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There are a lot of regulations when it comes to securities and the firms
that sell them. Some of these regulations have to do with the registration
of securities, the brokerage firm, and the investment salesperson.
Under federal and state laws, securities must be registered and there are
only limited exceptions to these rules. In many cases, securities also
have to be registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC). One of the purposes of registration is to disclose pertinent financial
information to investors, which will help protect them from fraud.
Any firm that sells registered securities to the public is required to
register with the state securities regulator, the SEC or the Financial
Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), depending on the business in which
the firm is involved. An employee of the brokerage firm who offers or
sells registered securities is also required to register with the state
securities regulator and/or FINRA.
There are additional licenses that are required for people who sell annuities,
insurance and other similar products, as well as registration requirements
for those who offer investment advice for a fee. A general rule of thumb
to follow is that if someone gave you investment recommendations and charged
you a fee, there is a good chance that he or she should be registered
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