Entradas destacadas

Inversionistas con línea de crédito y cuentas de margen respaldadas por valores: ¿Cómo recupera sus pérdidas de inversión?

Si está leyendo este artículo, suponemos que tuvo una mala experiencia recientemente en una línea de crédito respaldada por valores ("SBL") o en una cuenta de margen que sufrió llamadas de margen y fue liquidada sin previo aviso, lo que provocó que usted realizara pérdidas. Normalmente, los inversores con llamadas de margen reciben de 3 a 5 días para cumplirlas; y si eso sucediera, el valor de los valores de su cuenta podría haber aumentado en ese período y la empresa podría haber borrado la llamada de margen y podría no haber liquidado su cuenta. Si usted es un inversor que ha experimentado llamadas de margen en el pasado, y esa es su única queja entonces, no siga leyendo porque cuando firmó el acuerdo de cuenta con la firma de corretaje que eligió para hacer negocios, probablemente le dio el derecho de liquidar todos los valores de su cuenta en cualquier momento sin previo aviso. Por otra parte, si usted es un inversor con poca experiencia o uno con una condición financiera modesta al que se le convenció para que abriera una cuenta de línea de crédito respaldada por valores sin que se le informara de la verdadera naturaleza, mecánica y/o riesgos de la apertura de dicha cuenta, ¡entonces debería llamarnos ahora! Alternativamente, si usted es un inversor que necesita retirar dinero para una casa o para pagar sus impuestos o la educación de sus hijos, pero se le convenció para que mantuviera una cartera de acciones y/o bonos basura arriesgada o concentrada en una cuenta de garantía prendaria para una línea de crédito o una cuenta de margen, entonces probablemente también podamos ayudarle a recuperar sus pérdidas de inversión. La clave para una recuperación exitosa de su pérdida de inversión es no centrarse en la liquidación por parte de la empresa de corretaje de los valores de su cuenta sin previo aviso. En lugar de ello, la atención de su caso debe centrarse en lo que se le dijo y en si la recomendación era adecuada para usted antes de que abriera la cuenta y sufriera la liquidación.

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Regulación del interés superior (Reg. BI): Mejor pero no el mejor!

Finalmente, diez años después de que se promulgara la Ley Dodd Frank de Reforma de Wall Street y Protección al Consumidor de 2010 (Dodd-Frank) para introducir cambios radicales en la industria de los valores, la mejor regulación que la Comisión de Valores e Intercambio de los Estados Unidos ("SEC") pudo aprobar, la Regulación SEC Best Interest, es ahora la ley que rige a los corredores-traficantes que dan consejos de inversión a los clientes minoristas. Aunque la SEC tenía la autoridad para imponer un estándar uniforme y expansivo de "Deber Fiduciario" en todo el país a los corredores-traficantes y asesores de inversión, cedió a las demandas de la industria de corretaje de valores y promulgó la Regulación del Mejor Interés ("Reg. BI"), que es mejor que la "Regla de Idoneidad" de la Autoridad Reguladora de la Industria Financiera ("FINRA"), pero no es lo mejor que se podría haber hecho para proteger a los inversores. El mes pasado la FINRA enmendó su Regla de Idoneidad para cumplir con el Reg. BI de la SEC y dejó claro que los corredores de bolsa ahora tienen uniformemente deberes relacionados con la divulgación, el cuidado, los conflictos y el cumplimiento, que son equivalentes a la norma de "deber fiduciario" del derecho consuetudinario al hacer recomendaciones a los clientes minoristas. Véase la notificación reglamentaria 20-18 de la FINRA. 1

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Arbitraje FINRA: Qué esperar y por qué debe elegir nuestro bufete de abogados

Si está leyendo este artículo, probablemente sea un inversor que ha perdido una cantidad sustancial de dinero, buscó en Google "Abogado de Arbitraje FINRA", hizo clic en varios sitios web de abogados, y tal vez incluso habló con un llamado "Abogado de Arbitraje de Valores" que le dijo después de una llamada telefónica de cinco minutos que "tiene un gran caso"; "necesita firmar un acuerdo de retención sobre una base de 'honorarios de contingencia'"; y "necesita actuar ahora porque el estatuto de limitaciones va a correr".

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Introducción de un corredor de bolsa a los exámenes e investigaciones de la FINRA

Los corredores y asesores financieros a menudo no entienden cuáles son sus responsabilidades y obligaciones y lo que puede resultar de un examen o investigación de la Autoridad Reguladora de la Industria Financiera (FINRA). Muchos corredores ni siquiera conocen el papel que desempeña la FINRA dentro de la industria. Esto puede deberse al hecho de que la FINRA, una organización autorreguladora, no es una entidad gubernamental y no puede condenar a los profesionales financieros a la cárcel por la violación de las normas y reglamentos de la industria. No obstante, todos los corredores que hacen negocios con el público deben registrarse en la FINRA. En su calidad de miembros registrados, los corredores de bolsa, y los corredores que trabajan para ellos, han acordado cumplir las normas y reglamentos del sector, que incluyen las normas de la FINRA.

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Comprender la regla 2111 de la FINRA: la idoneidad

