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2214. Requirements for the Use of Investment Analysis Tools

(a) General Considerations
This Rule provides a limited exception to Rule 2210(d)(1)(F). No member may imply that FINRA endorses or approves the use of any investment analysis tool or any recommendation based on such a tool. A member that offers or intends to offer an investment analysis tool under this Rule (whether customers use the member's tool independently or with assistance from the member) must provide FINRA's Advertising Regulation Department ("Department") access to the investment analysis tool upon request.
(b) Definition
For purposes of this Rule and any interpretation thereof, an "investment analysis tool" is an interactive technological tool that produces simulations and statistical analyses that present the likelihood of various investment outcomes if certain investments are made or certain investment strategies or styles are undertaken, thereby serving as an additional resource to investors in the evaluation of the potential risks and returns of investment choices.
(c) Use of Investment Analysis Tools and Related Written Reports and Retail Communications
A member may provide an investment analysis tool (whether customers use the member's tool independently or with assistance from the member), written reports indicating the results generated by such tool and related retail communications only if the tool, written report or related retail communication:
(1) describes the criteria and methodology used, including the investment analysis tool's limitations and key assumptions;
(2) explains that results may vary with each use and over time;
(3) if applicable, describes the universe of investments considered in the analysis, explains how the tool determines which securities to select, discloses if the tool favors certain securities and, if so, explains the reason for the selectivity, and states that other investments not considered may have characteristics similar or superior to those being analyzed; and
(4) displays the following additional disclosure: "IMPORTANT: The projections or other information generated by [name of investment analysis tool] regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results."
(d) Disclosures
The disclosures and other required information discussed in paragraph (c) must be clear and prominent and must be in written (which may be electronic) narrative form.

• • • Supplementary Material: --------------

.01 Relationship to Rule 2210(d)(1)(F). Rule 2210(d)(1)(F) states that “[c]ommunications may not predict or project performance, imply that past performance will recur or make any exaggerated or unwarranted claim, opinion or forecast.” This Rule allows member firms to offer investment analysis tools (whether customers use the member's tool independently or with assistance from the member), written reports indicating the results generated by such tools and related retail communications in certain circumstances. Rule 2210(d)(1)(F) does not prohibit, and this Rule does not apply to, hypothetical illustrations of mathematical principles that do not predict or project the performance of an investment or investment strategy.

.02 Advertising Regulation Department Requests. A member subject to this Rule must provide any supplemental information requested by the Department. The Department may require that the member modify the investment analysis tool, written-report template, or retail communication. The Department also may require that the member not offer or continue to offer or use the tool, written-report template, or retail communication until all changes specified by the Department have been made by the member.

.03 Material Changes to Disclosures. After the Department has reviewed the investment analysis tool, written-report template, or retail communication, a member must notify the Department and provide additional access to the tool and re-file any template, or retail communication if it makes a material change to the presentation of information or disclosures as required by paragraphs (c) and (d).

.04 Investment Analysis Tools Used with Institutional Investors. A member that offers an investment analysis tool exclusively to “institutional investors,” as defined in Rule 2210(a)(4), is not subject to the post-use access and filing requirement in paragraph (a) of this Rule if the communications relating to or produced by the tool meet the criteria for “institutional communication,” as defined in Rule 2210(a)(3). A member that intends to make the tool available to, or that intends to use the tool or any related report with, any “retail investor,” as defined in Rule 2210(a)(6) (such as an employee benefit plan participant or a retail broker-dealer customer), will be subject to the filing and access requirements, however.

.05 Compliance with Other Applicable Laws and Rules. As in all cases, a member's compliance with this Rule does not mean that the member is acting in conformity with other applicable laws and rules. A member that offers an investment analysis tool under this Rule (whether customers use the member's tool independently or with assistance from the member) is responsible for ensuring that use of the investment analysis tool and all recommendations based on the investment analysis tool (whether made via the automated tool or a written report) comply, as applicable, with FINRA's suitability rule (Rule 2111), the other provisions of Rule 2210 (including, but not limited to, the principles of fair dealing and good faith, the prohibition on exaggerated, unwarranted or misleading statements or claims, and any other applicable filing requirements for retail communications), the federal securities laws (including, but not limited to, the antifraud provisions), the SEC rules (including, but not limited to, Securities Act Rule 156) and other FINRA rules.

.06 Incidental References to Investment Analysis Tools. A retail communication that contains only an incidental reference to an investment analysis tool (e.g., a brochure that merely mentions a member's tool as one of the services offered by the member) need not include the disclosures required by this Rule and would not need to be filed with the Department, unless otherwise required by the other provisions of Rule 2210. A retail communication that refers to an investment analysis tool in more detail but does not provide access to the tool or the results generated by the tool must provide the disclosures required by paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(4), but may exclude the disclosures required by paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(3).

.07 Investment Analysis Tools that Favor Certain Securities. The disclosure required by paragraph (c)(3) must indicate, among other things, whether the investment analysis tool searches, analyzes or in any way favors certain securities within the universe of securities considered based on revenue received by the member in connection with the sale of those securities or based on relationships or understandings between the member and the entity that created the investment analysis tool. The disclosure also must indicate whether the investment analysis tool is limited to searching, analyzing or in any way favoring securities in which the member makes a market, serves as underwriter, or has any other direct or indirect interest. Members are not required to provide a “negative” disclosure (i.e., a disclosure indicating that the tool does not favor certain securities).

Amended by SR-FINRA-2016-018 eff. Jan. 9, 2017.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2014-012 eff. July 11, 2014.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2011-035 and SR-FINRA-2013-001 eff. Feb. 4, 2013.
Amended by SR-NASD-2006-105 eff. Sept. 7, 2006.
Adopted by SR-NASD-2003-13 eff. Feb. 15, 2005.

Selected Notices: 04-86, 12-29, 14-30, 16-41.

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