Regulators often go after firms and advisors for fraud, but what about clients who conduct shady business? On Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Massachusetts resident Nathaniel D. Ponn with fraud. The regulator claims Ponn defrauded numerous broker/dealers by making bogus bank transfers into newly opened brokerage accounts and then using the fake cash to buy stocks and mutual funds. He would then cash out or transfer the shares to other financial institutions before the firms even realized the money was nonexistent. Brokerage firms suffered about $26,000 in losses due to the scheme.
Michigan Passes Digital Asset Access Law
Some good news out of Michigan (for once), as Gov. Rick Snyder recently signed into law legislation laying out the parameters by which the relatives of a deceased may access their digital assets, according to local news affiliates. Most states have yet to take an official stance on this issue, which leaves many families in flux, and leads to vastly inconsistent results. This bill allows an individual to use a digital tool (such as Facebook’s legacy contacts) to designate who may access an account after death. Additionally, you can now grant control and determine level of access through more typical estate planning documents, like wills, trusts and powers of attorney. Interestingly, under this bill, the information in the digital tool actually controls over the will when both are present, which is an odd quirk. Nevertheless, as more of our lives move online, other states need to quickly fall in line and establish their own rules for managing a deceased’s digital assets.
NFL Players Report for Finance Training Camp
Twenty-eight current and former NFL players will take part in the second annual NFL Personal Finance camp happening next week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The four-day education program developed by the NFL, The University of Miami School of Business Administration and TD Ameritrade, introduces the attendees to the financial world to help them maintain long-term financial security. Green Bay Packers linebacker Julius Peppers, Chicago Bears safety Antrel Rolle and Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch are among those to be in attendance, and 15 of the players are also bringing their spouse or significant other. Sessions will include “Building Generational Wealth,” “Funding an Uncertain Lifespan,” “Planning and Building Your Portfolio” and “Examining Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning.”
Survey Details How Americans Feel About Advisor Conflicts of Interest
A new survey from Financial Engines outlines what potential clients want out of their investment advisors ahead of the widely anticipated “Conflict of Interest” rule from the U.S. Department of Labor. According to the research, 77 percent of Americans want advisors to be legally required to provide non-conflicted advice. The statistic comes from a respondent pool of 1,018 adults. Glaringly, 46 percent of Americans wrongly believe that there is already a rule in place requiring investment advisors to put their clients’ interests first when providing retirement investment advice. “Our research shows that even if people may not fully understand the intricacies of who is a fiduciary and who is not, they have a clear preference for advisors who are legally required to put their clients’ best interests first," said Christopher Jones, chief investment officer at Financial Engines.