Can we still talk about stocks on the SDMB?

Very clever! As long as your investment recommendations are encoded in song lyrics, you have enough plausible deniability to escape detection.


‘I’m streaming NYSYNC on my APPLE iPhone. Baby, BYE BYE BYE.’

Great, now I’m going to have to justify my Apple Music playlists.

We’re getting somewhat off-topic here, but I will say that I’ve dealt with both full-service and discount brokers and I appreciate the licensing and ethical standards they have to meet, and have never had issues with any of them.

As a side story, I had a bad scare once – entirely my fault – when I placed an online limit order on stock in my son’s trust account. I had been watching the price pattern carefully and priced the limit order at a level that I thought would be reached in the relatively short term. The problem was that it was a US stock, and my stupid bank’s brokerage translates the value of all stock holdings to Canadian dollars. It suddenly occurred to me, in a moment of real shock that had me reaching for a bottle of rum with a trembling hand, that my limit order may have been interpreted in Canadian dollars, which would have meant (given the exchange rate at the time) that instead of my carefully calculated effort to sell at the maximum achievable price, I was essentially giving it all away well below market value!!! Example: a stock is currently trading at USD $55. I place an order to sell if and only if it hits $62. But if that $62 was interpreted as Canadian dollars, at today’s exchange rate I was essentially offering to sell the whole lot for USD $46.78! And I don’t believe the trading rules have any allowances for being an idiot!

Fortunately, despite my bank’s stupid statement policies, all stop and limit orders for US stocks are executed in US dollars, so everything worked out as expected.

The fascinating thing here in Canada (don’t know about the US) is that there is a species of creature generally employed by the big banks called financial advisors (or sometimes, financial planners) who have a history of being highly unethical. And yet they do need to be licensed – at a minimum they need to pass the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. FINRA Series 7 exam and one or more of a dozen other exams, the most common of which (for the bank FAs) I think would be the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Exam.

Despite the financial strength and professed integrity of the Canadian banks, it appears from the above-cited article that a lot of their FAs are crooks. The above-cited article seems to focus on them giving bad advice or advice not suited to the financial needs of the client. Apparently it happens, since the CBC hidden cameras recorded it (one quote from one of the CBC analysts: “That’s one of the worst pieces of advice I’ve ever heard in my life,” financial analyst and former adviser Preet Banerjee told Marketplace co-host Erica Johnson when shown hidden camera footage of one of the tests. “That was atrocious. That’s the only word to describe that advice.”

But that wasn’t exactly my experience, or the typical stories I hear. These people are not brokers in the traditional sense in that they don’t trade individual stocks or bonds. What they do is push “financial products”, and therein lies the problem. These products are often geared to maximize bank profits, not returns for the client. They generally resemble mutual funds, often under other names, and frequently underperform the market while charging outrageous management fees.

I was once offered one of those, and sitting in the FA’s office was a slimeball who specialized in selling them, and looked like the sort of person you would definitely NOT buy a used car from (vague resemblance to Sean Hannity). What they didn’t know was that at the time, I was doing IT consulting work for that very same bank, and for a department that dealt with major investments. So I asked the VP of that group what she thought of that offer. She laughed and said it was junk, mainly just a source of profit for the bank. She said that for my modest purposes, an index fund that would follow an expected strong market and offer real diversification with essentially no management fees would be the way to go. Which is what I did, and it served me well.

Well, the vast majority of people who deal in investments are called Financial Advisors. Sometimes it depends on what firm employs them. So don’t paint all with a broad brush.

But that’s why KYC is so important. At my firm, every trade I make or scenario I propose is crossed against data about the client that they input about income, net worth, cash needs, age and a bunch of other things. If something’s not right I get a call to justify it. If compliance doesn’t like my answer - and sometimes just randomly - they call the client to make sure they understood the transaction.

While I can’t speak to Canadian regulations, here in the US I see most get at least the Series 6 and 63 exams. I have more, but I’ve been at it a while, now.

One thing, though. No one in the securities industry is required to get a Certified Financial Planner certification. The CFP isn’t a license. It’s a certification awarded by the CFP Board. But it’s not a regulatory body at all. Some firm’s require people to get it and some do not. I know at least one firm last year that was considering no longer allowing its FAs to use the designation because of disagreements with who the Board was handling fiduciary standards.