Como inversor, es posible que haya oído hablar de la regla 2111 de la FINRA, también conocida como regla de idoneidad. Pero, ¿qué es exactamente la FINRA 2111? ¿Y cómo le afecta a usted y a sus inversiones? Cuando usted contrata a una empresa de corretaje o a un asesor financiero para que le recomiende una transacción o una estrategia de inversión, espera que lo hagan de manera adecuada para usted y sus circunstancias particulares. Sin embargo, por desgracia, no siempre es así. Si usted ha sufrido pérdidas financieras como resultado de las estrategias de inversión inadecuadas y las recomendaciones de su asesor financiero, póngase en contacto con el abogado de la ley de valores Robert Wayne Pearce hoy. Una visión general de la regla 2111 de la FINRA La idoneidad en la inversión es un concepto general que describe si una inversión individual es adecuada para un cliente después de considerar las características de ese cliente en particular. La regla de idoneidad requiere que los asesores financieros tengan una "base razonable" para creer que una transacción o estrategia de inversión recomendada es adecuada para su cliente. Un asesor financiero determina la idoneidad de una determinada operación o estrategia de inversión mediante el conocimiento del perfil de inversión de su cliente. Los expertos interpretan que la norma 2111 de la FINRA exige a los asesores financieros que hagan recomendaciones que redunden en beneficio de sus clientes. La FINRA describe situaciones en las que los asesores financieros violan la regla de idoneidad al anteponer sus intereses a los de su cliente, entre ellas Asesores financieros que recomiendan a sus clientes que utilicen el margen para comprar un mayor número de valores para aumentar las comisiones; Corredores de bolsa que recomiendan valores inadecuados con altas comisiones debido a la presión de su empresa para vender los valores; o Un corredor de bolsa que recomienda un producto sobre otro con el objetivo de ganar más comisiones. Las recomendaciones de inversión inadecuadas provocan pérdidas de miles de dólares a los inversores cada año, debido a que los asesores financieros recomiendan productos sin liquidez, especulativos y de alto riesgo. Si esto le ha sucedido a usted, póngase en contacto con un abogado experto en pérdidas por inversiones hoy mismo para comenzar con su caso. Obligaciones de idoneidad impuestas por la regla 2111 de la FINRA La regla 2111 consta de tres obligaciones principales: idoneidad de base razonable, idoneidad específica del cliente e idoneidad cuantitativa. Idoneidad de base razonable La idoneidad de base razonable exige que un asesor financiero tenga una base razonable, basada en una diligencia razonable, para creer que una recomendación es adecuada para el público en general. Esta diligencia razonable debe proporcionar al asesor financiero una comprensión básica de los riesgos y beneficios asociados a la transacción o estrategia de inversión recomendada. Un corredor debe comprender los riesgos y recompensas asociados a una inversión concreta. No hacerlo y recomendar la inversión a un cliente de todos modos podría dar lugar a acusaciones de tergiversación de la inversión. Si un corredor no cumple con alguno de estos requisitos, no se cumple la obligación de idoneidad sobre una base razonable. Idoneidad específica para el cliente La idoneidad específica para el cliente implica tener en cuenta detalles concretos sobre un cliente individual para determinar si una operación o estrategia de inversión es adecuada. Las características de un cliente que deben considerarse durante un análisis de idoneidad incluyen: Situación laboral, Edad, Situación financiera, Situación fiscal, Experiencia en inversiones, Objetivos de inversión, Tolerancia al riesgo, Necesidades de liquidez y Horizonte temporal de inversión. El asesor financiero debe evaluar estas características para determinar si la inversión o la estrategia es adecuada para ese cliente en particular. Idoneidad cuantitativa El elemento de idoneidad cuantitativa evalúa el volumen de operaciones realizadas por un asesor financiero. Para un análisis de idoneidad cuantitativa, las operaciones realizadas en la cuenta de inversión de un cliente se consideran en su conjunto. La cuestión es si las inversiones recomendadas constituyen una estrategia adecuada en su conjunto, no si cada operación individual fue adecuada. La obligación de idoneidad cuantitativa pretende evitar que los asesores financieros realicen operaciones excesivas en la cuenta de un cliente con el único fin de generar comisiones. Póngase en contacto con un abogado especializado en pérdidas de inversión hoy Los casos de pérdidas de inversión FINRA 2111 pueden ser particularmente complejos. Es por eso que es importante tener un abogado con experiencia en pérdidas de inversión en su esquina. Desde 1980, los abogados de The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., han representado a innumerables inversionistas en su lucha por sus derechos. Si usted es una víctima de la negligencia de los corredores o la mala conducta, queremos ayudar. Hemos recuperado más de 140 millones de dólares para clientes que se lo merecen, y lucharemos para que usted también obtenga los resultados que se merece. Póngase en contacto con nuestro equipo hoy mismo para una evaluación gratuita de su caso, y vea lo que podemos hacer por usted.

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Norma FINRA 2010: Normas de Honor Comercial y Principios de Comercio

La regla 2010 de la FINRA establece que los miembros de la FINRA deben observar "altos estándares de honorabilidad comercial y principios justos y equitativos de comercio" en la conducción de sus negocios. Si esta regla le parece amplia, es porque lo es. Y, por desgracia, los miembros de la FINRA no siempre están a la altura de estas elevadas normas prescritas en la Regla 2010 de la FINRA. Entonces, ¿qué hacer si su corredor o asesor financiero no ha cumplido con sus obligaciones bajo la FINRA 2010? La mala conducta de los corredores cuesta a los inversores millones de dólares en pérdidas de inversión cada año. Dichas pérdidas son a menudo el resultado de un fraude, una tergiversación o una supervisión negligente de su cuenta. Aunque esta mala conducta puede tener graves consecuencias financieras para usted, afortunadamente existen vías para exigir responsabilidades a estos infractores. Si usted ha sufrido pérdidas que usted cree que son el resultado de su corredor de no mantener los altos estándares de honor comercial y los principios equitativos de comercio, póngase en contacto con The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. Discutir su caso con un abogado de pérdida de la inversión con experiencia tan pronto como sea posible para ver cómo usted puede ser capaz de recuperar. Resumen de otras reglas notables de la FINRA Normalmente, las reglas de la FINRA describen la conducta específica prohibida por la propia regla. Por ejemplo: La Regla 1122 de la FINRA prohíbe a los miembros de la FINRA y a otras personas presentar información de membresía o de registro en la FINRA que contenga información incompleta o inexacta; la Regla 2111 de la FINRA requiere que los corredores sólo recomienden inversiones o estrategias de inversión que sean adecuadas para el cliente; y la Regla 5270 de la FINRA prohíbe la ejecución frontal de transacciones en bloque. Entonces, ¿dónde entra en juego la norma FINRA 2010? A menudo, los inversores utilizan la Regla 2010 para hacer frente a una mala conducta no descrita en otras reglas de la FINRA. La Regla 2010 funciona como una disposición general para proteger a los inversores de la negligencia financiera y otras prácticas poco éticas por parte de los asesores e instituciones financieras. ¿Qué prohíbe la Regla 2010? La Regla 2010 sanciona a los corredores por mala fe o por una conducta poco ética "relacionada con el negocio". Recibir una sanción en virtud de la Regla 2010 no significa necesariamente que el corredor haya violado la ley, aunque una violación de la ley de valores por sí misma apoya la conclusión de que un corredor ha violado la Regla 2010. Las conductas consideradas poco éticas o inmorales, aunque no necesariamente prohibidas por la ley, autorizan la aplicación de medidas disciplinarias en virtud de la regla. Requisito relacionado con el negocio La Regla 2010 de FINRA ordena que la supuesta mala conducta esté relacionada con el negocio para calificar para la disciplina bajo esta regla. En una acción disciplinaria de la FINRA de 2019, un Panel de Audiencia de la FINRA explicó que la relación entre las acciones poco éticas del miembro de la FINRA y la conducta de su negocio de valores no tiene que estar estrechamente conectada. Más bien, el Panel dio a entender que la Regla 2010 se extiende a cualquier mala conducta que "se refleje en la capacidad de la persona asociada para cumplir con los requisitos reglamentarios del negocio de valores y para cumplir con [sus] deberes fiduciarios en el manejo del dinero de otras personas". Ejemplos de violaciones de la Regla 2010 de la FINRA En última instancia, cada caso en el que se alega una violación de la Regla 2010 requiere un análisis individual para determinar si la mala conducta equivale a una violación de la regla. Para determinar si la regla fue violada, se requiere la evaluación tanto de la totalidad de las circunstancias como del contexto de la mala conducta. Recuerde que una infracción de la Norma 2010 se produce incluso en circunstancias en las que el corredor no comete una infracción de la ley estatal o federal. Las acciones que se consideran una violación de la Regla 2010 incluyen Apropiación indebida de fondos de clientes o de un empleador; Compartir la información confidencial de los clientes sin aprobación; Falsificar firmas; Hacer alteraciones en documentos financieros importantes; Solicitar donaciones para beneficio personal u otros usos no autorizados; Tergiversar la información financiera a los clientes; y Negarse a pagar los honorarios de los abogados y otros gastos después de iniciar un litigio contra un cliente. Las acusaciones de la Regla 2010 surgen con frecuencia en conjunto con las acusaciones de que un corredor violó otra Regla de la FINRA. Póngase en contacto con un abogado de pérdidas de inversión para responder a sus preguntas sobre la Regla 2010 Podría decirse que el núcleo de la regulación de valores es la FINRA 2010. Sin esta regla, los miembros de la FINRA no tendrían la obligación general de llevar a cabo sus negocios con tan altos estándares de honor e integridad. Por supuesto, incluso con la Norma 2010 en vigor, los miembros de la FINRA inevitablemente no cumplirán con estas normas. Con más de 40 años de experiencia en la representación de los inversores y la celebración de sus corredores y asesores financieros responsables de la mala conducta, usted puede estar seguro de que nuestro equipo tiene el conocimiento y los recursos necesarios para luchar por usted. El abogado Robert Pearce tiene un sólido historial de éxitos, recuperando fondos para más del 99% de sus clientes inversores. Para discutir su caso y comenzar el proceso hacia la compensación, póngase en contacto con nosotros hoy para una evaluación gratuita del caso.

