Dirty Words on Wall Street

by Fred Fuld III

It may be hard to believe, but some of the filings that public companies make to the Securities and Exchange Commission actually contain some dirty words. Occasionally, you may find an “F bomb” or an “S bomb” in one of these documents.

Sometimes the word is a typo, sometimes it is quoting from a conversation, and some times the company really means to say it.

The “F” Bomb

EX-10.8 of 10-Q for Grand Canyon Education Inc. (LOPE) has a list of derogatory domain names that it “purchased as a protective measure.”

This one for City National Bancshares looks like it may be the job of a hacker or maybe an attorney who thought he was sending a text to someone at the time.

Dirty quote in SEC filing

Here is an example of a filing with a quote of “such blasphemy” that someone  said that appears in the Chapman Capital Schedule 13 D from several years ago.

Dirty word SEC filing

The “S” Bomb

A more recent example is Shopify (SHOP). On its Exhibit 1.1 for the Form 40-F [2016 Annual InformationForm], the “S” word is shown in the Culture & Employees section.

Shopify

LendingClub (LC) has what appears to be a typo for an occupation on its Form 424B3. Doesn’t sound like a job anyone would want.

LendingClub

These are just a few examples. If you have a lot of free time on your hands, I’m sure you can find more.

Dirty Words in SEC Stock Filings

When I have free time on my hands and have nothing better to do, I look for dirty words on Securities and Exchange filings. Just kidding!

Surprisingly, several stocks have filed forms with the SEC that has the “S” word and the “F” word hidden away. And these aren’t just obscure companies. Some of these are famous names.

Sometimes the word is a typo, sometimes it is quoting from a conversation, and some times the company really means to say it.

The “S” Word

One example is Shopify (SHOP). On its Exhibit 1.1 for the Form 40-F [2016 Annual InformationForm], the “S” word is shown in the Culture & Employees section.

Shopify

LendingClub (LC) has what appears to be a typo for an occupation on its Form 424B3.

LendingClub

The “F” Word

Time Warner Cable (TWX) had an interesting quote in its Form 425 filing.

Time Warner Cable

These are just a few examples from the large companies. There are a few other filings with interesting words from companies that are not as well known.

Shit, I realized I got through writing this whole article without using one dirty four letter word.

Beware of Fake Stock Brokerage Firms

Would you believe that crooks are actually creating fake broker-dealers in order to swindle you out of your money? In the old days, con men would set up real brokerage firms, then either churn your account, push penny stock pump-and-dump stocks on you, or on rare occasions, sell you totally fraudulent tax shelters.

But now, fictitious brokers and investment adviser companies are being created and many have names that sound like legitimate firms.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has a listing of a whole bunch of these scams. One interesting thing to note is that 28 of these firms are from New York, whereas only three are from California.

In the “old days,” most of the scams worked out of Newport Beach and Century City in California. I guess these days, New York adds more legitimacy to an investment company.

In addition to these fake companies, the SEC also provides a list of Unregistered Soliciting Entities Impersonating Genuine and Former US Registered Securities Firms.

Plus, some companies claim to be registered with an “official” United States agencies, that are either fake or pretend to be part of the U. S. Government. This is a list of fictitious governmental agencies.

If you have any doubt about a firm that you are planning on doing business with, check them out.

You can check out brokers and brokerage firms at:

FINRA BrokerCheck

You can check out investment advisors at:

Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website