Phil Lich, CFA, has an anonymous social media account with the user name “CFA charter holder.” Lich wishes to enhance the market’s perception of the price impact of his recommendations. He posts a message on the social media network that says, “Well-known analyst upgrading SmithCo today?” and later that day emails a research report to all his clients upgrading his recommendation on SmithCo to “Buy.” Lich has most likely violated the Standards on:
market manipulation and use of the CFA designation.
Using the CFA designation in a fictitious name that conceals the owners identity is a violation of Standard VII(B) Reference to CFA Institute, the CFA Designation, and the CFA Program. Because the social media message is intended to induce trading in a security, it is a violation of Standard 11(B) Market Manipulation. Posting the message does not violate Standard III(B) Fair Dealing because it does not favor some clients’ interests over others.