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La compra y venta excesiva de valores para generar comisiones se llama "Churning" - ¿Le está pasando a usted?

Muchas personas se preguntan a menudo: ¿es ilegal el churning? La respuesta es sí. Las regulaciones de la SEC y las normas de la FINRA prohíben la práctica de realizar compras o ventas excesivas de valores en cuentas de inversores con el propósito principal de generar comisiones, lo que se conoce como churning. A pesar de la ilegalidad del churning, FINRA presentó 190 acciones de arbitraje para el año 2020 hasta finales de diciembre contra corredores acusados de esta práctica. Si usted sufrió pérdidas en su cuenta de inversión como resultado de la negociación excesiva, póngase en contacto con un abogado de fraude de churning para determinar si tiene derecho a recuperar la compensación. ¿Qué es el churning en las finanzas? El churning, también conocido como trading excesivo, adquiere un nuevo significado en la industria financiera que no tiene nada que ver con la mantequilla. La negociación excesiva se produce cuando un agente de bolsa realiza múltiples operaciones en la cuenta de inversión de un cliente con el objetivo principal de generar altas comisiones. El churning suele provocar pérdidas importantes a los inversores. La Regulación de Mejor Interés de la SEC, o Reg BI, establece una norma de conducta para los corredores de bolsa y sus empleados cuando recomiendan inversiones a clientes minoristas. La Reg BI exige a los corredores que actúen en el mejor interés del cliente y que no antepongan sus propios intereses a los del inversor. El "churning" casi nunca es lo mejor para el inversor, incluso para aquellos que tienen estrategias comerciales agresivas. Señales de que su asesor está haciendo "churning" en su cuenta de inversión El "churning" de las acciones conduce a importantes pérdidas para el inversor, especialmente en situaciones en las que se prolonga durante un largo periodo de tiempo. Muchas veces, los inversores no reconocen los indicadores de que su agente ha cometido el delito de negociación excesiva hasta que es demasiado tarde. Hay una serie de señales de precaución a las que debe prestar atención cuando teme que su asesor financiero esté negociando en exceso en su cuenta. Operaciones no autorizadas Las operaciones no autorizadas se producen cuando un corredor negocia valores en su cuenta de inversión sin recibir autorización previa. Si tiene una cuenta de inversión discrecional, su asesor financiero tiene autorización para realizar operaciones en su cuenta sin pedirle su aprobación para cada transacción; sin embargo, su agente sigue estando obligado a cumplir la norma del mejor interés. Las operaciones excesivas pueden ser más difíciles de detectar con una cuenta discrecional. La aparición de numerosas operaciones no autorizadas en el extracto de su cuenta es motivo de preocupación. Para reconocer estas operaciones, debe revisar el extracto de su cuenta mensualmente y verificar la información proporcionada. Si observa operaciones no autorizadas en el extracto de su cuenta, notifíquelo inmediatamente a su corredor y a su empresa de corretaje. Volumen de operaciones inusualmente alto Un alto volumen de operaciones en un corto periodo de tiempo puede significar que se está produciendo un "churning", especialmente para los inversores que siguen una estrategia de inversión conservadora. Preste especial atención a las transacciones que implican la compra y venta de los mismos valores una y otra vez. El abogado Robert Pearce tiene más de 40 años de experiencia representando a clientes cuya mala conducta de los corredores les causó pérdidas financieras. La amplia experiencia del Sr. Pearce le permite reconocer los indicadores de churning inmediatamente y probar la cantidad de daños que usted sufrió como resultado de la mala conducta de su corredor. Comisiones excesivas Las comisiones inusualmente altas que aparecen en su estado de cuenta es otra indicación de la negociación excesiva. Si las comisiones se disparan significativamente de un mes a otro, o si un segmento de su cartera de inversiones genera sistemáticamente comisiones más altas que cualquier otro segmento, existe la posibilidad de que su corredor esté manipulando su cuenta. Los extractos de cuenta no suelen incluir los importes de las comisiones cobradas por cada transacción individual. Por lo tanto, no dude en ponerse en contacto con su agente de bolsa para pedir una explicación de las comisiones cargadas en su cuenta. Si usted siente que le están cobrando comisiones excesivas en sus cuentas de inversión, póngase en contacto con The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., para discutir sus opciones. Póngase en contacto con nuestra oficina hoy para una consulta gratuita Churning en la industria financiera puede resultar en sanciones monetarias e incluso la inhabilitación de la industria financiera en casos extremos. La práctica implica la manipulación y el engaño de los inversores que confían en sus corredores para actuar en su mejor interés, lo que justifica el castigo severo. Robert Wayne Pearce ha manejado docenas de casos de churning y puede proporcionar una revisión completa de sus estados de cuenta para determinar si se produjo el comercio excesivo. Además, las Oficinas Legales de Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., emplea a expertos que pueden realizar un análisis de la actividad comercial en su cuenta para establecer pruebas concretas de que la práctica se produjo. Tenemos la experiencia, los conocimientos y el compromiso para obtener los daños que usted merece. Póngase en contacto con nuestra oficina hoy para una evaluación gratuita del caso.

