Do I Need to Have My Paperwork?

Oftentimes, investors feel comfortable enough with their broker to the point where they no longer keep paperwork. They often throw out some or all of the paperwork involving their account. Unfortunately, if things go wrong and investors are victims of broker misconduct, they may worry that they can no longer do anything without having the necessary paperwork.

One of the common misconceptions we have noticed from investors is that they feel they cannot take legal action if they don’t have the paperwork regarding their case. This isn’t always true and it may be possible to regain the paperwork. At Meyer Wilson, our securities lawyers provide a free case evaluation in order to discuss the details of your situation. During this time, our securities and investment fraud analysts listen to your case and determine if you have the right to file a claim. From there, we have the power to request copies of the paperwork that you threw away.

We may be able to retain paperwork including your account overview, various transactions and more. These can be used on your behalf as evidence at the FINRA arbitration.

The paperwork may show mishandling of your funds or other signs of potential scams or bad advice in ways to benefit the broker or brokerage firm. When these individuals or agencies work without the best interests of investors in mind, they are violating FINRA regulations and you should be able to hold them accountable for monetary losses.

We have helped numerous investors recover their losses, even when they have first come to us without the related paperwork. You don’t need to have the paperwork in order to speak with us; we’ll take care of that problem if we decide you have a case. We can determine the validity of your claim just by listening to the details of your claim. Call us today to get started.

Can I Still File a Claim After a Set Amount of Time?

At Meyer Wilson, a number of our potential clients ask us the same question: If I lost money years ago, can I still file a claim to recover losses? While every case is different and there are numerous factors to consider in determining how long you have until you must file a claim. Based on FINRA arbitration regulations, you may have up to six years after the occurrence in order to file a claim.

If you have been the victim of broker misconduct and you lost money, it is important to reach out to legal representation in order to discuss your options. FINRA arbitration is often the forum in which you will have to resolve your dispute with your broker or financial advisor if you lost money due to bad advice or schemes.

To keep things simple, if your transaction occurred on January 1, 2010, you would have until January 1, 2016 to take legal action. Some factors may extend this deadline, but this is the general timeline of which to be aware.

Oftentimes, investors don’t realize until years in the future that they lost money on an investment. This may be due to a breach of fiduciary duty or a broker not informing the investor of what is actually happening. It is for this reason that the deadline to file a claim is years after the incident.

Our team of securities attorneys has helped countless investors understand their strongest course of legal action based on how long it has been since they lost money. We sit with you and give you the information you need to make educated decisions moving forward. Our goal is to help you recover your losses even if it has been several years since you lost your money. Contact us today for your free case evaluation.

What Are Alternative Investments?

More recently, brokers have been pitching investors on new, alternative investments. Alternative investments are those that are put into certain classes such as real estate, hedge funds, commodities, private equities, and more. These are often risky investments, but they are touted as benefits to investors. Brokers often inform investors that because these investments don’t have to abide by the same regulations as stocks, bonds, or cash, that they provide many benefits. This isn’t always the case.

Because there is a lack of regulation, there is no transparency and the broker may not inform you of the investments to which your money is going. It is important for you to act with caution if your investor is pushing you towards alternative investments. While the advisor will discuss the many rewards associated with the high risk, they may not inform investors of the large losses that can also affect an entire portfolio. Alternative investments can leave an investor with absolutely no money whatsoever and a completely empty portfolio.

With alternative investments, it is possible that your broker has invested in something with no liquidity. This means that you won’t have access to your funds if you need them. If things go bad, you can lose that money due to not being able to pull your funds.

Research is very important when it comes to alternative investments. There are many risks of which to be aware and discussing these options with multiple brokers or brokerage firms can give you the information you need to make an educated decision moving forward.

Our team of securities lawyers has represented numerous investors who have lost money due to alternative funds. At Meyer Wilson, we make it a priority to work for our clients, always focused on recovering their losses. If you have lost money, reach out to us for your complimentary consultationand see if we can help you.

Choosing the Right Investment Advisor

If you are interested in investments and are looking for a financial advisor or broker, it is important to understand the various titles and credentials that may come along with the person or firm you hire. While there are a number of advisors who have the right credentials and the track record to prove their ability, there are a number of individuals who don’t have the best designations available. You should do your research before you hire someone to handle your finances and investments.

Watch Attorney Courtney Werning's Video for More Info on Investment Advisor Credentials

Some designations are not what they seem and can be used to help an advisor manipulate an investor. The credentials you want to look for often require the advisor to endure countless hours of study and training, multiple tests, and ongoing education that keeps them up to date on all of the rules and regulations.

