The Siedle Guide to the Securities Industry provides retail and institutional investors alike with critical information regarding the integrity of all brokers and brokerage firms registered with FINRA. We believe the information provided in the Guide will assist investors in their determination whether to conduct or continue to conduct business with a broker or firm. For the general public, a review of brokers and the firms that employ them prior to investing and on an ongoing basis makes sound financial sense.
As of October 21, 2007, there are were approximately 5100 NASD member firms operating in the U.S. with over 174,000 branch offices and 672,000 licensed brokers. Like banks in the past, today it is brokerage firms that are primarily responsible for handling the nations wealth. Yet there is a dearth of useful, objective information regarding the industry.
THE DANGERS OF SELF-REGULATION
The brokerage industry is unique in that it has been permitted to self-regulate with limited oversight, self-insure through the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, self-adjudicate through mandatory FINRA Dispute Resolution arbitration and even control, through the FINRA Public Disclosure Program, the information the public receives about firms. The degree of control the FINRA and its members have over the investing public is both remarkable and disturbing.