phone. Or a car. But most Americans either don't comparison shop for financial products—such as credit ...

  • Concentrate on Concentration Risk Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, May 13, 2014 1:00 PM EDT
    Concentrate on Concentration Risk

    A diversified portfolio tends to be harder to achieve than simply following the mantra: don't put all your investment eggs in one basket. This basic strategy can help, but it is often not enough to avoid concentration risk—the risk of amplified losses that may occur from having a large portion of your holdings in a particular …

  • Reverse Mortgages—Avoid a Reversal of Fortune Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, May 6, 2014 12:00 PM EDT
    Reverse Mortgages—Avoid a Reversal of Fortune

    If you are in your sixties, and own your home, you have likely heard about reverse mortgages—or will soon. As more Americans near retirement age, some financial institutions are aggressively marketing reverse mortgages as an easy, cost-free way for retirees to finance lifestyles—or to pay for risky investments—that can …

  • What SIPC Does—and Does Not—Cover Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Apr 29, 2014 3:30 PM EDT
    What SIPC Does—and Does Not—Cover

    You may have seen the phrase "SIPC member" in information from your brokerage firm. What is SIPC, and more importantly, what does SIPC membership mean to investors? SIPC provides limited coverage to investors on their brokerage accounts if their brokerage firm becomes insolvent. SIPC also, in many cases, protects customers …

  • Make Asset Allocation Work for You Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Apr 22, 2014 11:30 AM EDT
    Make Asset Allocation Work for You

    Turn on any financial news channel and you'll likely see money managers discussing their investment strategies and recommendations for asset allocation. These broad categories are called asset classes, and the process of structuring a portfolio that invests different amounts of money in different asset classes is known …

  • April 15 and Beyond: Take Control of Your Financial Future Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Apr 15, 2014 10:45 AM EDT
    April 15 and Beyond: Take Control of Your Financial Future

    According to the FINRA Investor Education Foundation's National Financial Capability Study, only 24 percent of U.S. adults surveyed reported being very satisfied with their current financial condition. In addition to potential tax benefits, there is an opportunity for your savings to compound over time. Consider using …

  • 5 Things to Expect When You Open a Brokerage Account Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Apr 8, 2014 4:41 PM EDT
    5 Things to Expect When You Open a Brokerage Account

    If you're reading this, you may be planning to open a brokerage account to start investing. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) require brokerage firms to ask for this information. If your broker is recommending investments to you, SEC and FINRA rules require …

  • Financial Literacy Month: Millennials, Now is the Time Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Apr 1, 2014 10:45 AM EDT
    Financial Literacy Month: Millennials, Now is the Time

    April is Financial Literacy Month. More than anything else, it's a time to hone healthy financial habits. And no generation needs to do this more than millennials (those age 18 to 34). According to results from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation's national Financial Capability Survey, only 24 percent of millennials …

  • What You Need to Know About Brokerage Account Transfers Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Mar 25, 2014 1:00 PM EDT
    What You Need to Know About Brokerage Account Transfers

    Here are answers to five questions that will help you better understand brokerage account transfers. Broker-dealers transfer customer accounts through the Automated Customer Account Transfer Service (ACATS), operated by the National Securities Clearing Corporation. Securities accounts that hold the most common assets, …

  • Millennials Face Financial Struggle Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Mar 18, 2014 3:00 PM EDT
    Millennials Face Financial Struggle

    If you're part of the millennial generation, your financial life is probably no walk down easy street. A new study by the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, The Financial Capability of Young Adults—A Generational View, reveals that millennials—those 18 to 34—show concern about their debt, engage in problematic financial …

  • Bitcoin: More than a Bit Risky Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Wed, Mar 12, 2014 9:30 AM EDT
    Bitcoin: More than a Bit Risky

    Bitcoin and other digital currencies have garnered considerable attention. In 2013 the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged a Texas man and his company with fraud involving an alleged Bitcoin Ponzi scheme. More recently, on February 19, 2014, the SEC suspended trading in the securities of Imogo Mobile Technologies …

  • Your Taxes—Cost-Basis Basics Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Mar 4, 2014 10:45 AM EST
    Your Taxes—Cost-Basis Basics

    To figure out whether you need to report a gain—or can claim a loss—after you sell, you must start with the cost basis for that investment. For stocks or bonds, the cost basis is generally the price you paid to purchase the securities plus any other costs such as the commission or other fees you may have paid to complete …

  • Make 2014 Your Year to Save Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Feb 25, 2014 10:45 AM EST
    Make 2014 Your Year to Save

    And it's the first crucial step toward achieving financial independence. America Saves Week, and its counterpart Military Saves Week for service members, are annual opportunities to take the Saver's Pledge, a personal commitment to save.

  • 5 tips for smart automatic 401(k) investing Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Feb 18, 2014 12:00 PM EST
    Retirement

    A tax-advantaged retirement savings account, like a 401(k), is a great way to boost savings and lower your tax bill. A growing number of companies automatically enroll employees in their 401(k) or similar retirement savings plan. But some do more than just enroll and get you started down a retirement savings path. The …

  • Common and Preferred Stocks: What’s the Difference? Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Feb 11, 2014 11:10 AM EST
    Common and Preferred Stocks: What’s the Difference?

