• Member Statistics

    • 836,697 Colleagues-to-Date [Sponsored by a generous R&D grant from iMBA, Inc.]
  • David E. Marcinko [Editor-in-Chief]

    As a former Dean and appointed University Professor and Endowed Department Chair, Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA was a NYSE broker and investment banker for a decade who was respected for his unique perspectives, balanced contrarian thinking and measured judgment to influence key decision makers in strategic education, health economics, finance, investing and public policy management.

    Dr. Marcinko is originally from Loyola University MD, Temple University in Philadelphia and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in PA; as well as Oglethorpe University and Emory University in Georgia, the Atlanta Hospital & Medical Center; Kellogg-Keller Graduate School of Business and Management in Chicago, and the Aachen City University Hospital, Koln-Germany. He became one of the most innovative global thought leaders in medical business entrepreneurship today by leveraging and adding value with strategies to grow revenues and EBITDA while reducing non-essential expenditures and improving dated operational in-efficiencies.

    Professor David Marcinko was a board certified surgical fellow, hospital medical staff President, public and population health advocate, and Chief Executive & Education Officer with more than 425 published papers; 5,150 op-ed pieces and over 135+ domestic / international presentations to his credit; including the top ten [10] biggest drug, DME and pharmaceutical companies and financial services firms in the nation. He is also a best-selling Amazon author with 30 published academic text books in four languages [National Institute of Health, Library of Congress and Library of Medicine].

    Dr. David E. Marcinko is past Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious “Journal of Health Care Finance”, and a former Certified Financial Planner® who was named “Health Economist of the Year” in 2010. He is a Federal and State court approved expert witness featured in hundreds of peer reviewed medical, business, economics trade journals and publications [AMA, ADA, APMA, AAOS, Physicians Practice, Investment Advisor, Physician’s Money Digest and MD News] etc.

    Later, Dr. Marcinko was a vital and recruited BOD  member of several innovative companies like Physicians Nexus, First Global Financial Advisors and the Physician Services Group Inc; as well as mentor and coach for Deloitte-Touche and other start-up firms in Silicon Valley, CA.

    As a state licensed life, P&C and health insurance agent; and dual SEC registered investment advisor and representative, Marcinko was Founding Dean of the fiduciary and niche focused CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER® chartered professional designation education program; as well as Chief Editor of the three print format HEALTH DICTIONARY SERIES® and online Wiki Project.

    Dr. David E. Marcinko’s professional memberships included: ASHE, AHIMA, ACHE, ACME, ACPE, MGMA, FMMA, FPA and HIMSS. He was a MSFT Beta tester, Google Scholar, “H” Index favorite and one of LinkedIn’s “Top Cited Voices”.

    Marcinko is “ex-officio” and R&D Scholar-on-Sabbatical for iMBA, Inc. who was recently appointed to the MedBlob® [military encrypted medical data warehouse and health information exchange] Advisory Board.

    entrepreneur

    Frontal_lobe_animation

  • ME-P Information & Content Channels

  • ME-P Archives Silo [2006 – 2020]

  • Ann Miller RN MHA [Managing Editor]

    ME-P SYNDICATIONS:
    WSJ.com,
    CNN.com,
    Forbes.com,
    WashingtonPost.com,
    BusinessWeek.com,
    USNews.com, Reuters.com,
    TimeWarnerCable.com,
    e-How.com,
    News Alloy.com,
    and Congress.org

    Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)

    Product Details

    Product Details

    Product Details

  • CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER® program

    New "Self-Directed" Study Option SinceJanuary 1st, 2020
  • Most Recent ME-Ps

  • PodiatryPrep.org


    BOARD CERTIFICATION EXAM STUDY GUIDES
    Lower Extremity Trauma
    [Click on Image to Enlarge]

  • ME-P Free Advertising Consultation

    The “Medical Executive-Post” is about connecting doctors, health care executives and modern consulting advisors. It’s about free-enterprise, business, practice, policy, personal financial planning and wealth building capitalism. We have an attitude that’s independent, outspoken, intelligent and so Next-Gen; often edgy, usually controversial. And, our consultants “got fly”, just like U. Read it! Write it! Post it! “Medical Executive-Post”. Call or email us for your FREE advertising and sales consultation TODAY [770.448.0769]

    Product Details

    Product Details

  • Medical & Surgical e-Consent Forms

    ePodiatryConsentForms.com
  • iMBA R&D Services

    Commission a Subject Matter Expert Report [$2500-$9999]January 1st, 2020
    Medical Clinic Valuations * Endowment Fund Management * Health Capital Formation * Investment Policy Statement Analysis * Provider Contracting & Negotiations * Marketplace Competition * Revenue Cycle Enhancements; and more! HEALTHCARE FINANCIAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX
  • iMBA Inc., OFFICES

    Suite #5901 Wilbanks Drive, Norcross, Georgia, 30092 USA [1.770.448.0769]. Our location is real and we are now virtually enabled to assist new long distance clients and out-of-town colleagues.

  • ME-P Publishing

  • SEEKING INDUSTRY INFO PARTNERS?

    If you want the opportunity to work with leading health care industry insiders, innovators and watchers, the “ME-P” may be right for you? We are unbiased and operate at the nexus of theoretical and applied R&D. Collaborate with us and you’ll put your brand in front of a smart & tightly focused demographic; one at the forefront of our emerging healthcare free marketplace of informed and professional “movers and shakers.” Our Ad Rate Card is available upon request [770-448-0769].

  • Reader Comments, Quips, Opinions, News & Updates

  • Start-Up Advice for Businesses, DRs and Entrepreneurs

    ImageProxy “Providing Management, Financial and Business Solutions for Modernity”
  • Up-Trending ME-Ps

  • Capitalism and Free Enterprise Advocacy

    Whether you’re a mature CXO, physician or start-up entrepreneur in need of management, financial, HR or business planning information on free markets and competition, the "Medical Executive-Post” is the online place to meet for Capitalism 2.0 collaboration. Support our online development, and advance our onground research initiatives in free market economics, as we seek to showcase the brightest Next-Gen minds. THE ME-P DISCLAIMER: Posts, comments and opinions do not necessarily represent iMBA, Inc., but become our property after submission. Copyright © 2006 to-date. iMBA, Inc allows colleges, universities, medical and financial professionals and related clinics, hospitals and non-profit healthcare organizations to distribute our proprietary essays, photos, videos, audios and other documents; etc. However, please review copyright and usage information for each individual asset before submission to us, and/or placement on your publication or web site. Attestation references, citations and/or back-links are required. All other assets are property of the individual copyright holder.
  • OIG Fraud Warnings

    Beware of health insurance marketplace scams OIG's Most Wanted Fugitives at oig.hhs.gov

HOW THE “FIDUCIARY CONUNDRUM” DEFIES PHYSICS?

And … How We Can Fix It

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA MEd CMP®

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

The Rules As I Understand Them

Securities industry Regulations and Regulators recognize that (registered) investment advisors give advice, while stock brokers sell brokerage products. Thus, the Series 65 license is required to become a financial advisor, while Series 7 licensed stock-brokers are not (and cannot) be fiduciary advisors.

So, advice is subject to a fiduciary duty, while product sales (brokerage) activity is not. The ratio of fiduciary advice to brokerage sales is about 1:99. So, what does that tell you?

A Contentious and Complicated Issue

This issue is so contentious and complicated today that lawyers are needed to define each and every term, engagement, transaction, brokerage or advisory contract, etc. It is far too amazingly contorted and complicated for most; including me; and we have even discussed the industry machinations and political double-talk on this ME-P previously; from some vary sharp industry experts, too.

The Fiduciary Conundrum

The “work-around” for these rules is industry “dual-registration”. Simply put, just get licensed to do both; as I did. Charge a commission when selling stuff and charge a fee for advice. And ideally, do both at the same time; while getting paid for both sides.

As a naïve luddite, I learned this little truism in financial planning school decades ago, and as a doctor and fiduciary for my patients at all times, almost vomited.

Of course, there were more sophisticated students in our classes who regurgitated the standard industry opinion: “We’ll give the client a financial plan for free IF we can sell commissioned products.”

Ideally this meant a fat and fully commissioned wrap account, whole-life insurance policy, LTCI policy; etc. Or, sell products and collect fat ongoing, and often unrecognizable AUM fees [fee-only], too!

From the stock broker-advisor’s POV, it was “Heads I win – tails you loose” for the client. Now, you know why I am a former or reformed certified financial planner.

The Physics Split

Know that as a pre-medical college student years earlier, I leaned about the Werner Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, in physics class.

Of course,  true Advice – is not Sales …  and Sales is not Advice. Both should never be; simultaneously. So, let’s ditch dual registration and decide which to pursue … and then proceed accordingly. Both sales and advice have risks and benefits to client and producer; both have advantages and disadvantages to both; as well.

WHY? Just like the Werner Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle; it shouldn’t [shan’t] be both; at once.

NOTE: In quantum mechanics, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle is any of a variety of mathematical inequalities asserting a fundamental limit to the precision with which certain pairs of physical properties of a particle, known as complementary variables, such as position x and momentum p, can be known simultaneously.

So, in physics, I can tell you where you are -OR- how fast you are going; but not both. Thus, if it is product sales; it is not advice.

Today, since “dual registration” is still allowed, my suggestion to clients is to seek a fiduciary in all matters 24/7/354; get it in writing, and try  to avoid arbitration and “best interest” or BICE clauses! Run from [fee-based and fee-only] AUM fees, too.

PS: I am not against Series #7 representatives and product sales. Salesmen/women often provide a valuable service and should be appropriately compensated. I only object when fees, costs, charges and commissions are duplicative, excessive and/or not fully disclosed to the client. Since excessive is an arbitrary term; full disclosure is the key ingredient.

Assessment

So – How am I wrong, mistaken and/or what did I miss? Do tell! Should We – Can We – Ditch Dual Registration [DDR]?

Oh! In the future, I also hope that State fiduciary standards will potentially cover both non-ERISA and ERISA situations, and employee plan participants will have access to full discovery rights, the one thing the industry fears most.

But, that’s a discussion for another day and time.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. https://medicalexecutivepost.com/dr-david-marcinkos-bookings/

Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

BOOKS

https://www.crcpress.com/Risk-Management-Liability-Insurance-and-Asset-Protection-Strategies-for/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781498725989

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

https://www.crcpress.com/Comprehensive-Financial-Planning-Strategies-for-Doctors-and-Advisors-Best/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781482240283

***

The “Good Deal Exemption” for Financial Advisors is No Joke

The “Rules”

[By Rick Kahler CFP®]

In the business of selling financial products, the “good deal exemption” may be one of the most widely used “rules” most people have never heard of. You can’t find it in any rule book or statute. Even Google has never heard of it. Yet it is used on a daily basis.

The rules and laws surrounding the sale of financial products are complex and voluminous. Even with the best of intentions, it isn’t hard to run afoul of a rule.

Under the good deal exemption, however, a licensee can violate any rule or statute as long as the investment sold to the customer turns out to be a “good deal.” This is a tongue-in-cheek way of saying you can violate any rule you want as long as the customer doesn’t file a complaint or sue you. Which they will rarely do if the deal turns out to make them loads of money.

It’s when investments go bad that customers often complain or sue, not because they were aware of any securities violations, but because they lost money. It’s the ensuing investigation by the regulating body and the customer’s attorney that uncovers any violations.

Example:

Recently, I came across a perfect example of the good deal exemption. A married couple I knew, Arnie and Audrey, invested with Bernie (not his real name) 30 years ago as they neared retirement. He put their entire savings of about $310,000 into mutual funds that invested in common stocks. Because of a pension and Social Security, they didn’t need any income from their investments.

At the same time, Arnie put his investments into a revocable living trust, naming Audrey as the trustee and beneficiary. Eleven years later, when Audrey was 80, Arnie died.

Losing her husband’s pension income and one Social Security check, Audrey needed to start drawing $2,000 a month from the portfolio. While most advisors would have recommended reducing the risk and volatility of the portfolio by investing less in stocks and more in bonds, Bernie kept Audrey invested 100% in stocks. This is aggressive for any 80-year-old needing income from a portfolio. He made no changes as the years went by.

At 85, Audrey started showing signs of dementia. Bernie rightly suggested appointing someone other than herself as trustee. But rather than naming one of her three children (who didn’t trust Bernie and may have transferred the accounts), he convinced her to appoint his wife, who also worked in his office, as trustee. In any broker’s books, this was a serious ethics violation.

In the great recession of 2008-2009, when Audrey was 89, her portfolio lost just under half of its value, falling from $832,507 to $478,820. Had Bernie reallocated the portfolio before the crash to a mix of 50% stocks and 50% bonds, the loss would have been cut in half. To his credit, Bernie told her to stay the course and not sell out.

Recently, at age 99, Audrey died. Her account had done phenomenally well, being 100% invested in US stocks, which for the last 10 years was the best investment class on the planet. Her $478,820 had grown to $1,300,000, providing her a $2000 monthly income and a substantial estate that she left to her children.

Assessment

Despite the inappropriately risky investments and the ethics violations, Bernie and his wife are probably protected by the good deal exemption. Given their substantial inheritance, Audrey’s children are unlikely to sue.

This happy ending was due primarily to luck. Audrey lived long enough and at the right time so her portfolio recovered. However, if luck were a sound investment strategy, Las Vegas would be full of millionaires happily retired on their winnings.

Conclusion

Your thoughts are appreciated.

***

Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

***

A ‘Flawed’ SEC Program [A Retrospective “April Fool’s Day” Analysis]

Join Our Mailing List

SEC Failed to Rein in Investment Banks [April Fool’s Day – 2015]

By Ben Protess, ProPublica – October 1, 2008 5:01 pm EDT

Editor’s Note: This investigative report was first published ten years ago. And so, we ask you to consider – on this April Fool’s Day 2019 – how [if] things have changed since then?  

***

Flag MOney

***

The Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] last week abolished the special regulatory program that it applied to Wall Street’s largest investment banks. Known as the “consolidated supervised entities” program, it relaxed the minimum capital requirements for firms that submitted to the commission’s oversight, and thus, in the view of some experts, helped create the current global financial crisis.

But, the SEC’s decision to ax the program currently affects no one, since three of the five firms that voluntarily joined the program previously collapsed and the other two reorganized.

The Decision – 18 Months Ago

The decision came last Friday, one day after the commission’s inspector general released a report [1] (PDF) detailing the program’s failed oversight of Bear Stearns before the firm collapsed in March. The commission’s chairman, Christopher Cox, a longtime opponent of industry regulation, said in a statement [2] that the report “validates and echoes the concerns” he had about the program, which had been voluntary for the five Wall Street titans since 2004.

The report found that the SEC division that oversees trading and markets was “not fulfilling its obligations. “These reports are another indictment of failed leadership,” said Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) who requested the inspector general’s investigation.

The SEC program, approved by the commission in 2004 under Cox’s predecessor, William Donaldson, allowed investment banks to increase their amount of leveraged debt. But, there was a tradeoff: Banks that participated allowed their broker-dealer operations and holding companies to be subject to SEC oversight. Previous to 2004, the SEC only had authority to oversee the banks’ broker dealers.

Longstanding SEC rules required the broker dealers to limit their debt-to-net-capital ratio and issue an early warning if they began to approach the limit. The limit was about 15-to-1, according to the inspector general report, meaning that for every $15 of debt, the banks were required to have $1 of equity.

But the 2004 “consolidated supervised entities” program revoked these limits. The new program also eliminated the requirement that firms keep a certain amount of capital as a cushion in case an asset defaults.

Bear Sterns

As a result, the oversight program created the conditions that helped cause the collapse of Bear Stearns. Bear had a gross debt ratio of about 33-to-1 prior to its demise, the inspector general found. The inspector general also found that Bear was fully compliant with the programs’ requirements when it collapsed, which raised “serious questions about whether the capital requirement amounts were adequate,” the report said.

The report quoted Lee Pickard, a former SEC official who helped write the original debt-limit requirements in 1975 and now argues the 2004 program is largely to blame for the current Wall Street crisis.

“The SEC gave up the very protections that caused these firms to go under,” Pickard said in an interview with ProPublica. “The SEC in 2004 thought it gained something in oversight, but in turn it gave up too much public protection. You don’t bargain in a way that causes you to give up serious protections.”

Pickard, now a senior partner at a Washington, D.C.-based law firm, estimated that prior to the 2004 program most firms never exceeded an 8-to-1 debt-to-net capital ratio.

The previous program “had an excellent track record in preserving the securities markets’ financial integrity and protecting customer assets,” Pickard wrote [3] in American Banker this August. The new program required “substantial SEC resources for complex oversight, which apparently are not always available.”

Asked if he believes the 2004 program was a direct cause of the current crisis, Pickard told ProPublica, “I’m afraid I do.”

The New York Times reported Saturday that the SEC created the program after “heavy lobbying” for the plan from the investment banks. The banks favored the SEC as their regulator, the Times reported, because that let them avoid regulation of their fast-growing European operations by the European Union, which has been threatening to impose its own rules since 2002.

SEC Spokesman

A SEC spokesman declined to comment for this article, referring inquires to Chairman Cox’s statement. In the statement, Cox admitted the program “was fundamentally flawed from the beginning.” But Cox, a former Republican congressman from California, offered mild support for the program as recently as July when he testified before the House Committee on Financial Services. The program, among other oversight efforts, Cox said, had “gone far to adapt the existing regulatory structure to today’s exigencies.” He added that legislative improvements were necessary as well, and has since told Congress that the program failed.

More Questions

So why did the commission not end the program sooner? Some say that the program’s flaws only recently became apparent. “As late as 2005, the program seemed to make a lot of sense,” said Charles Morris, a former banker who predicted the current financial crisis in his book written last year, The Trillion Dollar Meltdown [4]. The SEC “didn’t know it didn’t work until we had this stress.”

And leverage does not always spell trouble. In a strong economy, leverage can also be attractive because it can increase the profitability of banks through lending.

In his recent statement, Cox said the inspector general’s findings reflect a deeper problem: “the lack of specific legal authority for the SEC or any other agency to act as the regulator of these large investment bank holding companies.”

Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson has called for a refining of the regulatory structure to reflect the global and interconnected nature of today’s financial system. In any case, the program’s failure can be seen in the disappearance of the participating banks: Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

skeleton-jpeg1

***

Assessment

Merrill Lynch’s leverage ratio was possibly as high as 40-to-1 this year and Lehman Brothers faced a ratio of about 30-to-1, according to Bloomberg [5].

The Fed and Treasury Department forced Bear Stearns into a merger with JPMorgan Chase in March. And the last two months, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and sold their core U.S. business to British bank Barclays PLC, and Merrill Lynch was acquired by Bank of America. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, the two remaining large independent investment banks, changed their corporate structures to become bank holding companies, which are regulated by the Federal Reserve.

As these banks have folded or reorganized over the last several months, the Federal Reserve has largely assumed the SEC’s oversight responsibilities, though the commission will still have the power to regulate broker dealers.

Original Essay: http://www.propublica.org/article/flawed-sec-program-failed-to-rein-in-investment-banks-101

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)

Form ADV Part II [The Essential Document]

Join Our Mailing List

Lifting the “Veil of Secrecy” on Selecting Financial Advisors

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™]

DEM white  shirtBy law, financial advisors must provide you with a form ADV Part II or a brochure that covers the same information. Even if a brochure is provided, ask for the ADV. Today, it may even be online.

While it is acceptable, even desirable, for the brochure to be easier to read than the ADV, the ADV is what is filed with the appropriate state or SEC. If the brochure reads more like a slick sales brochure or the information in the brochure glosses over the items on the ADV to a high degree, one should consider eliminating the advisor from consideration.

Types of Advisors

Registering with a state or SEC gives an advisor a fiduciary duty to the client. This is a high standard under the law. There are several types of advisors who are exempt from registering and filing an ADV.

First, there are registered representatives (brokers).  Brokers have a fiduciary responsibility to their firms regardless of whether they are statutory employees or independent contractors.

Second are attorneys and accountants whose advice is “incidental” to their legal or accounting practices. But, why would one hire someone whose advice is “incidental” to his primary profession?

A top-notch advisor is a full-time professional and should be registered.  One should insist that their advisor be registered.

***

Lifting veil of secrecy

[The Author in Chicago Seeking Fiduciary Transparency]

***

The ADV will describe the advisor’s background and employment history, including any prior disciplinary issues. It will describe the ownership of the firm and outline how the firm and advisor are compensated. Any referral arrangements will be described. If an advisor has an interest in any of the investments to be recommended, it must be listed as well as the fee schedule. There is also a description of the types of investments recommended and the types of research information that is used.

Assessment

A review of the ADV should result in an alignment of what the advisor said during the interview and what is filed with the regulators. If there is a clear discrepancy, choose another advisor. If it is unclear, discuss the issue with the advisor.

  • SEC Headquarters
  • 100 F Street, NE Washington, DC 20549
  • (202) 942-8088

Channel Surfing the ME-P

Have you visited our other topic channels? Established to facilitate idea exchange and link our community together, the value of these topics is dependent upon your input. Please take a minute to visit. And, to prevent that annoying spam, we ask that you register. It is fast, free and secure.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners(TM)

Fiduciary Financial Advisor versus Non-Fiduciary FAs

Join Our Mailing List 

Understanding the Difference

Dr. DEMBy Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

GOAL: To understand the difference between fiduciaries and non-fiduciaries, examine the SEC conduct rules.

