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My Take on Kittiany Barrios’s Resignation from PFS Investments

The financial world has been buzzing lately, and I want to talk about some big news you might have heard: financial advisor Kittiany Barrios stepped down from PFS Investments after some pretty serious accusations came to light. The fine print in her BrokerCheck record file by FINRA shows she’s being examined for possibly hiding her side businesses and private stock deals, which could go against the rules meant to keep things honest in our industry.

Breaking the Rules?

I’ll make this simple: if it turns out Barrios did what she’s accused of, she’d be breaking a rule called FINRA Rule 3280. This one’s pretty straightforward—financial pros like her have to put in writing what private stock deals they want to do before they actually do them. It’s all about making sure everyone plays fair and the people putting their money in the market can trust us.

Then there’s another rule, FINRA Rule 3270. This one says brokers must tell their employer about any side gigs they have, especially if those gigs involve selling investment products on the sly. If the firm thinks a broker’s side business might interfere with their day job, they can say no-go. Or at least make them get permission before they start selling other stuff.

Barrios wasn’t new to the side hustle. She’s been linked to businesses like selling investment products for Primerica, worked with David Barrios Associates, and had fingers in pies like real estate and e-commerce with Titi & Mili.

The Bigger Picture for the Financial World

This situation with Barrios isn’t just a one-off. It’s got a lot of investors worried and has people talking about the bigger risks and unknowns in where they put their money. It’s a stark reminder to all of us about why rules like these are in place—they’re the foundation for a system where people can invest with confidence.

What You Can Do to Protect Your Investments

If you’ve worked with a financial advisor like Barrios or anyone else, it’s key to know your rights and how to keep your money safe. If something seems off, don’t hesitate to get some legal advice. In Barrios’s case, she had all the right licenses—Series 63, Series 6TO, and the Securities Industry Essentials Examination. But credentials alone don’t guarantee straight shooting.

Everything that’s come to light with Barrios should be a wakeup call for anyone with skin in the game. It’s on us as investors to stay sharp and make sure our brokers and advisors are being transparent and holding themselves accountable. We’ve got to keep our eyes open because, as the saying goes, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” And in our world, financial liberty comes from trust and integrity in those handling our savings.

It’s an uncomfortable truth, but not all financial advisors play by the rules. Did you know that poor advice from bad financial advisors costs Americans billions each year? That’s why it’s so crucial to check up on them, and you can start by looking up any advisor’s FINRA CRM number.

I’m here to guide you through the complexities of the financial world, both the good and the less-than-stellar stuff. We’re in this together, and that means making sure no corners are cut and no shady deals slide by unnoticed. Because in the end, the financial world we want—one that’s trustworthy and fair—is on us to build, starting right now, with each informed decision we make.

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