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FINRA Gets Disciplinary Database Up and Running

FINRA has launched FINRA Disciplinary Actions Online, a searchable system that will give the public access to disciplinary actions for firms and registered representatives. It also adds another layer of transparency into the brokerage and financial advisory industry, on a firm and individual level.

After a user inputs a firm or individual's Central Registration Depository number, the new system will display letters of acceptance, waivers and consent and settlements. Users can also access decisions from the National Adjudicatory Council, the national committee that reviews initial decisions rendered in FINRA disciplinary and membership proceedings, according to the group's website.

They can also find complaints and decisions from the Office of Hearing Officers. Users can view the documents online, print them and download them as text-searchable PDF files.

The BrokerCheck system, which lists brokers' employment histories, will now link to the new Disciplinary Actions database. BrokerCheck already gives users access to the Arbitration Awards Online database. Also, the Monthly Disciplinary Actions system will link each write-up to its corresponding action in the database.


Investors Plan to Move Out Of Commodities, Into Cash

Global investors have tempered their optimism about the U.S. and world economies and plan to put less of their money in commodities and more into cash, a quarterly poll of 1,263 investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers found.

Thirty percent said they will put less money in commodities, and an equal number said they will put more money in cash. This was the highest amount for each category since Bloomberg began asking this quarter in June 2010.

Forty percent intend to increase their exposure to equity markets in the next six months, down from 60% in January. The pessimism is more pronounced in the U.S., where 37% said they are increasing their equity exposure, down from 57% in the previous poll in January.

However, 40% expect oil prices to fall in the next six months, the first time investors felt this way since the poll debuts in July 2009.


30% Unaware of Rollover Options

Many investors are unaware of the options available for their 401(k) left with a previous employer, Fidelity Investments found. Nearly one-third, 30%, who made a job transition are unsure of what to do with their workplace retirement savings.

Seventy-one percent who had left a former employer at least four months prior said they were consciously keeping their money with their former employer's plan, with the No. 1 reason for doing so for 59% of this group being satisfaction with plan features and access to specific investments. Another 27% said they were leaving the money there because they didn't have the time or the interest in taking action.

Further, 57% said they were planning to keep their investments in their old plan for the next 12 months.



Quote of the Week

"U.S. companies have weathered the past year well and have been producing solid earnings growth backed by an improving labor market and a strengthening economy."

- Paul Atkinson

Head of North American Equities