State securities regulators repeat warnings about stock day trading

WASHINGTON (July 30, 1999) – In wake of the tragedy in Atlanta on Thursday, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) issued the following statement:

The majority of the day trading firms state securities regulators have investigated in the past year have misled customers by exaggerating the potential profits of day trading and downplaying the risks of losses.

In the past year, state securities regulators have warned investors that day trading is not investing, it is gambling. No one should consider day trading unless they have a strong stomach for risk and they are using money they can afford to lose. The odds are very good they will lose money.

Day trading is not a glamorous lifestyle. It is not a shortcut to easy street. It is risky, stressful and very hard work. Most day traders end up losing money.

The risks of day trading need to be more fully disclosed and day trading firms need to be more vigilant in screening potential customers. State securities regulators have been working with the regulatory arm of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD Regulation) and the US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) to make the necessary rule changes.

For the past nine months, a NASAA task force has been investigating day trading. The task force will issue a report of its findings and recommendations next month (August).

For more information on actions state regulators have taken against day trading firms, visit www.nasaa.org and look under “News and Public Affairs”: “Day Trading” Craze Should Give Investors Pause, NASAA Warns, 11/25/98, DOW 10,000: The Power of Investing over “Day Trading”, 3/12/99, Day traders need more protection against abuses, say state regulators, 5/28/99, Day Trading Brokerage Firms Face More Actions By State Securities Regulators, 1/15/99.

Or contact Matt Nestor, Director, Securities Division, Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, at 617/727-3548.

1999 Headlines, Newsroom