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Editor's Letter: Occupy Wall Street Protesters: Do They Mean Occupy Our Wallets?

We try to avoid politics in this journal, but this month we couldn't help it. Kristen French, our features editor, ventured downtown to Zuccotti Park and interviewed several protestors for the back page of this issue. (See page 112.) Kristen agrees with many of the protestors, no matter how naive some of them may be, that certain corporations and financial services firms have too much sway over the country's politicians (left and right). But from where I sit, the protesters, for the most part, seem to be neo-Bolsheviks. That is to say, they all seem to favor big government, more entitlements and, well, a lack of personal liberty. Of course, if bankers knowingly used fraudulent sales practices in the selling of mortgaged-backed securities, then by all means, that's criminal. But risk taking is not illegal, and shouldn't be.

As for the political stance of the protestors, take note of this sentence from a newspaper put out by some of the New York-based protestors, called The Occupied Wall Street Journal: “We know that to survive this protest we will have to build non-hierarchical communal systems that care for everyone,” wrote Chris Hedges in an Oct. 8 issue. There are plenty of similar comments in the publication. To me, it's all just a bunch of extreme liberal, even socialist claptrap — this describing of the creation of a socialist utopia. That's been tried. And it has failed. The ideology fails in practice because to create such utopia, where everything is free and everyone is equal, you have to strip people of their freedom. Do we really want another Tragedy of the Commons, which proved in colonial New England that “ownership by all is ownership by none.” And what is so cool about seizing other people's property? I just don't get it.

It's Steve Jobs' World …

And we here at Registered Rep. have entered it — yes, we already own iPhones and iPads. What I mean is: Registered Rep. has gone app-nutty.

Financial advisors on the go can now download via their iPhones and iPads; just go to the Apple app store to download for free. In addition, the app is also available on the Android Marketplace and the Blackberry App World.

Introducing Wealth Management Research Initiative

Registered Rep. and just completed one of the broadest and most comprehensive studies (1,500+ respondents) on advisors' use of, and firm policy on, social media — especially as it relates to prospecting, marketing, and communication. The study looks at all channels (RIA, Wirehouse, IBD, Insurance, etc.), age, sex, etc. Highlights include: Half of advisors use social media for business purposes. Social media is most often used for networking with other professionals, keeping up with industry news and client prospecting. Wirehouse advisors are less likely than those from other channels to use social media for business purposes. Advisors from regional firms have an average understanding of FINRA regulations and are concerned with what kinds of opinions they can post. Independent advisors are most likely to know 100 percent of their Facebook and LinkedIn contacts. Lack of regulatory clarity and compliance/paperwork keeps RIAs from using social media. Advisors from bank brokerages are least likely to use social media for business purposes. And advisors from insurance firms are most likely to have landed clients as a result of social media efforts. For more information on our study please contact [email protected].

We thank you for your support. Drop us a line with your comments: 249 W. 17th St., New York, N.Y. 10011-5300. Or email us: [email protected]. Publisher Rich Santos can be reached at [email protected].

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