Sunday, February 28, 2010

Follow Up on F.A.I.R.

A while back I expressed some concern about having F.A.I.R. act as the primary spokesperson for investor rights.( Why I Fear FAIR) I will confess that I still have a number of concerns about how FAIR set their priorities and the lack of a transparent approach to gathering feedback from the small investor. Having said that, I did want to give credit where credit is due!

FAIR had some good ideas backed by some sound research on issues involving investor scams. In short, why do so many frauds seem to involve registered salespeople who work for companies who DO NOT belong to an SRO (Self Regulatory Organization). They also had some insights into the difficulty for a wronged investor to actually get their money back after being victimized. Both of these issues are worthy of advocacy and, however they got on FAIR's radar, they are garnering some attention and discussion.

A recent article in Investment Executive highlights key issues that FAIR is championing. As discussed in last years review on investor advocacy groups , I felt that one of the tools required to make FAIR successful was the ability to engage the media. While Investment Executive is far from mainstream media, it is a significant voice in the industry.

So while I remain cautiously skeptical I did want to acknowledge good work by FAIR. I may not share similar ideas of how the research should be interpreted (mainly the concept that SRO's are effective at protecting investors versus better at avoiding the most obvious scams), but I could not even have expressed my opinion if FAIR had not completed the research and shared the outcomes. Kudos on this one go to FAIR!

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