Stock-Brokers (non-fiduciaries) are subject to FINRA Conduct Rule 2310(a) which reads:

In recommending to a customer the purchase, sale or exchange of any security, a member shall have reasonable grounds for believing that the recommendation is suitable for such customer upon the basis of the facts, if any, disclosed by such customer as to his security holdings and as to his financial situation and needs.

A fiduciary follows a higher standard of conduct: 

A fiduciary duty is an obligation to act in the best interest of another party. A fiduciary obligation exists whenever the relationship with the client involves a special trust, confidence and reliance on the fiduciary to exercise his discretion or expertise in acting for a client. A person acting in a fiduciary capacity is held to a high standard of honesty and full disclosure in regard to the client and must not obtain a personal benefit at the expense of the client.

Five primary responsibilities as a fiduciary to clients are:

  • To always put clients’ interest first
  • To act with utmost good faith
  • To provide full and fair disclosure of all material facts
  • Not to mislead clients, and
  • To expose all conflicts of interest and all compensation to clients.

More:

Assessment

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

DICTIONARIES: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko
PHYSICIANS: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com
PRACTICES: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com
HOSPITALS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466558731
CLINICS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439879900
BLOG: www.MedicalExecutivePost.com
FINANCE: Financial Planning for Physicians and Advisors
INSURANCE: Risk Management and Insurance Strategies for Physicians and Advisors

Product Details  Product Details

Understanding NYSE / NASD Minimum Credit Requirements

Join Our Mailing List

A Primer for Physician Investors and Medical Professionals

By: Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief]

[PART 8 OF 8]

NOTE: This is an eight part ME-P series based on a weekend lecture I gave more than a decade ago to an interested group of graduate, business and medical school students. The material is a bit dated and some facts and specifics may have changed since then. But, the overall thought-leadership information of the essay remains interesting and informative. We trust you will enjoy it.

Introduction

We have seen that there are rules which stipulate that no brokerage firm may arrange for any credit to any client whose margin account does not have an equity of at least $2,000. The principal application of this rule is to initial transactions in newly opened margin accounts, however, it does apply at all times. 

Example: A doctor buys 100 shares, at $15, in a new margin account. His margin call is $1,500.

Rationale: $2,000 would be too much to require as it exceeds the total purchase price. However, a loan to the doctor isn’t allowed to be extended until, and unless, the account has equity of $2,000. The trade is simply paid in full -100% of the purchase price is the margin call. 

Example: A doctor buys 200 shares, at $15, in a new margin account (assume Regulation T = 60%).

His margin call is $2,000 

Rational: Regulation T 60% would be $1,800 (60% x $3,000). Since this would be $200 shy of the minimum equity level of $2,000, the call is the $2,000 minimum equity. 

Example: A doctor buys 300 shares, at $15, in a new margin account. (assume Regulation T = 60%) His margin call is $2, 700. 

Rationale: The account will have equity of $2, 700 (60% x $4,500), which is more than the $2,000 minimum. Therefore, the Regulation T initial requirement prevails.

The important points to remember about minimum credit requirements are:

1. You are not called upon to pay more than the purchase price.

2. You cannot be granted a loan until the account has an equity of at least $2,000.

3. If a decline in the market value of an existing account puts the equity below $2,000, there is no requirement to bring the equity back up to $2,000.

4. You may not withdraw money or securities from the account, if in doing so, you either:

  1. bring the equity below $ 2,000, or
  2. bring the equity below the maintenance level

These are the only times SMA may not be withdrawn from an account

The Short Sale

Selling short is engaged in by medical professionals who anticipate a market decline. By selling borrowed property (shares of stock) at the current market value, the doctor expects to return the borrowed property (shares of the same issuer bought in the marketplace) to the lender, normally the investor’s brokerage firm, when the market price is lower, thus profiting from the drop in price.

Essentially this is the buy low, and sell high philosophy. However, when executing a short sale one is selling high initially, then buying low later to “cover”, or close out the deal by buying low and selling high in the reverse order .

Bear in mind that the short seller is borrowing property, not money. However, due to the high degree of risk inherent in short selling, it is permitted only in a margin account. A Regulation T call is required as a show of good faith, a way the client demonstrates the financial wherewithal to buy back the property. Let’s look at a short sale transaction and the subsequent effects of market fluctuations on equity, as we did previously with buying on margin (long margin).

Credit Balance and Equity

A doctor shorts (sells short) 100 shares at $100 per share with Regulation T at 60%. The margin account would be credited with the proceeds of the sale, though the doctor has no access to these monies at this point in the deal. The account should also be credited with the doctor’s required Regulation T margin call. Therefore, the credit balance in a doctor’s margin account is the sum of the  proceeds of the short sale, plus the Regulation T margin call. This number will not change, regardless of future market fluctuations. The credit balance in a short margin account is a constant.

What does change with market fluctuations?

  1. the cost of buying back the borrowed property to cover the short sale.
  2. the equity in the account.

Equity in a short margin account is computed as follows:

Credit of  $ 16,000 – CMV  $10,000 equals $ 6,000 equity.

Now, let’s evaluate the effect of appreciation in the market price

If the stock rises to $120 per share, then the credit of $16,000 – CMV $ 2, 000, equals $ 4,000 equity.

Remember, the credit balance does not change when CMV fluctuates. The equity in this account is no longer Regulation T.

Let’s determine the amount by which the account is restricted (remember, any margin account with equity below Regulation T is restricted). Or, 60% X $12,000 = $ 7,200 – $ 4,000 = $ 3,200

Also, it should be clear, the equity percentage of this account is less than 60%, by the formula:

Equity / CMV = $ 4,000/$ 12,000 = 33.33%

This is the basic principle of the short sale; as the market price of the shorted stock increases, the equity decreases. The reverse is also true; as the price declines, the equity rises. Remember, short sellers are anticipating a market decline. Also, when buying long, or selling short, any change in market value causes a dollar for dollar change in equity.

Minimum Maintenance Requirements (Short) 

If the market continues to appreciate to $160 per share, the equity drops to zero.

Suppose that the market price rose to its theoretical maximum, or infinity? The doctor’s loss would be infinite. Remember, the maximum potential loss on a short sale is unlimited!

To protect against such an occurrence, industry Self Regulatory Organizations (SROs) developed regarding the minimum equity that must be maintained in a margin account. The minimum maintenance in a short account is equity of 30% of CMV. Note that this is higher than the 25 % figure for long margin accounts due to the nature of extreme risk of loss in the short sale.

Given that the CMV has risen to $160 per share ($16,000 total CMV), the minimum equity required to be maintained under SRO rules is 30% x CMV or  $4,800 equity. The doctor would receive a $4,800 maintenance call to bring his equity from -0- to the $4,800 minimum.

Remember, as in (cash) long accounts, there is no requirement to bring a margin account up to Regulation T equity. The maintenance equity is the percentage up to which the account must be brought when and if equity drops below the 25% or 30% levels.

Excess Equity (SMA) and Buying Power

We have seen what market appreciation does to a short seller. Let’s evaluate the effects of market depreciation in value. If the declines to $85, per share, then $ 16,000 credit – CMV $ 8,500 = $ 7,500 equity. Again, market fluctuations don’t affect credit balance. The equity in the account is now higher than Regulation T, and SMA (excess equity) has just been created.

And, as before, excess equity (SMA) can be used to buy more securities. Couldn’t it also be used as the Regulation T down payment on another sale? Yes, this is another use of SMA that is called shorting power or “selling power”. The formula for buying power as well as shorting power is exactly the same: Remember, it’s SMA / RT to use buying power.

In this case, $2,400 / 60% = $4,000 of buying (shorting) power after the decline to $85, the doctor could buy long or sell short another $4,000 worth of stock and use his SMA to meet his 60% ($2,400) Regulation T Margin call. Recall, the margin call for a short sale is the same as for a long purchase.

Cheap Stock Rule

The SROs created a set of special maintenance rules in short margin accounts to protect against unreasonable risk in low-priced issues. These rules are appropriately labeled the “cheap stock” rules.

At all times, a doctor must maintain equity in a short margin account of the greater of the following:

  1. 30% of the CMV (SRO Minimum Maintenance Requirement)
  2. $2,000 (SRO Minimum Credit Requirement)

3.   Equity as required under the rules  below

The cheap stock rules are as follows:

Stock Price                                     Minimum Maintained Equity

0 – $2.50 per share             $ 2.50 per share

$2.50 – $5.00 per share      100% of per share price

$5.00 per share and up       $ 5.00 per share

Example: A doctor shorts 1,000 shares of a $1.50 per share stock. How much must he deposit initially and how much must be maintained in the account?

First, since Regulation T won’t come into play until equity hits $2,000, the SRO minimum credit requirement of $2,000 should come into play. However, since this is a cheap stock, we determine if the requirements of those special rules require more than $2,000. They do, and require a minimum be maintained in this short margin account of at least $2.50 per share sold short (1,000 shares at $2.50 each = $2,500 minimum that needs to be in this account at all times to comply with SRO rules).

Furthermore, if the market begins to rise, the cheap stock rules would require that at all times the amount of money in the account be at least 100% of the price per share until the stock hits $5. For example, if the stock rose to $4 per share, the doctor would have to have $4,000 in the account to carry the position (1,000 shares times 100% of CMV, $4 per share in this case).

Day Trading and the Internet

Internet day trading has become something of an, investment bubble of late, suggesting that something lighter than air can pop and disappear in an instant. This has occurred despite the fact that most lay and healthcare professionals who engage in such activities, do not appreciated even the basic rules of margin and debt, as reviewed review. History is filled with examples: from the tulip mania of 1630 Holland and the British South Sea Bubble of the 1700’s; to the Florida land boom of the roaring twenties and the Great Crash of 1929; and to $ 875 an ounce gold in the eighties and to the collapse of Japans stock and real estate market in  early 1990’s. To this list, one might now add day Internet trading

The cost of compulsive gambling, arising from internet day trading activities, may be high for the physician, his family and society at large. Compulsive gamblers, in the desperation phase of their gambling, exhibit high suicide ideation, as in the case of Mark O Barton’s the murderous day-trader in Atlanta. His idea actually became a final act of desperation. Less dramatically is a marked increase in subtle illegal activity. These acts include fraud, embezzlement, CPT up-coding, medical over utilization, excessive full risk HMO contracting, and other “alleged white collar crimes.”  Higher healthcare and social costs in police, judiciary (civil and criminal) and corrections result because of compulsive gambling. The impact on family members is devastating. Compulsive gamblers cause havoc and pain to all family members. The spouses and other family members also go through progressive deterioration in their lives. In this desperation phase, dysfunctional families are left with a legacy of anger, resentment, isolation and in many instances, outright hate.

Recent Updates

Since most people, including medical professions,  initially loose at day trading, they give up and decide not to do it anymore. As there is a minimum amount of money, about $ 25,000-50,000 of trading capital needed to start, this loss is a powerful de-motivator. Still, scared by the Barton incident, the NASD and NYSE have recently proposed new rules for those who engage in questionable day trading activities.  One proposal would provide that a minimum equity of $ 25,000 be maintained at all times, versus the current $ 2,000 for other margin accounts. If the amount of a pattern day trader fell below the new threshold, no further trading would be permitted until the threshold was maintained.

Options Trading

Stock options are contracts that obligate medical investors to either buy or sell a stock at a specific price, by a specific date. For example, a put option is a bet on falling prices. Let’s suppose Dr. Jane Smith holds a put option on XYZ stock, with a $ 50 exercise price, and the stock falls to $ 45. The value of the put rises in the options market because it lets her sell a $ 50 share, which is above the market price. A call option, on the other hand, is a bet on rising prices. Again, Dr. Smith holds a call option on XYZ stock, with an exercise price of $ 50. If the share rises to $ 55, the value of the option increase since she may buy for $ 50, a stock now worth $ 55.

In 1999, Charles Schwab, the biggest on-line brokerage executed more than 30 million option trades. Due to this demand, Schwab launched other complex services, such as the on-line simultaneous buying and selling of options. Also crowding the options field, are new upstart on-line brokerages, such as: Interactive Brokers, Preferred Capital Markets Technology and CyberCorp. They provide powerful software which will allow options in the future to trade as effortlessly and efficiently as stocks.

In  mid-2000 the Reuters Group PLC Instinet Corporation, the electronic network most widely used by institutional investors, opened an Internet brokerage aimed at consumers, including healthcare practitioners. Instinet will let retail clients place orders alongside institutions, and will offer access to charts, news and research. Thus, artificially empowering the individual investor, as well as again tempting the compulsive prone addict.

Acknowledgements

The assistance Mr. James Nash, of the Investment Training Institute, in Tucker, GA is acknowledged in the preparation of this ME-P.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

LEXICONS: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko
PHYSICIANS: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com
PRACTICES: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com
HOSPITALS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466558731
CLINICS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439879900
ADVISORS: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org
PODIATRISTS: www.PodiatryPrep.com
BLOG: www.MedicalExecutivePost.com

Web Sites of Interest

http://www.tradehard.com

The ultimate super site for investment bankers and traders. Started by a group of well known stockbrokers, day traders, and money managers. This site offers advice about how to work the market to your advantage.

http://www.internetinvesting.com

This is an investor’s guide to on-line brokers, discount brokers, day trading and after hours investing. The site offers stock quotes, financial news, investment banking strategies, a book list and daily commentary about the market. This is a serious text heavy resource.

References and Readings

  • Atkinson,  W., and Crawford, AJ.:  On-line investing raises questions about suitability. Wall Street Journal, November, 28, 1999.
  • Farrell, C.: Day Trade On-line. John Wiley & Sons, New York, 1999.
  • Friedfertig, M.: Electronic Day Trader’s Secretes. McGraw-Hill, New York, 1999.
  • Gibowicz, Peter: Registered Representative (Study Program ,Volume II). Edward Fleur Financial Education Corporation, New York, 1998.
  • Gibowicz, Peter: Quick Seven. Edward Fleur Financial Education Corporation, New York, 1998.
  • Gibowicz, Peter: Registered Representative (Study Program, Volume I). Edward Fleur Financial Education Corporation, New York, 1998.
  • Kadlec, CW.: Dow 100,000: Fact or Fiction. New York Institute of Finance, New York, 1999
  • Nash, J: Securities Markets. In, Nash, J: (International Training Institute Manual). Atlanta, 1999.
  • Nassar, DS: How to Get Started in Electronic Day Trading. McGraw-Hill, New York,
  • 1999.
  • Schmuckler, E:  The Addictive Personality. In, Marcinko, DE (2001 Financial Planning for Medical Professionals. Harcourt Professional Publishing, New York, 2000. 

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details  Product Details

Product DetailsProduct Details

Product Details

 

About Securities “Shelf Registration”

Join Our Mailing List

A Primer for Physician Investors and Medical Professionals

By: Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™ http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

[Editor-in-Chief]

[PART 5 OF 8]

Dr. Marcinko with ME-P Fans

NOTE: This is an eight part ME-P series based on a weekend lecture I gave more than a decade ago to an interested group of graduate, business and medical school students. The material is a bit dated and some facts and specifics may have changed since then. But, the overall thought-leadership information of the essay remains interesting and informative. We trust you will enjoy it.

Introduction

A relatively new method of registration under the Act of ’33 is known as shelf registration. Under this rule, an issuer may register any amount of securities that, at the time the registration statement becomes effective, is reasonably expected to be offered and sold within two years of the initial effective date of the registration. Once registered, the securities may be sold continuously or periodically within 2 years without any waiting period for a registration to clear issuers generally like shelf registration because of the flexibility it gives them to take advantage of changing market conditions.

In addition, the legal, accounting, and printing costs involved in issuance are reduced, since a single registration statement suffices for multiple offerings within the 2 year period. In effect, what the issuer does is register securities that will meet its financing needs for the next 2  years. It issues what it needs at the current time, and puts the balance on the shelf” to be taken off the shelf as needed.

SECURITIES MARKETS 

The purchase of common stock in an IPO (initial public offering) is facilitated through of the members an investment bank underwriting syndicate or selling group. This is known as the primary market and the proceeds of sale go directly to the issuing company. Six months later however, if a doctor wants to sell his shares, this would be accomplished in the secondary market. The term secondary market refers to trading in outstanding issues as the proceeds do not go to the issuer, but to the current owner of the securities, such as the physician investor.

Therefore, the secondary market provides liquidity to doctors who acquired securities in the primary market. After a doctor has acquired securities in the primary market, he wants to be able to sell the securities at some point in the future in order to acquire other securities, buy a house, or go on a vacation. Such a sale takes place in the secondary market. The medical investor’s ability to convert the asset (securities) into cash is heavily dependent upon the secondary market. All investors would be hesitant to acquire new securities if they felt they would not subsequently have the ability to sell the securities quickly at a fair price in the secondary market.

Securities Act of 1934

Every trade of stocks and bonds that is not a purchase of a new issue is a trade that takes place in the secondary market. The market place for secondary trading is the stock exchanges and the over-the-counter (OTC) market, and is governed by the Securities Act of 1934, which actually created the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and outlines the powers of the SEC to interpret, supervise, and enforce the securities laws of the United States. The Act of 34 is very broad and governs the sales of securities, including the regulation of securities markets exchanges, OTC markets, broker/dealers, their employees, the conduct of secondary markets, the extension of credit in the purchase and sale of securities, and the conduct of corporate insiders (officers and directors and holders of more than 10% of the outstanding stock). The Act also prohibits fraud and manipulative and deceptive activities in securities transactions

The Stock Exchanges

A stock exchange is a private association of brokers. The main purpose of an exchange is to provide a central meeting place for its member-brokers. This central meeting place is called the floor. It is on the floor that the members trade in securities. It is important to remember that a stock exchange itself does not own any of the securities that are traded on its floor. Nor does it buy or sell any of the securities traded on the exchange. Instead, the securities are owned by member firms, customers, or perhaps, by the exchange member firm itself.

It is also important to remember that a stock exchange does not establish or fix the price at which any security is traded on the exchange. The price is determined in a free and open auction type of trading. It depends on the supply and  demand relationship of that security at a particular time. In other words, if sellers of a stock are offering to sell more shares of that stock than buyers want to buy, the price of that stock will tend to go down. On the other hand, if buyers want to buy more shares of a stock than the sellers are offering to sell, the price of that stock will tend to go higher because of the strong demand.

Any discussion of stock exchanges has to focus on the NYSE, which is by far the largest and most important of the exchanges. There are two exchanges referred to as national stock exchanges, the NYSE and the American Stock Exchange (AMEX). In addition to these two national exchanges, there are several regional stock exchanges including the Philadelphia Exchange, the Chicago Exchange (formerly Midwest), the Pacific Exchange, the Boston Exchange, and the Cincinnati Exchange. Stocks that are traded on an exchange are referred to as listed stocks. The term “listed on an exchange” means that the issue is eligible for trading on the floor of the exchange.

How does a stock become listed? The issuing company, having decided that they wish the prestige and broad visibility of being listed on the NYSE, applies to the exchange for listing. A critical condition for listing is that the issuer agrees to solicit proxies from those common stock shareholders unable to attend shareholder meetings. Once the securities have been accepted for listing (trading) on an exchange, the issuer must continue to meet certain requirements which are not quite as stringent as the original listing requirements, and may be de-listed if the firm ceases to solicit proxies on its existing voting stock, or meet other minimal requirements.

Physically, the exchange brings together buyers and sellers on a trading floor. The NYSE floor is larger than several football fields and is divided into 19 trading posts. Eighteen of the posts are horseshoe or U-shaped stations 100 square feet in area. The nineteenth post (post number 30) is in the northwest corer and really isn’t a post at all; it’s just an area where the inactive stocks trade.

The Specialist

Specialists are experts in trading one or more specific stocks at their particular post on the exchange floor. Their activity is vital to the maintenance of a free and continuous market in the specific issues they represent. They are responsible for conducting the auction at the post. Everyone interested in buying the stock calls out a price and the shares go to the highest bidder. The buyers compete, but there is only one seller. Unlike the usual auction market, the auction on the floor of the exchange is a two way auction with some brokers seeking to buy at the lowest possible price for their doctor clients and other brokers trying to sell at the highest possible price for their doctor clients. When two brokers, one representing a buyer and one a seller, agree on a price, a sale is made. The specialist functions in a dual capacity as a dealer and as a broker. As a dealer or principal, he buys and sells for his own account and risk to maintain a fair and orderly market in the stocks in which he specializes.

For example, if a commission broker approaches the specialist at the post with a buy or sell order, and there are no other brokers in the crowd, that is currently interested in buying or selling the stock, the specialist will buy the stock from that commission broker (if it’s a sell order) for his own account or sell the stock from his inventory (if it’s a buy order). Perhaps, he may even be able to fill the order from his specialist’s book?

Stock_Market

Specialist’s Book

This is done by using the specialist’s book of buy orders (bids), marked on the left hand page, or sell orders (offers) on the right. There is a book for each stock in which the specialist specializes. The pages are ruled and are usually printed with fractional stock points at regular intervals to permit easy insertion of orders. The orders are entered in the book by the specialist according to price and in the sequence in which they are received at the post. He notes the number of shares, putting down 1 for 100 shares, 2 for 200 shares, etc. He also notes the name of the member firm placing the order and if the order is Good Till Cancelled (GTC), or not. When orders are executed, they are executed in the same order recorded in the book at that particular price.

