As the year comes to a close, it is essential for firms to consider end-of-the-year training programs, both now and throughout 2014. The Securities Industry/Regulatory Council on Continuing Education (the "Council") recently published their Firm Element Advisory ("FEA") release for the fall of 2013 which helps identify specific topics of interest for training plans. Listed below are some of the "new" topics mentioned by the Council in its FEA that your firm may want to consider covering in its training plans:
- Alternative Mutual Funds - FINRA issued a new Investor Alert on alternative funds to inform investors considering investing in such funds to be aware of the unique characteristics and risks of these investments. Alternative mutual funds are SEC-registered funds that hold more non-traditional investments and employ more complex trading strategies than traditional mutual funds. It is important to review these complexities with sales personnel.
- SEC Approves Amendments to MSRB Rule G-39 - The SEC approved amendments to the MSRB's telemarketing rule, MSRB Rule G-39, that expands the scope of the rule to include additional provisions that are substantially similar to FTC rules prohibiting deceptive and other abusive telemarketing acts or practices. Rule G-39 requires brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers to, among other things, maintain do-not-call lists and limit the hours of telephone solicitations to customer residences.
- Disclosure of Fees in Communications Concerning Retail Brokerage Accounts and Individual Retirement Accounts - FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 13-23 to provide guidance on communications with the public concerning the fees associated with retail brokerage accounts and individual retirement accounts (IRA).
The examples above are just a few highlights of the updates published by the Council to consider when planning for continuing education training. While the FEA can be a useful reference to consider when performing continuing education, it should not be the only resource your firm uses. Continuing education topics should be tailored to the needs of your individual firm. For more information, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (619) 298-2880.