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La norma FINRA "Conozca a su cliente" y la idoneidad de la inversión: ¿cómo se aplica a usted?

FINRA regulates the conduct of brokers in the securities industry to protect investors from suffering losses due to financial advisor misconduct. The agency formulates rules to outline the behavior expected of broker-dealers and financial advisors when dealing with their investment clients. Nevertheless, FINRA receives thousands of customer complaints every year alleging violations of FINRA Rules. FINRA Rule 2090, the Know Your Customer (KYC) rule, and FINRA Rule 2111, the suitability rule, mandate minimum knowledge requirements for brokers when making investment recommendations and commonly appear in these customer complaints.  If you suffered investment losses due to unsuitable investment recommendations, The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., can help you determine if your broker violated one of these rules. Contact our office today for a free consultation. FINRA Rule 2090: Know Your Customer Rule FINRA Rule 2090, or the Know Your Client rule, requires financial advisors to know the “essential facts concerning every customer and concerning the authority of each person acting on behalf of such customer” when opening and maintaining a client investment account. The “essential facts” described in the rule include details that are required to: Service the account effectively; Satisfy any special handling instructions for the account; Understand the authority of anyone acting on the customer’s behalf; and Comply with applicable laws, regulations, and rules. The KYC rule protects clients from investment losses by requiring their financial advisor to learn detailed information about their personal financial circumstances. The rule protects financial advisors by outlining the essential information about customers at the outset of the relationship, prior to any recommendations. Additionally, the financial adviser receives notification of any third parties authorized to act on the customer’s behalf. The Know Your Client rule acts in tandem with the suitability rule, FINRA Rule 2111. The information learned by financial advisors through the KYC requirement factors into the analysis of whether an investment recommendation is suitable.  FINRA Rule 2111: Suitability Alleged violation of investment suitability requirements resulted in 1,220 customer complaints filed with FINRA in 2020 alone, down from 1,580 complaints in 2019. The suitability rule requires financial advisors to have a “reasonable basis” to believe that a recommended transaction or investment strategy is suitable for the customer. A financial advisor determines the suitability of a transaction or investment strategy through ascertaining the customer’s investment profile. Factors involved in a suitability analysis include the customer’s: Age, Investment experience, Financial situation, Tax status, Investment goals, Investment time horizon, Liquidity needs, and Risk tolerance. Numerous cases interpret the FINRA suitability rule as requiring financial advisors to make recommendations that are in the best interest of their customers. FINRA outlines situation where financial advisors have violated the suitability rule by placing their interests above the interests of their client, including: A broker who recommends one product over another to receive larger commissions; Financial advisors who recommend that clients use margin to purchase a larger number of securities to increase commissions; and Brokers who recommend speculative securities with high commissions because of pressure from their firm to sell the securities. Any indication that a financial advisor has placed his or her interests ahead of the client’s interest can support a claim for a violation of the suitability rule. Rule 2111 consists of three primary obligations: (1) reasonable basis suitability, (2) customer-specific suitability, and (3) quantitative suitability. Reasonable Basis Suitability Reasonable basis suitability requires a financial advisor to have a reasonable basis to believe, based on reasonable diligence, that a recommendation is suitable for the public at large. A financial advisor’s reasonable diligence should provide him or her with an understanding of risks and rewards associated with the recommended investment or strategy. A failure to comprehend the risks and rewards associated with a particular investment prior to recommending the investment to a client can result in allegations of misrepresentation or fraud. If a broker fails to perform reasonable diligence regarding either component, the financial advisor violates this obligation. Customer-Specific Suitability Customer-specific suitability involves considering the specific details about an individual customer to determine if a transaction or investment strategy is suitable. The financial advisor reviews the details outlined above to determine the suitability of a particular transaction or strategy for each customer. Quantitative Suitability The quantitative suitability element requires financial advisors to recommend transactions that are suitable when viewed as a whole, not only when viewed in isolation. This element aims to prevent financial advisors from making excessive trades in a client’s account solely for the purpose of generating commission fees. Factors such as turnover rate, cost-equity ratio, and use of in-and-out trading indicate that the quantitative suitability obligation was violated. What Constitutes “Reasonable Diligence”  FINRA’s suitability rule requires brokers to exercise “reasonable diligence” in attempting to obtain customer-specific information. The reasonableness of a financial advisor’s effort to obtain such information will depend on the facts and circumstances of each investment relationship. A financial advisor typically relies on the responses provided by the customer in compiling information relevant to the customer’s investment profile. Some situations may prevent a broker from relying exclusively on a customer’s responses, including times when: A financial advisor poses misleading or confusing questions to a degree that the information-gathering process is tainted; The customer exhibits clear signs of diminished capacity; or Red flags exist that indicate the information may be inaccurate. Additionally, the suitability rule requires brokers to consider any other information provided by the customer in connection with investment recommendations.  Hiring an Investment Loss Attorney Violation of FINRA Rules 2090 and 2111 result in significant financial losses for investors every year. If you suffered losses because of unsuitable investment recommendations, you have the right to seek compensation from the parties responsible for your losses.  Cases against brokers and registered investment advisors can be complex for attorneys without experience in securities law.  Robert Wayne Pearce has over 40 years of experience representing investors in disputes against financial advisors and broker dealers. Mr. Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of investment-related disputes involving complex securities and FINRA rule violations. In fact, Mr. Pearce serves...

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Qué hace un abogado de valores