The specialist’s book also keeps track of all orders “away from the market ” (limit orders and stop orders) in his book. The book is organized with all buy orders on the left hand side of the page and all sell orders on the right hand side. In the absence of bids and offers from the “trading crowd” on the floor, the specialist can quote the best available market for the security by announcing the highest bid and the lowest offer (ask). The best bid is always the highest buy limit order on his book and the best offer (ask) is always the lowest sell limit on his book. In addition to quoting the best price, he will also give the “size of the market ” which is determined by the number of shares being bid for and offered at the respective best bid and best ask prices. The quote is price and size. When asked to quote the market for a security, the specialist disregards any stop orders on his book since those orders do not become activated until triggered by another trade. One thing to remember is that since most doctors place stop orders to hedge (protect) against a price movement adverse to their interests, most stop orders are entered with the fervent wish that they never be executed.

On stop and limit orders placed below the market, the specialist is required to reduce the price of those orders on the ex-dividend (ex-split, ex-rights) date. The two critical things to remember are: what types of orders are reduced and by how much? The specialist will reduce all GTC (open) buy limit and sell stop orders on an ex-date. You may remember this with the acronym BLISS where the BL equals buy limit and the SS equals sell stop. The only time either of these orders will not be reduced is if the medical client turned in DNR (do not reduce) instructions.

The price of the order is then reduced by enough to equal or exceed the amount of the dividend.

If we go back to the example approaching the specialist to buy or sell stock and there is no one in the “crowd”, the specialist will first give the commission broker a quote from his book. That quote will be the highest bid price (the highest priced limit order to buy on his books) and the best asked price {the lowest priced sell limit on his books). If the commission broker is willing to buy at the lowest ask or offering price on the specialist’s book, then a trade will take place; if the commission broker is looking to sell and is willing to accept the highest bid price on the specialist’s book then, again, a trade will take place. It is the responsibility of the specialist to maintain an orderly market and to keep the spread between the bid and asked prices as narrow as possible. If the spread between bid and asked is too wide to generate market activity, the specialist will act on his own account.

If the specialist is presented with sell orders at the post and he has no buyers, he must bid at least 1/8 of a point higher than the best bid on his books. If he has buyers and no sellers, then he must offer stock from his inventory at a price at least, 1/8 of a point below the lowest offer on his book.

Why? It’s because the specialist cannot “compete” with public orders and if his bid matched a customer’s bid or his offer matched a customer’s offering or ask price, he would be considered to be ” competing”.  Since the specialist is required to bid higher and ask lower than the best public orders on his book, the spread is narrowed. That is why it is said that the specialist acts in a dual capacity, as a dealer and as a broker. When buying and selling for his own account, he is acting as a dealer. The specialist acts as a broker when he executes limit orders left with him by commission brokers. When these limit orders are executed out of the specialist’s book (the doctor’s limit price is reached), the specialist uses a priority, parity, and precedence system, as to which order is executed first. These rules, like most others, are designed to give preference to the general public, not to members of the exchange, on a first come first served basis.

Walking Through a Trade

To see how the transactions are actually handled on the floor of an exchange, let us assume that an order to buy 100 shares of General Electric has been given by a doctor customer to the registered representative (stock broker), of a member firm in Atlanta. The order is a market order (an order to buy at the lowest possible price at the time the order reaches the floor of the exchange). This order is telephoned by direct wire, or computer, to the New York office of the member firm, which in turn telephones its order to its clerk on the floor of the exchange.

Each member firm has at least one member of the exchange representing them making trades on the floor. Each one of these members is assigned a number for identification. When the floor clerk receives the order to purchase the General Electric, he causes his member’s call number to appear on 3 large boards situated so that one is always in view. These boards are constantly watched brokers so that they will know when wanted at the phone, since there’s too much noise on the floor to use a paging system. Seeing his number on the board, the broker hurries to his telephone station or cell phone and receives the order to buy 100 shares of G.E. “at the market”. Acting as a commission broker, he immediately goes to the post where G.E. is traded and asks “how’s G.E”, of the specialist?

Part 4: Underwriting US Government Securities Issues

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

LEXICONS: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

PHYSICIANS: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

PRACTICES: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com

HOSPITALS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466558731

CLINICS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439879900

ADVISORS: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

BLOG: www.MedicalExecutivePost.com

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details  Product Details

Product DetailsProduct Details

Product Details

On New Issues and Securities Stabilization

Join Our Mailing List

A Primer for Physician Investors and Medical Professionals

By: Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief] http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

[PART 3 OF 8]

NEU Dr. Marcinko

NOTE: This is an eight part ME-P series based on a weekend lecture I gave more than a decade ago to an interested group of graduate, business and medical school students. The material is a bit dated and some facts and specifics may have changed since then. But, the overall thought-leadership information of the essay remains interesting and informative. We trust you will enjoy it.

Introduction

Some securities issues move very well, like traditional blue chips stocks (ie., Wallgreen). Some are dogs, like smaller dot.com companies (iixl.com). Then, there are issues that are former darling, but are now ice cold; like PPMCs (i.e., Phycor) and internet stocks (i.e., Dr. Koop).  How far can an underwriting manager go in nudging along an issue that’s not selling well? SEC rules do permit a certain amount of help by the manager, even if this takes on the appearance of price-fixing. This help is called stabilizing the issue.

Simply put, if shortly after a new offering begins, supply exceeds demand, there will be downward pressure on the price. But, the law requires that all purchasers of the new issue pay the official offering price on the prospectus. If public holders of the stock become willing to bail out and accept a low selling price, the investor looking to buy will find he is able to buy stock of the issuer cheaper in the open market than buying it new from the syndicate members.

To prevent such a decline in the price of a security during a public offering, SEC rules permit the manager to offer to buy shares in \ the open market at a bid price at, or just below, the official offering price of the new issue. This is referred to as stabilizing and his bid price is called the stabilizing bid. There is always the risk, in a firm commitment underwriting, that the underwriters will have difficulty selling the new issue. What they can’t sell, they’re “stuck” with. That’s where the term “sticky issue” comes from.

As a physician executive, or potential investor in a new issue, be aware that the best way to get an issue to sell is to increase the compensation to the sales force (i.e., stock broker or Registered Rep).

Another choice is through stabilization. Stabilizing is a permitted form of market manipulation which tends to protect underwriters against loss. It allows the underwriting syndicate (usually through the efforts of the syndicate manager) to stabilize (peg or fix) the secondary market trading price in a new issue at the published public offering price. It works something like this.

When a new issue is selling slowly, some of the investors who initially purchased, may be dissatisfied with the performance of the stock (if it is selling slowly and the underwriters have plenty to sell at the public offering price, this is anything but a hot issue and the security price will not have risen).

This dissatisfaction with performance leads to these investors desiring to sell the securities they have just purchased. If the underwriters are unable to sell at the public offering price, certainly an individual investor will have to take less when bailing out. As market makers begin to trade the stock in the secondary market, they would only be able to compete with the underwriters by offering the stock at a lower price than the public offering  price. This would make it difficult (if not impossible) for the underwriters to distribute the remaining new shares.

In order to prevent this from happening, the managing underwriter (who is usually the one to assume the role of stabilizing underwriter), agrees to purchase back any of the new shares at or just slightly below the public offering price. That is a higher price than any market maker could, in all practicality, bid for the shares. When the shares are repurchased by the stabilizing underwriter, it is as if the initial trade were annulled and never took place so that these new shares are now placed back into the distribution and are sold as new shares at the public offering price. SEC rules do, however, require disclosure of this practice.

Therefore, no syndicate manager may engage in stabilizing unless the following phrase appears in bold print on the inside front cover page of the prospectus:

IN CONNECTION WITH THIS OFFERING, THE UNDERWRITERS MAY OVER ALLOT OR EFFECT TRANSACTIONS WHICH STABILIZE OR MAINTAIN THE MARKET PRICE OF (XYZ COMPANY) AT A LEVEL ABOVE THAT WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE PREVAIL IN THE OPEN MARKET. SUCH TRANSACTIONS MAY BE EFFECTED ON (NYSE) STABILIZING, IF COMMENCED, MAY BE DISCONTINUED AT ANY TIME.

Of course, it would be manipulation and, therefore, a violation of law, if this “price-pegging” activity continued after the entire new issue was sold out. This activity costs the syndicate manager money which is recouped by levying a syndicate penalty bid against those members of the syndicate whose clients turn shares in on a stabilizing bid.

One way to avoid stabilization is to over allot  to each of the syndicate members. This is the same concept as “over booking” that’s done by the airlines. Most airlines typically sell 5% to 10% more seats than the airplane has knowing that there will be last minute cancellations and no shows. This tends to ensure that the plan will fly full. In the same manner, managing under-writers frequently over allot an additional 10% to each of their syndicate members so that last minute cancellations should still leave the syndicate with sell orders for 100% of the issue. If there are no “drop outs”, one of two things may happen.

  1. The issuer will issue the additional shares (which results in it raising more money).
  2. The issuer will not issue the additional shares and the syndicate will have to go short. Any losses suffered by the syndicate through taking of this short position are shared proportionately by the syndicate members.

Now, what if market conditions and the fervor surrounding a new issue like e-commerce company Ariba,  in 1999, remain so that the issue doesn’t cool down during the cooling off period? Such hot issues are a mixed blessing to be sure.

On the one hand, the issue is a sure sell-out. On the other hand, just how many healthcare investors are going to be told by brokers that additional shares can not be obtained.

Furthermore, the SEC and the NASD/FINRA are vigorous [or should be] in their scrutiny of  proper distribution channels for hot issues. Just what is a “proper” distribution?  It can be summed up in one sentence. Member firms have an obligation to make a “bona fide” public distribution of all the shares at the public offering price. The key to this rule lies within the definition of bona fide public distribution.

While the underwriting procedures for corporate bonds are almost identical to corporate stock, there are significant differences in the underwriting of municipal securities. Municipal securities are exempt from the registration filing requirements or the Securities Act of 1933. A state or local government, in the issuance of municipal securities, is not required to register the offering with the SEC, so there is no filing of a registration statement and there is no prospectus which would otherwise have to be given to investors.

###

  Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

###

Municipal Underwriting

There are two main methods of financing when it comes to municipal securities. One method is known as negotiated. In the case of a negotiated sale, the municipality looking to borrow money would approach an investment bank and negotiate the terms of the offering directly with the firm. This is really not very different from the above equity discussions.

The other type of municipal underwriting is known as competitive bidding. Under the terms of competitive bidding, an issuer announces that it wishes to borrow money and is looking for syndicates to submit competitive bids. The issue will then be sold to the syndicate which submits the best bid, resulting in the municipality having the lowest net interest cost (lowest expense to the issuer).

If the issue is to be done by a competitive bid, the municipality will use a Notice of Sale to announce that fact. The notice of sale will generally include most or all of the following information.

  • Date, time, and place. This does not mean when the bonds will be sold to the public, but when the issue will be awarded (sold) to the syndicate issuing the bid.
  • Description of the issue and the manner in which the bid is to be made (sealed bid or oral). Type of bond (general obligation, revenue, etc.)
  • Semi-annual interest payment dates and the denominations in which the bonds will be printed.
  • Amount of good faith deposit required, if any.
  • Name of the law firm providing the legal opinion and where to acquire a bid form.
  • The basis upon which the bid will  e awarded, generally the lowest net interest cost.

Since municipal securities are not registered with the SEC, the municipality must hire a law firm in order to make sure that they are issuing the securities in compliance with all state, local and federal laws. This is known as the bond attorney, or independent bond counsel. Some functions are included below:

    1. Establishes the exemption from federal income tax by verifying  requirements for the exemption.
    2. Determines proper authority for the bond issuance.
    3. Identifies and monitors proper issuance procedures.
    4. Examines the physical bond  ertificates to make sure that they are proper
    5. Issues the debt and a legal opinion, since municipal bonds are the only securities that require an opinion.
    6. Does not prepare the official statement.

When medical investors purchase new issue municipal securities from syndicate or selling group members, there is no prospectus to be delivered to investors, but there is a document which is provided to purchasers very similar in nature to a prospectus. It is known as an Official Statement. The Official Statement contains all of the information an investor needs to make a prudent decision regarding a proposed municipal bond purchase.

The formation of a municipal underwriting syndicate is very similar to that for a corporate  issue. When there is a negotiated underwriting, an Agreement Among Underwriters (AAU) is used. When the issue is competitive bid, the agreement is known as a Syndicate Letter. In the syndicate letter, the managing underwriter details all of the underwriting agreements among members of the syndicate. Eastern (undivided) and Western (divided) accounts are also used, but there are  several different types of orders in a municipal underwriting. The traditional types of orders, in priority order, are:

Pre-Sale Order: Made before the syndicate actually offers the bonds. They have first priority over any other order turned in.

Syndicate (group net) Order: Made once the offering is under way at the public offering price. The purchase is credited to each syndicate member in proportion to its allotment. An institutional buyer will frequently purchase” group net”, since many of the firms in the syndicate may consider this buyer to be their client and he wishes to please all of them.

Designated Order: Sales to medical investors (usually healthcare institutions) at the public offering price where the investor designates which member or members of the syndicate are to be given credit.

Member Orders: Purchased  by members of  the syndicate at the take-down price (spread). The syndicate member keeps the full take-down if the bonds are sold to investors, or earns the take-down less the concession if the sale is made to a member of the selling group. Should the offering be over-subscribed, and the demand for the new bonds exceeds the supply, the first orders to be filled are the pre-sale orders. Those are followed by the syndicate (sometimes called group net) orders, the designated orders, and the last orders filled are the member’s.

Finally, be aware that the term bond scale, is a listing of coupon rates, maturity dates, and yield or price at which the syndicate is re-offering the bonds to the public. The scale is usually found in the center of a tombstone ad and on the front cover of the official statement.

One of the reasons why the word “scale” is used is, that like the scale on a piano, it normally goes up. A regular or positive scale is one in which the yield to maturity is lowest on the near term maturities and highest on the long term maturities. This is also known as a positive yield curve, since the longer the maturity, the higher the yield. In times of very tight money, such as in 1980-81, one might find a bond offering with a negative scale.

A negative (sometimes called inverted) scale is just the opposite of a positive one, with, yields on the short term maturities are higher than those on the long term maturities.

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

LEXICONS: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

PHYSICIANS: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

PRACTICES: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com

HOSPITALS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466558731

CLINICS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439879900

ADVISORS: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

BLOG: www.MedicalExecutivePost.com

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details  Product Details

Product DetailsProduct Details

Product Details

About Tombstone Securities Advertising and the “New Issue” Propsectus

Join Our Mailing List

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

A Primer for Physician Investors and Medical Professionals

By: Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief]

[PART 2 OF 8]

BU Dr. Marcinko

NOTE: This is an eight part ME-P series based on a weekend lecture I gave more than a decade ago to an interested group of graduate, business and medical school students. The material is a bit dated and some facts and specifics may have changed since then. But, the overall thought-leadership information of the essay remains interesting and informative. We trust you will enjoy it.

Introduction

Despite the SEC restrictions, noted in Part I of this series, some idea of potential demand for a new security issue can be gauged and have a bearing on  pricing decisions.

For example, as CEO of a medical instrument company, or interested investor, would you rather see a great deal of interest in a potential new issue or not very much interest?  There is however, one kind of advertisement that the underwriter can publish during the cooling off period. It’s known as a tombstone ad.  The ad makes it clear that it is only an announcement and does not constitute an offer to sell or  solicit the issue, and that such an offering can only be made by  prospectus.  SEC Rule 134 of the 1933 Act  itself, refers to a tombstone ad as “communication not deemed a prospectus”  because it makes reference to the prospectus in the ad. Tombstones have received their name because of the sparse nature of details found in them.

However, the most popular use of the tombstone ad is to announce the effectiveness of a new issue, after it has been successfully issued. This promotes the success of  both he underwriter, as well as the company.

Since distributing securities involves potential liability to the investment bank, it will do everything possible to protect itself.  So, near the end of the cooling off period, a meeting is held between the underwriter and the corporation. It is known as a due diligence meeting. At this meeting they both discuss amendments that are going to be necessary to make the registration statement complete and accurate. The corporate officers, and the underwriters sign, the final registration statement. They have civil liability for damages that result from omissions of material facts or

Mis-statements of fact. They also have criminal liability if the distribution is done by use of fraudulent, manipulative, or deceptive means. Due diligence takes on a whole new meaning when  incarceration from a half-hearted effort underwriting efforts can occur. The investment bank strives to ensure that there have been no material changes to the issuer or the terms of the issue since the registration statement was filed.

Again, as a physician, how would you feel if you were an investment banker raising capital for a new pharmaceutical company that had developed a drug product that was highly marketable. But, on the day after the issue was effective, there was a major news story indicating that the company was being sued for patent infringement? What effect do you think that would have on the market price of this new issue? It would probably plunge. How could this situation have been prevented? The due diligence meeting is more than a cocktail party or a gathering in a smoke filled room. Otherwise, the company would require specially trained people, to do a patent search lessening the likelihood of this scenario. At the due diligence meeting, work is done on the preparation of the final prospectus, but the investment bank does not set the public offering price or the effective date at this meeting. The SEC will eventually set the effective date for the registration and it is on that date that the final offering price will be determined.

Once the SEC sets the effective date, sales may be executed and money can be accepted by the investment bank. It is at this time that the final prospectus, similar to the red herring but without the red ink and with the missing numbers, is issued. A prospectus is an abbreviated form of the registration statement, distributed to purchasers, on and after the effective date of  the registration. It is not the same as the registration statement. A typical registration statement consists of papers that stand more than a foot high; rarely does a prospectus go beyond 40 or 50 pages. All purchasers will receive a final prospectus and then it becomes permissible for the underwriter to provide sales literature.

In addition to the requirement that a prospectus must be delivered to a purchaser of new issues no later than with confirmation of the trade, there are two other requirements that healthcare executives investors should know.

90-day: When an issuer has an initial public offering (IPO), there is generally a lack of publicly available material relating to the operations of that issuer.  Because of this, the SEC requires that all members of the underwriting group make available a prospectus on an IPO for a period of 90 days after the effective date.

4O-day: Once an issuer has gone public, there are a number of routine filings that must be made with the SEC so there is publicly available information regarding the financial condition of that issuer. Since additional information is now available, the SEC requires that, on all issues other than IPOs, any member of the underwriting group must make available a prospectus for a period of 40 days after the effective date.

In the event that the investment bankers misgauged the marketplace, and the issue moves quite slowly, it is possible that information contained in the prospectus would be rendered obsolete by the SEC. Specifically, the SEC requires that any prospectus used more than 9 months after the effective date, may not have any financial information more than 16 months old. It can however, be amended or stickered, with updated information, as needed.

###

  Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

###

Syndication Among Underwriters

Because the investment banking firm may be underwriting (distributing) a rather large dollar amount of securities, to spread its risk exposure, it may form a group made up of other investment bankers or underwriters, known as a syndicate. The syndicate is headed by a syndicate manager, or lead underwriter, and it is his job to decide whether to participate in the offering. If so, the managing underwriter will sign a non-binding agreement called a letter of intent. .

If all has gone well and the market place is sufficiently interested in the security, and the SEC has been satisfied with respect to the registration statement, it is time for all parties to the offering to formalize their relationships with a contract including the basic understandings reflected in the letter of intent. Three principal underwriting contracts are involved in the usual public offering, each serving a distinct purpose. These are the: Agreement among Underwriters, Underwriting Agreement, and the Dealer Agreement.

In the Agreement Among Underwriters (AAU), the underwriters committing to a portion of the issue, enter into an agreement establishing the nature and terms of their relationship with each other. It designates the syndicate manager to act on their behalf, particularly to enter into an Underwriting Agreement with the issuer, and to conduct the offering on behalf of each  of them. The AAU will designate the managing underwriter’s compensation (management fee) for managing the offering.

The authority to manage the offering includes the authority to: agree with the issuer as to the public offering price; decide when to commence the offering; modify the offering price and selling commission; control all advertising; and, control the timing and effectiveness of the registration statement by quickly responding to deficiency letters. Each underwriter agrees to purchase a portion of the underwritten securities, which is known as each under-writer’s allotment (allocation).  It is normally signed severally, but not jointly, meaning each underwriter is obligated to sell his allocation but bears no financial obligation for any unsold allotment of another underwriter. This is referred to as a divided account or a Western account. Much less frequently, an undivided or Eastern account, will be used. Each underwriter is responsible for unsold allotments of others, based upon a  proportionate share of the offering.

The above comments referred to firm commitment underwriting. Another type of underwriting commitment  however, is known as best efforts underwriting. Under the terms of  best efforts underwriting, the underwriters make no commitment to buy or sell the issue, they simply do the best they can, acting as an agent for the issuer, and having no liability to the issuer if none of the securities are sold. There is no syndicate formed with a best efforts underwriting. The investment bankers form a selling group, with each member doing his best to sell his allotment. Two variations of a best efforts underwriting are: the all-or-none, and the mini-max (part-or-none) underwriting. Under the provisions of an all-or-none offering, unless all of the shares can be distributed within a specified period of time, the offering will terminate and no subscriptions or orders will be accepted or filled. Under mini-max, unless a set minimum amount is sold, the offering will be terminated.

SEC Rule 15c2-4 requires the underwriter to set up an escrow account for any money received before the closing date, in the event that it is necessary to return the money to prospective purchasers. If the “minimum”, or the “all” contingencies are met, the monies in escrow go to the issuer with the underwriters retaining their appropriate compensation. In order to make sure that investors are properly protected, the escrow account must be maintained at a bank for the benefit of the investors until every appropriate event or contingency has occurred. Then, the funds are properly returned to the investors. If the money is to be placed into an interest bearing account, it must have a maturity date no later than the closing date of the offering, or the account must be redeemable at face with no prepayment penalty as regards principal.

