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  • Writer's pictureJohn Brandy


Updated: Apr 5

Why do you say that every week?

Because I’ve discovered, after years of repeating it to myself, that it has just absolutely tremendous impact on my life. Repetition and patience are the only ways of fair dealing with your mind.

And I plan to accelerate that happening - that you changing of you - in your lives as well!

But that really needs a much greater impact.

What did you have in mind?

Not sure, DT. Stronger words, maybe.

Like a command?

Well, sort of, only a lot more, uh, pleasant to listen to.

Hmmm. Oh! How about this?

Please listen closely as our menu items have changed!

Your turn to connect that.

Changed. Changed. Changed. Our menu items have changed!


This is weird, switching roles.


Our menu items have changed because you are changing you.

You mean, we are changing we.

Whatever. I guess so.

How are we changing we?

That’s in the third part, where we tie the topic into investing.

Okay, so what are we talking about today?

The SEC.

Which means?

Securities Regulators. It’s an acronym.

I hate…

Yes, I know you absolutely love acronyms.

This one is The Securities and Exchange Commission.

C’est Bon! And to whatever they are called in the securities industry in France.

What do they do?

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was created in 1934 with other federal agencies to help restore investor confidence in investment companies in the wake of the 1929 stock market crash. There a few different divisions and offices of the SEC, but we’re looking at the big picture here.

Sounds reasonable.

Descriptions like this usually do. They are not going to adopt an air of radical truthfulness like the Contango statement I’ll be sharing with everyone here soon.

I take that to mean you have some reservations?

Well, I did call ahead to let you know I was coming, didn't I?



Oh. I’m sorry. Sometimes your microphone doesn’t work so well.

How about if I say SEC?

Well, if they’re listening, then I guess we’ll pretend everything’s fine. That's what you do with law enforcement agencies, after all.

And you can tell us what they do.

Lots of things, actually.


Like being responsible to identify and hopefully prevent digital asset and “Crypto” investment scams…

Not mutual funds?

Probably if we rolled this back a hundred years.

But there were no podcasts then.

You were asking?

Oh, right, like the ones we talked about last week?

Yes, maybe! That, and Frauds Posing as Brokers or Investment Advisers – They're responsible for regulating crowdfunding, ICOs, even the Dodd-Frank Act here in the United States. The Presidents of the Fed Banks in Boston and Dallas announced today plans to retire after reports of ethically questionable stock trades.

Which I’m sure you’ll tell us about.

In a future pod, I will definitely do that.

Anything else important?

Yes. There’s EDGAR.


No. It’s another acronym.

Oh, my favorite.

Right, but this one stands for Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system

Wouldn’t that be EDGARS?

It’s a government acronym, so logic is out the window, sorry.

Oh right. Like those so-called efficient markets. So, what does going to the acronymic place get you?

It’s the online repository where you can go if you can’t sleep!

Can’t sleep?

If you are in need of really mind-numbing documents.


Sort of. It’s also where you find a company’s reasons for thinking they should do something which might affect the investing public.


And the SEC is responsible for that, too.

How did they get started?

Like with a lot of things, it was the Great Depression.

When the U.S. stock market crashed in Oct. 1929, securities issued by numerous companies became worthless.

Public faith in the integrity of the securities markets plunged.

To put the magic back into the system, Congress passed the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which created the SEC and the resulting securities laws.

And did this wizardry work?

It may have, and it may be that we have yet to fully see.

Well hopefully it works out well. As the Bard wrote in Taming of the Shrew, “There’s small choice in rotten apples”.

The only complaints so far are pretty mild in the big picture.

If you want to make one, you can start with their Twitter handle: @SEC_Investor_Ed.

Yet you still are less than pleased sometimes?

Sometimes, when they get in the way of good investing.

Tell me more about that.

In just about 90 seconds, I’ll do that.

Why 90 seconds?

Because that’s about how long a break is.

So, what’s wrong with having a thing like this? Rooting out the bad, warning about scams.

On the surface, it’s fine.

They even want to know more about things that don’t seem squared up. Like with your pre-mortem idea. That's what results in the investor alerts & bulletins they put out.

