Hello. I’m attorney Robert Port, and I repr...
Hello. I’m attorney Robert Port, and I represent people who have been harmed by the misconduct of their financial advisor, stockbroker, or insurance agent.
While every case is different, there are a number of warning signs or red flags that indicate you or a loved one might be a victim of improper sales practices, financial wrongdoing, or even fraud.
In this segment we’ll discuss improper investment advice given to benefit the agent and motivated not by what is best for you.
It is unfortunate, but you can't always rely on financial advisors to give you advice that is in your best interest. Some recommend investments that pay the highest commission regardless your needs and risk tolerance. Common examples of these types of investments are variable annuities and equity indexed annuities which often pay commissions of 5% to 7% of the price of the annuity.
Another common abuse is called “Churning”. “Churning” is when a broker buys an investment to earn a commission, holds it for a short period of time, such as a few days or weeks, and then sells it (and earns another commission) and buys something else to start the cycle again. Often, the broker claims this short term trading is to take advantage breaking news or rumors. Some will also refer to this as “day trading.”
Churning is almost always a losing proposition for the investor but one that generates large commissions for the broker. It is generally very risky, and rarely a proper or suitable investment strategy. The commissions charged generated on each transaction usually eat up any profits, and the investor gets stuck with any losses and the broker is the only one who benefits, and sometimes handsomely.
One warning sign that a broker is churning is that he or she is making the trades without first contacting you. If you are receiving lots of paperwork from the brokerage firm about transactions that you did not discuss in advance with you broker, you might be a victim of churning.
Another warning sign is a broker who aggressively promotes an investment “product” offered by his brokerage firm, such as a limited partnership, a mutual fund sponsored by the brokerage firm, or something claimed to offer tax shelter.
I’d like to say a little more about variable annuities, and equity indexed annuities. Most experts agreed that these types of annuities are suitable for only limited number of people. Even so, billions of dollars of variable annuities and equity indexed annuities are sold each year to unsuspecting investors.
If any of these experiences sound like yours, you may be a victim of stockbroker or insurance agent misconduct or financial fraud. Not every loss is evidence of a problem. But many times, a stockbroker, financial advisor or insurance agent has sold someone an investment, annuity or life insurance that is completely unsuitable for them. When that happens, the investor is subject to more risk than is appropriate for them, and as a result, often experiences devastating losses.
If you believe you have been a victim of investment misconduct or fraud, please contact me to see if there might be a remedy.