Mutual Funds and ETFs: What’s the Difference?

By Timothy Guilmette, Spring 2014 Student Intern

investorsYoung people and professionals, whether starting a job or receiving a promotion, often reach a point in their financial lives when they want to start investing.  This process can be daunting and many new investors have no idea where to start.  This post covers some basic information on mutual funds and exchange traded funds.  Investors looking to invest in mutual funds or exchange traded funds should do their homework, evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each, and carefully read the fund prospectus before investing. Continue reading

New PIABA Study on BrokerCheck: Does the Service Provide Enough Information to Protect Investors?

By Timothy Guilmette, Spring 2014 Student Intern

On March 6, 2014, the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) released a study concerning the amount of information disclosed on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) BrokerCheck reports in comparison to state regulatory filing services.  This post will serve as a starting point to discuss what FINRA BrokerCheck is and what information it discloses, as well as generally discussing PIABA’s findings. Continue reading

Deciphering the Alphabet Soup of Professional Designations

By: Timothy Guilmette, Spring 2014 Student Intern

CAA, CAMS, CEP, CFP, CPA…

alphabet soupIf you are like me you make some basic assumptions about the alphabet soup following a professional’s name.  For instance, those designations cost a lot of time and money to obtain, and must be the direct result of arduous academic pursuits or years of professional experience.  And, these individuals must be more equipped to meet my needs over someone without them. Why else would one go through all the time and effort.  Like most, both of these assumptions are fraught with inaccuracies, but they do highlight two important issues for investors – what are professional designations and how do I research them? Continue reading

Meet Student Intern Timothy Guilmette

guilmetteTimothy Guilmette joined the Investor Advocacy Clinic in spring 2014.  He holds a degree in Professional Aeronautics from the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Upon graduation from the College of Law, he will work as a real estate and general business attorney.  Guilmette looks forward to working with investors to hone the substantive law and skills he has gained in law school.

“The Investor Advocacy Clinic provides a forum to educate small investors,” says Guilmette.  “Through education and direct legal representation, we help solve problems that are important to our clients.”

Spring 2014 Students Start in Clinic

The Investor Advocacy Clinic kicked off its spring 2014 semester with six new student interns.  Our spring 2014 class includes students Thomas Abrahamson, Scott Evans, Timothy Guilmette, Nataliya Nemtseva, Benjamin Stubbs and Patricia Uceda.  This semester, former fall 2013 student intern Dylan Donley will serve the clinic as a Graduate Research Assistant. Continue reading