Finra Charges Ex-Jones Broker Who Touted “Guaranteed Income”
David Allen Clark had the kind of moxie that brokerage firms crave in young brokers, but he went too far even for firms that rely on broker self-reliance to generate business.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Thursday filed a complaint against the former Edward Jones broker, claiming he violated its core advertising rules by hyping his skills and a book guaranteeing lifetime income despite the fact that he had been a registered rep for less than a year.
Clark, who began his brokerage career with the St. Louis-based firm in August 2015 in O’Fallon, Ill., was discharged nine months later for publishing an online E-book called “Income for Life Blueprint” without the firm’s permission, according to his BrokerCheck record and to the Finra complaint that asks an adjudicatory panel for sanctions that could include a bar from the industry.
On a Facebook marketing website, Clark asserted that he was “one of Illinois’ top retirement strategists,” Finra said. On a separate website he touted a strategy that he said was “designed to provide you with a guaranteed income” for life.
The claims violated Finra Rule 2210, which requires advertising communication that is “fair and balanced” and not false, exaggerated or misleading, according to the Finra enforcement complaint.
While promoting his efforts without Jones’ permission, Clark was not shy about leveraging the St. Louis-based company’s name, according to the complaint.
“For over 100 years, the firm I represent has helped its clients retire without fear of running out of money during retirement,” his marketing website claimed, the complaint said.
Clark, who is no longer registered as a broker and who last September published another e-book called “Mastering Wall Street,” did not return an emailed request for comment.
The Finra complaint says he has failed to respond to investigators’ requests for testimony into the allegations, actions that can lead to an industry bar.
After Clark was dismissed by Edward Jones, he opened an SEC-registered investment adviser firm in July 2016 called Capital Strength Investments that became inactive by the end of 2017, according to the regulator.
An Edward Jones spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.