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Florida Securities Fraud Lawyer Blog — Published by South Florida Securities Arbitration & Litigation Attorneys — McCabe Rabin, P.A. Florida Securities Fraud Lawyer Blog Published By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Navigation Home Website Professionals Practice Areas News & Events Investigations Resources Contact Us Florida Securities Fraud Lawyer Blog Published on: July 27, 2016 Equity Compensation: Not Just for CEOs Anymore By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Equity compensation, also known as a stock award, is a form of non-cash compensation that represents ownership in a company. If the company does well and the value of its stock goes up, the future value of the stock award could be higher than if the employee was given cash today. Equity compensation is one way for a company to attract or retain talent without having to pay out large salaries. The popularity of equity compensation for rank-and-file employees, especially among cash-strapped start-up companies, is on the rise. According to a study done in 2010 by the National Center for Employee Ownership, 28 million employees in the U.S. owned stock or stock options in their companies. The most common types of equity compensation are stock options and restricted stock units (RSUs). An employee stock option (ESO) is a contract that gives the employee the right to buy a certain number of shares in his or her company at a predetermined price (exercise price) after a specific date. Typically, an employee must use his or her own money to exercise the option and buy the stock. ESOs do not have any marketable value since they do not trade in a secondary market and they are generally non-transferable. Continue reading → By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Posted in: Investments Tagged: employee stock options, equity compensation, restricted stock unit and stock award Published on: July 27, 2016 Updated: July 27, 2016 8:35 am Published on: July 8, 2016 Broker Obligations When Selling Municipal Bonds By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Many brokers and customers mistakenly believe that municipal bonds are always a “safe” place to be. The recent debacle in Puerto Rico proves this is not the case. The law imposes special obligations upon brokers who sell municipal bonds. First, the broker must thoroughly research the municipal bond that he or she is recommending to the client. This goes far beyond merely knowing the credit rating of the bond. Instead, brokers must perform an independent analysis. They must obtain and review all material information that is publicly available through sources such as the Electronic Municipal Market Access System, also known as EMMA. They must also obtain and review information that is not generally available to the public through established industry resources such as research reports, press releases and other data provided by independent sources. This is all spelled out in FINRA Regulatory Notice 10–41. Continue reading → By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Posted in: Investments Tagged: broker, EMMA, financial advisor, FINRA, junk bonds, MSRB, municipal bond, munis, Puerto Rico and stockbroker Published on: July 8, 2016 Updated: July 8, 2016 10:36 am Published on: June 30, 2016 ABLE Plans: Helping Families of Kids With Special Needs Save for the Future By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Starting July 1, Florida families with children who have special needs will have another option available to help them save for the future costs of caring for their loved one. Florida’s ABLE United Program is one of four such plans nationwide. The ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Act) investment plan will allow families to save tax-free for future expenses, while maintaining government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. Who is eligible for a Florida ABLE United Program account? 1) A Florida resident with 2) a “qualifying disability” 3) the onset of which occurred prior to age 26. Continue reading → By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Posted in: Investments Tagged: ABLE, ABLE United Program, Florida, investment, Medicaid, special needs, SSI and Supplemental Security Income Published on: June 30, 2016 Updated: June 30, 2016 2:59 pm Published on: June 23, 2016 How to Make Sense of Your Monthly Account Statements By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Brokerage account statements can be lengthy and complicated. Having a basic idea of what you are looking at, however, can help you spot mistakes, unauthorized activity, and even fraud. Here are the key types of information generally found on monthly account statements and some potential red flags that warrant follow-up with your brokerage firm. General Appearance Account statements