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Spot the Fraudster

One of the challenges that consumers face when dealing with a financial adviser is what it means to be a “financial adviser.” The terms financial planner, wealth consultant, stockbroker, investment adviser, financial consultant, and others get thrown around, leaving you how that person gets paid for helping you with your money. A fraudster may sling […]

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Making Compliance Easier

At PEI ‘s Private Fund Compliance Forum, one attendee asked how to make compliance easier. That caught the room by surprise. If compliance was easy, we would likely would not be at the Forum. But it did get me thinking about ways to make compliance easier. First, compliance is hard because the laws we comply […]

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The SEC Says Be Wary of Bitcoin

Bitcoin has been the Dutch Tulips of investment for a few years. So of course that means the fraudsters have latched on. The Securities and Exchange Commission has piled on and issued an Investor Alert: Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currency-Related Investments. This is the second investor alert from the SEC on Bitcoin. The first was […]

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What Compliance Officers Really Do

It’s an old meme, but it made me laugh.

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Form PF Filing Day

If you run a private fund, today is deadline for the annual Form PF filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Depending on the type of fund, you have different reporting requirements. The SEC gets bogged down with poor definitions trying to distinguish among the types of funds. In the glossary to Form PF, a […]

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The SEC Expresses Its Displeasure on Fund Fees

A few days ago, Bloomberg published a story that the Securities and Exchange Commission has examined about 400 private equity firms and found that more than half charged “unjustified fees and expenses without notifying investors”. The SEC followed through with that story and recently charged Total Wealth Management with improperly disclosing fee revenue. Total Wealth […]

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Real Estate Investing and Crowdfunding

Real estate investing is capital-intensive. It should be a natural area for crowdfunding. The big concern is fees and conflicts. With a tech startup, you are investing in an idea and the people with the idea. It may grow exponentially or blow up, leaving little behind. Part of the investment is paying the people to […]

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The SEC Endorses Yelp for Investment Advisers

Investment Advisers and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been struggling with the use of social media. Advisers see it as a way to communicate with clients and potential clients. The SEC sees it as an area ripe for fraud. Both are right. The SEC has stuck fast to rules on advertisements when it comes […]

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Document Request List for Never-Before-Examined Advisers

In January, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced in its annual exam priorities for 2014 that it wanted to emphasize exams on never-before examined firms that had been registered before 2012. Then in February, the SEC officially announced its never-before-examined initiative. It looks a lot like the presence exams. ACA Compliance got its hands on […]

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Compliance Lessons From My Dog

My dog has taught me a few lessons about compliance. (That’s me and Ghost taking a well-deserved nap.) Start early. We started dog training early to focus on developing good habits at an early stage. (We did lose a few shoes while he was a puppy.) It’s never too late to unlearn bad habits, but […]

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