The term “securities” encompasses several forms of financial instruments that hold some type of monetary value. Securities exist in the form of: Stocks, Bonds, Options, Notes, Certificates of interest, Collateral trust certificates, Transferable shares, and Investment contracts. Consumers and financial professionals trade securities in financial markets in an attempt to generate profits.  The law regulating securities and financial industry professionals exists to protect investors and shareholders from misconduct and enforce compliance with federal and state securities laws. Securities laws evolve rapidly to keep pace with developments in financial markets. This is where securities lawyers come in. What Does a Securities Lawyer Do? A securities lawyer specializes in securities laws and regulations that apply to investors, brokers, and financial advisors. Securities lawyers represent investors claiming losses as a result of misconduct or fraud, as well as brokers and financial advisors accused of misconduct by their clients or their employers. Investment Losses? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. Attorney Robert Pearce has over 40 years of experience as a securities lawyer and has been named a Florida Super Lawyer through Thomson Reuters for Securities Litigation. The Super Lawyer title is awarded only to those in the top 5% in their area of law. Robert’s extensive knowledge of securities law and experience representing investors and financial professionals equip him to obtain the best results for each and every client. When Should an Investor Hire a Securities Lawyer? If you are an investor who suffered losses due to broker misconduct, you have the right to seek reimbursement from the parties responsible. Broker misconduct exists in multiple forms, including: Breach of fiduciary duty; Failure to disclose a conflict of interest; Churning, also known as excessive trading; Lack of diversification; Failure to adequately supervise; Misrepresentation; Omission of material facts; Unsuitable investment recommendations; Unauthorized trading; and  Misappropriating client funds.  While some forms of broker misconduct are easy to recognize, others are not. A financial advisor who stole funds out of your account and transferred them to a personal account clearly misappropriated your funds and committed misconduct. It’s more difficult to prove that a financial advisor recommended unsuitable investments, however, because the suitability of an investment depends on a number of different factors.  If you suffered investment losses and believe it was a result of broker misconduct, contact a securities lawyer today to evaluate your case.  The FINRA Arbitration Process FINRA is a self-governing regulatory agency charged with ensuring its members comply with the ethical rules of the financial industry and investigating investor complaints alleging misconduct and fraud. FINRA can impose fines and restrictions on brokers when necessary. Many investment contracts between brokers and investors include an arbitration provision that requires investors to file claims with FINRA. The FINRA arbitration process involves several steps, including: Filing a statement of claim; Selecting arbitrators; Participating in pre-hearing conferences and discovery; and Attending the arbitration hearing. Robert Pearce has represented hundreds of clients in the FINRA arbitration process. He is committed to obtaining the best results for his client in every case.  When Should a Financial Professional Hire a Securities Lawyer?  Brokers and investment advisors facing disputes with their brokerage firms or regulators should consider seeking the advice of a securities lawyer. We have represented investment professionals in investigations and administrative proceedings initiated by the: United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA); United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC); and Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board). Regulatory judgments against financial professionals can result in serious consequences, including being barred from the financial industry. You should seek the counsel of a securities lawyer as soon as possible after being contacted by any securities regulatory agency.  The securities lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., represent brokers and advisors in employment agreement disputes and in employment disputes involving discrimination. Additionally, our securities attorneys represent brokers and advisors against their employers in the event of Form U-5 Abuse, which occurs when an employer uses a Form U-5 to blackmail a former employee.  Contact The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., Today Robert has over 40 years of experience representing clients in securities disputes and has won multiple million-dollar awards on their behalf. We operate on a contingency fee basis. That means you have to pay for your legal representation only in the event of a settlement or award. When you suffer losses through no fault of your own, having an experienced securities lawyer in your corner can increase your chances of recovery. Contact our office today for a free case review.

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Qué es el abuso financiero de los ancianos: Las señales a las que debe prestar atención

Growing up, one of the lessons we’re all taught is to respect our elders. Unfortunately, many people fail to take this to heart. Unscrupulous family members and other bad actors often take advantage of senior citizens, especially when it comes to their finances. According to one study, financial elder abuse accounted for roughly 18% of elder abuse reports. However, the actual percentage is likely much higher; only about 1 in 44 financial abuse cases is ever reported. Because many elderly people live off of their investments, the consequences of this type of abuse can be particularly extreme. The best way to protect our elderly family members is to know the signs of financial elder abuse. By recognizing the abuse as soon as possible, we can hopefully prevent irreversible damage to their finances. What Is Elder Financial Abuse? Elder financial abuse is theft or mismanagement of an elderly person’s assets. These may include real estate, bank accounts, or other property that belongs to the elderly person. Because the abuser is often a close family member, or trusted financial advisor, elder financial abuse frequently goes unnoticed. Investment Losses? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. Sign #1: Unusual Bank Account Activity As they get older, many people grant financial powers of attorney to their spouse or adult children or trusted financial advisors. While this is perfectly normal, it opens up the possibility that the designated person may abuse that power. If you suspect elder financial abuse, pay close attention to the elderly person’s bank accounts and investments in their brokerage accounts. Withdrawals, transfers, or other suspicious activity like new or inactive accounts suddenly becoming active are red flags. The elderly person may be making these transfers themself, but it’s always good to be sure, since it could be for the wrong reasons (like the internet scams discussed below). Keep an eye on their investments as well. An elderly person’s portfolio is typically structured to provide a livable income off interest alone through low-risk investments. Keep an eye out for restructuring of investments to riskier funds or unexplained “cash outs.” Sign #2: Suspicious Internet Activity Over the past few years, there has been a drastic increase in the number of online scams targeting elderly people. Because elderly people are more trusting and less able to distinguish a scam from a legitimate venture, scammers frequently target them with fake tech support calls and the like. One of the most common online scams involves the scammer posing as a lover, friend, or family member online. After contacting the elderly victim, the scammer then requests money for plane tickets or some kind of emergency. This sign may be impossible to notice without speaking to the potential victim. Be wary if they mention someone new they met online or if you notice suspicious financial activity initiated by the victim. Sign #3: Missing Food or Unpaid Bills Ordinarily, caregivers or family members will make sure that an eldery person’s home is stocked with food and that bills are paid on time. Especially in a world with automatic bill payments, aging parents shouldn’t have to worry about paying their bills on time. A lack of food in the house and unpaid bills are indicators that that money is going elsewhere. Sign #4: Frequent Requests for Money by Someone Close to the Victim If someone makes frequent demands for money, that could be an indicator of financial exploitation. Anyone from neighbors to adult children may try to make frequent requests for money because they know the victim may have a poor memory or may have difficulty saying no.  Keep in mind that elder financial abuse like this is often subtle. Demands may not always be for large amounts of cash; this sign also includes polite requests for small amounts here and there. Over time, however, those “small amounts” can become exploitative. Sign #5: Payment for Unnecessary Services Door-to-door salesmen and “cold callers” may try to a upsell your elderly family member on services they don’t want or need. One common example of door-to-door sales abuse is roof repair or landscaping work. Cold callers barrage elderly at home with the next best investment in gold, silver, diamonds, and the next supposed Apple, Amazon, or Nextflix investment opportunity  to get into before its too late! These scams can take many different forms and may be difficult to spot. Sign #6: Threats or Coercion It may be difficult to imagine, but people may threaten their elderly family members to obtain money. These threats usually do not involve force, but rather things like, “I will put you in a home” or “I will stop visiting you.” If you don’t buy this stock, I’ll never call you again with any investment opportunities.  The abuser may also instruct the victim not to tell anyone what is happening. As a result, you’ll often have to pay close attention to spot this sign of elder financial abuse. Watch for a change in the elderly person’s demeanor or mood, especially around a suspected abuser.  What to Do If You Suspect Elder Financial Abuse If you suspect your loved one is the victim of elder financial abuse, there are a couple things you can do. If there is a health emergency, call 911 immediately; calling state adult protective services may also be appropriate in some circumstances. In most cases, your next step should be contacting a financial elder abuse attorney. They can provide legal advice and support to help stop the abuse and may be able to help the victim recover lost assets. Elder Financial Abuse and Financial Fraud Attorneys At the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., we have the experience and resources necessary to properly handle your elder financial abuse claim. We’ve helped hundreds of clients with securities and investment fraud of all kinds and are prepared to give you the professional, dedicated representation you need. Contact us today through our website or by phone at 800-732-2889 for a free consultation.

