You have saved your nickels and dimes over your career and have a good-sized nest egg to retire. Then you hand it over to a shady broker with tons of violations? I hope not but it definitely happens and more often than you think. Would you go to a firm where 30% of their brokers have FINRA violations? How about a firm where 70% have violations? Where there is smoke there is fire and personally I'd run from these institutions ASAP. It is hard to imagine that they are still in business.

You would think that FINRA, the primary regulator of US brokerages, would want to have informed investors and would make this data readily available however they make it extremely difficult to analyze the data. Luckily Reuters recently obtained bulk information from researchers at Columbia University Law and analyzed it for incidents that might cause investors the most concern like misconduct, criminal convictions and fines. They found 48 firms with a checkered past and with at least 30 percent of their brokers with FINRA-mandated disclosures! Here is a chart of the worst offenders.

For more details on the study and its methodology, please visit here.

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If you have assets with the following firms, you may want to think twice. Here are is the list of firms from Reuterswith at least 30% of their brokers that have red flags: Accelerated Capital Group, Joseph Stone Capital LLC, Arive Capital Markets, Four Points Capital Partners LLC, American Trust Investment Services Inc, Spartan Capital Securities LLC, Windsor Street Capital LP, BMA Securities LLC, Chelsea Financial Services, First Standard Financial Company, UBS Financial Services Incorporated of Puerto Rico, IFS Securities, Alexander Capital LP, Westpark Capital Inc, Dawson James Securities Inc, International Assets Advisory LLC, Freedom Investors Corp, Infinity Financial Services, PHX Financial Inc, Woodstock Financial Group Inc, Primex, Network 1 Financial Securities Inc, KCD Financial Inc, Boustead Securities, Worden Capital Management LLC, Newbridge Securities Corporation, Garden State Securities Inc, Titan Securities, Petersen Investments Inc, Capital Financial Services Inc, Laidlaw & Company, Aegis Capital Corp, Sandlapper Securities LLC, McNally Financial Service Corporation, Liberty Partners Financial Services LLC, Nationwide Planning Associates Inc, Southeast Investments NC Inc, American Capital Partners LLC, National Securities Corporation, Crescent Securities Group Inc, Kovack Securities, Presidential Brokerage Inc, B.B. Graham & Company Inc, Great Nation Investment Corporation, Feltl and Company, Silber Bennett Financial Inc, Concorde Investment Services LLC, and Corecap Investments Inc.

“Proceed With Caution Sign” by State Farm is licensed under CC BY 2.0