State securities regulators released their 2014 scorecard Tuesday: Investor complaints were up 17 percent over 2013, investigations were down 8.5 percent.

State fraud actions against investment advisory firms and their employees stayed constant for 2014 and 2013 at about 350 per year, according to the North American Securities Administrators Association.

Conventional wisdom holds investor ire drops when the markets improve.

But with the obscure state-run investor protection operations, complaints rose to 11,340 from 9,693.

NASAA Enforcement Section Vice Chair Joe Rotunda attributed the hike to a greater effort at publicity, particularly towards seniors.

“We have been doing everything we can to get the word out to the investing public we are a resource for them,” said Rotunda, whose day job is heading up enforcement for the Texas Securities Board.

The drop in investigations from 5,302 to 4,853 continues a trend of yearly declines since the enforcement surge following the financial crisis.

Orders for investor restitution declined by close to 20 percent in a year to $405 million. However, that figure is only 3 percent of the paybacks of $14.1 billion demanded by the states in 2010.

Rotunda said regulators were only able to get about $1 dollar out of every $5 sought last year. “Oftentimes people who steal the money spend the money and often they don’t have a lot of money to begin with,” he said.