The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. understands what is at stake in securities, commodities and investment law matters and constantly strives to secure the most favorable possible result. Mr. Pearce provides a complete review of your case and fully explains your legal options. The firm works to ensure that you have all of the information necessary to make a sound decision before any action is taken in your case.

For dedicated representation by a law firm with substantial experience in all kinds of securities, commodities and investment disputes, contact the firm by phone at 561-338-0037, toll free at 800-732-2889 or via e-mail. We may also be able to arrange a meeting with you at offices located in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida and elsewhere.

Announcing 2023 Winner – Robert Wayne Pearce Investor Fraud Awareness Scholarship

As promised, today we are announcing the 2023 winner of the Robert Wayne Pearce Investor Fraud Awareness Scholarship. Over the course of the year, we received applications from over 175 students from 95 schools around the country who all wrote quality essays about Risks of Investing in the Cryptocurrency Market. The winner of the $2,500 scholarship is Daniel Jimenez Cardona, a student at Valencia College located in Orlando, Florida, who wrote: Risks of Investing in the Cryptocurrency Market The cryptocurrency market has been a topic of fascination and debate since the inception of Bitcoin in 2009. Over the past decade, cryptocurrencies have gained immense popularity as alternative investments, promising high returns and financial independence. However, beneath the allure of this decentralized digital asset lies a complex landscape fraught with risks and uncertainties. In this essay, we will delve into the various risks associated with investing in the cryptocurrency market. One of the most prominent and widely acknowledged risks in the cryptocurrency market is its extreme volatility. Unlike traditional financial assets like stocks or bonds, cryptocurrencies are known for their price swings that can be both exhilarating and terrifying. Investors often experience rapid price fluctuations that can lead to substantial gains or painful losses within minutes. The speculative nature of the market, coupled with the absence of regulation, contributes to this rollercoaster ride.  Another significant risk stems from the lack of regulatory clarity surrounding cryptocurrencies. Different countries have adopted varying stances on digital currencies, leading to an ambiguous global landscape. Some nations have embraced cryptocurrencies and enacted regulations to govern them, while others have banned or restricted their use. This uncertainty makes it challenging for investors to assess the legal framework and potential future restrictions that may impact their investments. Cryptocurrencies operate on a blockchain, which is touted as a secure and immutable technology. However, this does not make them immune to security breaches. Hacks and cyberattacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets have been widespread, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars’ worth of digital assets. Investors are responsible for safeguarding their private keys and using secure platforms, but the risk of theft remains a constant concern. Investing in traditional financial markets offers investors a degree of protection through regulatory bodies and insurance schemes. In contrast, the cryptocurrency market lacks such safeguards. When a traditional bank fails, depositors are typically insured up to a certain amount. In the cryptocurrency world, if a platform goes bankrupt or is hacked, investors may have little to no recourse to recover their losses. This absence of consumer protection heightens the risk for those entering the market. The relatively small market capitalization of cryptocurrencies compared to traditional assets makes them susceptible to market manipulation. Pump-and-dump schemes, where the prices of certain cryptocurrencies are artificially inflated before being sold off at a profit, are not uncommon. Additionally, rumors and social media can play a significant role in influencing prices, leaving investors vulnerable to misinformation and coordinated efforts to drive market sentiment. Unlike stocks or bonds, cryptocurrencies do not generate income or dividends. Their value is often driven by speculation and market sentiment rather than intrinsic worth. This lack of fundamental value makes it challenging to assess whether a cryptocurrency is overvalued or undervalued, leading to investment decisions based on hype and trends rather than sound financial analysis. The success of cryptocurrencies as an investment is closely tied to their adoption for everyday use. While some cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have gained mainstream recognition, they are not yet widely accepted for day-to-day transactions. Until cryptocurrencies achieve broader adoption and become an integral part of the global financial system, their long-term value remains uncertain. Investing in the cryptocurrency market can be an enticing prospect, offering the potential for substantial returns and financial independence. However, it is crucial for investors to recognize and understand the inherent risks associated with this nascent asset class. Volatility, regulatory uncertainty, security concerns, lack of consumer protections, market manipulation, absence of fundamental value, and limited adoption are all factors that contribute to the complex risk landscape of cryptocurrencies. As with any investment, due diligence, risk management, and a clear understanding of one’s risk tolerance are essential for navigating this ever-evolving market. While cryptocurrencies offer opportunities, they also demand caution and prudence from those who dare to venture into this exciting yet treacherous terrain. We thank all the other applicants for their efforts and announce that the next scholarship to be awarded December 15, 2024, will be given to the student who writes the most thoughtful essay about the Pros and Cons of a Balanced Portfolio.

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How Do I Recover My Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda), Ltd. Investment Losses?

