The Who?! The Me, Me, Me Generation. Talking ‘Bout My Generation…and Investing

“The Who?! The Me, Me, Me Generation. Talking ‘Bout My Generation…and Investing”

By Brook Ptacek, IAC Student Intern

Millennials get a lot of flak. I know, I know. You’re probably sitting at your computer and thinking, “oh no, here we go again.” But seriously. There are a lot of assumptions about us. So FINRA and CFA Institute decided to investigate whether common assumptions about millennial-investors were true. And guess what…they weren’t.

In the study, entitled Uncertain Futures: 7 Myths About Millennials and Investing, FINRA and CFA Institute “explore” the attitudes of investing of three millennial segments: 1) millennials with no investment accounts, (2) millennials with retirement accounts, and (3) millennials with taxable investment accounts.  Then it compared those investment attitudes of the three millennial segments “with their Gen X and baby boomer counterparts.” Continue reading

How Could the SunTrust and BB&T Merger Affect my Retirement Plan?

By Caleb L. Swiney, Spring 2019 IAC Student Intern

Mere minutes after SunTrust and BB&T announced their merger, the internet was flooded with articles discussing everything from how big the resulting bank will be to what the name of the Atlanta Braves home stadium might be changed to. At least one article has even considered the impact that the merger could have on retirement accounts.

So, how could this merger affect your retirement plan? If you don’t have any investment accounts with SunTrust or BB&T, that answer is simple; it won’t have any major impacts on your investments. If you do have a retirement or other investment account at either bank, however, there are some factors that you should consider moving forward. Continue reading

This is the Song that Never Ends… The More the Securities Industry Changes the More It Remains the Same

By G. Kevin Mathis, IAC Student Intern

A loveable little sock puppet sang this annoying song that replays in my head from time to time, This is The Song that Never Ends. The seems to be an appropriate refrain when it comes to FINRA and financial technological advances known as FinTech.  I mean we have been here before, in my original post about the meaning and origins of FinTech I spoke about how the financial securities industry adapted to earlier changes in financial technology and how FINRA adjusted accordingly. The same is true now FINRA is recognizing that rapid changes are occurring that are forcing FINRA, investors, and firms to adjust to the changing world of securities.  FINRA has launched a website and issued alerts on a range of FinTech issues.  FINRA also recently asked for comments on FinTech Innovation.

With FinTech, investors should remember that though things may change (and at this time the change seems to be going at breakneck speed.), it roughly stays the same. Investors must continue to educate themselves, as FINRA continues to be more vigilant in its protective regulations over the industry.

The Force of Financial Securities Industry

By G. Kevin Mathis, IAC Student Intern

In the Star Wars Galaxy, the Force binds everyone and everything together.  Some characters are highly sensitive to this Force and those characters can train themselves to wield the Force’s power.  Some force sensitive characters utilize their Force powers for the betterment of the Galaxy while others use Force powers to further their personal goals.  The key is that this Force must remain balanced or chaos may ensue.  A group of Force users, the Jedi, protect that balance through disciplined study, wise counsel, and if necessary regulatory action with the use of a light saber.

Communication binds the “galaxy” of financial securities.  Investing firms recognize the power of communication so they use social media sentiment to harness the power of investor communications to their benefit.  Investors use communication (warning about bad actors, sending information on promising investments, and contacting others with inquiries on leads) to protect themselves and others. FINRA uses communications to protect the balance between the two.

FINRA identified four models that these firms use to wield the power of communications to accomplish their goals. The four models identified are: Continue reading

Enterprise Value or Market Capitalization: What’s your worth?

By: Esmat Hanano, Spring 2019 Student Intern

As economic markets continue to fluctuate, many companies are seeing their stock price move with market changes. Companies, however, are not the only ones watching—retail investors are also noting the changes. Shifting economic markets lead to some important questions about how to value a company given the current state of the economy, chief among them being which valuation metric should retail investors look to when making their investment decisions. To that end, there are two terms retail investors should be familiar with: enterprise value and market capitalization. Continue reading

Artificial Intelligence Going Where No Man Has Gone Before…

By G. Kevin Mathis, IAC Student Intern

Star Trek’s opening line states that the USS Enterprise’s mission is to boldly go where no man has gone before.  Captain Kirk, Mr. Spock, and Dr. McCoy led a crew that boldly pushed the realms of imagination.  Accomplishing their stated goal and solving challenges that they encountered in every episode required the crew of the Enterprise to challenge social norms, work together, and create novel technologies.

Artificial Intelligence (AI), “intelligence of machines,” promises to push the securities industry to boldly go where it has not gone before.  AI is being incorporated into the financial services industry at warp speed.  Thanks to AI computers are performing tasks that humans would traditionally perform using human intelligence.  Personalized automated advice and chatbots provide investors with customer service.  FINRA implements sophisticated algorithms (the language of AI) to conduct highly sophisticated fraud surveillance.  Securities traders use AI to gauge social media sentiment, to highly sophisticated fraud surveillance. AI, like Star Trek, pushes the realms of our imagination in terms of what we can do with technology.  This can be both exciting and frightening.  FINRA’s IOI has decided to step in to ensure that investors and firms experience more of the exciting and helpful aspects associated with AI and less of the unknown and troubling problems that can result from AI.  FINRA is indicating that they will still require either human supervision or intervention to ensure that everyone, and not just the machines, boldly influence the future of the financial services industry.

RegTech: The Tools of Real-Life Heroes

By G. Kevin Mathis, IAC Student Intern

My favorite superheroes have certain tools that help them in their in their fight for justice. Black Panther wears a catsuit, Spiderman uses spider silk-like polymer that he shoots from his wrist enhancements, and Dr. Stranger has a magical cape and the time stone.   FINRA also has tools that help it keep balance in the world of securities.   FINRA calls its tools RegTech.  RegTech is a subset of FinTech that covers new and emerging technologies assisting FINRA quickly and efficiently meeting its regulatory compliance obligations.    Continue reading