You may also look at other factors to determine if an advisor is right for you such as registration with FINRA, the SEC, or state agencies. This means that the advisor is in good standing and can most likely be trusted to operate within regulations to help you invest properly. If an individual has questionable credentials and is not a registered advisor, it is wise to stay away and find someone who is more qualified to handle your finances.

Choosing the right broker or financial advisor is crucial to your investment portfolio and making sure that this person is qualified is important.

If you invested with an advisor who portrayed certain credentials but they turned out to be false or unqualified, it is important to make sure you take legal action. Oftentimes, these advisors cost their investors a significant amount of money and the only way to recover these losses is to have legal counsel on your side. At Meyer Wilson, our securities attorneys offer free case reviews so you can discuss your case with us and determine the strongest course of action available to you. Call today to begin your case.

Troubles of Using IRA Money to Buy Variable Annuities

Have you been pitched the idea of buying a variable annuity by your broker or financial advisor? Were you asked to use money inside an IRA? It is important to understand that this is a risky investment for a number of reasons. Not only does it cost a lot of money, but brokers may charge high commission fees in order to benefit themselves. These are often promised as investments that are tax-deferred. This is used by brokers to convince retirees who already have their money in a tax-deferred IRA to invest their funds in variable annuities.

Watch As Attorney David Meyer Explains Using Retirement Money to Purchase Annuities

Unfortunately, not all brokers or brokerage firms understand the complex nature of variable annuities and the investors they pitch to are often not right for these types of investments. If brokers are unsure of the way variable annuities work and may not have even read the policies themselves. The benefits are not worth the investment for so many investors and the brokers may not even be aware of this fact.

With the various expenses, return on investment, and risks involved, it is advisable that you stay away from this type of investment. If you do feel that it is worth the investment, you should do proper research to make sure it is absolutely right for you. If your broker is trying to push variable annuities on you but cannot answer any questions you may have about the investment, you should discuss this option with another broker or brokerage firm to determine if it is right for you.

Call Meyer Wilson today if you are a retiree who has lost money due to a broker convincing you to buy variable annuities using your IRA money. Our securities lawyers work to help our clients recover losses they may have suffered from the bad advice of a broker. We offer free consultations so you can discuss your case with us without any concern.

How Unit Investment Trusts Affect You

At Meyer Wilson, we have seen numerous clients who have lost money due to unit investment trusts (UITs). Brokers and brokerage firms are often pitching UITs as helpful and beneficial. Unfortunately, not all investors can benefit from this and ordinary mutual funds are probably the better option. Brokers do not always explain the risks involved with UITs and investors often feel the most of the damage. It often goes unknown that UITs can be expensive, but the brokers do not always divulge this information.

Watch As Attorney David Meyer Explains Unit Investment Trusts (UITs)

Brokers may sell UITs on a commission fee basis and they often stand to gain the most from this action. The problem with most UITs is that they usually remain fixed on a buy and hold basis. This ends when the trust is terminated. Most investors can experience various fees, charges, and taxes that can affect their investment because the UIT was pushed on them with the idea of reinvesting.

While not all UITs are bad and some brokers can make this a positive investment, not all brokers understand them completely and thus can’t help investors understand them. They are complex and often difficult to navigate. When someone who is inexperienced with UITs recommends this investment, it is bad advice and should be avoided completely. This is what often causes unsuspecting investors to lose money.

Our securities attorneys at Meyer Wilson help investors who have lost money due to bad advice, fraudulent schemes, or other related violations. We work to help our clients recover their losses from the responsible broker. You can schedule your complimentary case evaluation with our firm and discuss the specific details of your case. Our goal is to protect you and your finances from breach of fiduciary duty on the broker’s or brokerage firm’s behalf. Call us today to begin discussing your case.

To Whom Do I Write My Check?

When it comes to securities fraud cases, it seems that one of the more common issues in the matter is investors not knowing to whom they should write the check. This is a problem that results in investors often losing money. It is extremely important for you to know where your money is going and exactly who is benefitting from it.

Oftentimes, the broker will ask the investor to write the check out to him or her directly or to the company which they own. This is a mistake. You should only write the check to the company that will be taking custody of your funds. This is generally the large brokerage firm that is a trusted name in the industry. If the broker asks you to make the check payable to him or her, or the independently owned company, it should be a red flag.

