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You may have lost money in your investment portfolio,
due to mismanagement and not even know it.

Topical focus: examination of FINRA's record against bad brokers

As noted in a recent media article focusing upon the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), that entity "is funded by the very industry it oversees."

That spells irony in uppercase: FINRA polices Wall Street, investment banks and brokers across the country, while at the same time being reliant on members of the nation's brokerage houses for the funding that ensures its existence.

Other equally applicable designations might instantly come to mind for many readers, as well. Conflict of interest, for example. Catch-22.

The bottom-line inquiry relevant to FINRA's brokerage oversight must obviously be this: Given its reliance upon funding from the very industry it is tasked to oversee, can it be truly impartial and effective in levying punishments against stock brokers and investment advisers who are acting unlawfully and in ways that are inimical to customers' interests?

The soon-to-be departing head of FINRA, CEO Richard Ketchum, says that he is "quite confident" his agency is adequately identifying and punishing bad actors in the brokerage industry and will continue to do so after he departs.

In truth, the authority's record during Ketchum's helm is somewhat mixed, as reported in a recent USA TODAY piece. That article notes that, while FINRA handed down "a record number of punishments" against select brokers last year, the $93.9 million in fines it assessed industry wrongdoers in 2015 pales in comparison with the $134 million it levied the year before (as well as the $135 million meted out in 2005).

The emphasis on broker wrongdoers and FINRA enforcement certainly underscores the very real concern with malfeasance in the industry and the adverse effects directly suffered by investors who are fleeced through criminal activity.

A proven Los Angeles securities law attorney can provide zealous representation on behalf of any investor in Southern California or elsewhere across the state who has lost funds owing to broker/adviser fraud or negligence.

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