should look professional and not look altered in any way. The brokerage firm’s information and logo should be uniform throughout the statement and should match all of the other documentation you have received from the company – trade confirmations, new account forms, and correspondence. Continue reading → By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Posted in: Investments Tagged: broker, Brokerage firm, clearing firm, financial advisor, FINRA, investment, red flag, securities and statement Published on: June 23, 2016 Updated: June 26, 2016 9:09 pm Published on: June 13, 2016 Financial Fraud: Don’t Be an Easy Target By McCabe Rabin, P.A. The headlines are full of stories of identity theft and investment fraud. There are steps you can take to keep from being an easy target. Guard your Social Security number! Memorize the number and don’t carry your Social Security card unless you know you are going to need it (for example, it’s your first day at a new job and the employer will want to make a copy of it.) Just Say No. Don’t give your Social Security number to everyone who asks. If you have private insurance, doctors, dentists, laboratories, and other healthcare providers generally do not need your Social Security number to process your claim – they should only need your insurance information. If the medical provider asks for it, ask why they want it and what happens if you don’t want to give it. Be prudent in deciding whether to give it to them. Similarly, public schools, summer camps, and frequent shopper cards often request Social Security numbers, but if the number isn’t required to enroll in those programs, you shouldn’t give it. For more information, review the Social Security Administration’s pamphlet Identity Theft and Your Social Security Number. Continue reading → By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Posted in: Fraud Tagged: broker, credit, credit report, financial fraud, FINRA, identity theft and Social Security Published on: June 13, 2016 Updated: June 26, 2016 9:06 pm Published on: June 7, 2016 Should I Stay or Should I Go? What to know before following your broker to a new firm. By McCabe Rabin, P.A. If you have been with your broker for a while, chances are you have developed a good relationshhttp://www.floridasecuritiesfraudlawyerblog.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=604&action=editip with him or her. If he or she decides to change brokerage firms one day, you will most likely be asked to follow him or her to the new brokerage firm. A good relationship with your broker is a wonderful thing; however, it is not the only thing to consider when faced with the dilemma – should I stay or should I go? Before you make a decision about transferring your account to your broker’s new firm, here are some things you should discuss with someone at your current firm or your broker: Why did your broker switch firms? There are many reasons why brokers switch firms. For example the broker’s investment philosophy may align better with the new firm, management changes at the current firm may have created discord between the broker and the new manager, the broker may think the new firm has more attractive proprietary investment products, or the broker received an offer from the new firm that was simply too good to pass up. Continue reading → By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Posted in: Investments Tagged: account, broker, Brokerage firm, FINRA and investments Published on: June 7, 2016 Updated: June 26, 2016 9:03 pm Published on: June 2, 2016 Securities-Backed Lines of Credit: Are They Worth the Risk? By McCabe Rabin, P.A. If you have a brokerage account, you have probably received a pitch from your broker for a securities-backed line of credit (SBLOC). Contrary to the flashy marketing brochure you may have seen, SBLOCs aren’t the best things since sliced bread. Know the facts before you consider one. An SBLOC is a non-purpose revolving line of credit using the securities held in your brokerage account as collateral. “Non-purpose” means you do not have to use the proceeds for a specific purpose like you do with an auto loan or home mortgage. Basically, you can borrow cash against the value of your investment portfolio to finance basically anything from travel and college expenses to home renovations and buying a car. Pretty much the only thing you can’t do with an SBLOC is use the money to purchase or trade securities. This “easy money,” however, doesn’t come without cost or risk. Typically, an SBLOC agreement will allow you to borrow between 50-95% of the value of your investment portfolio depending on the value of your overall portfolio and the types of investments in the account (i.e. stocks, bonds, etc.) The interest rates charged on an SBLOC usually follow the broker-call, prime or LIBOR rates plus some stated percentage. SBLOCs typically require you to make