When dealing with a broker or a registered financial advisor, the check should be made out only to the large institution. While there are some honest independent brokers and brokerage firms, you should still make sure that you are writing the check out to a reputable institution that is serving as the custodian of your assets. You should always perform enough research to make sure that you can trust the broker or brokerage firm with which you are working.

Investors who have been requested to write the check out to the broker are often the victims of securities fraud. If you have lost money in this manner, our securities attorneys at Meyer Wilson may be able to help. We aim to recover your losses from the broker who has wronged you. During your free case review, we can discuss the situation you are involved in and work to determine if you have a case. Call today to get started.

Be Mindful of Investment Seminars as a Retiree

There are numerous brokerage firms out there that send out mail promoting seminars to discuss investment strategies or advice for individuals regarding their finances. These are often sent out to retirees who may appear to be more vulnerable. They promise of a free meal in return for your time, but it is important to know what the broker’s intentions are and what they are trying to do. If you have received one of these invitations, be mindful that the intention is for you to buy in to what they are selling.

Keep in mind, these may not always be the best options and it is crucial that you do research ahead of time in order to keep yourself and your finances protected. You will want to make sure that the individual or brokerage firm that sent the invitation is a registered representative with the SEC and FINRA. If the person is not registered, avoid the seminar. You can also check with other registered representatives and see if the investment is a viable option for you and your current finances.

One of the most important things you can do should you decide to attend the seminar is to make sure you ask a lot of questions regarding the investment. The fact is, if a broker is only out for their own benefit, they may not disclose all of the information you need. By asking questions, you can engage with the broker or brokerage firm and receive answers to your questions. This can involve the fees involved, any risks, or any hidden information.

You need to make sure you are protected and determine if this investment is the right choice. This is something that is ongoing and you should be aware of your options.

If you are a retiree and have been the victim of this situation, it is important to take legal action. Our securities lawyers at Meyer Wilson work with you to recover any losses that you may have experienced. Whether we notice bad investment advice or breach of fiduciary duty, our goal is to hold the broker accountable for their actions. Contact us today for your free consultation.

The Risks of Investing on Margin

Investing on margin is a very difficult and risky investment to make unless you are a seasoned investor. Oftentimes, there are investors who are just starting or have very little experience in investments who are talked into investing on margin. This often means they don’t have the money to take the risk and this investment can result in large, significant losses. Unfortunately, investing on margin can leave you with an empty portfolio.

By investing on margin, you are essentially taking out a loan with your brokerage firm. This allows you to have more money in your account for buying stocks, but it comes with some interest rates and regulations of which to be aware. It is important for you to understand a few things regarding investing on margins.

The maintenance margin requirement is usually the issue that causes investors to lose money. This states that your account must maintain 25% of the current market value of the securities in the account. Should your account go below the minimum requirement, you may face a margin call. The result of a margin call is you either putting more funds in the account or having to sell some of your stocks in order to pay back the amount you borrowed. This means you can lose more money than you initially had plans to invest.

At Meyer Wilson, our securities lawyers believe that if you do not have significant funds in order to invest on margin, this is something you should avoid. If a broker advises you to invest on margin while knowing that you do not have the money necessary to do so without concern, this may warrant legal action. We aim to help you recover your losses if you lost money due to investing on margin as a result of bad advice from a broker or brokerage firm. Call for your free case evaluation and discuss how we can help you.

Brokers' Fees and How They Affect You

When it comes to investing, brokers are paid in different ways. It is a common occurrence, though, for investors to be unaware of the broker’s fees and how they are expected to pay. Oftentimes, this can lead to securities fraud cases in which the broker recommends an investment based on commission, even if the investment is not right for the investor.

It is important for investors to read the fine print or ask questions in order to fully understand how their broker’s fees are structured. Whether the broker is paid by salary by the brokerage firm employing them, hourly by the investor, or by commission, these are things that investors should know in order to choose the right fee structure for their portfolio. When trading, it is important to know what you will be paying to the broker and how it can affect the recommendations being provided to you. It is not uncommon for commission-based brokers to focus on their own profits rather than those of the investor.

By understanding how brokers are paid and recognizing any discrepancies in your account, you can avoid significant losses due to broker actions. You may also notice that the fees are placed in the fine print or you are not informed of these numbers. This can constitute as fraud and you may be able to take legal action to recover any losses that were a result of bad investments.

Our securities attorneys at Meyer Wilson work with clients in order to determine if securities fraud has occurred. During your free consultation, we discuss the specifics of your case, your contract with your broker, and any fees that may have been hidden or wrongfully acquired by the broker. This allows us to work towards recovering monetary losses for you. Call us today to find out more.