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The Broker-Dealer's Liability for Recommendations

Under the U.S. Securities Laws and the Suitability Rules of Self-Regulatory Organizations


Heinz-Dieter Assmann

In today's capital markets the individual investor finds it increasingly difficult to gather, select and evaluate all the information that is required to make a reasonable investment decision. It is the broker-dealer who steps into the breach. The service he renders as a professional intermediary of informations culminates in investment recommendations. The threat of being held liable should ensure that a broker-dealer's recommendation is the result of a sound inquiry into the security and the customer's situation. This study examines the extent to which such a remedy is actually provided for under the U.S. securities laws and the so-called suitability rules of self-regulatory organizations (i.e., broker-dealer associations and stock exchanges).