FINRA Investor Survey Reveals Support for Regulatory Protections

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Securities Law Blog

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently released a survey of U.S. investors designed to measure perceptions of fairness and to gauge demand for additional regulatory protections.   FINRA’s Investor Survey was conducted October 7 through October 9, 2014 and October 27 through October 29, 2014. Respondents were recruited from a nationally distributed online panel and included U.S. adults ages 21 or older, having primary or shared responsibility in their household for investment decisions.

Although the cut-off for inclusion was at least $10,000 in securities investments, not exclusively in tax-deferred retirement accounts, more than 70 percent had investments over $100,000.

 FINRA’s survey of 1,000 adults revealed that 92 percent of investors agreed (62 percent strongly agreed and 30 percent somewhat agreed) that it is important to have a regulatory “cop on the beat” to protect investors and police the securities markets. In addition, 70 percent of investors surveyed strongly agreed and 24 percent of investors somewhat agreed that it is important that regulators use the latest tools and technology to protect investors.

Highlights of FINRA’s survey include:

  • 88 percent of investors believe it’s moderately or very important for regulators to detect when unsuitable securities are being sold to investors.
  • 90 percent believe it’s moderately or very important for regulators to detect when brokers are making trades that benefit themselves and not the investor.
  • 89 percent believe it’s moderately or very important for regulators to detect when firms are taking risks that potentially harm their investors and the financial system.

 Nearly three quarters of investors surveyed (74 percent) would support additional regulatory protections to safeguard them from misconduct by brokers or brokerage firms. According to FINRA, only one in five were  opposed to additional protections if it meant a minimal increase in the costs that brokerage firms passed on to them. By comparison, 56 percent of those surveyed expressed support for additional protections even if it meant a minimal increase in their costs.

FINRA has previously surveyed investors regarding “investor literacy”–the understanding ordinary investors have of market principles, instruments, organizations and regulation–the recent survey FINRA is designed to assess investor attitudes regarding increased regulatory protections.

Charts and graphs from the Investor Survey, as well as the underlying survey data are available for download.

For further information about this securities law blog post, please contact Brenda Hamilton, Securities Attorney at 101 Plaza Real S, Suite 202 N, Boca Raton, Florida, (561) 416-8956, by email at [email protected] or visit   This securities law blog post is provided as a general informational service to clients and friends of Hamilton & Associates Law Group and should not be construed as, and does not constitute, legal advice on any specific matter, nor does this message create an attorney-client relationship.  Please note that the prior results discussed herein do not guarantee similar outcomes.

Hamilton & Associates 
Brenda Hamilton, Going Public Lawyer
101 Plaza Real South, Suite 202 North
Boca Raton, Florida 33432
Telephone: (561) 416-8956
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