The term "promissory note rolls off the tongue easily, like a sure thing. It's a secure yet delectable sound that is both alluring and a little dangerous, like fine chocolate. But for some investors, the words are the definition of original sin.
The SEC has taken emergency action in recent weeks to freeze bank accounts of those offering promissory notes. The investment pitches have been proliferating with investors nervous about risk in the stock market.
The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), the SEC, and the Securities Industry Association have joined forces to launch a combined investor education campaign.
On April 12, the coalition introduced a jargon-free brochure called "Promissory Notes: Promises, Problems" to kick-off the initiative.
One of the most important mandates of NASD regulation is to provide investors with the educational tools that will guide them to make informed investment decisions, said Mary L. Schapiro, president of NASD Regulation. According to SEC Acting …