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Jun 30, 2009 5:55 am

My firms policy says no personal websites, only the firm provided page.  Their arguement is that it's considered advsertising.  If I set up a BLOG without my firms name mentioned, and write about financial planning topics, ie roth conversion, 529 plans, RMD waiver for 2009 - am I breaking any laws?  How can it be advertising if I don't have my contact info on it?

Jun 30, 2009 6:36 am

You don't have to break a law to get fired.   If your firm says that it's advertising, it's advertising.  They call the shots. 


I drove past a Coca-Cola billboard yesterday.  There was no mention of how to contact them to buy a Coke.  I guess that it wasn't an advertisement.
Jun 30, 2009 8:26 am

Yes, because it said Coca Cola.  If the sign said corn syrup makes you fat and skim milk doesn't, would that be advertising?  Maybe, but it's not as black and white. 

Jun 30, 2009 9:01 am

Which means more to you: your job or your envisioned blog? Pick one or the other.



Don't lump all "rules" together in your mind. They are not all a matter of "laws." This industry is filled with regulations, which your b/d is obligated to enforce or face consequences themselves. Many b/ds seek to require even more aggressive rules than those FINRA require. They must at least adhere to FINRA regs; they certainly may decide to implement internal requirements that are MORE restrictive, and many do, especially in areas such as this (blogging and other internet related communications) that are still being firmed up as experience dictates.



Bottom line is what anon said: if your b/d tells you that you cannot do a blog, as their RR you must abide by their rules or leave. Period. It doesn't matter what their "argument" is or if it doesn't make sense.

Jun 30, 2009 10:08 am
NOVA:

My firms policy says no personal websites, only the firm provided page.  Their arguement is that it's considered advsertising.  If I set up a BLOG without my firms name mentioned, and write about financial planning topics, ie roth conversion, 529 plans, RMD waiver for 2009 - am I breaking any laws?  How can it be advertising if I don't have my contact info on it?



I can definitely see the website being advertising.  The regulators do review the site for violations.  As far as Blogs, I think if you start your own blog that would be considered advertising.  I just did a compliance presentation on this subject... the regulators are starting to watch this tactic.  So the safe way is to stay away from all social media when it comes to investing.   The other restriction you should be careful about is discussing individual securities.  The regulators are concerned about insider trading in this case.

Good Luck.
ash
www.FAfreedom - The Breakaway Experts

Jun 30, 2009 11:14 am

What would be the point of blogging if you don't have your firm's name or your contact info on it?  Are you expecting that they would just google your name and figure out how to get in touch with you?  Am I missing something. 

 
There was an article in RR a while back about a guy who started his own blog.  Evidently he was good enough at it that he had to quit being an FA and strictly work on his blog.  Don't know if it would help you but I'll bet if you search for it you can find it on here.