Underwriter Compensation Hierarchy

As we have seen, in a firm commitment the underwriter buys the entire issue from the issuer and then attempts to resell it to the public. The price at which the syndicate offers the securities to the public is known as the public offering price. It is the price printed on the front page of the prospectus.

However, the managing underwriter pays the issuer a lower price than this for the securities. The difference between that lower price and the public offering price is known as the spread or underwriting discount. Everyone involved in the sale of a new issue is compensated by receiving part of the spread. The amount of the spread is the subject of negotiations between the issuer and the managing underwriter, but usually is within a range established by similar transactions between comparable issuers and underwriters. The spread is also subject to NASD [now FINRA] review and approval before sales may commence. The spread is broken down by the underwriters so that a portion of it is paid to the managing underwriter for finding and packaging the issue and managing the offering (usually called the manager’s fee); and a portion is retained by each underwriter (called the underwriting or syndicate allowance) to compensate the syndicate members for their expenses, use of money, and assuming the risk of the underwriting. The remaining portion is allocated to the selling group and is called selling concession. It is often useful to remember the compensation hierarchy pecking order in the following way:

  • Spread (syndicate manager).
  • Underwriters allowance (syndicate members)
  • Selling concession (selling group members)
  • Re-allowance (any other firm)

While the above deal with corporate equity, the only other significant item with respect to corporate debt is the Trust Indenture Act of 1939. This Federal law applies to public issues of debt securities in excess of $5,000,000. The thrust of this act is to require an indenture with an independent trustee (usually a bank or trust company) who will report to the holders of the debt securities on a regular basis.

Successful marketing of a new issue is a marriage between somewhat alien factors: compliance and numerous Federal, state, and self-regulatory rules and statutes; along with finely honed and profit-motivated sales techniques. It’s not too hard to see that there could be a real, or apparent, conflict of interest here. Most successful investment bankers have built their excellent reputations upon their ability to properly balance these two objectives consistently, year after year.

PART ONE:

Understanding investment banking rules, securities markets, brokerage accounts, margin and debt

Channel Surfing the ME-P

Have you visited our other topic channels? Established to facilitate idea exchange and link our community together, the value of these topics is dependent upon your input. Please take a minute to visit. And, to prevent that annoying spam, we ask that you register. It is fast, free and secure.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details  Product Details

Product DetailsProduct Details

Product Details

Invite Dr. Marcinko

***

Understanding investment banking rules, securities markets, brokerage accounts, margin and debt

Join Our Mailing List

A Primer for Physician Investors and Medical Professionals

By: Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief] http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

[PART 1 OF 8]

BC Dr. Marcinko

NOTE: This is an eight part ME-P series based on a weekend lecture I gave more than a decade ago to an interested group of graduate, business and medical school students. The material is a bit dated and some facts and specifics may have changed since then. But, the overall thought-leadership information of the essay remains interesting and informative. We trust you will enjoy it.

Introduction

The history, function and processes of the investment banking industry, and the rules and regulations of the securities industry and their respective markets, as well as the use of  brokerage accounts, margin and debt, will be briefly reviewed in this ME-P series.

An understanding of these concepts is required of all doctors and medical professionals as they pursue a personal investment strategy.

INVESTMENT BANKING AND SECURITIES UNDERWRITING

New economy corporate events of the past several years have provided many financial signs and symptoms that indicate a creeping securitization of the for-profit healthcare industrial complex. Similarly, fixed income medical investors should understand how Federal and State regulations impact upon personal and public debt needs. For, without investment banking firms, it would be almost impossible for private industry, medical corporations and government to raise needed capital.

Introduction

When a corporation such as a physician practice management company (PPMC), or similar entity needs, to raise capital for growth or expansion, there are two methods. Raising debt or equity. If equity is used, the corporation can market securities directly to the public by contacting its current stockholders and asking them to purchase the new securities in a  rights offering, by advertising or by hiring salespeople. Although this last example is somewhat exaggerated, it illustrates that there is a cost to selling new securities, which may be considerable if the firm itself undertakes the task.

For this reason, most corporations employ help in marketing new securities by using the services of investment bankers who sell new securities to the general public.  Although the investment banking is an exciting and vital industry, many SEC rules regulating it are not. Nevertheless, it is important for all physician executives to understand basic concepts of the industry if raising public money is ever a possibility or anticipated goal. It is also important for individual healthcare investors  to understand something about securities underwriting to reduce the likelihood of fraudulent investment schemes or ill-conceived transactions which ultimately result in monetary loss.

Fundamentals of the Investment Banking Industry

Investment bankers are not really bankers at all. The fact that the word banker appears in the name is partially responsible for the  false impressions that exist in the medical community regarding the functions they perform.

For example, they are not permitted to accept deposit, provide checking accounts, or perform other activities normally construed to be commercial banking activities. An investment bank is simply a firm that specializes in helping other corporations obtain the money they need under the most advantageous terms possible.

When it comes to the actual process of having securities issued, the corporation approaches an investment banking firm, either directly, or through a competitive selection process and asks it to act as adviser and distributor.  Investment bankers, or under writers, as they are sometimes called, are middlemen in the capital markets for corporate securities.

The medical corporation requiring the funds discuss the amount, type of security to be issued, price and other features of the security, as well as the cost to issuing the securities. All of these factors are negotiated in a process known as known as negotiated underwriting. If mutually acceptable terms are reached, the investment banking firm will be the middle man through which the securities are sold to the general public. Since such firms have many customers, they are able to sell new securities, without the costly search that individual corporations may require to sell its own security. Thus, although the firm in need of  additional capital must pay for the service, it is usually able to raise the additional capital at less expense through the use of an investment banker, than by selling the securities itself.

The agreement between the investment banker and the corporation may be one of two types. The investment bank may agree to purchase, or underwrite, the entire issue of securities and to re-offer them to the general public. This is  known as a firm commitment.

When an investment banker agrees to underwrite such a sale,  it  agrees to supply the corporation with a specified amount of money. The firm buys the securities with the intention to resell them. If it fails to sell the securities, the investment banker must still pay the agreed upon sum. Thus, the risk of selling rests with the underwriter and not with the company issuing the securities.

The alternative agreement is a best efforts agreement in which the investment banker makes his best effort to sell the securities acting on behalf of the issuer, but does not guarantee a specified amount of money will be raised.

When a corporation raises new capital through a public offering of stock, on might inquire from where does the stock come? The only source the corporation has is authorized, but previously un-issued stock. Anytime authorized, but previously un-issued stock (new stock) is issued to the public, it is known as a primary offering. If it’s the very first time the corporation is making the offering, it’s also known as the Initial Public Offering (IPO). Anytime there is a primary offering of stock, the issuing corporation is raising additional equity capital.

A secondary offering, or distribution, on the other hand, is defied as an offering of a large block of outstanding stock. Most frequently, a secondary offering is the sale of a large block of stock owned by one or more stockholders. It is stock that has previously been issued and is now being re-sold by investors. Another case would be when a corporation re-sells its treasury stock.

Prior to any further discussions of investment banking, there are several industry terms that’s should  be defined.

For example, an agent buys or sells securities for the account and risk of another party, and charges a commission. In the securities business, the terms broker and agent are used synonymously. This is not true of the insurance industry.

On the other hand, a principal is one who acts as a dealer rather than an agent or broker. A dealer buys and sells for his own account Finally, the dealer makes money by buying at one price and selling at a higher price. Thus, it is easy to understand how an investment banking firm earns money handling a best efforts offering; they make a commission on every share they sell.

  Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

The Securities Act of 1933 (Act of Full Disclosure)

When a corporation makes a public offering of its stock, it is bound by the provisions of the Securities Act of 1933, which is also known as the Act of Full Disclosure. The primary requirement of  the Act is that the corporation must file a registration statement (full disclosure) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); containing some of the following items:

  • Description of the business entity raising the money.
  • Biographical data regarding officers and directors of the issuer.
  • Listing of share holdings of officers, directors, and holders of more than 10% of the issuer’s securities (insiders).
  • Financial statements including a breakdown of existing capitalization (existing debt and equity structure).
  • Intended use of offering proceeds.
  • Legal proceedings involving the issuer, such as suits, antitrust actions or strikes.

Acting in its capacity as an adviser to the corporation, the investment banking firm files out the registration statement with the SEC. It then takes the SEC a period of time to review the information in the registration statement. This is the “cooling off period” and the issue is said to be “in registration” during this time. When the Act written in 1933, Congress thought that 20 days would be enough time from the filing date, until the effective date the sale of  securities is permitted.

In reality, it frequently takes much longer than 20 days for the SEC to complete its review. But, regardless of how long it lasts, it’s known as the cooling off period. At the end of the cooling off period, the SEC will either accept the issue or they will send a letter back to the issuer, and the underwriter, explaining that there is incomplete information in the registration statement. This letter is known as a deficiency letter. It will postpone the effectiveness of the registration statement until the deficiency is remedied. Even if initially, or eventually approved, an effective registration does not mean that the SEC has approved the issue.

For example, the following well known disclaimer statement written in bold red ink, is required to be placed in capital letters on the front cover page of every prospectus:

###

THESE SECURITIES HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR DISAPPROVED BY THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION NOR HAS THE COMMISSION PASSED UPON THE ACCURACY OR ADEQUACY OF THIS PROSPECTUS. ANY REPRESENTATION TO THE CONTRARY IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE.

###

During the cooling off period, the investment bank tries to create interest in the market place for the issue. In order to do that, it distributes a preliminary prospectus, more commonly known as a “red herring”. It is known as a red herring because of the red lettering on the front page.  The statement on the very top with the date is printed in red as well as the statements on the left hand margin of the preliminary prospectus.

The cost of printing the red herring is borne by the investment bank, since they are  trying to market it.. The red herring includes information from the registration statement that will be most helpful for potential medical investors trying to make a decision. It describes the company and the securities to be issued; includes the firm’s financial statements; its current activities; the regulatory bodies to which it is subject; the nature of its competition; the management of the corporation, and what the expected proceeds will be used for. Two very important items  missing from the red herring are the public offering price and the effective date of the issue, as neither are known for certain at this point in time.

The public offering price is generally determined on the date that the securities become effective for sale (effective date). Waiting until the last minute enables the investment bankers to price the new issue in line with current market conditions. Since the investment banker uses the red herring to try to create interest in the market place, stock brokers [aka: Registered Representatives (RRs) with a Series # 7 general securities license –  After a 2 hour multiple-choice computerize test, I held this license for a decade ) will send copies of the red herring to their clients for whom they feel the issue is a suitable investment. The SEC is very strict on what can be said about an issue, in registration.

In fact, during the pre-filing period (the time when the negotiations are going on between the issuer\and underwriter), absolutely nothing can be said about it to anyone.  For example, if the regulators find out that your stock broker discussed with you  the fact that his firm was negotiating with an issuer for a possible public offering, he could be fined, or jailed.

During the cooling off period (the time when the red herring is being distributed), nothing may be sent to you; not a research report, nor a recommendation from another firm, or even the sales literature. The only thing you are permitted to receive is the red herring. The red herring is used to acquaint prospects with essential information about the offering. If you are interested in purchasing the security, then you will receive an “indication of interest”, but you can still not make a purchase or send money.

No sales may be made until the effective date; all that can be used to generate interest is the red herring.

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

LEXICONS: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

PHYSICIANS: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

PRACTICES: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com

HOSPITALS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466558731

CLINICS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439879900

ADVISORS: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

PODIATRISTS: www.PodiatryPrep.com

BLOG: www.MedicalExecutivePost.com

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details  Product Details

Product DetailsProduct Details

Product Details

Do Clients Trust Financial Advisors More than Doctors or CPAs?

Join Our Mailing List

I Think … Not in My Universe

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief]

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Survey after survey has shown that the public does not trust the financial services industry; it was – in fact, the least trusted industry in a recent Rick Edelman survey.

John Hancock?

But, perhaps they were looking at the wrong industries, or maybe investors just don’t trust your firm. A new survey by John Hancock shows that investors with assets of $200,000 or more, trust their financial advisor [FA] more than their primary doctor, accountant, contractor/handyman, boss and real estate agent. It was penned by one young staff writer named Diana Britton.

Link: http://wealthmanagement.com/blog/clients-trust-you-more-doctors-cpas?NL=WM-04&Issue=WM-04_20120611_WM-04_597&YM_RID=marcinkoadvisors%40msn.com&YM_MID=1318408

My View Point is Pretty Unique

Now, I am a doctor and board certified surgeon who held Series #7, #63 and #65 securities licenses, and was a Certified Financial Planner® for more than a decade. I was registered with a BD, SEC and NASD/FINRA, and held life, health and PC insurance licenses. This is the so-called “dual registration” to earn commissions and fees.

And, I’ve got a current partner who is a doctor-CPA who has a Master’s Degree in Accounting.  So, I know from whence I speak.

An Insurance Company!

Now, I resigned all of the above financial services monikers because of their lack of education and fiduciary accountability. These are sales licenses, certifications to hold a certification, and related gimmicks, all. Insurance agents have a duty to the company, not the client. Always ask them to put your best interests ahead of their own – in writing before hire – and watch them run.

Assessment

I suspect this study from an insurance company is less than accurate. How do I know? My gut heuristics tell me. Agency law tells me. No surveys needed or damn statistics for me. How about you? OR, are the marketing and PR gurus winning the public opinion battle with their insurance company advertising chicanery? ie., Hancock’s the future is yours!

If really so, here is my razzy for them.

 
Note: It is for the above reasons, and more, that we started the www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org online education program for financial advisors and management consultants that truly want to be trusted.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Diana – call me.  Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

DICTIONARIES: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko
PHYSICIANS: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com
PRACTICES: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com
HOSPITALS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466558731
CLINICS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439879900
BLOG: www.MedicalExecutivePost.com
FINANCE: Financial Planning for Physicians and Advisors
INSURANCE: Risk Management and Insurance Strategies for Physicians and Advisors

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details  Product Details

Product Details

Physicians Taking Stock of the “Stock Act”

Join Our Mailing List 

A Side-by-Side Comparison

By Lena Groeger
ProPublica

The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or Stock Act, recently passed in both the House and Senate. The new law would make it easier for the SEC to prosecute federal officials from all three branches who trade equities like stocks based on nonpublic information they receive in the course of their duties.

The versions passed in each chamber are similar, but have notable distinctions that will have to be hashed out when legislators from the two chambers eventually meet.

Assessment

Here, we break down the main differences, with real-life scenarios that illustrate activities the bill targets

Full link: http://www.propublica.org/special/taking-stock-of-the-stock-act-a-side-by-side-comparison

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Please review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Health Dictionary Series: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/product/9780826105752

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed: And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

Product Details  Product Details

How to Become A Financial Advisor [Learned Profession or Professional Sales Force?]

Join Our Mailing List

A Recent E-mail that I Received

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA, CMP™

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

[Editor-in-Chief]

As a former certified financial planner for almost 15 years, I was surprised to recently receive the following unedited e-mail correspondence.

Dear Marcinko,

If you are clever, have a way with people, or are a born salesperson, then becoming financial advisor could be your ticket to paradise.

Maybe not exactly paradise, but you could definitely have a ticket to a rewarding career. If you’re thinking about starting out as a new financial advisor – you may already be half the way there.

Why?

Because it’s an occupation where your life challenges will give you the understanding and empathy needed to work with your clients. Have you ever been in the position where you had to figure out a budget for your children’s education? Or manage an over extended credit card? These life situations will aid an individual on the path to become a financial consultant.

Requirements to Be a Financial Advisor

Even though a formal education is not a necessity to become financial adviser, it helps if you’ve taken certain courses.

What degree do you need to become a financial advisor? A bachelor’s degree in Finance, Economics, Accounting, Commerce, Business or Marketing would be a good start. A degree won’t assure you of a startling career but it may help get your foot in the door.

Rumor has it that a degree in psychology is also an asset as financial advising is as much about counseling as it is about advising. There are a plethora of people with all sorts of emotional entanglements around their financial lives.

Licenses

So, what licenses do you need to be a financial advisor? Some companies will assist a newbie in the financial advisory business and place them into a special program that will help them to obtain the required regulatory licenses such as a Series 66, this license permits them to vend annuities and mutual funds. It’s also possible to manage your own training. You can take part-time courses in order to qualify for the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) exam.

There are roughly over 286 universities and colleges that will assist you in preparing for the CFP exam. How long does it take to become a financial advisor? In order to qualify for the exam you will also need three years full-time working experience with a financial planning establishment.

Statistics state that over 40% regularly fail this all important exam. Its worth the time and effort as with this certification you are deemed as a certified financial planner and demand a higher salary.

Assessment

Hot tip: Stay away from insurance companies for financial employment. They’ll insist that you sign everyone including the dog and your grandmother. Then get rid of you if you don’t procure sufficient business. Banks are better they will bring in the clients for you.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Are financial advisors true professionals; or a truely professional sales force?

Please review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure. Are financial advisors true professionals, or a professional sales force?

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Health Dictionary Series: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/product/9780826105752

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed: And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

Product Details  Product Details

Merrill Lynch Investigated for CDO Deal Involving Magnetar

Hedge Fund Probed

By Marian Wang

ProPublica, June 15, 2011, 3:10 pm

Join Our Mailing List 

The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Merrill Lynch short-changed investors and gave undue influence to the hedge fund Magnetar in the creation of a $1.5-billion mortgage-backed security deal.

The investigation, which was first reported [1] by the Financial Times ($), appears to be the agency’s first probe of Merrill Lynch’s CDO business since the financial crisis. (Check our bank investigations cheat sheet [2] for which other firms are being probed.) Here’s the FT:

The investigation is one of several SEC probes into banks that helped underwrite billions of dollars of collateralised debt obligations, securities comprised of mortgages or derivatives linked to them.

It also marks a broadening of the SEC’s investigation into the role of collateral managers, institutions that help select the assets included in CDOs.

Podcast

Latest Episode: Senior editor Susan White shares some parting thoughts on ProPublica and the editing process before she leaves to move back to California.

Listen

The deal that the SEC is investigating—a collateralized debt obligation, or CDO, called Norma—was detailed both in our reporting last year [3] and in a report [4] by the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission released in January. Norma was one of more than two dozen CDO deals [5] done by Magnetar, whose bets against a number of CDOs earned it billions in the waning days of the housing boom.

As the FCIC detailed, Magnetar helped select the assets that went into Norma even though it had a $600 million bet that would pay off substantially if the CDO failed. As we reported [6], Magnetar often invested in the portion of the CDO that was riskiest and hardest for the banks to sell. Banks typically gave such investors—equity investors—more say in how the deal was structured. (Magnetar isn’t named as a target of the investigation and had no responsibility to investors. It has also maintained that it did not have a strategy to bet against the housing market.)

In the offering documents for Norma, there’s no mention of Magnetar’s role in asset selection, according to the FCIC. Investors were told that an independent collateral manager, NIR Capital Management, would be selecting the assets with their best interest in mind. The report concluded: “NIR abdicated its asset selection duties… with Merrill’s knowledge.”

Bank of America

Bank of America, which took over Merrill Lynch in 2008, declined our request for comment. The firm’s general counsel told [4] the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission that it was “common industry practice” for equity investors to have input during the asset selection process, though the collateral manager had final say.

NIR Capital Management

NIR Capital Management is also being investigated by the SEC, according to the FT. The firm did not immediately respond to our request for comment. (The Wall Street Journal did an impressively detailed story in 2007 on how NIR came to be manager [7] of the Norma deal.)

Magnetar declined our earlier requests for comment on Norma, but FT reports it has denied claims [1] that it selected the assets for Norma.

Assessment

As we reported, the SEC had launched a probe of Merrill’s CDO business 2007, but that investigation petered out without resulting in any charges.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

DICTIONARIES: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko
PHYSICIANS: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com
PRACTICES: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com
HOSPITALS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466558731
CLINICS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439879900
BLOG: www.MedicalExecutivePost.com
FINANCE: Financial Planning for Physicians and Advisors
INSURANCE: Risk Management and Insurance Strategies for Physicians and Advisors

Product Details  Product Details

What are Exempt Securities?

Exemptions from the SEC Act of 1933

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Historical Definition

The SEC Act was landmark legislation that established the SEC and gives it authority over proxy solicitation and registration of organized stock exchanges. In addition, the Act sets disclosure requirements for securities in the secondary market, regulates insider trading, and gives the Federal Reserve authority over credit purchases of securities. When established, the Act reflected an effort to extend and overcome shortcomings of the Securities Act of 1933. These two pieces of legislation are the basis of securities regulation in the twentieth century.

Exemptions

Today, there are many securities which are exempt from the Securities Exchange Commission [SAC] Act of 1933, its’ registration and resuting prospectus requirements.

They include the following securities and types:

  • US Government and Federal Agency issues.
  • Municipal, State issues and commercial paper with a maturity not in excess of 270 days.
  • Intra-state offerings (Rule 147) because they are blue-sky chartered within the state.
  • Small Public offerings (Regulation A) if the value of the securities issued does not exceed $5,000,000 in any 12 month period. An issuer using the Regulation A exemption does not make the normal filings with the SEC in Washington. Instead, they file a simplified disclosure document with their SEC Regional Office, known as an Offering Statement. It must be file at least 10 business days prior to the initial offering of the securities.  No securities may be sold unless issuer has furnished an offering circular (full disclosure document) to the purchaser at least 48 hours prior to the mailing of confirmation of the sale, and, if not completed within 9 months from the date of the offering circular, a revised circular must be filed. Every 6 months, issuers must file a report with the SEC of sales made under the Regulation A exemption until offering is completed.
  • Traditional insurance policies are considered to be securities and are exempt, as are fixed annuities. However, some of the newer forms of life insurance, like variable life, as well as variable annuities, have investment characteristics and, therefore are not exempt from registration.
  • Commercial paper and banker’s acceptances (9 month or shorter maturity), since they are money market instruments.