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Fraude de valores: Lo que debe saber como inversor

Investors trust their financial advisors to make important and wise decisions regarding the management of their investment portfolio. Financial advisors hold a position of trust with their clients, and clients expect their advisor to act with the client’s goals in mind. Unfortunately, advisors frequently violate the trust of their clients by committing various forms of securities fraud. It is important to note that suffering losses on your investments, by itself, is not a form of securities fraud. Securities fraud involves the deception of investors or the manipulation of financial markets through illegal methods. If you suffered investment losses but don’t know if you have a claim for securities fraud, our securities fraud lawyers at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., are ready to help. Contact us today to get started on your case. What Is Securities Fraud? Securities fraud, also known as investment fraud and stock fraud, is the deception of investors or the manipulation of financial markets through illegal methods. Investors who suffer losses as a result of securities fraud can seek to recover their losses. Investment Losses? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. Common Forms of Securities Fraud Securities fraud occurs in multiple different ways, making it even more difficult to recognize. Victims of securities fraud often suffer steep losses as a result of the fraud. Fortunately, victims of securities fraud can seek to recover their losses. So, what is securities fraud? Below are some of the most common forms of securities fraud.  Misrepresentations and Misleading Statements Misrepresentation is the most common type of securities fraud. It involves a false statement about an investment in a company; for example, a company that supposedly has earnings, a revolutionary product, or multi-million dollar contract when it has none of those assets. Misleading statements arise by omission; such as, using the same examples, when the financial advisor fails to tell you the earnings surprise was a one time past event, the revolutionary product can’t be patented, or the multi-million dollar contract is with another company about to file bankruptcy. Undoubtedly, those missing facts would have made all the difference to you in making your investment decision. The fraudster doesn’t care, he/she lies or misleads you to just get you to part with your money so he/she makes a commission. If you relied upon that intentionally false statement or misleading statement and made that investment, you have the right to claim securities fraud under federal and state statutes as well as ordinary common law fraud. But the securities fraud statutes usually have statutory remedies, including, prejudgment interest on the full purchase price from the date of purchase and attorney fees, to fully compensate you for your loss. The only problem with securities fraud statutes is they generally come with short statutes of limitation and so, you need to act fast and file suit quickly to take advantage of them. Ponzi-Like Schemes Ponzi schemes involve promises of high returns with little risk for investors, a staple of many forms of securities fraud. However, instead of issuing returns to investors out of profits, the funds of new investors are paid to early investors. Thus, Ponzi scheme victims receive guarantees of returns regardless of market conditions.  Ponzi schemes fall apart once there are no new investors providing funds. Companies operating Ponzi schemes focus the majority of their efforts into advertising to new investors to keep the scheme afloat.  Well-known financier Bernie Madoff was convicted of running the largest Ponzi scheme in history after evidence showed that Madoff falsified trading reports to indicate clients were earning profits on investments that did not exist. Madoff received a 150-year sentence in federal prison after pleading guilty. Embezzlement Embezzlement refers to the misappropriation of assets by a person entrusted with those assets. An embezzler possesses the assets lawfully at the outset, but once the assets are used for unintended purposes, embezzlement has occurred.  For example, financial advisors placed in charge of clients’ accounts possess authority to conduct transactions in the accounts, subject to some limitations. A financial advisor who steals assets entrusted to him or her by a client commits embezzlement.  Advance Fee Schemes Advance fee schemes target all kinds of victims and are becoming more prevalent with the rise of internet scams. Con artists operating advance fee schemes require the victim to pay an “advance fee” in anticipation of receiving something—such as a service, a product, or an investment opportunity—of greater value in return. The scheme operator convinces the victim to provide the fee, then subsequently informs the victim that he or she is ineligible for whatever was offered after the fee is paid. The victim is unable to recover the fee that was paid. To avoid suffering losses due to an advance fee scheme, take precautions before conducting business with a company you have never heard of. Providing any payment amount to a person or company you are unfamiliar with is a risky practice. When in doubt, speak to an experienced securities fraud attorney to determine whether the investment opportunity is fraudulent.  Pump and Dump Fraud A pump and dump scheme, also referred to as market manipulation, occurs when a group of fraudsters post content on the internet enticing investors to purchase a stock as soon as possible.  The fraudsters claim to have insider information regarding the product that will result in a jump in the share price of the stock. The fraudsters post content in multiple forums in an attempt to entice as many new investors as possible. Once investors purchase shares of the stock, the fraudsters sell their shares, resulting in a dramatic dip in the share price. New investors, lacking awareness of any fraudulent conduct, suffer the losses.  Pump and dump schemes began primarily through cold calling. However, the internet and social media provide fraudsters a more efficient way to attempt the scheme. Insider Trading Insider trading involves the use of “non-public, material information” to buy or sell stocks. Non-public material information includes any information that could substantially impact an investor’s decision...

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Arbitraje FINRA en 2021: La guía completa

