This may feel like the time to be generous, but registered broker-dealers should be extra cautious when giving gifts.

FINRA, the self-regulatory agency for U.S. registered broker-dealers, prohibits executives at registered broker-dealers from giving gifts to any principal, officer or employee of another member organization, financial institution, news or financial information media, or non-member broker or dealer in securities, commodities or money market instruments of more than $100 in value.

The exceptions: a broker-dealer can give gifts to its own representatives or a bereavement gift of more than that amount.

FINRA’s policy has been in effect since 1969 but the dollar amount was only $25 back then.

Here’s an interactive slideshow highlighting a dozen gifts (plus one) that could ruin your holiday spirit -- and your pocketbook -- if FINRA decides you have been too generous.

Chris Kentouris writes for Securities Technology Monitor.





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