Website of the Month: North American Securities Administrators Association
|By Anders, Susan B</b>|
The homepage is organized around six main areas: investor education, issues and advocacy, regulatory and legal activity, industry resources, newsroom, and "contact your regulator." It highlights recent regulatory issues and the latest news and investor alerts.
The NASAA offers useful materials for regulatory and investment professionals. The investment advisor guide contains an overview of the investment advisor industry, including registration, required filings, licensing period, recordkeeping, and fiduciary duties. The directory of securities laws and regulations provides links to the websites of NASAA member organizations in
Corporation finance resources include two NASAA programs developed to aid companies in streamlining the process of registering and issuing securities. The Small Company Offering Registration (SCOR) program's webpage provides a detailed 38page Microsoft Word template for Form U7 7 Company Offering Registration Form). Coordinated Review (CR) programs are available for issuers pursuing multistate registration; these are housed on a stand-alone website, http://www.coordinatedreview.org.
The site's issues and advocacy section houses the
Regulatory and Legal Activity
The resources in this section include the NASAA's policy statements and enforcement statistics. An example of policy resources is a statement on corporate securities definitions tirât covers terms used in the organization's various policies, such as "adjusted net earnings," "equity securities," and "independent director." The risk disclosure guidelines address the presentation of information on risk factors. The NASAA's 2013 enforcement report presents the results of an annual survey of its members that addresses trends in securities fraud, investor protection, and regulation. The study, based on data from 2012, indicated that investors filed more than 10.000 complaints, resulting in almost 6.000 investigations and
This section offers financial planning tools, publications, and podcasts. Although the materials generally target nonexpert investors, financial advisors will find many resources to make available to clients.
The library section contains a variety of publications, ranging from basic pocket guides, to brochures, to podcasts. "The ABCs for APS [
"Sandwich Generation: Caught in the Middle" offers a unique-and often overlooked-perspective on the life cycle approach to financial planning. Members of this generation not only have their own saving and investing considerations; they are also involved in teaching money management to children, as well as helping older relatives maintain their economic well-being. The brochure provides a useful checklist of action steps.
A podcast archive offers audio recordings primarily focused on fraud. The additional resources feature contains links to more than 50 organizations.
The NASAA's fraud center presents news, alerts, tips, articles, and regulator information, as well as an investment fraud awareness quiz. News, alerts, and tips include the latest financial fraud scams, such as "How to Spot a
"Top Investor and Small Business Threats" lists the top 10 financial products and practices that can snare unwary investors. The threats are categorized as persistent (continuing) threats, new threats to investors, and new threats to small businesses. An example of a persistent threat is fraudulent private placement offerings, which can be sold to investors without registration and are the primary focus of state securities regulators' investigations and enforcement activities. Allowing an unlicensed individual to set up and manage a trading account on an investor's behalf is one of the newer threats to investors. Another is digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, which are not backed by tangible assets, not issued by a governmental authority, not regulated, and highly volatile.
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