market selloff headline

market selloff headline

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Here's help for victims of shady traders


There's free legal help at Florida International University for small investors who've been victims of bad brokers.
In its first year, students at the Investor Advocacy Clinic are reaching out to investors who feel that something wasn't right about the way way their money disappeared.
``We can take a case that's got damages that aren't in the hundreds of thousands, but the losses are very meaningful to that particular person,'' said Bryan Jones, one of six third-year law students taking part in the yearlong clinic.
FIU's law school is one of three across the country that received $250,000 grants from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to start such clinics.
The cases taken up by the clinic could wind up in arbitration or mediation, where students will work to recoup the lost money. Nationally, more than 3,778 new arbitration cases were filed by investors against securities firms with FINRA in the first six months of the year.
Read more >>> Miami Herald article

Friday, October 15, 2010

FINRA Releases Survey of Military Families' Finances

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation released a survey that measures the overall financial capabilities of U.S. military personnel. The Military Survey – one of three linked surveys analyzing the financial capability of American adults – was developed in consultation with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. Some of the findings are predictable; others more surprising. Thus, unfortunately, the study reveals that men and women in uniform face considerable obstacles in maintaining their financial readiness:

  • Military families are heavily in debt to credit card issuers, with over one in four respondents reporting more than $10,000 in credit card debt.
  • One in four servicemembers with checking accounts reported overdrawing their accounts, which typically incurs significant fees.
  • More than one in five (21 percent) servicemembers used high-cost, non-bank borrowing such as payday or auto title loans in the last five years.
  • Over half of enlisted personnel and junior non-commissioned officers reported that in some months, they made only the minimum payment on their credit cards.
  • Only 50 percent of military respondents have a "rainy day" fund for unanticipated financial emergencies.