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Vanguard Expands Commission-Free ETF Offerings

Vanguard expands commission-free ETFs to 1,800, William Galvin launches private placement investigation and scooter startup Spins is offering STOs backed by company revenue.

Vanguard is increasing the number of ETFs it offers commission-free to nearly 1,800, the company announced on Monday. The offering will now include ETFs from BlackRock, Scwhab and State Street Global Advisors to Vanguard’s 77 low-cost ETFs that have been commission-free since 2010. The commission-free online transactions are expected to be available in August and will include the majority of ETFs traded on the major exchanges. The program will exclude “highly speculative and complex ETFs,” the company said.

Massachusetts’ Galvin Investigating Private Placements by Advisors

William Galvin

William Galvin, the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, said on Monday he initiated an investigation into sales practices related to private placement investments. There are 10 Massachusetts-based broker/dealer firms that sell private placements and have 15 percent or more brokers with current disciplinary incidents that are being examined, according to a release from his office. The inquiry was in response to a recent Wall Street Journal investigation that found firms that employ a significant number of advisors with disciplinary history are selling billions of dollars per year in private company stakes, often targeting seniors, and perhaps not in the best interest of clients.

San Francisco Scooter Startup Offers STOs

Scooter-sharing startup Spin is hoping to sidestep the crypto conundrum of security versus currency by offering a $125 million blockchain-based security token offering, according to Axios. The SEC has said they will treat some cryptos, specifically initial coin offerings as securities, while others, like bitcoin, will not be regulated in that manner. The STO offering by Spin is an explicit security, backed by a real asset: revenues from the company itself. “The idea with Spin’s security token offering is to raise money from accredited investors, who will then be entitled to a portion of the revenue from Spin’s electric scooter operations,” reports TechCrunch. The STOs are linked to “real-world financial instruments,” providing investors with more peace of mind. The company had previously operated a bike-share platform.

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