Cincinnati Financial Negligence Plaintiff Lawyer Investigating Financial Advisor Fraud Lawsuits
Stock brokers and securities firms feeling pressure to churn a profit are selling tens of billions of dollars a year of private stakes (private placements) in companies, including risky investments that often target seniors. Individual investors trusting financial experts are victimized by Financial Advisor Fraud, and may pay incredible sums in fees and lose value due to irrational investment risk taken by brokers.
In a Wall Street Journal review of more than a million regulatory records, research identified over a hundred firms where 10 to 60 percent of in-house brokers had three or more investor complaints, regulatory actions, or even criminal charges. The brokers in question sell very risky private placements or other investment vehicles that may result in the loss of huge parts of a client’s portfolio. Sales of private placements are surging, and the majority of investors are not warned of the risks or told what the investments entail.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Ohio plaintiff financial negligence lawyer representing plaintiffs and seniors nationwide in a wide variety of financial advisor fraud lawsuits.
What are Private Placements?
Private placements can be attractive because they offer individual investors higher returns than stocks and bonds, but may carry serious risk. Stock brokers have been known to downplay the risks and overemphasize the benefits of adding private placements to a portfolio. There’s typically less information available and less transparency about the companies, increasing investment risk.
Sales of private placements are lucrative to brokers and brokerage firms, however, and have been a favorite instrument in stock broker and financial advisor fraud claims. Since 2013, firms selling private placements are 1.4 times more likely to have been expelled from the financial industry since than those that didn’t.
Regulators and Financial negligence attorneys are concerned this trend is growing and will lead to more individual investors and senior investors victimized by their brokers. Private placements are usually restricted to sophisticated investors, and are sometimes sold to individual investors are unique opportunities even if they do not fit with an original investment plan. The commissions alone create a fraudulent stock broker’s motivation to sell the securities, without much thought for the financial well-being of an investor. Financial advisor fraud may include the following:
- Prioritizing fee generation
- Fraudulent markup prices of securities
- Failure to explain the risks of a particular investment
- Failure to perform due diligence of a security sold to an investor
- Selling financial instruments to receive kickbacks or perks
- Entering investors into reckless investments
- Failure to create readable financial reports
- Non-compliance with federal securities laws and regulations
Common Targets of Financial Advisor Fraud Lawsuits
Ponzi schemes and other financial fraud vehicles often target the elderly. Regulators and financial negligence attorneys are taking measures to curb this problem. Financial whistleblowers can receive huge rewards, and victims may be able to recover lost funds. The SEC says financial advisor fraud is unavoidable, so the goal is identify issues before too many seniors and individual investors are victimized.
The study conducted by the Wall Street Journal identified brokerage firms selling private placements and could be likely targets in in financial advisor fraud lawsuits. The SEC has also expressed concern over the elderly and retirees being taken advantage of to pad the pockets of brokers. Investors can try to protect themselves and ask the following of their broker: How are they paid, by fees and commission or on salary? What are the incentives of selling certain financial instruments?
If you believe you are a victim of financial advisor fraud in Ohio, and have questions about the legal options available, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer critical questions regarding financial advisor fraud lawsuits.