Assessment

What did we miss?

Here is a guide to help understand how to raise capital and comply with federal securities laws.

Link: http://www.sec.gov/info/smallbus/qasbsec.htm

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com and http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Health Dictionary Series: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/product/9780826105752

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed: And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

Product Details  Product Details

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details  

Where Are the Financial Crisis Prosecutions?

The White Collar Slump?

By Jesse Eisinger
ProPublica: jesse@propublica.org

Join Our Mailing List 

You may have noticed that prosecutors in this country are in something of a white-collar slump lately.

The stock options backdating prosecutions have largely been a bust [1], not because it wasn’t a true scandal. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department investigated more than 100 companies. Over a hundred took accounting restatements. Yet only a handful of executives went to prison, with some high-profile cases fizzling out. Prosecutors also stumbled in other high priority corporate fraud prosecutions, like the KPMG [2] tax shelter and the stock-exchange specialists [3] cases.

Bear Sterns

The most spectacular prosecutorial flameout [4] was the case against the Bear Stearns hedge fund managers. The consequences of that disaster are still reverberating. The United States attorney’s office in Brooklyn rushed to haul low-level executives in front of a jury based on a few seemingly incriminating emails. The defense was easily able to convince jurors that these represented only out-of-context glimpses of fear as markets swooned, not a conspiracy to mislead. But, now we have a supposedly new push: the insider trading scandal.

Insider Trading

The United States attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, and the United States Attorney, General Eric H. Holder Jr., are hyping their efforts. “Illegal insider trading is rampant and may even be on the rise,” Mr. Bharara dubiously pronounced in a speech [5] in October. The Feds are raiding [6] hedge funds and publicly celebrating their criminal investigations related to insider trading.

The storyline is that Wall Street now lives in fear. Hedge fund managers’ phones might be tapped, any stray remark is suspect, and old trades are being exhumed so that the entrails can be examined.

In fact, plenty of folks on Wall Street are happy about the investigation. A scant few — the ones with clean consciences — like the idea that the world of special access to favorable tips is being cleaned up.

But others are pleased for a different reason: They realize the investigation is a sideshow.

All the hype carries an air of defensiveness. Everyone is wondering: Where are the investigations related to the financial crisis?

Enron, Lehman, Merrill, Citigroup and Others

John Hueston, a former lead Enron prosecutor, wonders: “Have they committed the resources in the right place? Do these scandals warrant apparent national priority status?”

Nobody from Lehman, Merrill Lynch or Citigroup has been charged criminally with anything. No top executives at Bear Stearns have been indicted. All former American International Group executives are running free. No big mortgage company executive has had to face the law.

How about someone other than the Fabulous Fab [7] at Goldman Sachs? How could the Securities and Exchange Commission merely settle with Countrywide’s Angelo Mozilo [8] — and for a fraction of what he made as CEO?

The world was almost brought low by the American banking system and we are supposed to think that no one did anything wrong?

The most common explanation from lawyers for this bizarre state of affairs is that it’s hard work. It’s complicated to make criminal cases in corporate fraud. Getting a case that shows the wrong-doer acted with intent — and proving it to a jury — is difficult.

But, of course, Enron was complicated too, and prosecutors got the big boys. Ken Lay was found guilty (he died before he served his time). Jeff Skilling is in prison now, though the end result was bittersweet for prosecutors when much of his conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court. WorldCom’s Bernie Ebbers and Tyco’s Dennis Kozlowski are wearing stripes.

Complicated Cases

Sure, it takes time to investigate complicated cases. Many people think that the SEC, at the least, will bring some charges against top executives at Lehman Brothers. The huge, ground-breaking special examiner’s report [9] on Lehman Brothers laid bare problems with Lehman’s accounting. But that report came out back in March — on a bank that blew up more than two years ago. That seems awfully slow.

The most popular reason offered for the dearth of financial crisis prosecutions is the 100-year flood excuse: The banking system was hit by a systemic and unforeseeable disaster, which means that, as unpleasant as it may be to laymen, it’s unlikely that anyone committed any crimes.

Stupidity is No Crime

Or, barring that wildly implausible explanation (since, indeed, many people saw the crash coming and warned about it), the argument is that acting stupidly and recklessly is no crime.

As I ride the subway every morning, I often fantasize about criminalizing stupidity and fecklessness. But alas, it’s not to be.

Nevertheless, it’s hardly reassuring that bankers, out of necessity, have universally adopted the dumb-rather-than-venal justification. That doesn’t mean, however, that the rest of us need to buy it. It’s shocking how pervasive and triumphant this narrative of the financial crisis has been.

Link: http://www.propublica.org/thetrade/item/where-are-the-financial-crisis-prosecutions/

Assessment

Just as it’s clear that not all bankers were guilty of crimes in the lead-up to the crisis, it strains credulity to contend no one was. Corporate crime is usually the act of desperate people who have initially made relatively innocent mistakes and then seek to cover them up. Some banks went down innocently. Surely some housed bad actors who broke laws.

As a society, we have the bankers we deserve. Sadly, it’s looking like we have the regulators and prosecutors we deserve, too.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details  Product Details

Identifying Suspicious Short Selling

But Not Who’s Behind the Trades

By Karen Weise
ProPublica, July 8, 2010

Last weekend, The Wall Street Journal highlighted new academic research [1] showing that investors may be trading on insider information after companies approach hedge funds for loans.

Researchers found that on average, in the five days before companies announce a loan from a hedge fund, the volume of short sales increases by 75 percent as compared with the 60 days before a deal is announced. There was no comparable uptick in betting against companies that borrowed money from commercial banks instead.

Short Selling

With short selling, hedge funds and other investors make money by wagering that a stock’s price will fall. Borrowing from hedge funds rather than commercial banks can be seen as a sign of distress, as hedge funds tend to charge higher interest rates.

One of the researchers, Debarshi Nandy of the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, told ProPublica that the findings pose an important question of whether hedge funds are using insider information inappropriately.

Working Draft

Here’s a PDF of a working draft of the paper [2]; the final version is not yet published. When companies ask hedge funds to consider giving them a loan, they typically require that the funds sign nondisclosure agreements. That’s because the borrowers divulge confidential financial information in the process of trying to get a loan — information that can provide insight into a company’s future performance. That, in turn, can be valuable to investors.

Examining Changes

In looking at instances when companies made changes to existing loans, researchers found that the short sales on companies amending loans from hedge funds were profitable, whereas similar short sales on companies amending loans from banks resulted in losses. But, the researchers stop short of saying that hedge funds definitely make insider trades. It’s all a little bit hazy because there is little disclosure required for hedge funds and short selling. While the paper identifies “abnormal” shorting activity, the identity of the investors making the trades is a mystery. “If it is truly insider trading by the fund or a ‘tip-ee’ of the fund, it would really be good to get some further data on who is actually doing the trading,” said Anita Krug, an expert in the laws governing hedge funds.

Assessment

Investors are required to notify the  Securities and Exchange Commission when taking large long positions, but there is no equivalent requirement for short bets. During the week that Lehman Brothers collapsed in the fall of 2008, the SEC issued a temporary order [3] requiring investors to report large short positions, but it did not renew that requirement last summer when the order lapsed [4]. The pending financial reform bill also would not require disclosure.

Join Our Mailing List

Conclusion

Short sellers say more regulations would discourage their trading, which they argue helps moderate market bubbles and contributes to market efficiency, says Mark Perlow, an attorney at K&L Gates who represents hedge funds.

Link: http://www.propublica.org/article/identifying-suspicious-short-selling-but-not-whos-behind-the-trades

And so, feel free to comment and review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

https://www.crcpress.com/Comprehensive-Financial-Planning-Strategies-for-Doctors-and-Advisors-Best/Marcinko-Hetico/p/book/9781482240283

Doctors Helping Seniors Avoid Financial Fraud?

The Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Project

By Staff Reporters

A new program created in Houston and tested in Texas will teach medical professionals nationwide to identify and report signs of elder financial abuse.

The EIFFE

The Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation project includes a new survey and prevention campaign to help people 65 year, and older, avoid being fleeced. The program is designed to help geriatric health professionals and financial regulators work more closely to identify, and report and investigate elder financial abuse.

Assessment

And still, FINRA, the SEC and others are procrastinating on fiduciary responsibility for financial advisors.

http://blogs.chron.com/medblog/archives/2010/06/houston_program.html

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. FAs, and CSAs, are you embarrassed by this program? Are you a fiduciary – much like a physician or lawyer? Doctors, how do you feel – burdened, resentful, empowered, etc?

Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Get our Widget: Get this widget!

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed: And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

 

Product Details  Product Details

The Madoff Circle

Who Knew What?

By Jake Bernstein, ProPublica – June 2, 2010 2:40 pm EDT

Join Our Mailing List

When Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty to running the biggest Ponzi scheme in history, he insisted he was the lone perpetrator, asserting that no one – not his family, not his colleagues, not his friends – knew of the fraud.

Alternative Narrative

But an alternate narrative is emerging from the pile of Madoff-related civil suits and court motions that have been filed in the last two years – one in which a small circle of men played knowing, integral roles in the scheme, in some cases benefiting more from it than even Madoff himself.

The evidence for this remains largely circumstantial. These relationships were forged in the days before e-mail, and none of the cases has yet produced anything for public consumption that delivers insights into what these men were thinking. In the one instance in which a judge has ruled on allegations against some of the men, he dismissed the charges for lack of evidence.

But the men’s actions, as described in the court cases, appear to have furthered the scheme. The Securities and Exchange Commission and the trustee charged with recovering money for Madoff’s victims have alleged that some of the men had expectations and influence far beyond what is typical for the usual investor. Most tellingly, the documents say that in at least one instance, and possibly more, these men helped keep the Madoff scam afloat, providing hundreds of millions of dollars of cash when it was on the verge of collapsing.

If this was a conspiracy – and the available information is by no means complete – it does not seem to have been one in which the perpetrators plotted together around a tavern table. Irving Picard, the trustee, has sued several of Madoff’s biggest beneficiaries, alleging they “knew or willfully ignored” that they were participating in a fraud.  The suits are silent on the question of whether those involved coordinated or knew of one another’s activities, but they don’t need to demonstrate that to be successful.

A Commonality

What these men undeniably shared were similar backgrounds and interests. Based largely in New York and South Florida, they moved through parallel milieus of affluent Jewish country clubs and synagogues. They were active in similar philanthropies and served on the boards of foundations, universities and yeshivas.

The cast of characters, spelled out mostly in complaints filed by the trustee and the SEC, includes: Carl Shapiro, [1] 97, a Boston-based philanthropist who made one fortune in ladies dresses and a larger one with Madoff; Robert Jaffe [2], 66, Shapiro’s son-in-law; Maurice “Sonny” Cohn, 79, a one-time Madoff neighbor turned business partner; Robert Jaffe [3], 83, a close friend of Madoff’s for more than 50 years and one of his earliest investors; and Jeffry Picower [4], a lawyer and accountant, who recently died of a heart attack at 67.

None of these men has been charged criminally. Thus far, federal authorities have indicated in court filings that just one of them – Chais – is the subject of a criminal inquiry. A year ago, The Wall Street Journal, citing anonymous sources, reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan was investigating at least eight investors, including Picower, Chais and Shapiro [5].

All have denied being anything but victims of Madoff’s [6].

Chais, Cohn and Jaffe have drawn considerable ire from investors for running so-called feeder funds that channeled huge sums into Madoff’s investment business. Jaffe alone funneled more than $1 billion of investor money to Madoff, according to the SEC. He worked with Cohn in a business called Cohmad – a contraction of Cohn and Madoff – that operated out of Madoff’s offices. Contrary to what some investors in the funds believed, it appears the men did little to manage the money beyond simply collecting it for delivery to Madoff.

Inner Circle Fared Well

Members of this circle not only did far better than other investors, who averaged 10 percent to 12 percent returns annually, they also had a highly unusual level of input into the nature of their returns.

According to the trustee’s complaint, there were several instances in which Picower or his associates contacted Madoff’s office, asking for specific monthly returns [7]. Over a five-year period in the late ’90s, two of Picower’s accounts [8] had annual returns ranging between 120 percent and 550 percent. A third had yearly returns as high as 950 percent.

Chais and his family consistently received yearly returns higher than 100 percent, far exceeding the gains realized by investors in his funds. Moreover, according to an SEC complaint [9], when Madoff told Chais he was switching to a new strategy that might show occasional short-term trading losses without interfering with net gains, Chais made a special demand to maintain the appearance of loss-free investments.

“Chais told Madoff that he did not want there to be any losses in any of [his] Fund’s trades,” the SEC complaint alleges [9]. “Madoff complied with Chais’ request. Between 1999 and 2008, despite purportedly executing thousands of trades on behalf of the Funds, Madoff did not report a loss on a single equities trade.”

Chais disputes the allegations [9], and his lawyer characterized the SEC’s complaint in a statement as “a distorted and false picture of Stanley Chais.”

“Like so many others, Mr. Chais was blindsided and victimized by Bernard Madoff’s unprecedented and pervasive fraud,” the statement said. “Mr. Chais and his family have lost virtually everything – an impossible result were he involved in the underlying fraud.”

Many of those in the circle took money from the scheme as fees rather than investment gains.

Cohmad officials reaped a total of $98.4 million in payments between 1996 and 2008, most of it labeled income from “account supervision,” according to the SEC [10].

Chais charged fees equal to 25 percent of each Chais fund’s net profit for calendar years in which profits exceeded 10 percent, according to the trustee. As profits exceeded 10 percent every year, Chais took in almost $270 million in fees from 1995 to 2008.

Though Madoff receives the lion’s share of the blame and/or credit for his scheme, it appears that several of his close associates profited more handsomely than he did. Shortly after he confessed, Madoff declared in court documents that his household net worth was about $825 million.

Picower, the biggest beneficiary of the scheme by far, took in $7.2 billion in profit, according to the trustee. Picower’s widow and the trustee are currently haggling over the exact amount of a multibillion-dollar settlement. Carl Shapiro and his family received more than $1 billion, the trustee charged in a court document filed last November in U. S. Bankruptcy Court.

Chais and his family members withdrew approximately $200 million more than they invested with Madoff, according to the SEC. This came on top of the hundreds of millions in fees Chais charged investors.

Chais’ lawyer denied that his client had any knowledge of the Ponzi scheme or that he had raked in the vast riches alleged. “Despite the astronomical numbers mentioned by the Trustee in his complaint, the bulk of the funds alleged to have been distributed to Mr. Chais were in fact distributed to his investors,” his statement said.

Keeping the Scheme Going

At key moments, Madoff’s investors came to the rescue to keep the scheme going. The first instance came in 1992, when the SEC shut down a feeder fund run by the accountants Frank Avellino and Michael Bienes, then Madoff’s largest, accusing the pair of operating a Ponzi scheme. Avellino and Bienes admitted they had acted as unregistered investment managers, but insisted the money had been invested with Madoff, who promptly returned more than $300 million.

Ironically, the SEC mistook Madoff’s ability to raise that amount so quickly as proof that his business was legitimate and “the money was where we [the agency] would expect it to be,” a staff attorney told the SEC’s inspector general last year. Almost two decades later, investigators suspect Madoff may have tapped his circle to collect the cash while scrambling, with the help of his right-hand man, Frank DiPascali, to fabricate trading records, a scene detailed in the agency’s case against DiPascali.

Identifying precisely who helped Madoff repay Avellino and Bienes’ investors is currently an area of inquiry for law enforcement, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Despite his ever-growing network of feeder funds, Madoff had another liquidity crisis in November 2005. According to a federal complaint [11] filed against his employee Daniel Bonventre, Madoff’s investor account had an end-of-day balance of about $13 million to cover about $105 million in wires scheduled to go out over the next three days.

Two days later, one of Madoff’s investors, identified in the complaint [11] as “Client A,” sent about $100 million in bonds to Madoff, which he used as collateral to secure a $95 million bank loan to continue the Ponzi scheme. The following January, Client A gave Madoff $54 million more in bonds, which were used as collateral for a $50 million loan.

Investigators have not revealed the identity of Client A, but a person close to the investigation said he was among Madoff’s group of longtime close associates.

The final bailout came toward the end of 2008, when Madoff was hit with a tidal wave of redemption requests from investors caught up in the larger financial crisis. Toward the end of 2008, he looked to Shapiro, who pitched in $250 million.

Shapiro and his family have said repeatedly through spokesmen that they were unaware of the true nature of Madoff’s business. The spokesman declined to comment on the $250 million.

No civil or criminal complaints have been filed against Shapiro, but a court filing by the trustee raised questions about the nonagenarian’s “contentions that he is a victim of Madoff’s scheme,” alleging “inconsistencies between Mr. Shapiro’s counsel’s account of the family history with Madoff and the records available to the Trustee.” The trustee is negotiating with the family to recover profits made over the years.

The emergency cash infusion failed. Just 10 days later, Madoff says he confessed to his sons that “it’s all just one big lie,” finally ending the scheme.

The Case-To-Date

So far, efforts to hold Madoff associates accountable have met with mixed results.

Civil claims by the SEC [10] against Jaffe, Cohmad and Cohn were largely rejected by Federal District Judge Louis Stanton, who ruled in February that the agency had failed to prove they “knew of, or recklessly disregarded, Madoff’s fraud.” The judge left the door open for the SEC to refile its complaint by June 18, if it can strengthen its case.

Lawyers for Maurice Cohn and Cohmad released the following statement in response to the ruling: “As we have maintained all along and Judge Stanton agrees, the SEC’s complaint supports nothing other than “the reasonable inference that Madoff fooled the defendants as he did individual investors, financial institutions and regulators.”

Assessment

If there were others involved in the Ponzi scheme, building federal or state criminal cases against Madoff’s circle may prove difficult. Though their relationships go back decades, most of their dealings were done verbally, and there isn’t a lot of correspondence, according to a person with knowledge of the investigations. Federal investigators are working with DiPascali to get a clearer picture of the degree of complicity of others in the scheme.

Illness and age also may become factors. Though a grand jury could consider charges against Chais by mid-June, he suffers from a rare blood disorder and is in and out of the hospital. Shapiro, too, is said to be in ill health.

The trustee is expected to file more lawsuits in coming months as the date approaches when the statute of limitations runs out.

Criminal cases brought against several former Madoff employees have already eroded the notion, lodged so powerfully in the public imagination, that Madoff worked alone, said Daniel Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School and a former prosecutor. With each additional case, he said, it may well crumble further.

“I imagine the paradigmatic Ponzi scheme with the evil genius who keeps all the secrets to himself and engineers this massive crime, like most stick figures, will probably not hold true,” he said.

Link: http://www.propublica.org/feature/the-madoff-circle-who-knew-what

Conclusion

Industry Indignation Index: 99

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

DICTIONARIES: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko
PHYSICIANS: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com
PRACTICES: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com
HOSPITALS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466558731
CLINICS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439879900
BLOG: www.MedicalExecutivePost.com
FINANCE: Financial Planning for Physicians and Advisors
INSURANCE: Risk Management and Insurance Strategies for Physicians and Advisors

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details  Product Details

   Product Details

Bank Deals Similar to Goldman Sach’s Gone Awry

Other Major Banks Participated, Too?

By Marian Wang, ProPublica – April 16, 2010 1:36 pm EDT

As you may have heard, or read on this ME-P, Goldman Sachs is being sued for fraud [1] by the Securities and Exchange Commission [2] for allegedly misleading investors about a deal that Goldman helped structure and sell. In the civil suit, the SEC specifically faulted Goldman for failing to disclose that a hedge fund was helping create the investment while betting big the deal would fail.

According to the SEC, Goldman Sachs knew about the hedge fund’s bets, knew it played a significant role in choosing the assets in the portfolio, and yet did not tell investors about it. (Goldman Sachs has called the SEC’s accusations “completely unfounded in law and fact.” And in another more detailed statement [3], it said it “did not structure a portfolio that was designed to lose money.”) 

[picapp align=”none” wrap=”false” link=”term=Goldman+Sachs&iid=8541566″ src=”0/4/f/8/The_Goldman_Sachs_7d6f.jpg?adImageId=12513388&imageId=8541566″ width=”380″ height=”568″ /]

In ProPublica

As we reported at ProPublica last week, many other major investment banks were doing a similar thing [4].

Investment banks including JPMorgan Chase [5], Merrill Lynch [6] (now part of Bank of America), Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and UBS also created CDOs that a hedge fund named Magnetar was both helping create and betting would fail. Those investment banks marketed and sold the CDOs to investors without disclosing Magnetar’s role or the hedge fund’s interests.

Here is a list of the banks that were involved [7] in Magnetar deals, along with links to many of the prospectuses on the deals, which skip over Magnetar’s role. In all, investment banks created at least 30 CDOs with Magnetar, worth roughly $40 billion overall. Goldman’s 25 Abacus CDOs — one of which is the basis of the SEC’s lawsuit — amounted to $10.9 billion [8].

One reporter Jake Bernstein explained the investment banks’ disclosure failures on Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life [9]:

On the Magnetar Hedge Fund

The role of Magnetar, both as equity investor and in their bets against the very CDOs they helped create were not disclosed in any way to investors in the written documents about the deals. Not the marketing materials, not the prospectuses, not in the hundreds of pages that an investor could get to see information about the deal was it disclosed that it was in fact Magnetar who’d helped create the deal, and who’d bet against.