Well, it’s not exactly the same. A pre-mortem is only really a pre-mortem if the team that’s doing the thing asks the questions.

The SEC is more of a “watchdog”, as the phrase goes.

I’m not following you.

Remember when we talked about distractions recently?

I do.

When I think of distractions, I think of, of,

Of what?

Of a dream, a dream at night, in the middle of summer!

Money, money, money, John!

And I say…

I am sick when I do look on thee, o distractions!

Oh, Shakespeare did not write those last two words.

Whatever, DT. Back to the SEC.

Did you know that they got started before the Depression?

And this connects to your story?

Yes, since my story is really about distractions.

Did you say something?

Yep, and here’s another one: the SEC originally was supposed to be a new regulatory agency for public utility holding companies that were growing like weeds, in case any actions against firms were needed or ethics rules were violated.

And that got expanded?

It did, DT. Just a few years later, Congress decided it would be a great idea if they expanded core services so that the SEC watchdogged lots more stuff, too. And this was way before things like audit reports or annual reports.

Like what?

Like some pretty important investing choices.

How important?

Important enough to talk about here, where we focus on diversifying and taking advantage of long-term opportunities.

Is the Abusive Short-Selling Hedge Fund Managers podcast on a different day?

When you change you, John.

I’ll bet it was something Crypto.

You must have a crystal ball, DT! This Investor Alert, from September 2021, was titled

“Digital Asset and “Crypto” Investment Scams”

Not surprising, I guess.

Not really, although it did distract.

How so?

In just a few sentences here, we find the words Crypto, Fraudsters, Lure, and Devastating.

And what else?

Doesn't matter what else. The trap is set by linking Crypto with unpleasantness – or words of unpleasantness. It's not just securities law violations we're talking about.

What would William James say about that?

(Whispers) We haven’t brought him into our picture yet. Quality management.

(Whispers back): Oh. Sorry.

I do give them credit for using a popular ac…

I’ll spare you from my saying that word again and just use the word.

No, I’ll use it. FOMO. You define it.

Gladly. Fear Of Missing Out. The idea we all get that other people are getting something that we could get too if we’d just act now.


Right. But in this case, even though I give them credit, it was still a distraction from the benefits of crypto, which are huge.

Which is how this ties in?

Which is how this ties in…

Would you like to know about some of the SEC’s upcoming events?


Okay, here’s one from an agency letter.

The Asset Management Advisory Committee Meeting.

I said, “No”. Thank you.

Would you rather hear about a different one, then? These are very common proceedings we're talking about here.

How about the Remarks at the Future of Asset Management North America Conference?

No, not that either.

Say “please”.

Kuf. Please. Uncle. Whatever. Just Don’t Do It.Just…(so tired)…

Just tie it into investing?

Yes, please.

Okay, here we go.

  1. There is such a thing as a scam.

  2. There is such a thing as a fraud.

  3. There are always reasons to be concerned about darn near everything.


And that’s spelled B. U. T.

4. There is never a reason to not do it.

At least not a GOOD reason.

Right, DT. As I like to say, if you don’t start, you’ll never finish.

But what if you just don’t like a certain investing opportunity…thingy?

Oh, that’s totally fine. There are a lot of choices.

Don’t I have to like all of them before I can like any of them?

DT, you can completely hate one – or more – of them.

Think of a peacock’s tail.


If a peacock spread out its majestic tail, would you know if one feather was missing?

I don’t follow.

That’s how your portfolio can be.

Oh, you mean that…

One of the options can be skipped…

The one you’re not comfortable with having.

And you’ve still got a big, beautiful, diversified bunch of things.

But that won’t happen if you over-analyze…If you get caught up in analysis paralysis.

Right. You have to put your money to work.

And turn a blind eye?

Oh, that. Keep an eye, or an ear, whatever body part you want, on things.

But do not let it stop you. You can take informed action.

Better than that, DT. You WILL take informed action.

And then you can THINK!

And remember to do better the next time.

And what do you do in order to remember?

You practice remembering, and you…well…


¡Gracias por escuchar! ¡A la prochaine!

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