Q: I have questions regarding securities and exchange commission laws.
I own a options trading website where I provide trade ideas of specific stock tickers based on fundamental and technical analysis. I charge subscribers monthly fees. I do not provide investment advice of any sort, just trade ideas of good stock setups. I don’t tell my subscribers what to do from my ideas. Will I come under the definition of an investment advisor ?
Or will I be excluded from the advisers act under the publishers section ? ( Section 202 a.11)D )
A: Given the facts at hand, you appear to be on the right track. A seminal case is Lowe v. SEC, 472 U.S. 181 (1985), which essentially declared that an exclusion from the definition of investment adviser is available to any publisher of a newsletter as long as remains entirely impersonal and does not develop the kind of one-on-one fiduciary relationship that is characteristic of an investment adviser-client relationship. This has been show to apply to digital properties, too. Please note that this area is more involved than the holding in Lowe, and lawyers would need more facts pertaining to your situation in order to more confidently draw a conclusion. However, with what I know, you seem well-positioned for the exclusion, meaning you wouldn't need to register as an investment adviser. One caveat: one should also check with the laws of one's state in addition to federal law.
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