Investment Advisers Act Rule 206(4)-1(a)(1) states that: “[i]t shall constitute a fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative act, practice, or course of business . . . for any investment adviser registered or required to be registered under [the Advisers Act], directly or indirectly, to publish, circulate, or distribute any advertisement which refers, directly or indirectly, to any testimonial of any kind concerning the investment adviser or concerning any advice, analysis, report or other service rendered by such investment adviser” (emphasis added).
The SEC’s Division of Investment Management has provided guidance to investment advisers on the use of social medial with respect to public commentary that is a testimonial. Among other things, the guidance provides the staff believes that in certain circumstances an investment adviser’s or investment advisory representative’s publication of all of the testimonials about the investment adviser or IAR from an independent social media site on the investment adviser’s or IAR’s own social media site or website would not implicate the concern underlying the testimonial rule.
So if you don’t pick and choose and publish everything it is acceptable. The staff isn’t really opening the flood gates here, but I suppose it is a step in the right direction.
Note there are other useful FAQs as well.
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