It might be a nice place to live and have a nice vacation, but it’s not a place you can invest in stocks.
That’s because the markets are rigged in favor of big corporations, writes CNBC’s Jamie Gangel.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Friday it will allow online brokerage firms to sell stocks with a margin of error.
That means brokers can now sell stocks for the margin of risk they pay, without having to worry about what the market will do in the future.
“It’s an important step forward, but only a very limited step forward,” SEC Commissioner Mary Jo White said in a statement.
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton called it a “positive step,” but he warned it would not change the market’s “predictions of future events.”
“We will continue to monitor the markets for any signs of manipulation,” Clayton said.
“The SEC will take steps to protect investors’ rights if and when the markets become more volatile.”
Read moreWhat you need to know about stock futuresThe Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen more than 700 points this year.
Read moreRead the SEC statement: “We believe the potential for manipulation and other violations of the securities laws could pose a threat to the integrity of the markets and the ability of financial institutions to make prudent investments in the securities markets.”
The SEC is currently investigating a $1.5 billion fraud in which brokers sold stock in two of the largest online brokers.
The SEC said that, while it was unable to identify any individual participants, it found that brokers in those two online brokers used automated trading strategies to artificially inflate their performance and then sold their stocks.
In September, the SEC said it would begin requiring online brokers to register as broker-dealers with the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEAC).
The move is part of a larger push to crack down on the so-called insider trading by the large Wall Street firms that use the platforms.
The SEC has also started cracking down on trading practices by broker-contractors, including the way brokers set the price of stock and how much money they are willing to give up in commissions for a deal.
The agency has said broker-brokers must have their own accounting and financial systems in place.
Read the full story: The SEC will require online brokers for securities law compliance