…of government regulatory failure. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which regulates, among other financial institutions, brokerage houses, has its own investment portfolio. FINRA charges fees from those it regulates for their privilege of being regulated. And
In years when FINRA’s fee revenue exceeds forecasts and investment gains are strong, the regulator can rebate fees paid by firms it regulates.
Investment gains are strong. However, FINRA turns out to be a crappy investor, getting just two-thirds of the return since 2004, when the regulatory body’s investment portfolio was created, that a simple-minded standard portfolio mix of 50% each of bonds and stocks would have gotten in the same period. Its return shortfall, 3.4% vs that standard portfolio’s 6%, is a real money shortfall: $440 million for a portfolio of $1.6 billion.
And that has real impact on the regulatees that are so privileged: not only have there been no fee rebates since 2014, FINRA is raising fees on its regulatees to make up for its failure as an investor.