Articles Tagged with securities investing

Understanding Index Funds

There’s a lot of ways you can get involved in securities investing. Some of the most popular methods are through the use of what are called index funds. An index fund is a type of mutual fund that tracks the performance and returns of a market index.

You are probably familiar with stock and security market indexes like the S&P 500 or Russell 2000 index. Because a market index essentially acts as a barometer to track and project returns for a collection of similar securities, you are not able to directly invest in them. However, since index funds seek to track the returns of market indexes, you are able to use them as a sort of indirect investment channel.

protect your investments against ransomwareThere’s a new wild west. The internet age has brought bank robbers from the prairie plains to the world wide web. As investors and brokerage firms increasingly rely on computers for processing trades and managing portfolios, the risk of your investment data increases too. One of the biggest threats to online data is ransomware.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a computer virus that targets your computers digital files and literally holds them for ransom until a payment is sent for their release. So far this year, we have already experienced two widespread ransomware attacks: the WannaCry virus, back in May, and now the Petya virus in June.

financial industry bad actorsWe’ve all seen bad actors in movies and T.V., but did you know that bad actors can be found on Wall Street and other financial industry institutions? The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently released a statement outlining the need for checks-and-balances against bad actors.

What are bad actors?

FINRA defines a bad actor as one within the financial industry “who seeks to evade regulatory requirements and harm investors for their own personal gain”. Essentially, they’re con artists; fraudsters.

top 8 investor complaintsThe investment world is pretty cut-and-dry; either you win, or you lose. Not much can be said for losing, after all, it’s part of the game. Usually when you lose out on an investment, it’s due to the fact that you didn’t account for certain risks. However, there are some instances beyond investors’ control that might derail an otherwise sound investment. These instances give rise to understandable investor complaints.

Investor complaints pertain to how a transaction was executed. Whether it’s against a broker, investment advisor, transfer agent, or an entire brokerage firm, investor complaints focus on how an investment transaction is handled.

Below are the most frequently recurring investor complaints as reported by the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA).

transaction settlement cyclesLast week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) amended standing rules regarding broker-dealer securities transaction settlement cycles. The new rules shorten the amount of time between when an investment transaction is placed and when it is actually processed.

Previously, the transaction settlement cycle was set as “T+3”. This refers to the time, in days, that lapse before a transaction is settled. For instance, if you buy or sell a security on Monday, Thursday would be the day the transaction is settled.

The SEC has set the new settlement cycle to “T+2”, meaning only two days bass between transaction and settlement. This change is set to take effect for all transactions on or following September 5, 2017.

Customer Advisory Centers vs. Call Centers

what to know about customer advisory centersAlthough they sound similar, customer advisory centers differ from call centers in several important ways. Securities firms and investment broker-dealers typically rely on call centers to handle basic customer service issues and administrative functions. They do not provide investment or trading advice, nor do they earn commissions on trades and deals.

Customer advisory centers, meanwhile, are call centers staffed by securities professionals. They are able to provide trade and investment advice as well as sell securities services.

Contact Information