If you lost money in the stock market because of your broker’s bad advice or careless investment practices, would you know where to turn for help recouping your losses? Robert Wayne Pearce and his team with the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., possess a tremendous amount of experience fighting for people just like you who pledged their hard-earned money to a securities broker or investment professional who lost most or all of their nest egg.  You might have a legal case if you relied on your investment professional to grow and protect your money but lost money instead. Taking on your broker and their firm is not easy. You need a tough, accomplished, and successful FINRA arbitration attorney who knows how to win by your side. Below is a complete guide on FINRA Arbitration in 2021. In this guide, you will learn about FINRA and the steps you can take to help recover your losses. I. FINRA Overview FINRA, the acronym for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, governs disputes between investors and brokers and disputes between brokers. In this article, we solely concentrate on how an individual private investor files a claim to recover losses against their broker or financial advisor.  We will explain how FINRA fits into the securities regulatory scheme. We will discuss how FINRA provides services designed to resolve disputes in a cost-effective manner that is quicker than a traditional court and give some insight into how FINRA‘s arbitration procedure works. Next, we will examine the pros and cons of FINRA arbitration. Lastly, we will discuss how a highly experienced lawyer who has represented numerous clients successfully at FINRA arbitration can help you recover your damages from your broker or financial advisor.  What Is FINRA? FINRA is not a government agency. Unlike the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), FINRA is an organization established by Congress to oversee the brokerage industry. FINRA is a self-governing body and operates independently from the U.S. government. By contrast, the SEC more broadly regulates the buying and selling of securities on various exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, and the American Stock Exchange. The SEC approves initial public offerings and secondary offerings and can halt trading to avoid a crash if necessary.  Additionally, the SEC has law enforcement powers. Along with the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys Office, the SEC can investigate acts surrounding the buying, selling, and issuing of securities. The U.S. Attorney can pursue charges for crimes relating to the stock market, such as insider trading and wire fraud.While, the SEC has the authority to file civil lawsuits against any person or organization violating the securities statutes and the SEC’s rules. How Is FINRA Different from the SEC? FINRA has a different function than the SEC altogether. FINRA is a regulatory agency designed to promote public confidence in the brokerage industry and the financial markets as well. People will not invest if they believe they have trusted unscrupulous financial advisors to protect their economic interests. FINRA ensures that its members comply with the ethical rules of their profession, similar to a state bar for attorneys or a board of registration for medical professionals.  Congress granted FINRA authorization to investigate complaints investors make concerning misconduct, fraud, or potentially criminal behavior. As a result, FINRA can discipline its members if the agency determines that a broker violated its professional code. FINRA can assess fines, place restrictions on a broker’s authority, or expel the member from its ranks for an egregious violation. Anyone who suspects their broker or their financial advisor of wrongdoing should file a complaint with FINRA’s complaint center for investors.  You should be aware that FINRA’s rules do not restrict you from filing a complaint seeking an investigation into wrongdoing and pursuing monetary damages in arbitration.  II. FINRA Alternative Dispute Resolution FINRA provides a forum for investors to resolve their disputes with their brokers or financial advisors. In fact, FINRA boasts the largest securities dispute resolution forum in the US. FINRA offers arbitration services, as well as mediation services, as a means to avoid costly and inefficient litigation in courts. FINRA provides a fair, effective, and efficient forum to resolve broker disputes. FINRA’s goal is to settle disputes quickly and efficiently without the standard procedural and discovery requirements that bog down cases filed in courts.  How Does Arbitration Work with FINRA? Arbitration is an alternative to filing a case in civil court. Arbitration tends to be less formal and is designed to process claims more quickly than filing a lawsuit in court.  FINRA’s arbitration process involves resolving monetary disputes among brokers and investors. FINRA’s arbitrators can issue monetary judgments and have the authority to order a broker to deliver securities to you if that is a just resolution of the case.  An arbitration hearing is similar to a trial in court. The parties admit evidence and argue their side to a neutral person or panel of arbitrators who will decide the case. The arbitrator’s decision, called an award, is the judgment of the case and is final. You should know that you do not have the right to appeal the award to another arbitrator. You may have an opportunity to pursue an appeal in court under limited circumstances. However, you cannot elect to arbitrate your case and then file a complaint in court seeking a trial on the issues decided by the arbitrator.  FINRA’s arbitration forum operates under the rules set forth by the SEC. FINRA ensures that the platform serves as it should and facilitates ending disputes. No member of FINRA participates in the arbitration. FINRA merely provides the forum and enforces the rules. Arbitrators decide the cases.  The arbitrators typically need about 16 months to issue an award. This is a lot quicker than court, where cases could take years to get to trial. The parties also have the opportunity to resolve the dispute by negotiating among themselves without going to arbitration.  FINRA’s Arbitration Forum Protects Investor Confidentiality Arbitration with FINRA is often confidential. The parties...

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El derecho de los valores en 2021: La Guía Definitiva

The law governing securities evolves constantly to keep pace with changes in the industry. Regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) F/K/A National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) enforce various rules and regulations designed to promote fair and full disclosure of material facts related to financial markets and individual securities transactions. This guide provides a surface-level overview of the securities laws in the United States and what those laws mean for you. Important Terms in Securities Law A security is an intangible financial instrument that entitles its owner to claims of ownership on assets and earnings of the issuer or the voting power that accompanies the claims. Securities exist in the form of: Notes, Stocks, Treasury stocks, Bonds, Certificates of interest, Collateral trust certificates, Transferable shares, Investment contracts, Voting trust certificates, Certificates of deposit for a security; or A fraction, undivided interest in mineral rights. Stock markets in the United States collect trillions of dollars on investments through the securities trade.  The individuals buying or selling securities are referred to as investors. The term “retail investor” refers to an individual who typically purchases securities from a broker and, in most cases, does not purchase a large quantity of securities. The term “institutional investor,” on the other hand, often refers to a company investing large sums of money in securities.  The company buying and selling securities for investors is known as a broker-dealer. Firms like Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch employ brokers to serve clients by buying and selling securities on their behalf.  History of Federal Securities Law Prior to the Great Depression, the United States lacked an expansive securities regulation at the federal level. As a result, companies falsified and misrepresented financial information without fear of consequences. During the 1920s, the stock market expanded rapidly as the U.S. economy grew and stock prices reached record highs. Between August 1921 and September 1929, the Dow increased by 600%. Excitement surrounding the stock market fueled retail investors to get involved. Many retail investors purchased stocks “on margin,” meaning they only paid a small portion of the stock price and borrowed the remaining amount from a bank or broker. Despite the audacity of the claim, many believed that stock prices would continue rising forever. In early September 1929, stock prices started to decline. Not yet alarmed, many investors saw an opportunity to buy into the stock market at a lower price. The Stock Market Crash of 1929 On October 18, 1929, stock prices decreased more significantly. October 24 signaled the first day of panic among investors. Known as “Black Thursday,” a record 12,894,650 shares were traded throughout the day. On October 28, the Dow suffered a record loss of 38.33 points, or 12.82%. The following day—”Black Tuesday”— held more devastating news for investors as stock prices dropped even more. 16,410,030 shares were traded on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. The 1929 stock market crash resulted in billions of dollars lost and signaled the beginning of the Great Depression. The Aftermath In the wake of the crash, the U.S. Senate formed a commission responsible for determining the causes. The investigation uncovered a wide range of abusive practices within banks and bank affiliates and spurred public support for banking and securities regulations. As a result of the findings, Congress passed the Banking Act of 1933, the Securities Act of 1933, and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. New York County Assistant District Attorney Ferdinand Pecora finalized the final report and conducted hearings on behalf of the commission and was later selected as one of the first commissioners of the SEC. Federal Securities Laws and Regulations The American banking systems suffered significantly in the wake of the stock market crash, as approximately one in three banks closed their doors permanently. Following the crash, the U.S. government imposed tighter rules and regulations on the financial industry. As securities evolve, regulatory agencies are responsible for imposing up-to-date regulations to protect investors. Banking Act of 1933 The Banking Act of 1933 (the Banking Act), implemented by Congress on June 16, 1933, signaled the start of many changes in the securities industry. First, the Banking Act established the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), created to provide deposit insurance to depositors in United States depository institutions in an effort to restore the public’s trust in the American banking system.  Glass-Steagall provisions Four sections of the Banking Act—referred to as the Glass-Steagall legislation—addressed the conflicts of interest uncovered by Ferdinand Pecora during his investigation into the stock market crash of 1929. The Glass-Steagall legislation sought to limit the conflicts of interests created when commercial banks are allowed to underwrite stocks and bonds. In the previous decade, banks put their interest in promoting stocks and bonds to their own benefit, rather than considering the risks placed on investors. The new legislation banned commercial banks from: Dealing in non-governmental securities for customers; Investing in non-investment grade securities on behalf of the bank itself; Underwriting or distributing non-governmental securities; and Affiliation or employee sharing with companies involved in such activities. On the other side, the legislation prohibited investment banks from accepting deposits from customers. Deterioration and reinterpretation of Glass-Steagall provisions The separation of commercial and investment banks proved to be a controversial topic throughout the financial industry. Only two years after passing the Banking Act, Senator Carter Glass—the namesake of the provisions—sought to repeal the prohibition on commercial banks underwriting securities, stating that the provisions had unduly damaged securities markets.  Beginning in the 1960s, banks began lobbying Congress to allow them to enter the municipal bond market. In the 1970s, large banks argued that the Glass-Steagall provisions were preventing them from being competitive with foreign securities firms. The Federal Reserve Board reinterpreted Section 20 of the Glass-Steagall provisions to allow banks to have up to 5% of gross revenues from investment banking business. Soon after, the Federal Reserve Board voted to loosen regulations under the Glass-Steagall provisions after hearing arguments from Citicorp,...

