Benefits for Members Only

The NAIP is not a government agency, nor is it a charity. It is a professional society supported by its members. In a profession seemingly dominated by conservative Republicans, it is surprising how many of you believe in a form of broker welfare. Let me explain. After reading my March column Who's Watching Your Back? a reader sent me an e-mail. He wrote: I have read your column for several years.

The NAIP is not a government agency, nor is it a charity. It is a professional society supported by its members.

In a profession seemingly dominated by conservative Republicans, it is surprising how many of you believe in a form of “broker welfare.” Let me explain.

After reading my March column “Who's Watching Your Back?” a reader sent me an e-mail. He wrote:

“I have read your column for several years. Not until recently have I needed your advice. A few months ago, my associate and I left Company A. I had been there six years, she for 15. My production was $350,000, hers $800,000. The problem is our ex-manager can't get past our departure. He is trying to dig up complaints on us.

“The manager spends a lot of time calling our clients, both those who followed us and those who stayed. If they say something was done wrong, he writes it up as a verbal complaint or asks for it to be put in writing. He's pursuing complaints from clients who he previously said ‘had no case.’

“For example, a client said we should have known to sell his investments when the market peaked, even though the client never gave us an order to sell. Other [complaints] came from clients who fully understood the situation, such as simple trade corrections. These types of issues are being forwarded to the NYSE and the NASD.

“Attorneys for our current firm and outside counsel think we should address each issue as it comes along, but we are worried regulators will not connect this with our disgruntled manager, but see it as a case of ‘where there's smoke, there's fire.’ What would you recommend? Do we fight back with a harassment suit or tell the regulatory agencies of misdoings the manager has committed? Please advise.”

Sincerely,
Abused Broker

Unfortunately, I couldn't help “Abused.” The National Association of Investment Professionals (NAIP) has a policy of advising its members only. Furthermore, only NAIP members can access our attorney referral network, and new members must now wait 30 days before they can access that network. (Too many reps were joining just to receive that benefit, then did not renew.)

The NAIP is not a government agency, nor is it a charity. It is a professional society supported by its members. As the word association implies, such groups are designed to create a sense of belonging among practitioners of a profession.

For years, however, practitioners in our industry have felt disenfranchised as a result of the NASD ignoring their interests. The trouble is that we have not had anyone expressing our interests. The NAIP has changed that. We are a professional society promoting your interests.

And how much do you pay to have your interests known? “Abused” and his partner did more than $1 million in gross production. Until recently, the NAIP's dues were only $100 a year — that's .0001% of their joint production. That's pretty cheap for the time we devote to monitoring and responding to proposed laws and regulations affecting you.

Brokers: Do not hide your heads in the sand and allow the kind of thing the manager described in this story did. The insidious actions of certain forces in the industry can eat away at your businesses, and even your rights as citizens. The NAIP can stop the problem with your help.

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