There is an old saying, “caution is the eldest child of wisdom,” that seems to apply more than ever as I hear news of increasing FINRA claims and awards. Add to the mix that, within the recently enacted Dodd-Frank legislation, the Securities and Exchange Commission may give claimants the option of choosing jury-style litigation instead of arbitration. In short, there has never been a more important time to proactively manage our businesses.

Compliance officers agree that the top three best practices that help us as advisors protect ourselves against a client complaint and potential lawsuit: document, document and document. So that we don’t end up becoming full-time stenographers and to help save time, it is important to focus on five key areas:

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