You’ve seen the articles. A financial professional makes a mistake and gets cited by the NASD, SEC or state regulator. A major newspaper catches wind, interviews the victims, and publishes a front-page story in print and online that shakes the industry.
In the pre-Internet era, such articles would hit the newsstand (remember those?), cause a furor, and then fade away. The producer and companies would lick their wounds and return to business as usual.
However, with the advent of the Internet and Google, such articles can be the kiss of death for one’s reputation and business.
Consider this: Whenever the media says something negative about you online, it will be available forever — to anyone, anywhere who knows how to use Google. Worse, your mistakes never die, even after you’ve paid your fine or done your time. They will remain visible as you solicit new clients, recruit new employees, or talk to prospective business partners — now and many years from now.