Dishonest annuity agents love to target retirees and people close to retirement. That’s because retirees have a lifetime’s worth of savings to invest. So, the bigger the investment, the bigger the commission for the agent. There are a lot more characteristics that annuity scam artists look for. Some are inexperienced investors, people with large 401(k)s and people who are mentally ill. Do you or your loved one fall into one of these categories?
Smart and prudent investors rely on their financial advisors for the best investment recommendations. Nevertheless, advisors in these circumstances cannot recommend investments that their clients don’t understand
Was your loved one the victim of financial abuse? Perhaps an unscrupulous party took advantage of your mother or father’s age and financial situation. Even worse, maybe the stockbroker in charge of your parent’s financial accounts failed to take action to stop the abuse.
Churning happens when a stockbroker makes a large number of unnecessary trades in a client’s account — just to generate commissions. Churning was more common in the past, 30 or 40 years ago, but it still happens today. In fact, on January 8, the results of two churning cases came to light. Arbitrators from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) ruled against the stockbrokers in two churning cases.
It’s unlawful for investment advisors to overconcentrate their clients into one sector of the economy. Nevertheless, in recent years, numerous brokers have put all of their clients “eggs” into the highly volatile energy sector basket — which includes oil and gas securities. Some of these investors have lost big due to energy sector overconcentration, and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is taking notice.
Imagine a blind, 82-year-old woman who is wheelchair-bound. Then, her husband dies, and she has to manage her investment accounts by herself. Clearly, this woman is susceptible to financial fraud. Now, imagine what would happen when an unscrupulous stockbroker could do whatever he wants with her money. In a recent investment fraud case, this is exactly what happened.
Early in 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) created an investigatory arm to target “high-risk” stockbrokers. The unit has conducted hundreds of examinations — scrutinizing specific stockbrokers, who it suspects are breaking the law. The targeted “bad brokers” could be costing consumers millions – if not billions – of dollars in financial losses. However, FINRA will not release the names of any suspected brokers until after it has completed an investigation of the particular broker at issue.
There are good stockbrokers and bad stockbrokers. The good stockbrokers follow financial industry rules and protect the best interests of their clients. The bad stockbrokers look out for their own interests while breaking industry rules, which can cost their customers hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) offers an arbitration forum through which defrauded investors can submit arbitration claims against their investment firms and stockbrokers. Since most investors signed an arbitration agreement at the onset of their brokerage relationship, FINRA arbitration tends to be the only dispute resolution option available to investors.