Investor Advocacy Clinic Comments on FINRA Proposal Concerning Broker Communications with the Public

On March 27, 2017, student intern Majda Muhic filed a comment letter with FINRA on behalf of the Investor Advocacy Clinic concerning proposed changes to FINRA rules governing communications with the public.  Muhic’s comment, available in full here, recommends that communications with the public protect investors from potentially misleading information.  Basing her comments on her work with investors in the Investor Advocacy Clinic, Muhic argues that due to the high levels of trust investors place in their advisers, if a broker wishes to provide hypothetical projections to clients as investment advisers can do, brokers should be universally subject to the same fiduciary duty that investment advisers owe their clients.  Additionally, Muhic argues that broad disclosures are necessary to prevent investors from being misled.  Finally, Muhic recommends that any communications created under the rule, if passed, be retained and subject to discovery in any subsequent dispute between the broker and his or her client.