I’m not 100% sure, but I think the algorithm that matches bids and asks will use up all the pending bids to buy from you at their bid prices before submitting the horrid ‘ask.’ And if the market is closed, your price will be whatever the computed Opening Price is next time the market opens.

Interesting because your scenario with your trade is what my group at my former firm used to handle. If someone places a trade way away from the market, someone would review it as it would get flagged by our algorithms. So, a sell limit order way below the market is probably someone wanting to place a sell stop order instead. There’s a group, probably at every firm, that reviews orders like that as well as unusual activity. Most 75 year olds don’t dump all their blue chip stocks at once to buy marijuana penny stocks and shares in a new hip hop restaurant, for example. Or someone placing a market buy order on AAPL in a retirement account that’s near the account value, can’t have a retirement account going negative.

I never worked at all on the advisory side, I was a punching bag on the phones explaining trading strategies and then moved into the back office mainly handling futures.

Man, you should go into the field. That’s where the real craziness happens.

Same here in Aus. I stopped keeping track of which sectors and what the requirements were years ago, because it’s wack-a-mole: as soon as one dodgy sector of the industry is closed down with licensing and fiduciary requirements, another springs up to separate old people from their money by offering “advice”

He had a few thousand people he was providing advice to, and just tossing coins to determine who got puts and who got calls. After a few weeks he had a list of a couple of dozen that got 90% good advice, then those people get hit for the big score. The first time I heard that one it was predicting the winners of the gladiator games. I laughed so hard I fell off my chariot.

A.k.a. the raindrop con. Sprinkle enough drops over things and one of them is bound to land on something.

Which is, actually, not the worst tactic for any sort of business. When I want to pick up new business I go out and meet a million people at various events and functions. I know that - statistically - if I talk to eleven people I’ll get one client.

So it’s not the tactic, it’s the goal that’s evil.

Yeah, I thought I was clever when I came up with this idea myself as a young teenager, only to learn that I wasn’t anywhere near the first to think of it.

Buy low, never sell.

I don’t think so. It was a very long time ago, but my recollection is that he was pretty confident that it was the right thing to do. Unlike my bank FA, he never tried to hit me with a “big score” that I can ever recall. Most of the bad decisions I made were entirely my own bright ideas! :smiley:

This has been an interesting thread. One other anecdote I can relate is getting the idea for some reason that buying stock in a big mining company up north was a good thing to do, up in the Sudbury area so it must have been mainly nickel with perhaps some copper and zinc as their products. A week or two later I read somewhere – in an investment advice column in a newspaper I think – that prices of base metals were plummeting and were expected to fall for the foreseeable future, so anyone holding base metal mining stocks should get right the hell out. I shrugged and ignored the advice. Just about exactly one year later, the price of the stock had doubled!

The moral of the story is that by the time you read “investment advice” in any popular media, everybody who knows anything already acted on it long ago, or else the advice is completely stupid, or both. :smiley: Possibly what happened in this case was that the expected downturn in metal prices had long been expected and the “experts” had all dumped their holdings, depressing the market price to exceptionally low levels by the time I came along. Again, this was long ago so I don’t remember the price history.

Pretty much my standard advice for real estate! :smiley:

This is generally my view on things. If you work a regular job, by the time you can act on any news, the market already has factored it in. And it’s probably getting to the point these days that if you’re a human, you’re too slow - there are AI algorithms reading all the news trying to get the best information with regard to what should be done in the financial markets as soon as it hits the wires. Thus, it makes very little sense to be active in any sort of manner, but instead simply slowly put your savings into the market, rebalancing the proportions as you do so, and ride it out for the long haul. I personally can’t believe there are people on twitter and the like talking about stocks and such, as though they know more than the market.

The problem with buying real estate too low is the increased risk of flooding. :stuck_out_tongue:

That is such sound advice. Thank you. I couldn’t agree more. Long-term dollar cost averaging for the win.

That’s interesting. Almost sounds like he had insider trading connections.