With hundreds of baby boomers retiring every day, many are facing questions on how to ensure their savings and investments last their Lifetime. In an effort to obtain better returns, many retirees seek returns in the wrong places.
You, whether retired or not, have the right to expect honest advice from your investment advisors and from companies selling the investments and advice that is appropriate to your circumstances. Laws exist to protect your investments.
Your claims may include the following:
Broker recommends “loading up” on certain “safe” or “quality” investments. In the wake of the Great Recession, there have been many cases where brokerage firms loaded up on preferred stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Citigroup.
Risk Profile Change
Broker has changed your investment strategy without your input. An example would be to change your investment profile or objective from conservative to aggressive.
Negligent Retirement Advice
Broker provides fraudulent stock research.
Broker excessively trades or constantly turns over your account, for the purposes of generating brokers’ commissions.
Without written or other authority from you, the broker executes trades without authorization.
Fraudulent Disclosure of Information
The broker or brokerage firm misrepresented information or omitted information that would have been important to the investor in reaching their decision.
Fraudulent Preparation of Your Information
Broker completes paperwork related to your investment with false information on your goals and objectives, risk tolerance, income and net worth.
Switching Mutual Funds/Annuities
Broker advises you to exchange one mutual fund or annuity for another when it is not in your best interest to do so. The primary motivation in such situations may be earn higher commissions to your financial advisor.
Frequently Asked Questions
HOW CAN I PREVENT BEING RIPPED OFF BY DISHONEST ADVISORS?
Get a second opinion from another advisory, your CPA or your attorney. Also, watch for these red flags:
- Unregistered or unlicensed sellers
- Promise of high returns with little or no risk
- Pressure to buy quickly
- Free meals
- Brokers with a history of complaints or regulatory actions against them
Report fraudulent activity to the Florida Office of Financial Regulation at:
- 877-693-5236 (consumer services)
- 800-378-0445 (fraud hotline)
The most important advice is that if the investment sounds too good to be true then it is likely to be a scam. Also, never allow your financial advisor to hold your investments in their bank account. Your investments should always be held by some third party.Also, be informed.The following are links to different websites that will provide important information:
- News and Tips from Securities Market Watchdogs
- Investor resources and links
- Securities and Exchange Commission
- Federal government regulator of securities industry
- Senior Investor Resource Center
- As the oldest international investor protection organization, NASAA is pleased to provide the tools you can use to protect yourself against investment fraud
- Broker Background Check
- BrokerCheck is a free tool to help investors research the professional backgrounds of current and former FINRA-registered brokerage firms and brokers
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU RECEIVE A SECURITIES CLASS ACTION NOTICE?
You may have received one or more class action notices in the mail recently. As a member of a class action lawsuit, investors often recover only pennies on the dollar. However, if you have suffered significant losses in an investment for which you have received a class action notice , filing an individual claim in Court or with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration may present more opportunities for greater recovery. Please contact Nicholas Taldone to discuss your options.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN COURT AND ARBITRATION?
Many securities cases must be submitted to arbitration because customers of financial institutions enter into a binding arbitration agreement to submit any disputes they have with their financial institutions to arbitration, usually before FINRA. FINRA is an acronym that stands for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Arbitration is just like a courtroom trial except instead of a judge and jury you get a panel of one to three arbitrators which act as both judge and jury. They hear and weigh the arguments and evidence of both sides of a case, then render a binding decision. The arbitrators generally include at least one “industry” person and two non-industry. This may include accountants, attorneys, sales representatives, bankers, educators, retired judges and other professionals. Unlike court proceedings, arbitration usually doesn’t involve depositions, motions, or appeals. It’s usually much faster and cheaper than civil court. The average length of time is 12 months from filing to first hearing versus more than two years in state or federal court.Similar to court, FINRA charges its own filing fee which usually is in the range of $1000 to $1600. The greater the amount of your claim, the greater your filing and administrative fees will be. If the case settles, a portion of this fee may be returned.