Too often, people invest their hard-earned money with brokers or work with financial planners who are motivated by personal financial gain, rather than their clients’ goals and best interests. To prevent fraud and keep financial professionals honest, on track, and focused on your interests we will help you:
- Understand your investment advisor’s legal obligations. Is your investment advisor a fiduciary? Learn about changes to investment advisors’ legal obligations. Head’s up: important changes are coming in April 2017.
- Determine how much you’re paying. For example, know what you’re paying for:
- expense ratio (percentage of the investment paid for operating expenses)
- transaction fees (services charges when you buy or sell a stock, mutual fund, or ETF)
- 12b-1 fees (for marketing and distribution)
- redemption or surrender fees (if you don’t keep an investment long enough)
- commissions (a.k.a. front end load, paid when you buy or sell)
- account service fees (for account balances below a defined amount)
- investment management or advisory fees (percentage of total assets managed) and
- annual account or custodian fees (fixed annual fee $10-$90 per year depending on type of account).
- Understand each of your investments, including the fine print.
- Determine your legal options and remedies if you change your mind about an investment or lose confidence in your investment advisor.
- Check your investment advisor’s disciplinary history. Have other consumers filed complaints? Has the investment advisor or his firm been disciplined before?
- Comprehend the implications of an investment decision or your investment advisor’s advice. Trust your instincts, if something feels wrong, we’ll help you get to the bottom of it.
- Find out whether financial losses you or a loved one experienced are due to a conflict of interest, improper investment advice, or outright theft. Even in the worst case scenario, our team will work diligently to recoup your losses and hold the wrongdoer and their firm accountable (see Fiduciary Duty Litigation and Fraud Litigation, for example).
Fiduciary Duty Litigation
Fiduciary duties are created when an individual (the fiduciary) is placed in a position of trust and confidence by another (the principal) to handle its affairs. The fiduciary must act in the principal’s best interests, which means putting his or her interests above all others. These special relationships develop, for example, between corporate directors and their shareholders, financial planners and certain clients, employees and their employers, trustees and their beneficiaries, attorneys and their clients, and in many other situations.
Fraud generally involves a lie or deceptive practice employed so the perpetrator profits at an unsuspecting victim’s expense. There are many different types of fraud such as consumer fraud, insurance fraud, and investment fraud, but the outcome is similar: innocent victims suffering varying degrees of financial loss. Our attorneys are dedicated to investigating fraudulent schemes and helping recover ill-gotten gains from the schemers.