That is, of course, along the lines of what the SEC is suing Goldman Sachs for now. The SEC’s suit also says CDOs like the ones Goldman built “contributed to the recent financial crisis by magnifying losses associated with the downturn in the United States housing market.”

Notably, the SEC did not sue the hedge fund [10] involved in Goldman’s Abacus deals — Paulson & Co. — or its manager, John Paulson. Instead, it’s going after Goldman. And as we pointed out in our reporting, there’s no evidence that what Magentar did was illegal [11].

Assessment

We’ve called the major banks involved in Magnetar CDO deals to see if they were concerned about similar lawsuits. Thus far, Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche, Wells Fargo (which bought Wachovia) and UBS have responded and have all declined our requests for comment. Here is Magnetar’s response [12] to our original reporting.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Who else can send us some insider-knowledge on this sordid topic? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Get our Widget: Get this widget!

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Behind the Financial Reform Push

Join Our Mailing List

Of Worries on Warring Regulators

By Jeff Gerth, ProPublica – April 14, 2010 12:07 pm EDT

Backers of financial regulatory reform are gearing up for the final stretch in a yearlong effort to construct a new, streamlined architecture. But, recent reports and testimony about the financial crisis suggest a crucial ingredient in any new structure is in short supply: cooperation among the watchdogs.

Office of Thrift Supervision

A proposal to eliminate one regulator seen by many as particularly weak—the Office of Thrift Supervision—could alleviate some friction. A soon-to-be-released federal examination of the Washington Mutual collapse found that OTS resisted efforts by a more skeptical regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to take a closer look at WaMu, according to an account in The New York Times [1].

Reform legislation pending in the Senate [2] (PDF) would also create new agencies, including a financial stability council to assess risk and a consumer protection watchdog. To work as envisioned, the agencies would need new levels of information sharing and decision making. By contrast, history suggests agencies can be stingy with what they know and eager to point blame at sister regulators.

Fall of the House of Lehman

Lehman Brothers, the investment bank that collapsed in September 2008, presents a case in point.

A lengthy examiner’s report [3] for the judge overseeing Lehman’s bankruptcy found that the Federal Reserve Board and the Securities and Exchange Commission kept crucial data from each other even though they had “overlapping” functions. The heads of the Federal Reserve and the SEC reached a formal sharing agreement in July 2008, but the two regulators “did not share all material information that each collected about Lehman’s liquidity.”

SEC Queries

The SEC, asked by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to provide data on Lehman’s commercial real estate exposure and liquidity, “affirmatively declined to share” the information because it was still in draft form, the bankruptcy report found. The reserve bank never turned down an information request from the SEC, but bank officials “did not perceive any duty to volunteer” information about a $7 billion shortfall in Lehman’s liquidity they uncovered in August 2008.

The reason? The report says it was “because the SEC did not always share information” with them. One official at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York told the examiner “there was not a warm audience” for information sharing between the New York Fed and the SEC.

Lehman fell under the scrutiny of the Fed after it was allowed to tap Fed lending facilities, normally reserved for banks, in the spring of 2008.

Oh … the Irony

Ironically, examiners at the Office of Thrift Supervision, which regulated Lehman’s bank subsidiary, concluded in July 2008 that Lehman had violated its own risk limits by placing an “outsized bet” on commercial real estate. But, the OTS appears as a bit player in the autopsy of Lehman’s collapse; top Federal Reserve officials “considered the SEC to be Lehman’s regulator,” the bankruptcy report found.

One of those officials, Timothy Geithner, was president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from 2003 until early 2009, when he became secretary of the Treasury. Shortly after he joined the cabinet, Geithner was asked by a senator about the Fed’s supervisory responsibility [4] in connection with the collapse of institutions like Lehman and the insurance giant AIG.

“I just want to point out,” Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee, “the Federal Reserve was not given responsibility for overseeing investment banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, non-bank financial systems that were a critical part of making this crisis so intense.”

networking_0

Fed Responsibilities

The Fed is responsible for supervising bank holding companies, such as Citigroup. Those holding companies include investment banks and, as a sister regulator quietly pointed out last week, the Fed shared responsibility with the SEC for overseeing the risky practices of Citigroup’s broker dealer.

John C. Dugan, who oversees nationally chartered banks as comptroller of the currency, told the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission [5] (PDF) last week that most of the problems that led to a massive bailout for Citigroup took place under the umbrella of the weaker holding company regulated by the Fed—not at Citibank, the banking subsidiary under Dugan’s authority.

Most of the losses, Dugan said at the end of a lengthy report to the commission, were in subprime lending, leveraged loans and the structuring and warehousing of CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) that are supervised, either all or in part, “by the Federal Reserve.”

Geithner has acknowledged [6] that he could have done a better job of supervising Citigroup during his tenure at the New York Fed.

Assessment

If the Senate bill becomes law, Geithner would sit atop the new financial stability council, whose members will include representatives of several different agencies—including the Fed, the SEC and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product DetailsProduct Details

Product Details

About the Covestor Mutual Fund Portfolio Sharing Service

Certified Medical Planner

What it is – How it works

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Covestor, with offices in New York and London, is a web platform started by entrepreneurs Perry Blancher, Richard Tachta and Simon Veingard http://www.covestor.com. Their belief was that salaried mutual fund managers have no monopoly on investment talent and shouldn’t have a lock on the rewards that come with investment success. As financial services, and online netizens, they also believed in democratizing the investment management industry and helping proven self-investors compete with the large institutions. This is known as the power of “crowd-sourcing.” All core philosophies seem to be shared by this ME-P.

What it is

According to their website, Covestor is both a portfolio sharing service for proven self-investors and for those wishing to track them; where data is private, secure and anonymous. With Covestor, one can coat-tail successful investors and follow their real trade activity. Or, have their moves auto-traded for you by Covestor Investment Management. Members can also keep track of their investments andBuild a free track record comparable to professional mutual funds. Members earn fees for their hard work, and Manage a model that their clients can mirror thru shared management fees.

Profit Sharing Investors

Covestor investors sharing portfolios include professionals, full time amateurs and industry specialists. They are a serious bunch with an average reported portfolio size of over $200,000 (excluding cash). Positions are typically held in over 5,000 different equities; are based in 50 countries and span the full range of ages, backgrounds and styles.

Issues

As a doctor-investor, health economist and former certified financial planner, there are at least three issues needed to be raised about this firm.

The first is SEC/NASD/FINRA rules and applicable SRO and state regulations for brokers, RIAs, FAs and related others? The status of suitability versus fiduciary accountability for ERISA regulated plans is also questioned. The third [and least important] is the potential negative impact on traditional financial services “professionals.”

In other words, is this another example of how technology will flatten the “intermediary curve” and reduce the profit of middle sales-men and sales-women? Oh! What about medical specificity for our target audience?

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Assessment

I am sure there are other issues as well. Your thoughts and comments on this ME-Pare appreciated; especially from financial services “professionals”, lawyers and FAs, etc, Give em’ a click and tell us what you think http://www.covestor.com?

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

DICTIONARIES: http://www.springerpub.com/Search/marcinko
PHYSICIANS: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com
PRACTICES: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com
HOSPITALS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781466558731
CLINICS: http://www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439879900
BLOG: www.MedicalExecutivePost.com
FINANCE: Financial Planning for Physicians and Advisors
INSURANCE: Risk Management and Insurance Strategies for Physicians and Advisors

Product Details  Product Details

Video on Hedge Fund Manager Michael Burry MD

In The Subprime of His Life – My Story

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief]

I am a long time fan of financial industry journalist Michael Lewis [Liars’ Poker, Moneyball and others] who just released a new book. The Big Short is a chronicle of four players in the subprime mortgage market who had the foresight [and testosterone] to short the diciest mortgage deals: Steve Eisner of FrontPoint, Greg Lippmann at Deutsche Bank, the three partners at Cornwall Capital, and most indelibly, Wall Street outsider Michael Burry MD of Scion Capital.

They all walked away from the disaster with pockets full of money and reputations as geniuses.

About Mike

Now, I do not know the first three folks, but I do know a little something about my colleague Michael Burry MD; he is indeed a very smart guy. Mike is a nice guy too, who also has a natural writing style that I envy [just request and read his quarterly reports for a stylized sample]. He gave me encouragement and insight early in my career transformation – from doctor to “other”.

And, he confirmed my disdain for the traditional financial services [retail sales] industry, Wall Street and their registered representatives and ‘training’ system, and sad broker-dealer ethos [suitability versus fiduciary accountability] despite being a hedge fund manager himself.

I mentioned him in my book: “Insurance and Risk Management Strategies” [For Physicians and their Advisors].

http://www.amazon.com/Insurance-Management-Strategies-Physicians-Advisors/dp/0763733423/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269254153&sr=1-2

He ultimately helped me eschew financial services organizations, “certifications”, “designations” and ”colleges”, and their related SEO rules, SEC regulations and policy wonks; and above all to go with my gut … and go it alone!

And so, I rejected my certified financial planner [marketing] designation status as useless for me, and launched the www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org on-line educational program for physician focused financial advisors and management consultants interested in the healthcare space … who wish to be fiduciaries.

And I thank Mike for the collegial good will. By the way, Mike is not a CPA, nor does he posses an MBA or related advanced degree or designation. He is not a middle-man FA. He is a physician. Unlike far too many other industry “financial advisors” he is not a lemming.

IOW: We are not salesman. We are out-of-the-box thinkers, innovators and contrarians by nature. www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

From a Book Review

According to book reviewer Michael Osinski, writing in the March 22-29 issue of Businessweek.com, Lewis is at his best working with characters and Burry is rendered most vividly.

A loner from a young age, in part because he has a glass eye that made it difficult to look people in the face, Burry excelled at topics that required intense and isolated concentration. Originally, investing was just a hobby while he pursued a career in medicine. As a resident neurosurgeon at Stanford Hospital in the late 1990s, Burry often stayed up half the night typing his ideas onto a message board. Unbeknownst to him, professional money managers began to read and profit from his freely dispensed insight, and a hedge fund eventually offered him $1 million for a quarter of his investment firm, which consisted of a few thousand dollars from his parents and siblings. Another fund later sent him $10 million”.

“Burry’s obsession with finding undervalued companies eventually led him to realize that his own home in San Jose, Calif., was grossly overpriced, along with houses all over the country. He wrote to a friend: “A large portion of the current [housing] demand at current prices would disappear if only people became convinced that prices weren’t rising. The collateral damage is likely to be orders of magnitude worse than anyone now considers.” This was in 2003.

“Through exhaustive research, Burry understood that subprime mortgages would be the fuse and that the bonds based on these mortgages would start to blow up within as little as two years, when the original “teaser” rates expired. But Burry did something that separated him from all the other housing bears—he found an efficient way to short the market by persuading Goldman Sachs (GS) to sell him a CDS against subprime deals he saw as doomed. A unique feature of these swaps was that he did not have to own the asset to insure it, and over time, the trade in these contracts overwhelmed the actual market in the underlying bonds”.

“By June 2005, Goldman was writing Burry CDS contracts in $100 million lots, “insane” amounts, according to Burry. In November, Lippmann contacted Burry and tried to buy back billions of dollars of swaps that his bank had sold. Lippmann had noticed a growing wave of subprime defaults showing up in monthly remittance reports and wanted to protect Deutsche Bank from potentially massive losses. All it would take to cause major pain, Lippmann and his analysts deduced, was a halt in price appreciation for homes. An actual fall in prices would bring a catastrophe. By that time, Burry was sure he held winning tickets; he politely declined Lippmann’s offer”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Link: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_12/b4171094664065.htm

My Story … Being a Bit like Mike

I first contacted Mike, by phone and email, more than a decade ago. His hedge fund, Scion Capital, had no employees at the time and he outsourced most of the front and back office activities to concentrate on position selection and management. Early investors were relatives and a few physicians and professors from his medical residency days. Asset gathering was a slosh, indeed. And, in a phone conversation, I remember him confirming my impressions that doctors were not particularly astute investors. For him, they generally had sparse funds to invest as SEC “accredited investors” and were better suited for emerging tax advantaged mutual funds. ETFs were not significantly on the radar screen, back then, and index funds were considered unglamorous. No, his target hedge-fund audience was Silicon Valley.

And, much like his value-hero Warren Buffett [also a Ben Graham and David Dodd devotee], his start while from the doctor space, did not derive its success because of them.

Moreover, like me, he lionized the terms “value investing”, “margin of safety” and “intrinsic value”.

Co-incidentally, as a champion of the visually impaired, I was referred to him by author, attorney and blogger Jay Adkisson www.jayadkisson.com Jay is an avid private pilot having earned his private pilot’s license after losing an eye to cancer.

Join Our Mailing List

Mike again re-entered my cognitive space while doing research for the first edition of our successful print book: “Financial Planning Handbook for Physicians and Advisors” and while searching for physicians who left medicine for alternate careers!

In fact, he wrote the chapter on hedge funds in our print journal and thru the third book edition before becoming too successful for such mundane stuff. We are now in our fourth edition, with a fifth in progress once the Obama administration stuff [healthcare and financial services industry “reform” and new tax laws] has been resolved

http://www.amazon.com/Financial-Planning-Handbook-Physicians-Advisors/dp/0763745790/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269211056&sr=1-1

Assessment

News: Dr. Burry appeared on 60 Minutes Sunday March 14th, 2010. His activities with Scion Capital are portrayed in Michael Lewis’s newest book, The Big Short.  An excerpt is available in the April 2010 issue of Vanity Fair magazine, and at VanityFair.com 

Video of Dr. Burry: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6298040n&tag=contentBody;housing

Video of Dr. Burry: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=6298038n&tag=contentBody;housing

PS: Michael Osinski retired from Wall Street and now runs Widow’s Hole Oyster Co. in Greenport, NY http://www.widowsholeoysters.com

And, our www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com related books can be reviewed here: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=david+marcinko

Assessment

Visit Scion Capital LLC and tell us what you think http://www.scioncapital.com.

And to Mike himself, I say “Mazel Tov” and congratulations? I am sure you will be a good and faithful steward. The greatest legacy one can have is in how they treated the “little people.” You are a champ. Call me – let’s do lunch. And, I am still writing: www.BusinessofMedicalPractice.com for the conjoined space we both LOVE.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details  Product Details

   Product Details 

[PHYSICIAN FOCUSED FINANCIAL PLANNING AND RISK MANAGEMENT COMPANION TEXTBOOK SET]

  Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™  Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

[Dr. Cappiello PhD MBA] *** [Foreword Dr. Krieger MD MBA]

***

Congratulations Harry Markopolos

A Future SEC Chairman?

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Editor-in-Chief]

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Harry Markopolos is finally taking his victory lap. He is out hustling a new book about his nearly decade-long pursuit of Bernie Madoff, and rightful criticism of the Securities Exchange Commission [SEC].

And, he’s been on a whirlwind media and PR tour of sorts: CNBC, MSNBC, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, etc. Still, we’ve written about him before on this ME-P

No Schadenfreude

According to one trade magazine essay, Markopolos finally seems relaxed and at peace. Bernie Madoff is in jail. The Feds are closing in on his accomplices. Markopolos clearly is having some fun. After being ignored for so long, he’s finally the center of attention – on his terms.

But to be sure, schadenfreude was not a philosophy taught to Harry and I, while students back-in-the-day, at Loyola University Maryland.

http://www.fa-mag.com/fa-news/5322-harry-markopolos-sec-chairman.html

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. In my opinion, Harry would be a much better SEC chairman than Mary L. Schapiro, the 29th SEC Chairman [January 2009] -or- Christopher Cox, the 28th Chairman [June 2005].

Dare I say it … I’m just wild about Harry.

So, FAs, investors and doctor colleagues; what do you think about Harry? Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Get our Widget: Get this widget!

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed

And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

Product Details  Product Details

New Regulations Needed For Financial Planners?

So Says New Coalition

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

The Financial Planning Coalition [FPC] is pushing for a law that would require anyone calling themselves a financial planner to meet certain ethical and educational standards and to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC].

About the FPC

According to its’ website, the Financial Planning Coalition is a collaboration of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board), the Financial Planning Association® (FPA), and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) to advise legislators and regulators on how to best protect consumers by ensuring financial planning services are delivered with fiduciary accountability and transparency. Americans have grown leery of those who work in financial services.

Currently, financial planning (the process of advising individuals and families across a range of personal finance topics in addition to investment advice) is unregulated as a profession, resulting in major gaps in current laws. So, is it really a “profession” many ask – void of any significant barrier to entry?

The Financial Planning Coalition intends to work with Congress to produce legislation that puts the interests of clients first and enables consumers to identify a trusted financial adviser.

To learn more about the Financial Planning Coalition’s purpose and mission, click here to read, or download the Statement of Understanding [PDF].

SEC Wrong Oversight Agency?

According to this report in Financial Advisor magazine, an advertiser-driven trade journal:

the standards would be set by a public oversight board that would be funded by small registration fees paid by the financial planners, said Robert Glovsky, chair of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards during a conference call today. The CFP Board, as well as the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors makes up the coalition.

Exemptions

However, brokers and insurance agents would not be forced to register as financial planners, but those who held themselves out as financial planners would have to meet the required minimum competency and ethics standards or stop using the financial planner title.

Assessment

And so, as we have noted, written, preached and warned for more than a decade – anyone can call themselves a financial planner, or financial advisor; so beware medical colleagues.

More: http://www.fa-mag.com/fa-news/5314-new-regs-needed-for-financial-planners-coalition-says.html

NOTE: The fiduciary definitional standard conundrum was not even addressed in the article or by the committee, as far as I know. Moreover, note that SEC oversight was in place before, during and now after the Bernie Madoff scandal – so enough said about competency! www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. What do you think FAs, and CFPs®? Should all become an RIA or ERISA styled fiduciary? Or, will this be another CFP® lite fiasco?

Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Disclaimer: I am a former certified financial planner and CEO of the online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com program for fiduciary advisors working in the healthcare space.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

Get our Widget: Get this widget!

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed

And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

 

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details  Product Details

Product Details

About the New Video-Launch of InvestorGov.com

Do You Trust Mary?

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA

[Publisher-in-Chief]Dr. David E. Marcinko MBA

Did you know that according to this new website, the mission of the US Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation?

Well, I did, but during the last two years you might surmise that the SEC didn’t.

So – What’s an Inept Government to Do?

Launch a new website, of course, with these tab menus:

1. Invest Wisely

2. Avoid Fraud

3. Plan for Your Future

4. How the SEC Helps

A FINRA Re-Deux

Much information on the site is from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA/NASD]. Of course, SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro is the former chief executive of that organization, and we all know how they protected us from Bernie Madoff and his ilk, don’t we.

Assessment

Nevertheless, take a look at this video from Mary Schapiro. She sure looks serious, doesn’t she?

Video Link: http://investor.gov/welcome-message-from-chairman-schapiro/

Conclusion

Click to play :

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. What do you think about the new site? Oh, by the way, my answer to the posed question is No! But, feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

Get our Widget: Get this widget!

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed

And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

Our Recent Experience with CFP® Mark Utility

Join Our Mailing List

Certification Falling from Grace – Deserved or Not?

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief] dem21 

The Premise

In the summer [2008], we sent a random email blast to the first 200 Certified Financial Planners® on our list-serve. These were folks who had previously contacted us, and/or purchased our textbooks, handbooks, tools and/or dictionaries that assist accountants, financial advisors, attorneys, medical management consultants and all those working to assist physicians and medical professionals on business and economics matters.

The “Straw-Poll” Query

Our email blast asked the simple question:

“Did you ever voluntarily resign your license to use the CFP® mark?”

First Round Results

We received four positive responses [2%]. We then followed up to learn that 2 of the 4 were CPAs, one was a CFA and another was an MBA. Now, what do these results signify – probably nothing – or maybe an emerging trend?

Repeat

So, last summer [2009], after the continuing Wall Street collapse, and the Somnath Basu PhD article on “CFP Trust” in Financial Advisor magazine and this blog, we sent out a follow-up email to the exact same 200 Certified Financial Planners® as before; but carved-out and replaced the 4 CFPs who had resigned the mark, with 4 others.

Link: I Jealously “Shake my Fist” at Somnath Basu PhD

This time we asked the question:

“Have you recently considered allowing your CFP mark to lapse; or resigning it?”

Second Round Results

This time we received exactly eight positive replies [4%] or double the number from the first round. One CFP® said:

“I am rethinking my entire business and marketing philosophy. This includes separation from any taint left over from recent industry scandals – and yes – even including my CFP® mark”

 CMP logo

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Assessment

This little experiment was not statistically significant by any means. And, again it probably is indicative of nothing. Yet, these types of questions must be boldly asked today; even if they were not even timidly asked yesterday.

Nevertheless, cited plausible reasons for the increased negative CFP® mark response may be:

 

  • CFP BoS lacks modernity and membership alliance. 
  • SEC mismanagement.
  • NASD/FINRA impotence.
  • Wall Street greed.
  • Lack of true fiduciary accountability.
  • Client anger and public distrust.
  • Advisor frustration at lost income.
  • College for Financial Planning and American College credibility.  
  • ME-P operations in the medical niche advisory space.
  • CFP® mark and related industry certification taint.
  • Alternative degrees and available designations.
  • Rise of RIAs and the fiduciary CMPmark for healthcare specificity.
  • Resigning [doing] and considering [thinking] are not equivalent;
  • etc, etc. 

