Municipal Bonds – Safe Bet or Risky Proposition?

By: Timothy Guilmette, Spring 2014 Student Intern

rouletteMany long-term investors have some portion of their portfolios allocated to various types of bonds, and traditionally municipal bonds have been considered a relatively safe investment choice. After all, it’s the government we’re talking about. Unfortunately, the recession of the past decade has revealed that not all municipal bonds are created equal. In fact, the SEC has recently stepped up enforcement action against several municipalities around the country for securities violations related to misrepresentations made to investors. This post will provide some basic information on municipal bonds and provide some helpful links for investors who are thinking about investing in municipal bonds.

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Wednesday’s Word: Dealer

By Dylan Donley, Spring 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

A dealer is defined by Section 3(a)(5)of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as “any person engaged in the business of buying and selling securities for his own account, through a broker or otherwise…” A dealer acts as a principal in trading for its own account, as opposed to a broker who acts as an agent in executing orders on behalf of its investor clients. Like a broker, however, a dealer may be an individual or an entity.


Experienced Investor Falls Victim to Misrepresentation: What You Can Do to Avoid It

By: Patricia Uceda, Spring 2014 Student Intern

misrepAlan Grayson is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, thanks to his long record for picking winning stocks. With a net worth of $16.69 million and years of investing experience, he’s probably the last person you would think to fall victim to misrepresentation. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened recently as he lost $18 million in a multi-million dollar investment fraud scheme run by Dean William Chapman.

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Wednesday’s Word: Broker

By Dylan Donley, Spring 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

A broker is defined by Section 3(a)(4) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as “any person engaged in the business of effecting transactions in securities for the account of others…” The term person contemplates entities as well as individuals. In handling investor accounts, brokers generally charge a fee or commission to execute security purchases and sales submitted by an investor. There are also certain types of accounts, known as discretionary accounts, where brokers are given the latitude to make investment decisions for their clients based on the set needs and risk tolerance of the client.

Penny Stocks: The Real Wolves of Wall Street

By Patricia Uceda, Spring 2014 Student Intern

wall streetIn The Wolf of Wall Street Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, becomes a millionaire overnight through the sale of virtually worthless penny stock to unsuspecting investors. If there’s one thing we can learn from this sordid tale of debauchery, it’s a better understanding of penny stocks and how they work.

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Wednesday’s Word: NASAA

By Dylan Donley, Spring 2014 Graduate Research Assistant

The North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc., otherwise known as NASAA, is an international organization focused on protecting investors who purchase securities or investment advice. NASAA is a voluntary association with members in 67 state, provincial, and territorial securities administrators, including all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and Mexico. In order to achieve its goals, NASAA members investigate violations of state and provincial law, file enforcement actions where necessary (even in multi-state cases), and provide educational resources for investors.

For more information about NASAA’s educational resources, read more here.

Who wants to be an “iBillionaire”

By: Thomas Abrahamson, Spring 2014 Student Intern

moneyIf you are actively trading in the stock market you have without a doubt dreamt of becoming a billionaire at some point. Imagined having your name go down in history as a Wall Street giant with that of Warren Buffett, Carl Icahn, and Daniel Loeb. A new investment product is making the news as it seeks to help regular folks benefit from the expertise of the billionaire investment titans.

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