Monday, July 11, 2011


I am not going to use the soup-related Seinfeld term or mention where it happened but brokerage kompliance has gone too far.  Today, I was asked to submit a topic for an upcoming webinar. Let me start by saying I have had great success with this particular webinar sponsor and the people with whom I have directly dealt are great. But the new rule passed on down from der kompliance department is ridiculous.

At first, I let it slide that they did not allow me to use ETFs as examples. I did not know why but that's the rule and they are the client, more or less.   Barron's, on the other hand, encourages me to use ETFs as that is what the audience likes and wants to read.

Now, they want to remove all names from the charts I will use. I can only guess that they want to be absolutely sure nobody takes the chart as investment advice. Perhaps that might be acceptable, if not palatable, if I used real time charts. But all charts will be at least a week old, if not four months old.

If the charts are not current, webinar attendees may not connect with them. But if they are not identifiable then I can make them up, data and all. Nobody would relate at all and my message about analysis would be lost.

Then I might have gotten a bit snotty with my contact asking if the terms "bull" and "bear" would offend "Animal-Americans."  But you get the idea. At some point, we should not have to tell someone not to spill hot coffee on themselves because it is hot. Or not to blow dry their hair while they sit in the bathtub. Or assume that someone in a teaching environment is telling them to buy a stock.  How brokers, sell side analysts and mutual fund managers cope is beyond me.

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