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Las formas más comunes de incumplimiento del deber fiduciario (y qué hacer)

Breaches of fiduciary duty are unfortunately common. Since the fiduciary duty is the highest legal standard of care, however, there are severe consequences for a breach of fiduciary duty. With the help of an investment loss recovery attorney, you can hold the fiduciary accountable for his or her misconduct. What Is a Fiduciary Duty? A fiduciary is a person entrusted to act in the best interests of another (i.e. the principal). Once the fiduciary agrees to the relationship, the fiduciary is bound by a set of legal and ethical obligations, known as fiduciary duties.  In general, all fiduciaries owe a duty of loyalty and a duty of care. Some fiduciaries will owe additional duties based on the relationship and the industry in which they are in.  The duty of loyalty requires fiduciaries to act in the best interest of the principa, avoid any conflicts of interest, and refrain from self-dealing. The duty of care means the fiduciary must make informed decisions based on all information available.  Fiduciary Duties of Financial Advisors  While all financial advisors have a duty of care to their clients, only registered advisors have a fiduciary duty. It is important to know whether your financial advisor is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or a state securities regulating agency. Financial advisors who are not registered can make investments that benefit them, as long as the investment is within your stated objectives. A registered financial advisor, on the other hand, can invest only if it is in your best interest. For registered financial advisors, the fiduciary duties owed vary by state. However, the following fiduciary duties apply to all registered financial advisors in all states Duty to Recommend Suitable Investments Prior to recommending an investment, the financial advisor must study and understand the investor’s objectives, tax status, and financial situation, among other things. Any investments that the financial advisor recommends must be suitable to the investor’s needs.  Duty to Inform Investor A financial advisor must fully inform the investor of the risks associated with the purchase or sale of a security. The advisor cannot misrepresent any material facts regarding the transaction. Duty to Act Promptly and with Authorization  All client orders must be performed promptly and with investor’s express consent. The advisor must obtain separate authorization for each investment unless the investor has a discretionary account.  Duty to Refrain from Self-Dealing  A financial advisor cannot initiate a transaction where he or she personally benefits. Duty to Avoid Conflicts of Interest For any recommendations made after June 30, 2020, financial advisors have a fiduciary duty to avoid any conflicts of interest. If unavoidable, the advisor must disclose the conflict to the investor.  What Constitutes a Breach of Fiduciary Duty? A breach of fiduciary duty occurs when the fiduciary fails to act in the best interest of the principal. This can happen through an intentional act or failure to act.  There are four elements to a valid breach of fiduciary duty claim. Duty A fiduciary relationship must exist for the fiduciary to owe a duty. You must show that the fiduciary knowingly accepted that role to hold them to the fiduciary standard of care. This is typically shown through a written agreement between the parties, such as a customer agreement. Breach The fiduciary must act contrary to your best interests. A breach of fiduciary duty can be shown through deliberate acts, such as making decisions on your behalf without consent. You can also prove a breach through the fiduciary’s failure to act—for example, not disclosing a conflict of interest.  Damages You must suffer actual harm or damages from the fiduciary’s breach. Proving there was a breach is not enough for a valid claim of breach of fiduciary duty. Damages can be either economic or non-economic, such as mental anguish.  Causation There must be a direct causal link between the fiduciary’s breach and harm to you. Despite your damages, if they are unrelated to the fiduciary’s misconduct or an unforeseeable result of the breach, you cannot recover your losses.  What Are Common Forms of Breach of Fiduciary Duty? Below are just a few examples of how a financial advisor can breach his or her fiduciary duty. In each instance, the fiduciary fails to act in the best interest of the investor. Misrepresentation or Failure to Disclose Information If a financial advisor does not present a client with all material information about an investment, this is a breach of fiduciary duty. Material information is what a reasonable investor would consider important when deciding whether to invest.  Sometimes financial advisors will mislead investors by omitting information, such as risk factors or any negative information about a stock.  Excessive Trading Excessive trading, also known as churning, in your account is a breach of fiduciary duty. Financial advisors will make large numbers of trades solely to generate more commissions for themselves.  Unsuitable Investments Financial advisors must “know their customer” before making investment recommendations. This includes understanding the client’s investment objectives, risk tolerance, time horizon, financial standing, and tax status. The advisor breaches their fiduciary duty if they make an unsuitable investment, even with the best intentions.  Failure to Diversify Your financial advisor must recommend a mix of investments so that your assets are properly allocated among various asset classes and industries. Failing to diversify your portfolio puts you in a position of great risk and is a breach of fiduciary duty. If your assets are over-concentrated in a particular stock or sector, you may experience significant losses if the company or industry does not perform well.  Failure to Follow Instructions When you give instructions to your financial advisor, they have the fiduciary duty to promptly perform your orders. If your advisor fails to follow your instructions in a timely manner and you suffer financial losses, you can recover.  What To Do If Your Financial Advisor Breached a Fiduciary Duty If you lost money at the hands of your financial advisor, there are several potential courses of action. An experienced investor loss recovery attorney can walk you through the different options and...

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