Regulatory LapDancers Help To Abuse Millions of Investors

Regulatory LapDancers Help To Abuse Millions of Investors
Posted on January 7, 2018 | larry elford | Written on January 7, 2018
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

For over 30 years I have witnessed the takeover of financial industry regulators, turning them from watchdogs, into industry lapdogs.  Sadly they now go as far as lapdancing for the $750k salaries that the industry pays at the top.  Here is one of those shameless naked dances for your consideration...Please keep in mind that the purpose of this is not to slam regulators, but to protect investors. Forgive me if examples of poor regulatory behaviour come to light in the process.

Author's Video Note:





What is wrong with this picture?   The image is of three people sitting around having a fun discussion.

It shows two people seeking and enjoying advice from a professional investment advice-giver. I ran across three or four such reassuring photos recently and they pointed out something investors should know about.

(From here I will refer to the sideways photo below, an actual image from the BC Securities Commission)

"Investment porn" are those stimulating, emotional-tug advertisements which include photos of couples on the beach and any number of tantalizing images to lure investors into placing their trust with the advice-guy in photo number one.  I am always intrigued how the 65 year old guy ends up with a beautiful 45 year old woman..on a beach, but that is investment porn.  Spot it,...don't fall for it.

I would like you to consider something that I'm going to call “regulatory porn.” Don't worry if this term falls outside your current experience.   This might be your chance to learn about an "experiential blindness" that can cut your retirement in half.  Just go with the flow for a moment and perhaps the blindness will turn to totally new investment insights.

So again I ask what's wrong with...either picture?

They are advertising a number of comforting thoughts, and industry promises, to a trusting and vulnerable public.  

Picture #2 (the sideways one below) is a similar photo of advisor-guy giving helpful advice to happy clients. The Canadian regulator, (British Columbia Securities Commission) is using the ad to pat itself on the back, and congratulating the industry on new relationship and cost disclosure 'improvements' obtained on behalf of consumers. Here is also where the regulator gets caught telling lies that are designed to deceive the public,...but lies which help the regulator's employment and job security....otherwise, "why lie?"

What if "advisor-guy" does not have an advisor license? Nor even an advisor or adviser duty to protect the client?  What if they are hiding their true license and lying to the happy clients.  Would that be fraud? Would the public be smiling if this were found to be true?

The sad (or fraudulent) thing is that regulators don't tell consumers that most investment advisors in Canada, in fact 96% of persons who call themselves "advisor" in Canada do not hold that license or registration. This information is concealed in this regulator "disclosure" scheme. (see CBC News video below which reveals that over 120,000 investment 'advisors' in Canada are "making up" the title, while actually holding a commission sales duty, a commission sales job role, and a commission sales license...

In the USA, there also does not appear to be a legal license/registration category for the title (fake title?) of "advisor...according to disclosure found (well concealed, but findable) on SEC, FINRA and NASAA web sites, see other articles by this author, on Unpublished Ottawa and elsewhere.

I don't know about you, but to catch securities regulators in the act of doing such a private-dance for the indsutry calls into question the incentives, the motivations and the level of industry capture of those 13 public protective bodies, the Securities Commissions, not to mention the nearly 10,000 persons employed in regulatory positions in North America.  Are they all pressured into secrecy like a Hollywood abuse witness?  I believe it to be the case.

The next thing this report claims to disclose is an open door accounting of the costs and fees that are paid on an investor's account.

Public problem #2 is that they left out some the essential costs and fees paid by investors.  The  fees left out of the disclosure to the clients in a cost disclosure document are the trailing commissions and internal management fees of investment products that are sold to the public.  These two links provide some insight into the clever ommissions designed into this client 'disclosure' document.

The cost disclosure that they reveal in their disclosure document only shows how much in fees actually goes to the adviser, or the so-called advisor.  Try and keep up with the vowel-movements in the "advisor" term, as they also form a key part of the regulatory lapdance.

The fee disclosures that they conceal from the public, is in how much in hidden fees and embedded costs are concealed within the products.  The new cost disclosure documents do not have to reveal those fees.  It is like that extra pair of socks you don't declare at the border, they become a 'smuggled' item, like hidden parts on the new "Client Relationship Model" (CRIME2)

 To be accurate, the regulators call it CRM2, "Client Relationship Model", but what they dont tell you is that it is truly a crime against investors to deceive and dupe them, especially when it is done by regulatory agents. I call it CRIME2 because of the clever, dishonest nature of what it deliberately hides from the public.  It says "trust us", while telling lies.  Very expensive lies to the public, but very profitable to the industry...which is who pays the regulators.

Getting back to the fact that 96% of persons who call themselves advisor in Canada, do not hold the proper license or registration to use that term. 

This means that the fake investment advisor who's hiding (concealing) his or her correct license, can be a representative of the dealer, and not a true representative of the interests of the customer, and they do not have to reveal that in a client relationship disclosure document. This is where it gets a bit fraudy, to actually mislead Canadians about ones license, registration and duty of professional care.  It is extremely strange to also find securities regulators who are willing to ride high on that same bankwagon. (I typed "bandwagon", but some smart algorithim corrected it for me)

What that means is that when the so-called advisor has managed to fool vulnerable customers, into believing that they are talking to a financial professional and that the professional must represent the true interest of the is legally not true, and forms the most profitable "bait and switch" in the world, to my knowledge.

Capitalizing on the bait and switch, they can sell investment products to the duped customers, that earn themselves and their firm more money, and have hidden forms of compensation which they do not have to disclose in the "improved" fee disclosure document.

The end result is characterized well in the Questrade Commercials (30 second video enclosed) and also the victim audio recording, both very short and clear.

How did we arrive at an industry where lying to the customer is the necessary element in order to dupe them properly?  How did we get to a point where government authorized securities commissions will engage in lap earn salaries approcahing $750k?

What amazing governance failure by thirteen provincial governments in Canada. By FCAC.  By anyone.  It reminds me of the decades of hidden Hollywood sexual abuse, except financial abusers have a few hundred thousand more handmaidens to keep things hidden...

More lawyers doing "hush-work", so the most powerful abusers in the world, financial abusers, can flourish.  



Letter Response

Executive Summary:

1.  The BC Securities regulator is acting like a duplitious public protection agency, promising to protect the public, while acting to help the public to be fooled instead.
2. For example it approves (and promotes) a fake client relationship and cost disclosure document.  (a document that dicloses neither)
3.  That document hides the true relationship the vulnerable public is lured into. (faked professional relationship using a non-licensed "title")
4.  It also hides some of the costs that were to be disclosed….(incomplete) cost disclosure (see links inside story)
5.  The video from Questrade helps quantify the cost to investors of high fee sales gals who dupe the public ...1/3 or more in investors life savings being harvested FROM THEM by people they trusted
6.  The deceptions are quite real.  The harms to millions of investors are in the multi-billions annualy. Listen to the 60 second victim audio to hear what some suffer through.

About The Author


Investment Misconduct and Malpractice Analyst

Larry Elford is acclaimed as one of Canada’s top qualified experts on the subject of White Collar Crime as it relates to the investment... More

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