It is interesting to note that no CFP® resigned their mark who did not hold either another graduate degree [MBA, MSFS, MA, MS, PhD], or more rigorous industry [CFA and CPA] certification.

Assessment 

So, is CFP mark allegiance just a union-like mentality of “united we stand – divided we fall”, by those with little to no gravitation pull of their own – or something else; ie., industry group think? You decide; and do tell us what you think.

Note: I am the founder of the CMP online education and certification program for financial advisors and consultants interested in the health economics, finance and medical practice management space, and a former [resigned] certified financial planner www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org 

Update 2013:

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Product Details  Product Details

Product DetailsProduct Details

VOTE: Poll on Rule 206(4) of the IAA of 1940?

 Please Vote

 

Get our Widget: Get this widget!

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed

And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

Evaluating a Sample Physician Financial Plan II

Stress Testing Results a Decade Later

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; CPHQ, MBA, CMP™

By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CPHQ, CMP™dave-and-hope4

We are often asked by physicians and colleagues; medical, nursing and graduate students, and/or prospective clients to see an actual “comprehensive” financial plan. This is a reasonable request. And, although most doctors who are regular readers of this Medical Executive-Post have a general idea of what’s included, many have never seen a professionally crafted financial plan. This not only includes the outcomes, but the actual input data and economic assumptions, as well.

The ME-P Difference

And so, in a departure from our pithy and typically brief journalistic style, we thought it novel to present such a plan for hindsight review. But; we present same in a very unusual manner befitting our iconoclastic and skeptical next-generation Health 2.0 philosophy. And, we challenge all financial advisors to do same and compare results with us.

How so?

By using a real life plan constructed a decade ago and letting ME-P reader’s review, evaluate and critique same.

  • Part I is for a drug-rep, then married medical school student [51 pages] with no children.
  • Part II is for the same mid-career practicing physician [28 pages] with 2 children.
  • Part III is for the same experienced practitioner at his professional zenith [56 pages].   

Part II: Sample Financial Plan II

Fiduciary Advisorsfp-book2

As former financial advisors and licensed insurance agents – and a reformed certified financial planner – it is our duty to act as economic fiduciaries for clients. In other words; to put client interests above our own. This culture was incumbent in our participatory online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com educational program in health economics and medical practice management; since inception in 2000.

Assessment

And so, as Edward I. Koch famously asked as Mayor of New York City from 1978-1989: “how am I doing”; we sought to ask and answer same. What did we do right or wrong; and how were our assumptions correct or erroneous?  As Certified Professionals in Healthcare Quality this is the question we continually seek to answer in medicine. And, as health economists, this is the financial advisory equivalent of Evidence Based Medicine [EBM] or Evidence Based Dentistry [EBD] etc. It is a query that all curious FAs should ask.

Note: Sample plan III to follow; so keep visiting the ME-P. Be sure to review sample plan I, right here:

Link: Sample Financial Plan I

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. As a financial advisor, accountant, financial planner, etc., we challenge you to lay bare your results as we have done. And, be sure to “rant and rave” – and – “teach and preach” about this post in the style of Socrates, with Candor, Intelligence and Goodwill, to all. Doctors – chime in – too.

Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

Get our Widget: Get this widget!

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Sponsors Welcomed

And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

 

ASSUMPTIONS

Sample Mega Plan for a New Physician 

Joe Good, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative, and his pregnant wife Susie Good, a 30-year-old accountant, sought the services of a certified financial planner because of a $150,000 inheritance from Joe’s grandfather. The insecurity about what to do with the funds was complicated by their insecurity over future employment prospects, along with Joe’s frustrated boyhood dream of becoming a physician, along with only a fuzzy concept of their financial future. 

After several information-gathering meetings with the CFP, concrete goals and objectives were clarified, and a plan was instituted that would assist in financing Joe’s medical education without sacrificing his entire inheritance and current lifestyle. They desired at least one more child, so insurance and other supportive needs would increase and were considered, as well. Their prioritized concerns included the following:

1. What is the proper investment management and asset allocation of the $150,000?

2. Is there enough to pay for medical school and support their lifestyle?

3. Can they indemnify insurance concerns through this transitional phase of life,  including the survivorship concerns of premature death or disability?

4. Can they afford for Susie to be the primary bread winner through Joe’s medical school,   internship, and residency years?

5. Can they afford another child?

Current income was not high, and current assets were below the unified estate tax-credit. Therefore, income and estate-planning concerns were not significant at that time.

After thoroughly discussing the gathered financial data, and determining their risk profile, the CMP™ made the following suggestions: 

1. Reallocate the inheritance based on their risk tolerance, from conservative to long-term growth.

2. Maximize group health, life, and disability insurance benefits.

3. Supplement small quantities of whole life insurance with larger amounts of term insurance.

4. Create simple wills, for now. 

Sample Mega Plan for a Mid-Life Physician 

A second plan was drawn up 10 years later, when Joe Good was 40 years old and a practicing internist. Susan, age 40, had been working as a consultant for the same company for the past decade. She was allowed to telecommunicate between home and office. Daughter Cee is nine years old, and her brother Douglas is seven years old. 

The preceding suggestions had been implemented. The family maintained their modest lifestyle, and their investment portfolio grew to $392,220, despite the withdrawal of $10,000 per year for medical school tuition. The financial planning aspects of the family’s life went unaddressed. Educational funding needs for Cee and Douglas prompted another frank dialogue with their CMP. Their prioritized concerns at this point were as follows:

1. Reallocation of the investment portfolio

2. Educational funding for both children

3. Tax reduction strategies

4. Medical partnership buy-in concerns

5. Maximization of their investment portfolio

6. Review of risk management needs and long-term care insurance

7. Retirement considerations

The following suggestions were made:

1. Grow the $392,220 nest egg indefinitely.

2. Project future educational needs with current investment vehicles.

3. Maximize qualified retirement plans with tax efficient investments.

4. Update wills to include bypass marital trust creation, and complete proper testamentary planning, including guardians for Cee and Douglas.

5. Retain a professional medical practice valuation firm for the practice buy-in.

Sample Mega Plan for a Mature Physician 

At age 55, Dr. Joseph B. Good was a board-certified and practicing internist and partner of his group. Susan, age 55, was the office manager for Dr. Good’s practice, allowing her to provide professional accounting services to her husband’s office and thereby maximizing benefits to the couple from the practice. Daughter Cee was 24 years old, and her brother Douglas was 22 years old. The preceding suggestions had been implemented.  They upgraded their home and modest lifestyle within the confines of their current earnings. They did not invade their grandfather’s original inheritance, which grew to $1,834,045. Reallocation was needed. The other financial planning aspects of their lives had gone unaddressed. Retirement and estate planning issues prompted another revisit with their original CMP’s junior partner.

Their prioritized concerns at this point were as follows:

1. Long-term care issues

2. Retirement implementation

3. Estate planning

4. Business continuity concerns

The following suggestions were made:

1. Analyze the cost and benefits of long-term case insurance, funded with current income until retirement.

2. Reallocate portfolio assets and  plan for estate tax reduction, with offspring and charitable planning consideration..

3. Retain a professional practice management firm for practice sale, with proceeds to maintain current lifestyle until age 70.

If you want the opportunity to reach a personalized weekly audience of health care industry insiders, innovators and watchers, the Medical Executive-Post and its educational forums may be right for you?

Advertise with us:

https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise/

Ann Miller; RN, MHA

[Executive Director]

Medical Executive-Post

I Jealously “Shake my Fist” at Somnath Basu PhD

On CFP® Mis [Trust] – One Doctor’s Painful Personal Experience

[“So Sorry to Say it … but I Told You So”]

By: Dr David Edward Marcinko; FACFAS, MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]dem21

According to Somnath Basu, writing on April 6, 2009 in Financial Advisor a trade magazine, the painful truth is that many financial practitioners are merely sales people masquerading, as financial planners [FPs] and/or financial advisors [FAs] in an industry whose ethical practices have a shameful track record. Well, I agree, and completely. This includes some who hold the Certified Financial Planner® designation, as well as the more than 98 other lesser related organizations, logo marks and credentialing agencies [none of which demand ERISA-like fiduciary responsibility]. For more on this topic, the ME-P went right to the source last month, in an exclusive interview with Ben Aiken; AIF® of Fi360.com  

fp-book4

The CFP® Credential – What Credential?

Basu further writes that stockbrokers and insurance agents who earn commissions from buying and selling stocks, insurance and other financial products realize that a Certified Financial Planner® credential will help grow the volume of their business or branch them into other related and lucrative products and services. After all, there are more than 55,000 of these “credentialed” folks. And, this marketing designation seems to have won the cultural wars in the hearts and minds of an unsuspecting – i.e., duped public; probably because of sheer numbers. Didn’t a CFP Board CEO state that its’ primary goal was growth, a few years ago? Can you say “masses of asses”, as the oft quoted Bill Gates of Microsoft used to say when only 2,000 micro-softies defeated 400,000 IBMers during the PC operating system wars of the early 1980’s. Quantity, and marketing money, can trump quality in the public-relations business; ya’ know … if you repeat the lie often enough … yada … yada … yada! Yet, as the so-called leading industry designation, the CFP® entry-barrier standard is woefully low. Moreover, the SEC’s [FINRA] Series #7 general securities licensure sales examination is not worth much more than a weekend’s study attention, even to the uninitiated.

insurance-book2

Easy In – Worth Less Out

In our experience, we agree with Basu and others who suggest that scores of lightly educated, and sometimes wholly in-articulate and impatient individuals are zipping through the CFP® Board of Standards approved curriculum in three to six months of online, on-ground, or “self-study”. But, that some can do so without a bachelor’s degree when they join wire-houses and financial institutions, which cannot be trusted to adequately train them, is an abomination. And, even more sadly, some of these CFP™ mark-holders, and other folks, believe they have actually received an “education” from same. Of course, their writing skills are often non-existent and I have cringed when told that, in their opinion, advertiser-driven trade magazines constitute “peer-reviewed” and academic publications. Incidentally, have you noticed how thin these trade-rags are getting lately? Much like the print newspaper industry, are they becoming dinosaurs? One agent even told me, point-blank, that his CLU designation was the equivalent of an “academic PhD in insurance.” This was at an industry seminar, where he thought I was a lay insurance prospect.

THINK: No critical thinking skills.

biz-book4

Education

There is another sentiment that may be applied in many of these cases; “hubris.” I mean, these CFP® people … just don’t know – how much they don’t know.”  The very real difference between training versus education is unknown to many wire-houses and FAs, isn’t it? And, please don’t get me started on the differences in pedagogy, heutagogy and androgogy. Moreover, it’s sad when we see truly educated youngsters become goaded by wire-houses into thinking that these practices are de-rigor for the industry. One such applicant to our Certified Medical Planner™ program, for example, had both an undergraduate degree in finance and a graduate degree in economics from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University – in my home town of Baltimore, MD [name available upon request]. He was told, in his Smith Barney wire-house training program, to eschew CMP™ accountability and RIA fiduciary responsibility, when working with potential physician and lay clients; but to get his CFP® designation to gather more clients. To mimic my now 12 year-old daughter; it seems that: SEC Suitability Rules – and – Fiduciary Accountability Drools. And, to quote Hollywood’s “Mr. T”; I pity the fools, er-a, I mean clients. But, T was an actor, and this is serious business.

cmp-logo1

Of CEU Credits and Ethics

Beside trade-marks and logos, we are all aware that continuing education, and a code of ethics, is another important marketing and advertising component of state insurance agents and CFP licensees. It’s that old “be” – or “pretend to be” – a trusted advisor clap-trap. Well, I say horse-feathers for two reasons. First, both my insurance and CFP® Continuing Educational Unit [CEU] requirements were completed by my daughter [while age 7-10], by filling in the sequentially identical and bubble-coded, multiple-choice, answer-blanks each year. Second, this included the mandatory “ethics” portions of each test. When I complained to my CEU vendor, and state insurance department, I was told to “enjoy-the-break.”  My daughter even got fatigued after the third of fourth time she took the “home-based tests” for me.  After I opened my big mouth, the exact order of questions was changed to increase acuity, but remained essentially the same, nevertheless. My daughter got bored, and quit taking the tests for me, shortly thereafter. She always “passed.”dhimc-book3

Thus, like Basu, I also find that far too many financial advisors are unwilling to devote the time necessary to achieve a sound education that will help attain their goals, and would rather sell variable or whole life products than simple term life, even when the suitability argument overwhelmingly suggests so, for a higher payday. We not only have met sale folks without undergraduate degrees, but also too many of those with only a HS diploma, or GED. Perhaps this is why a popular business truism suggests that the quickest way for the uneducated/under educated class to make big bucks, is in sales. Just note the many classified ads for financial advisors placed in the newspaper job-section, under the heading “sales.” Or, in more youthful cultural terms, “fake it – until you make it.”

Of the iMBA, Inc Experience

According to Executive Director Ann Miller RN MHA, and my experience at the Institute of Medical Business Advisors, Inc:

“Far too many financial advisors who contact us about matriculation in our online Certified Medical Planner™ program – in health economics and management for medical professionals – don’t even know what a Curriculum Vitae [CV] is? Instead, they send in Million Dollar Roundtable awards, Million Dollar Producer awards, or similar sales accomplishments as resume’ boosters. It is also not unusual for them to list some sort of college participation on their resumes, and websites, but no school affiliation or dates of graduation, etc. And, they become furious to learn that we require a college degree for our fiduciary focused CMP™ program, and not from an online institution, either. The onslaught of follow-up nasty phone-calls; faxes and emails are laughable [frightening] too.”  

www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

Assessment

More often than not, it is the financial institutions that FAs and CFP™ certificants’ work for that reward sales behavior with higher commissions, rather than salaries; which encourage such behavior and create the vicious cycles that are now the norm.

THINK: ML, AIG, Citi, WAMU, Wachovia, Hartford, Prudential, etc.

Note: Original author of Restoring Trust in the CFP Mark, Somnath Basu PhD, is program director of the California Institute of Finance in the School of Business at California Lutheran University where he’s also a professor of finance. He can be reached at (805) 493 3980 or basu@callutheran.edu. We have asked him to respond further.

My Story: I am a retired surgeon and former Certified Financial Planner® who resigned my “marketing trademark” over the long-standing fiduciary flap. I watched this chicanery for more than a decade after protesting to magazines like Investment Advisor, Financial Advisor, Registered Rep, Financial Planner, the FPA, etc; up to, and even including the CFP® Board of Standards; to no avail. Feel free to contact me for a copy of a 43 page fax, and other supportive documentation from the CFP® Board of Standards – and their outsourced intellectual property attorneys – over a Federal trademark infringement lawsuit they tried to institute against me for innocent website errors placed by a visually impaired intern. Obviously, they disliked the launch of our CMP™ program. As a health economist and devotee of Ken Arrow PhD, I polity resigned my license, as holding no utility for me, to the shocked CFP Board. They later offered to consider re-instatement for a mere $600 fee with letter of explanation, to which I politely declined. Of course, my first thought after living in the streets of South Philadelphia while in medical school, during the pre-Rocky era, was to say f*** off – but I didn’t. Nevertheless, I still seem to be on their mailing list, years later. No doubt, the list is sold, and re-sold, to various advertisers for much geld. And, why shouldn’t they; an extra bachelor, master and medical degree holder on their PR roster looks pretty good. I distrust the CFP® Board almost as much as I distrust the AMA, and its parsed and disastrous big-pharma funding policies. Right is right – wrong is wrong – and you can’t fool all of the people, all of the time, especially in this age of internet transparency.

Shaking my Fist at Somnath … in Envy

And so, why do I shake my fist at Somnath Basu? It’s admittedly with congratulations, and a bit of schadenfreude, because he wrote an article more eloquently than I ever could, and will likely receive much more publicity [good or slings-arrows] for doing so. You know, it’s very true that one is never a prophet in his own tribe. Oh well, Mazel Tov anyway for stating the obvious, Somnath. The financial services industry – and more specifically – the CFP® emperor have no clothes! Duh!

ho-journal5

Good Guys and White Hats

Now that Basu’s article has appeared in Financial Advisor News e-magazine, the other industry trade magazines are sure to follow the CFP® certification denigration reportage, in copy-cat fashion. And, the fiduciary flap is just getting started. This is indeed unfortunate, because I do know many fine CFP® certificants, and non-CFP® certified financial advisors, who are well-educated, honest and work very diligently on behalf of their clients. It’s just a shame the public has no way of knowing about them – there is no white hat imprimatur or designation for same – most of whom are Registered Investment Advisors [RIAs] or RIA reps. For example, we know great folks like Douglas B. Sherlock MBA, CFA; Robert James Cimasi MHA, AVA, CMP™; J. Wayne Firebaugh, Jr CPA, CFP®, CMP™; Lawrence E. Howes MBA, CFP®; Pati Trites PhD; Gary A. Cook MSFS, CFP®, CLU; Tom Muldowney MSFS, CLU, CFP®, CMP™;  Jeffrey S. Coons PhD, CFP®; Alex Kimura MBA, CFP®; Ken Shubin-Stein MD, CFA; and Hope Hetico RN, MHA, CMP™; etc. And, to use a medical term, there are TNTC [too many, to count] more … thankfully!

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

  Product DetailsProduct Details

Product Details

Impact of Performance Fees on Mutual Funds and Physician Portfolios

Join Our Mailing List

More Complex than Realized by Some Doctors

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; FACFAS, MBA, CMP™]

[By Professor Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CMP™]dave-and-hope4

Physician-investors may find themselves paying advisory fees, brokerage commissions, and other sales charges and expenses. All of these layers of expense can reduce or eliminate the advantage of professional management, if not monitored carefully. Also, fees can have a major impact on investment results. As a percentage of the portfolio, they normally range from low of 15–30 basis points (or .15% to .30%, a basis point is one one-hundredth of one percent) to a high of 300–400 basis points or even higher.

Charges are Universal

All portfolio managers, mutual funds, and investment advisors charge fees in one form or another. Ultimately, they must justify their fees by creating value added, or they would not be in business. Value added includes tangibles, such as greater investment return, as well as intangibles, such as assurance that the investment plan is successfully implemented and monitored, investor convenience, and professional service.

Comparisons Required

Always compare investment performance of funds or managed accounts after fees are deducted; only then can adequate comparisons be made. Also, compare fees within asset classes. Management fees and expenses of investing in bonds or bond funds are much different than the fees of investing in, for example, small companies or emerging market stocks. Whereas 100–200 basis points of fees may be appropriate for an equity portfolio or fund, similar charges may offset the advantages of a managed bond portfolio. With managed bond portfolios, real bond returns have limited long-term potential, because returns are ultimately based on interest rates. For example, if a 3% real (i.e., after inflation) return is expected, 200 basis points in fees may produce a negative after-tax result: 3% real return minus 2% fees minus 10% taxes equals a negative 9% total return.fp-book22

Sales Charges

Mutual funds (and some private portfolio managers) charge sales charges to sell or “distribute” the product. Investors who buy funds through the advice of brokers or “commission based” financial planners will pay a sales load. The many combinations of sales charges fall into three basic categories: front-end, deferred (or back-end), and continuous.

Front-End Fees

Front-end fees are a direct assessment against the initial investment and are limited to a maximum of 8.5%. They usually are stated either as a percentage of the investment or as a percentage of the investment, net of sales charges. For example, a 6% charge on a $10,000 investment is really a $600 charge to invest $9,400 or a real charge of 6.4%. Many low-load funds charge in the range of 1% to 3%. Rather than pay brokers or other purveyors, these fund companies or sponsors use the charges to offset selling or distribution costs. Although rare, some funds charge a load against reinvested dividends.

Deferred Charges

Deferred charges (or back-end loads, or redemption fees) come in many forms. Often, the longer the investor stays with the fund the smaller the charge is upon fund redemption. A typical sliding scale used for deferred charges may be 5-4-3-2-1, where redemption in year 1 is charged 5%, and redemption in year 5 is charged 1%; after year 5, there are no sales charges. Sometimes deferred charges are combined with front-end charges.

Redemption Fees

Certain quoted redemption fees may not apply after a period, such as one year. Funds often use such fees to discourage the trading of funds. Frequently, these charges are paid to the fund itself rather than to the fund management company; or broker. Long-term physician investors actually benefit from this fee structure; short-term shareholders who redeem shares bear the additional liquidation costs to satisfy redemption requests.

Continuous Charges

Continuous sales charges, known as 12b-1 fees for the SEC rule governing such charges, represent ongoing charges to pay distribution costs, including those of brokers who sell and maintain accounts, in which case they are known as “trail commissions.” The fund company may be reimbursed for distribution costs as well. In the prospectus, funds quote 12b-1 charges in the form of a maximum charge. This does not mean that the full charge is incurred, however. For example, a fund with a .75% 12b-1 approved plan may actually incur much lower expenses than .75%. Compared to front-end charges, a .75% per year sales charge of this type could be more costly to investment performance, given enough time.

Sales Loads

Portfolio managers can charge sales loads as well, usually in the form of a traditional WRAP fee arrangement (the investor pays a broker an all-inclusive fee that covers portfolio manager fees and transactions costs). No-load funds can be purchased through brokers or discount brokerage firms. The broker charges a commission for such purchases or sales.

