Like LinkedIn, advisers can have personal profiles on
Facebook listing their professional affiliation without approval from a
registered principal, but only if they don’t use their page for business
communication, Bockius said.
Facebook’s “like” feature presents a challenge, however. By “liking”
a post, an adviser is essentially commenting on, even endorsing third-party
content, which may create a compliance issue.
“If they like a post to the Cardinals winning the World
Series, that would be quite all right,” Bockius said. “But if they liked a post… predicting that
Facebook stock was going to go up to $40 after they announce earnings, that
could create an issue around being suitable,
fair and balanced. All those things come into play the second you press that
Registered representatives who work for a broker/dealer have
to remember to provide suitable recommendations to clients, while investment
advisers working for a registered investment advisory firm have to provide not
just suitable recommendations but those that are fiduciarily responsible, as
well. This presents a challenge on social media outlets like Twitter.
When advisers communicate with clients by phone or e-mail,
they know exactly who they are dealing with and what would be suitable for them.
However, interactions on social media networks are often open for the world to