Life Settlements

Jan 20, 2011
The Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to highlight information about life settlements and some of the risks these types of transactions may pose for investors. Individual investors considering a life settlement transaction may wish to keep the following points in mind and seek guidance from an unbiased financial professional who will not receive a commission or any other financial benefit from the transaction.

Investor Alert: Investor Warning Regarding Web-Based Scheme Defrauding Deaf Investors (Imperia Invest IBC)

Oct 28, 2010
The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has charged an Internet-based investment company, Imperia Invest IBC (“Imperia”), with securities fraud for soliciting several million dollars from U.S. investors and promising guaranteed annual returns in excess of 1.2% per day while in reality siphoning the funds into foreign bank accounts and not paying any money back to investors.

BP Payout Recipients: Be on the Lookout for Investment Scams

Oct 12, 2010
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to help educate investors, including individuals and small businesses receiving lump sum payouts from BP related to the oil spill in the Gulf, about potential investment frauds that target recipients of lump sum payouts.

New Stock-by-Stock Circuit Breakers

Sep 24, 2010
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved rules on Sept. 10, 2010, to expand the existing circuit breaker program that currently is triggered by large, sudden price moves in an individual stock. The new rules follow changes adopted on June 10, 2010, that impose a uniform market-wide pause in trading in individual stocks whose price moves 10% or more in a five-minute period. The trading pause, which was proposed by U.S. exchanges and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), initially was limited to stocks in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, but has been extended to stocks…

Focus on Municipal Bonds

Sep 21, 2010
The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Bulletin to help educate investors about municipal bonds. For additional assistance, investors can call the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at 1-800-SEC-0330, or ask a question using this online form.

New Rule to Curb “Pay to Play” Practices

Jul 29, 2010
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved a new rule on June 30, 2010 to curbso-called “pay to play” practices in which investment advisers make campaign contributions to elected officials in order to influence the award of contracts to manage public pension plan assets and other government investment accounts.

New Rules Improving Municipal Disclosure

Jun 9, 2010
The Securities and Exchange Commission approved rule changes on May 26, 2010 designed to improve the quality and timeliness of information available to investors about municipal bonds.

Oil Spill Stock Scams - Don’t Get Cleaned Out by False Cleanup Claims

May 26, 2010
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico poses more than an environmental and economic threat to the region. It also poses a financial threat to investors in the form of scams promising financial gains from investments in companies that claim to be involved in cleanup operations.

Target Date Retirement Funds

May 7, 2010
Investing for retirement can be complex. When deciding where to invest, you may need to make a variety of decisions, including how to balance the risk of losing money with the desire to increase your returns, keeping in mind that inflation may reduce the purchasing power of your savings and you or your spouse or partner may live longer in retirement than you expect. Recognizing this, a number of companies offer “target date retirement funds,” sometimes referred to as “target date funds” or “lifecycle funds.”

Investor Alert: SEC Warns of Government Impersonators

Apr 28, 2010
SEC staff are aware of a number of ongoing investment scams in which con artists have used the names of real SEC employees to trick victims, including non-U.S. investors, into giving the fraudsters access to their brokerage accounts, revealing private information, and even sending the perpetrators money and other assets. Impersonation of U.S. Government agencies and employees (as well as of legitimate financial services entities) is one of several characteristic features of advance fee fraud solicitations and other fraudulent schemes. Even where the fraudsters do not request that funds be…