minimum payments every month, oftentimes the minimum payment is the calculated interest amount. Because the published interest rates fluctuate, the amount of interest you are charged daily may also fluctuate. Continue reading → By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Posted in: Investments Tagged: broker, Brokerage firm, credit line, loan, SBLOC, securities backed lines of credit and stockbroker Published on: June 2, 2016 Updated: June 26, 2016 8:59 pm Published on: May 27, 2016 Master Limited Partnerships: What You Need to Know By McCabe Rabin, P.A. We have received several inquiries recently about investments in master limited partnerships (MLPs). It seems that, although the popularity of MLPs is growing, many investors still don’t understand exactly what an MLP is or the risks involved in investing in one. An MLP is a kind of limited partnership that is publicly traded on an exchange. It is similar to any other limited partnership, in that, 1) the limited partners provide the capital to the entity in return for periodic distributions of income; and 2) it is run by a general partner who receives compensation in return for management services rendered. What are some risks of MLPs? Continue reading → By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Posted in: Investments Tagged: gas, general partner, limited partner, master limited partnership, MLP and oil Published on: May 27, 2016 Updated: June 26, 2016 8:56 pm Published on: May 20, 2016 Crowdfunding and Securities? What?! By McCabe Rabin, P.A. As many readers may know, “crowdfunding” is a modern innovation for raising money. Typically using internet sites like Indiegogo, Kickstarter, or GoFundMe, a person can set up a website to raise money to develop a product or initiate some kind of project. Projects funded through crowdfunding range the gamut from feature films to video games to new styles of clothing. Virtually any project can be funded through crowdfunding. In return, “investors” will get some small benefit, like early access to the feature film. As of this week, new SEC regulations have been put in place to allow the sale of securities in small business through crowdfunding. This securities crowdfunding will be overseen and regulated by FINRA. According to FINRA, anyone can invest in crowdfunded securities, but the amount one can invest depends on an individual’s income and net worth. For instance, if your annual income or your net worth is less than $100,000, then you can invest a maximum of $2,000, or 5% of either your income or net worth (whichever is greater). If, however, your annual income and your net worth are both over $100,000, then you can invest up to 10% of your annual income or net worth (whichever is greater). The total amount invested in crowdfunded securities can never exceed $100,000. Continue reading → By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Posted in: Investments Tagged: crowdfunding, FINRA, investment, SEC and securities Published on: May 20, 2016 Updated: May 24, 2016 3:30 pm Published on: May 12, 2016 Investment Advisor Fraud – Who You Gonna Sue? By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Here’s something you probably don’t think about when you hire an investment advisor: who will I be able to sue if this person steals my money? Maybe you should think about it. If you’re dealing with a major brokerage firm like Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS or Charles Schwab, the answer is simple. You can sue one of those giant companies and, if you win, the odds or pretty good the giant, multi-national corporation will have the money to pay you. (They will also have the money to fight you tooth and nail before paying you a dime). Continue reading → By McCabe Rabin, P.A. Posted in: Fraud Tagged: broker, Brokerage firm, FINRA, Fraud and investment advisor Published on: May 12, 2016 Updated: May 24, 2016 3:23 pm Next Page Contact Us 561-659-7878 877-915-4040 Name:Email:Phone:Message: Submit Subscribe by Email Enter your email address: Delivered by FeedBurner Topics FINRA (96) Investments (66) Fraud (64) SEC (63) Ponzi Scheme (55) Investment Scam (36) Elderly Investors (17) Hedge Fund (7) Suitability (6) Financial Crisis (5) Our Other Blogs Florida Business Litigation Lawyer Blog Whistleblower Qui Tam Lawyer Blog Search Search Recent Entries Equity Compensation: Not Just for CEOs Anymore Broker Obligations When Selling Municipal Bonds ABLE Plans: Helping Families of Kids With Special Needs Save for the Future How to Make Sense of Your Monthly Account Statements Financial Fraud: Don’t Be an Easy Target Contact Information Centurion Tower,1601 Forum Pl, #505 West Palm Beach, FL 33401 Phone: 561-659-7878 Toll Free: 877-915-4040 Fax: 561-242-4848 Home Website Disclaimer Contact Us Website Map Blog Posts Copyright ? 2016, McCabe Rabin, P.A. 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