    All publicly traded companies issue common stock. When you own common stock, you share in a company's success. When the company does well its stock price will likely grow higher than what you paid for it. You also can suffer from unfavorable company news that results in a lower stock price.

  • 5 dos and don’ts for greater financial security Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Feb 4, 2014 4:53 PM EST
    5 Dos and Don’ts for Greater Financial Security

    Here are five tips to help you manage daily financial challenges and build a brighter financial future in 2014.

  • The IRA Rollover: 10 Tips to Making a Sound Decision Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jan 28, 2014 11:40 AM EST
    The IRA Rollover: 10 Tips to Making a Sound Decision

    The largest source of IRA contributions comes from individuals who move their money from their employer-sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans when they leave a job, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute. If you are considering rolling over money from an employer plan into an IRA—or if …

  • Stock Basics: What Happens When You Invest Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jan 21, 2014 11:45 AM EST
    Stock Basics: What Happens When You Invest

    All the key market indicators that measure stock performance posted handsome returns. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 26.5 percent in 2013, with the S&P 500 up nearly 30 percent and the NASDAQ index up 38 percent.

  • What You Need to Know about Mutual Fund Fees Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jan 14, 2014 1:00 PM EST
    What You Need to Know about Mutual Fund Fees

    The higher the fees you pay while owning a mutual fund, the lower the returns generated by your fund shares. Mutual funds are required to describe their fees in detail in their prospectus. They compensate the mutual fund's portfolio manager or investment advisor who directs the fund's stock or bond portfolio strategy …

  • The Lowdown on Mutual Fund Sales Loads Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Jan 7, 2014 11:00 AM EST
    The Lowdown on Mutual Fund Sales Loads

    Investors put more money into U.S. stock mutual funds in 2013 than they took out. If you want your mutual fund investment to work for you, it pays to know about fund sales charges, also called loads. When you buy mutual fund shares from a stockbroker or other investment professional, you'll likely pay a sales charge or …

  • CDs Offer Safe, Predictable Returns Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Dec 31, 2013 11:20 AM EST
    CDs Offer Safe, Predictable Returns

    You've likely seen ads from financial institutions touting the interest rates of their certificates of deposits (CDs), all competing for your savings. CDs offer safe, predictable returns at higher interest rates than you can receive from a savings account. Like savings accounts, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation …

  • How to Spot the Red Flags of Financial Fraud Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Dec 24, 2013 12:00 PM EST
    How to Spot the Red Flags of Financial Fraud

    Red Flag Rule: Take time to think through the pitch. "Believe me, as a specialist in senior living and an executive at XYZ firm, I would never sell an investment that doesn't produce." Red Flag Rule: A seller may have a corner office, framed diplomas or certificates and wear a suit. Red Flag Rule: Does the pitch focus …

  • Money Market Accounts Combine Checking and Savings Features Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Dec 17, 2013 4:30 PM EST
    Money Market Accounts Combine Checking and Savings Features

    Money Market Accounts Combine Checking and Savings Features Wouldn’t it be great to have all that with a slightly higher interest rate and check-writing privileges? Money market accounts usually pay a better rate than traditional savings accounts. They are also insured at banks by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation …

  • FDIC Deposit Insurance—Are Your Accounts Protected? Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Dec 10, 2013 1:00 PM EST
    FDIC Deposit Insurance—Are Your Accounts Protected?

    More than 450 banks in the United States failed and were closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) from the 2008 peak in financial crisis on through 2012. Yet, no one with FDIC-insured deposits in those banks lost money due to those failures. In fact, according to the FDIC, "no depositor has ever lost …

  • When Should I Reveal My Social Security Number? Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Dec 3, 2013 4:00 PM EST
    When Should I Reveal My Social Security Number?

    Identity theft is real, and many tips urge you to safeguard your Social Security number as an important way to prevent it from happening to you. While not every request for your Social Security number is an effort to steal your identity, not all such requests are mandatory. • Banks, credit card issuers or other lenders …

  • Savings Accounts Offer Safety and Convenience Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Nov 26, 2013 11:00 AM EST
    CDs Offer Safe, Predictable Returns

    A savings account at a bank or credit union is a safe, convenient way to meet a financial goal. A basic savings account is a tried and true way to save for a down payment on a house, or build an emergency fund to handle unexpected expenses. The money you put in a bank account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance …

  • Don't Let Identity Thieves Steal Your Financial Stability Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Nov 19, 2013 3:45 PM EST
    Don't Let Identity Thieves Steal Your Financial Stability

    You took the time to improve your credit score, pay down debt and get on a stable financial track. But all that hard work can unravel if you become a victim of identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone steals personal information, such as your Social Security number, birth date or mother's maiden name. 3. Ensure …

  • Plan for the Unexpected with an Emergency Fund Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) - Tue, Nov 12, 2013 2:05 PM EST
    Plan for the Unexpected with an Emergency Fund

    The best place for your emergency fund is in a liquid (easily accessible) account. To earn a slightly higher interest rate, some people choose a certificate of deposit, or CD, for their emergency fund, or a series of CDs of approximately equal value, with one maturing every six months or every year. But in a real emergency, …

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