Management Advisory Fees

Private account managers and mutual funds charge a fee for managing the portfolio. These fees typically range between 25 and 150 basis points. Bond funds tend to charge in the range of 25 to 100 basis points, and equity funds charge 75 to 150 basis points. Fees charged by private account managers usually are higher because of the direct attention given to a single doctor client. These managers do not pass along additional administrative costs, however, because they pay them out of the management fee. These management fees come in many forms. Tiered fees can charge smaller accounts a higher fee than larger accounts. Mutual funds often charge “group fees”: a fund family may tier its fee structure to encompass all funds offered by the fund family or by a group of similar funds (such as all international equity funds). Performance fees, although subject to SEC regulations, may be charged as well. A performance fee may be charged if the manager exceeds a certain return or outperforms a particular index or benchmark portfolio.

Administrative Expenses and Expense Ratios

Most private managers are compensated with higher management fees, as mentioned above. Therefore, many private accounts usually do not incur separate administrative expenses. Some management firms charge custodial fees or similar account maintenance fees. Mutual funds incur a number of administrative expenses, including shareholder servicing, prospectuses, reporting, legal and auditing costs, and registration and custodial costs. Mutual funds report these expenses and management fees as an expense ratio—the ratio of expenses to the average net assets of the fund. Expense ratios also include distribution costs or 12b-1 charges.insurance-book10 

Brokerage Commissions

Almost all buyers and sellers of securities incur brokerage commissions. Private “wealth managers” usually provide commission schedules to prospective physician-investors or current clients. Some private managers charge higher management fees and a discounted commission schedule, while others charge lower fees and higher commissions. These combinations of management and commission fees make comparison of prospective managers’ cost structures a difficult task. Most portfolio managers obtain research from brokerage firms, which can affect the commission relationship between broker and manager. Reduced commission schedules exchanged for information are known as “soft dollar costs.” Mutual funds may negotiate similar reduced commission schedules. In this regard, more-competitive brokerage firms can charge lower fees to investors. Commissions are not part of the expense ratio, because they are a part of the security cost basis. Firms with higher portfolio turnover are more likely to have higher commission costs than those with low turnover. Asset class impacts such costs as well. For example, small-cap stocks may be more expensive than large-cap stocks, or foreign bonds may be more expensive than domestic bonds.

Total Cost Approach

To arrive at a relevant comparison of fees among funds and managers, and to see what the total effect of fees on investment performance is, analyze the various charges on a net present value basis. Begin with a given investment amount (e.g., $10,000) and factor in fees over time to arrive at the present value of those fees. Present the comparisons in an easy-to-use table.

Sources of Fee Information

Consult the mutual fund prospectus for fee information. The prospectus has a fund expenses section that summarizes sales charges, expense ratios, and management fees; it does not cover commissions, however. Expense ratios usually are reported for the past 10 years. Commission or brokerage fees are more difficult to find. The statement of additional information and often the annual report disclose the annual amounts paid for commissions. When the total commission paid is divided by average asset values a sense of commission costs can be determined. Private wealth managers disclose fee structures in the ADV I filed with the SEC. Managers must disclose these fees to potential and current clients by providing either ADV Part II or equivalent form to the investor.

Reporting Services

Reporting services, such as Morningstar and Lipper, provide similar information from their own research of mutual funds. These services can be extremely beneficial, because fee information is summarized and often accounted for in the reports’ investment return calculations. This helps the investor and planner make good comparisons of funds. Information services that cover private managers provide information, primarily about management fees.

Assessment

To the extent that online trading, deep discount brokerages, lack of SEC and FINRA oversight, and the recent financial, insurance and banking meltdown has affected the above, it is left up to your discretion and personal situation. Generally, all fess are, and should be, negotiable.

Disclaimer: Both contributors are former licensed insurance agents and financial advisors.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

***

Financial Product Sales, Communication and Management

Techniques-of-Art for Financial Advisors

By Robert Ayrer and ME-P Staff Writers

stk127013rke

Before any piece of work that requires communication can be understood, the context must be established.  Without context, words have very little reality; and without reality, there can be no communication. Communication is the “transfer of meaning.”

Introduction

The lack of a definitive role of the marketing function (and the sales function, and the difference between the two) for financial advisors [FAs], has contributed to the lack of clarity required for the achievement of sales targets. The fuzzy line between “targets” and “goals” has left most financial product salesmen, OSJs [Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction] and sales managers without the “tools to manage.” In this context, we will define the financial sales person’s role as the “person responsible for the execution of the corporate, or personal, sales plan, which includes the short term marketing of the company.”

Marketing versus Sales

Long term strategic marketing is a very sophisticated process, requiring highly trained people that are not involved with the mundane, day-to-day activities of the enterprise.  Unfortunately, this type of “marketing” is done by too few businesses, RIAs, BDs, and FAs.

The “marketing plan”, as defined by Malcolm H. B. McDonald, Director of the Cranfield Marketing Planning Centre, of the Cranfield School of Management, is a comprehensive business plan, incorporating and integrating all of the elements of business; the four “P’s” — Product, Price, Place and Promotion. More often than not, financial sales organizations and RIAs are run by people with “Director of Sales & Marketing” titles.  This use of the “marketing” title often confuses the difference between marketing and sales. For our purposes, we will include the very short term marketing function in the sales department’s role.

Dirty Ear Marketing

This “very short term marketing” required of the FA or sales person is what is called “The dirty ear” marketing.  The “dirty ear” comes from “keeping an ear to the ground” to detect changes in the market that would affect the assumptions that support the marketing plan and the company sales plan.

It has been said that the American plains Indians could drive a stick into the ground, put the end of the stick to their ear and tell if the buffalo herd was within twenty miles — and, by bending the stick, tell in which direction.  The more sophisticated tracker could tell whether the herd was approaching or going away.

It is this short term, close in, change in direction of the market (herd) upon which the assumptions of the marketing and sales plan are based, that should be the concern of the sales department or financial advisor and business owners. 

Of Bull and Bear Markets

For example, during times of economic expansion, and bull markets, the purchasing authority for many items is transferred down the reporting chain to the lowest possible responsible level of management. At this level a sales person or FA may only require one or two calls to complete the selling process with a buying authority. This authority level would dictate the activity of sales people in achieving their personal sales plan and achieving their targets and goals. 

During a recession however, as is occurring now, authority to buy may be withdrawn from the customary buying level, designating someone at a higher level as the “buyer.” The financial sales person still must go through the traditional contact at the lower level. These contacts can now only say “no”. They cannot say “yes.” By adding another level of decision making to the buying process, additional activity will be required to make the average sale. You cannot double the activity required to make a sale and make the same number of sales!  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that working harder is the answer, as there is only a finite amount of time available to get to your prospects. Your options are; change the plan; adjust the sales budget; add more sales representatives.

The Sales Cycle

Continuing a sales plan based upon the assumption of a two-call sales cycle when the market requires a three or four call cycle will take your sales plan out of reality.  The key to both a good marketing plan and a good sales plan is “reality.”  It is the FA or sales manager’s prime function to see that the sales organization is working in “reality” by constantly testing the basic assumptions of the sales plan.

The challenge to every financial services business owner, sales manager and every FA sales person is to stay focused on the prime objective of a sales person – processing the sale.  To maintain focus on the sales objective, the activities of a sales person should be looked at in two categories; “tasks” and “selling objectives.”  The tasks are those activities that all sales people are required to do to service clients – handle back-charges, warranty claims, stocking services, point of sale maintenance, etc.  The selling objectives are defined by the sales progression used in the sales strategy.

Processing the Sale

To give better understanding to this concept, consider the following.  If you find a local bank that offers a certificate of deposit that is paying a good return, and you put $10,000 on deposit, you have made an “investment.”  It is an “investment” because you expect your money back with a profit.  To find this investment opportunity you must be focused externally (not within your own business).  And, investments are a source of new capital.

If, on the other hand you take the $10,000 and purchase a car for your business, your focus is internal to your business, solving a problem of transportation, and you will only realize gain by reducing an existing or potential expense. You will not realize any new capital from this expenditure.  This use of the $10,000 is an “expense.”

Internal and External Focus

To generalize, if your focus is external and you are seeking to generate new capital by exploiting new opportunities, this is an investment.  If your focus is internal, and you are solving problems (the activities that come after the sale), the time and money spent is an expense.

Tasks and Objectives

Sales people sometimes lose sight of the difference between the “tasks” (internally focused after sales activities that are expenses to the company) and the sales “objectives” (opportunity seeking activity that will result in generating new capital through sales). Although we must service the task items, we can avoid “buying” the customer’s problem (forgetting that the customer’s problem is our opportunity).  The way we make sure we maintain focus on the opportunity rather than the problem – is to link every task with a sales objective. 

Management Reporting

Historically, we have asked sales people and FAs to report to management through an activity report that usually records the “task” items but ignores the opportunity items. To use the reporting system as a training and management tool, stop requiring the typical activity and expense reports.

Instead, ask your sales people fill out an “Opportunity” report and an “Investment” report.  It is true; “What gets measured gets improved!”  If you want your sales people to be externally focused and seek opportunities, investing in accounts rather than “solving problems” and spending money (“expense” items), measure and report on the opportunities and investments.  It is more positive to run an investment department for your business rather than a cost center.

Managing For Results

Peter Drucker observes that “… there are no profit centers in a business; there are only cost centers.”  The profits centers are external.  Again, quoting Drucker; “Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems!”

Assessment

The above offering is intended to help financial advisors and sales people “manage” themselves, and for the sales people who have assumed the mantle of OSJ or “manager”, etc

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated.

Speaker:If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com 

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Subscribe Now:Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

On Financial Sector Failings

Understanding the Debacle

[By Staff Reporters]56371606

Did you know that Michael Lewis and David Einhorn recently gave a nice review of the financial system catastrophe, and its devastating flaws, causes and effects, in the January 3rd 2009 New York Times?

Exposing the Flaws

In review of How to Repair a Broken Financial World, they said:

1. Wall Street CEOs won’t self-incriminate or blow the whistle on their own companies [Think: thin-blue line]. And, they receive bonuses and are on peer-compensation committees. Perhaps they might even be fired if they self-accuse of irresponsibility.

2. The credit-rating agencies, which are supposed to carefully measure the amount of risk that companies take, dropped the ball.

For example Fannie, Freddie, GE and AIG all had triple-A ratings; remember Enron? But, they disguised the risk, rather than expose it. Why? Because they would have to re-rate tens of thousands of credits tied to them, as well as increase their own cost-of-capital; integrity and reputations be damned! And, did the big financial firms contribute to those very same credit-rating agencies [pay-2-play]?

3. Was Chris Cox and the Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] competent enough, or motivated enough, to do its job and investigate the Madoff scheme even after being warned about it?

Assessment

Can you cite some other, even more pernicious, flaws? For example; how did the mortgage industry’s engorgement of commission-driven sales, and the consumer sentiment to “own a home – at all costs” factor into the fault-line?   

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/opinion/04lewiseinhornb.html?_r=1

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

Product Details  Product Details

SEC Rule 151-A and Insurance Agents

NAFA Criticizes the SEC

Staff Reportersinsurance-book

Insurance agents without securities licenses won’t be able to sell index annuities under this new proposed rule.

NAFA Opines

The National Association of Fixed Annuities (NAFA) recently took a firm stand against the Security & Exchange Commission’s (SEC) proposed Rule 151A, which would regulate index annuities as securities rather than as insurance products.

Insurance-Securities Hybrid Product

NAFA said in a statement issued in July that it “strongly disagrees with the SEC proposal and will pursue all available avenues of recourse,” including taking legal recourse, if required.

Assessment

NAFA Says Nix SEC Rule 151A.

Conclusion

In other words, if Rule 151A is adopted, insurance agents without securities licenses would not be able to sell Index Annuities [IAs].  IAs are investment products that combine both fixed income investments and equity index options so as to be able to leverage opportunities in both.

Please comment and opine; especially insurance agents, investment advisors and financial planners.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com  or Bio: www.stpub.com/pubs/authors/MARCINKO.htm

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest E-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Copyright 2008 iMBA Inc: All rights reserved, USA, unless otherwise noted. Use is restricted to Executive-Post subscribers only. No redistribution is allowed. To avoid violation of iMBA Inc copyright restrictions and redistribution policy, please register for your own free Executive-Post membership. Detailed information and registration links are available at:

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

Referrals: Thank you in advance for your electronic referrals to the Executive-Post

Annuity Insurance Products

Join Our Mailing List

A Brief Overview of Annuities for Physicians

[By Gary A. Cook, MSFS, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, LUTCF, CMP™ (Hon)]

[By Kathy D. Belteau, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, FLMI]

[By Philip E. Taylor, CLU, ChFC, FLMI]fp-book1

 Introduction

Annuities were reportedly first used by Babylonian landowners to set aside income from a specific piece of farmland to reward soldiers or loyal assistants for the rest of their lives.

Today’s annuities substitute cash for farmland; however the concept is the same. In 1770, the first annuities were sold in the United States and were issued by church corporations for the benefit of ministers and their families. Annuities have grown on a tax-deferred basis since enactment of the Federal Income Tax Code in 1913.  They began to gain widespread acceptance in the early 1980s when interest rates credited exceeded 10%.  During the last two decades, annuities have been the fastest growing sector of premiums for life insurance companies.

Nevertheless, are they actually “needed” by contemporary physicians – – or merely “sold” to them? 

An annuity is a legal contract between an insurance company and the owner of the contract. The insurance company makes specific guarantees in consideration of money being deposited with the company.

Annuities are generally classified as fixed or variable – deferred or immediate.  As their names indicate, deferred annuities are designed as saving funds to accumulate for future use.They are growth-oriented products where the tax on the interest earned is deferred until the money is withdrawn.  An immediate annuity is used for systematically withdrawing money without concern for the money lasting until the end.  The insurance company assumes this risk.

Deferred Annuities

The deferred annuity contract, like a permanent life insurance policy, has been found by some to be a convenient method of accumulating wealth.  Funds can be placed in deferred annuities in a lump sum, called Single Premium Deferred Annuities, or periodically over time, called Flexible Premium Deferred Annuities.  Either way, the funds placed in a deferred annuity grow without current taxation (tax-deferred).  .

Fixed Deferred Annuity

Fixed deferred annuities provide a guaranteed minimum return of return (usually around 3 percent per year) and typically credit a higher, competitive rate based on the current economic conditions.

Fixed annuities are usually considered conservative investments as the principal (premium) is guaranteed not to vary in value. Insurance companies are required by state insurance laws to maintain a reserve fund equal to the total value of fixed annuities.  Fixed annuities are also protected by State Guaranty Fund Laws. 

Example: 

Dr. Park, a retired physician, desires a safe financial vehicle for $100,000 of her excess savings.  She doesn’t need the earnings of this investment for current income and also wants to reduce her income tax liability.  She decides to purchase a fixed deferred annuity with her $100,000.  The annuity guarantees a 3 percent annual return and the current rate is 6 percent. 

After the first year, $6,000 of interest is credited to the annuity and Dr. Park has no current income taxes as a result.  If the 6 percent interest rate does not change, after 3 years, the annuity will have $119,102 of value.

Variable Deferred Annuity

Recently, variable deferred annuities have become very popular.  Like fixed annuities, variable deferred annuities offer tax-deferred growth, but this is where the similarities end.  Variable annuities are not guaranteed.  The appreciation or depreciation in value is totally dependent on market conditions.

Variable deferred annuities assets are maintained in separate accounts (similar to mutual funds) that provide different investment opportunities.  Most of the separate accounts have stock market exposure, and therefore, variable annuities do not offer a guaranteed rate of return.

But, the upside potential is typically much greater than that of a fixed annuity. The value of a variable deferred annuity will fluctuate with the values of the investments within the chosen separate accounts.  Although similar to mutual funds, there are some key differences.  These include:

·  A variable annuity provides tax deferral whereas a regular mutual fund does not

·  If a variable annuity loses money because of poor separate account performance, and the owner dies, most annuities guarantee at least a return of principal to the heirs.  This guarantee of principal only applies if the annuity owner dies.  If the annuity value decreases below the amount paid in, and the annuity is surrendered while the owner is alive, the actual cash value is all that is available.

·  When money is eventually withdrawn from a deferred annuity, it is taxable at ordinary income tax rates.  With taxable mutual funds, they can be liquidated and taxed at lower, capital gains rates.

·  There is also a 10 percent penalty if the annuity owner is under 59½ when money is withdrawn.  There is no such charge for withdrawals from a mutual fund.

· The fees charged inside of a variable annuity (called mortality and expense charges) are typically more than the fees charged by a regular mutual fund. 

Assessment

Variable deferred annuities are sensible for physicians who want stock market exposure while minimizing taxes.  Most financial advisors and Certified Medical Planners™ [CMP™] recommend regular mutual funds when the investment time horizon is under 10 years.  But if the time horizon is more than 10 years, variable annuities may occasionally become more attractive because of the additional earnings from tax-deferral. 

Both types of deferred annuities are subject to surrender charges.  Surrender charges are applied if the annuity owner surrenders the policy during the surrender period, which typically run for 5 to 10 years from the purchase date.  The charge usually decreases each year until it reaches zero.  The purpose of the charge is to discourage early surrender of the annuity. 

Equity Index Annuity 

The equity index annuity combines the basic elements of both the variable and the fixed annuity. The credited interest earnings are generally linked to a percent of increase in an index, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Composite Stock Price Index (S&P 500). This percentage is called the Participation Rate and may be guaranteed for a specified period of up to 10 years or adjusted annually. Thus, the physician annuity owner is able to participate in a portion of market gains while limiting the risk of loss. 

Typically, the indexed annuity has a fixed principal, with the insurance company and contract owner sharing the investment risk.  If the S&P 500 Index goes up, so do interest earnings.  If it declines, the insurance company guarantees the principal.   

So, the physician contract owner accepts the risk of an unknown interest yield based on the growth or decline of the S&P 500.  Medical professionals and healthcare practitioners should pay particular attention to surrender penalties, asset management fees and any monthly caps on appreciation. 

Immediate Annuities

Immediate annuities provide a guaranteed income stream.  An immediate annuity can be purchased with a single deposit of funds, possibly from savings or a pension distribution, or it can be the end result of the deferred annuity, commonly referred to as annuitization.  Just like deferred annuities, immediate annuities can also be fixed or variable.  

Immediate annuities can be set up to provide periodic payments to the policy owner annually, semiannually, quarterly or monthly.  The annuity payments can be paid over life or for a finite number of years.  They can also be paid over the life of a single individual or over two lives. 

Insurance Agent Commissions

Immediate Fixed Annuity

Immediate fixed annuities typically pay a specified amount of money for as long as the annuitant lives.They may also be arranged to only pay for a specified period of time, i.e., 20 years.  They often contain a guaranteed payout period, such that, if the annuitant lives less than the guaranteed number of years, the heirs will receive the remainder of the guaranteed payments. 

A note of caution here, as the selection of an immediate annuity is an irrevocable decision! 

Example: 

Dr. Jones is 70 years old and retired.  He is only of average wealth, but is concerned that if he lives too long, he could deplete his savings.  He decides to use $100,000 and purchase a lifetime immediate annuity with 20 years certain.  The insurance company promises to pay him $7,000 per year as long as he lives. If Dr. Jones dies four years after purchase, he would only have received $28,000 out of a $100,000 investment.  However, his heirs will receive $7,000 for the next 16 years.  If Dr. Jones survives to the age of 98, he would have received $196,000 (or 28 years of $7,000).

Immediate Variable Annuity

Immediate variable annuities provide income payments to the annuitant that fluctuates with the returns of the separate accounts chosen.  The theory is that since the stock market has historically risen over time, the annuity payments will rise over time and keep pace with inflation.   If this is indeed what happens, it is a good purchase, but it cannot be guaranteed. 

Some companies will, at a minimum, provide a guarantee of a low minimum monthly payment no matter how poorly the separate accounts perform.

Split annuities

A popular method of adding income and yet still accumulating savings is through the use of two separate annuity policies.  Part of the funds is placed in an immediate annuity to provide monthly income.  The balance is placed in a deferred annuity grows to the total value of the premium paid for both annuities.  

The income that is received from the Immediate Annuity includes a portion of the initial premium, as well as the taxable interest earned.   Only the portion of income that is interest is taxable. The ratio between the annuity principal and interest being paid out is called an Exclusion Ratio. 

Example:

Dr. Jeanne Jones has put $100,000 into a 5-year non-tax deferred vehicle at 5%. The earnings to supplement Jeanne’s retirement is $25,000.  With a combined federal and state tax of 33%, the net after tax income would be $16,750. Jeanne takes the same $100,000 using the split annuity concept she would receive $24,444 over the 5 years.  Based on an exclusion ration of 89%, her total taxable amount is $2,797.  This would yield $923 in taxes at the same 33% tax rate.  Jeanne would have $23,521 of spendable income with the split annuity compared to the $16,750.

Qualified Annuities

The term qualified refers to those annuities which permit tax-deductible contributions under one of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) sections, i.e., § 408 Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), § 403(b) Tax Sheltered Annuities, § 401(k) Voluntary Profit Savings Plans.  Qualified annuities can also result from a rollover from such a plan.  

Assessment

Currently, there is much lively debate in the industry as to whether an annuity, which is tax-deferred by nature, should be used as a funding vehicle within a tax-qualified plan, i.e., a tax-shelter within a tax-shelter.  Since the investment options within the annuity are also generally available to the plan participant without the additional management expenses of the annuity policy, it is felt this could be a breach of fiduciary responsibility. And, most insurance agents are not fiduciaries. 

Both the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have gone on record as criticizing these sales.  

However, there are numerous examples of deferred annuities that have outperformed similar investment-category mutual funds, even after taking the annuity expenses into account. 

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com

OUR OTHER PRINT BOOKS AND RELATED INFORMATION SOURCES:

 

%d bloggers like this: