Investors work with a financial adviser or stockbroker because they feel their finances are in good hands. But many advisers fail to exercise the appropriate care or, worse yet, abuse their position as fiduciaries to increase their own profits at their clients’ expense.
Securities regulations revolve around the “fiduciary duty” that advisers and brokerage firms owe their clients. This duty arises out of financial professionals’ superior financial knowledge compared to the average investor, and the resulting potential for abuse. A fiduciary duty requires advisers to act in their client’s best interests.
With your investments and savings on the line, you should choose a securities arbitration attorney with the requisite experience and securities industry knowledge needed to combat the brokerage firm’s “hired gun” lawyers.
Business Trial Group attorneys have helped investors recover tens of millions of dollars in losses sustained by securities fraud. With the resources of a 500-plus attorney firm and a contingency-fee model, our firm provides clients all the benefits of a large firm without the burden of hourly fees. Doing so levels the playing field between investors and powerful Wall Street firms and ensures a fair trial or arbitration process.
Investments always pose a risk, but investors do not have to accept fraud or negligence on the part of an adviser or brokerage firm. If you are the victim of investment misconduct, contact the Business Trial Group for a free case review.
How Does FINRA Arbitration Work?
Investors may not know it, but in most cases they sign away their right to a trial by jury when they open an account for a securities firm’s brokerage services. Instead, securities firms will typically require their customers to agree to arbitrate any issues before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
FINRA is a self-regulatory organization responsible for promoting securities market integrity and resolving disputes between public investors, member firms, and firm employees. At the end of an arbitration proceeding, an arbitration panel issues a binding decision, which may include a monetary award to the investor as compensation for any investment losses resulting from broker misconduct. Arbitration awards are difficult to appeal, providing aggrieved investors comfort from the long, protracted process often present in typical court proceedings.
FINRA arbitration usually takes a little over one year from the time the claim is filed until a decision is reached. Importantly, FINRA requires a claim to be filed within 6 years from the time the alleged misconduct occurred, and oftentimes even sooner.
Although FINRA arbitration purports to be a neutral forum for claims resolution, arbitration panels often have industry biases. For this reason, investors need to hire the right attorney with the necessary resources to fight back against powerful financial interests.
Cases We Handle
Losing money in the stock market or having an investment decrease in value does not necessarily indicate misconduct. For misconduct to occur, a broker or firm must have violated securities regulations or the duties to the client in some form or fashion. Financial adviser misconduct is widespread and costs investors hundreds of millions of dollars per year.
The Business Trial Group represents investors in a wide range of adviser misconduct claims, including:
- Unsuitable Investments
- Excessive Trading/Churning
- Selling Away
- Unauthorized Trading
- Excessive Use of Margin
- Fraud or Misrepresentation
- Failure to Supervise
Advisers owe their investment clients a duty of loyalty and good faith when researching and recommending portfolio products. Because no two investors — and no two investment products — are identical, investment fraud claims must be evaluated on an individual basis.
Common Types of Investment Fraud
Some investment schemes are outright scams. Other investments are legitimate but present risks that may not be appropriate for all investors, or are not explained fully to the investor at the time of purchase. Under no circumstances may an adviser sell investments that are not offered by the brokerage firm they work for. Adviser conflicts-of-interest should also be disclosed.
The Business Trial Group helps investors recoup financial losses from fraudulent investment schemes involving many types of products, including:
- Structured Products
- Variable Annuities
- Oil and Gas Limited Partnerships
- Hedge Funds
- Precious Metals
- Private Placements
- Junk Bonds
- Ponzi Schemes
The Business Trial Group Protects Investors
The Business Trial Group has seen many hard-working people lose not just their investments, but their financial security — due to investment misconduct. That is why we combine experienced and skilled securities attorneys with a contingency-fee business model.
No matter how long arbitration takes, you pay no-upfront legal fees, and you pay nothing until we recover your investment losses.
Learn more about how the Business Trial Group could assist you during a no-cost, no-obligation case review.