Have you experienced significant financial losses with Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd.? If you’re an investor reeling from this setback, you’re not alone. Many have faced similar challenges due to these investments. Our firm is dedicated to assisting investors like you. We understand the complexities of this situation and are prepared to help you navigate the legal avenues available to recover your losses. Reach out to us for a consultation and take the first step towards financial recovery. What Happened To My Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda)Investment? Navigating the Aftermath of Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda): A Guide for Investors The collapse of Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) Ltd. has generated significant financial hardships for numerous investors. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the situation and potential paths forward. Background: Northstar, formerly owned by Greg Lindberg (currently incarcerated for financial crimes), offered a range of financial products, primarily targeting foreign nationals. The company faced bankruptcy proceedings and legal issues prior to its liquidation in March 2021. Investor Impact: The company’s demise resulted in: Legal Options: Numerous investors are pursuing legal action through various avenues: Investment Losses? We Can Help Discuss your legal options with an attorney at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. Get A Free Consultation or, give us a ring at (800) 732-2889. How Do I Recover My Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda)Investment Losses? Recovery Resources: Investors should consider seeking expert legal counsel to fully understand their options and determine the most effective course of action. Additionally, resources are available through: Moving Forward: The Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda) debacle presents a challenging situation for investors. However, by understanding the situation, exploring legal options, and seeking professional guidance, investors can navigate this complex landscape and pursue potential avenues for recovery. This revised version maintains a professional tone while still addressing the emotional impact on investors. It emphasizes the specific actions investors can take and provides key resources to aid their recovery efforts. Because the Northstar Financial investment contracts were not being issuedwithin the U.S., they certainly required a higher level of scrutiny prior to beingsold to clients. Simply put, a certificate of deposit offered by a U.S. bankrequires a far lower level of scrutiny than an esoteric insurance or annuity-likeproduct offered by a Bermuda-based financial company. However, it appearsthat many brokerage firms failed to adhere to the standard required of themwhen selling the Northstar Financial investment contracts, including: Bancwest Investment Services J. P. Morgan Securities, LLC Bankoh Investment Services Ocean Financial Services Bank of Hawaii Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Cetera Investment Services Raymond James Financial Services Community America Financial Solutions SunTrust Investment Services East West Bank Truist Financial Services Hancock Whitney Investment Services United Nations Federal Credit Union J. P. Morgan Chase Bank Unionbanc Investment Services Recover Your Northstar Financial Services (Bermuda)Investment Losses in a FINRA Arbitration The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. is prepared to help investorswho have sustained damages or monetary losses not only in NorthstarFinancial investments but other investments in your account in FINRAarbitration. If you were one of those investors who have suffered losses, youshould seek the immediate advice of an experienced securities litigationattorney with more than 40 years of experience representing investors ininvestment fraud and broker-dealer negligence cases. It is imperative thatyou seek our consultation as soon as possible, as there are applicableeligibility rules and/or statutes of limitation that may forever bar your claimagainst the broker-dealer who sold you the Northstar Financial investments ifyou do not file your claim in a timely manner. We Don’t Get Paid Unless You Get Paid! The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. will accept most cases on acontingency fee basis. This means if we do not recover any of your money,you will not incur any fees owed to our firm. In other words, our attorney’sfees are collected only if we successfully settle your case or obtain a monetaryaward at the final arbitration hearing. We will also bear the cost of your casethrough the litigation process, and we will be reimbursed for such costs onlyif we are successful in recovering your monetary losses. Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. Recovers Investment Losses The attorneys at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. are ready andwilling to devote their experience to evaluate your case and, if it has merit,achieve the best possible outcome in an arbitration proceeding. For over 40years we have represented investors in arbitration and securities litigationmatters, including FINRA arbitration proceedings in nearly every state.Contact us now at 561-338-0037 or online to schedule your free initialconsultation.

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How Do I Recover My iCap Investment Losses?

The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. is currently investigating claimsagainst stockbrokers related to recommendations to purchase the variousiCap investments and is offering free consultations to those who havesuffered iCap investment losses. If you have suffered iCap investment losses,our experienced securities litigation attorneys are prepared to discuss thematter and provide their legal opinion as to whether you can recoverdamages against the broker-dealer who recommended and sold you one ormore of the iCap investments. Please contact our law firm at 561-338-0037 oronline for a free consultation. At the end of September 2023, it was reported that iCap Enterprises, Inc., areal estate investment holding company and its many affiliates (“collectively“iCap”) through which it raised capital filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 ofthe United States Bankruptcy Code in the Eastern District of Washington. It isestimated that iCap has perhaps $50 million in assets and over $500 millionin liabilities. It stopped making the interest payments due the investorsapproximately 6 months prior to filing bankruptcy. The lopsided amount ofdebt relative to the assets indicates that any reorganization or liquidation willleave investors holding unsecured debt with substantial losses. What Happened To My iCap Investment? Most of the capital was raised through private placements of various forms ofdebt, bonds and notes. These were high yield, high risk, illiquid investmentsthat stockbrokers should have been wary of and not recommended toinvestors with conversative or moderate risk tolerances. Based upon what wehear from investors, many stockbrokers misrepresented the risk of theseinvestments and recommended them anyway in violation of their fiduciary. Investment Losses? We Can Help Discuss your legal options with an attorney at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. Get A Free Consultation or, give us a ring at (800) 732-2889. Who Are The iCap Companies that Filed Bankruptcy? The recently filed bankruptcy is a consolidated bankruptcy intended tobenefit iCap and not the investors by wiping out the various companiesunsecured debt. You might hear that the debt is simply being restructured,However, don’t be fooled into thinking that the holders of the unsecuredbonds and notes will get any of their money back in the bankruptcy. If youare an investor in any unsecured bonds and notes in the following companies, you should start exploring alternative avenues other thanthemselves to recover your investment losses: iCap Broadway LLC VH Senior Care LLC iCap Realty LLC iCap Pacific Development LLC Senza Kenmore, LLC UW 17TH AVE, LLC 725 Broadway, LLC iCap @ UW, LLC iCap Campbell Way LLC VH Willows Townhomes, LLC iCap Vault Management, LLC iCap Funding LLC iCap Holding 6 LLC iCap Holding LLC VH Pioneer Village LLC Vault Holding I, LLC iCap Management LLC VH 1121 14th, LLC iCap Enterprises, Inc. iCap Pacific Income 5 Fund, LLC iCap Holding 5 LLC iCap Vault, LLC iCap Equity LLC iCap Pacific Northwest Opportunityand Income Fund iCap Northwest Opportunity Fund, LLC Vault Holding, LLC iCap Pacific Income 4 Fund LLC iCap Investments, LLC iCap Vault 1, LLC VH 2nd Street Office, LLC iCap Pacific NW Management Given the predictable outcome of bankruptcy, it is likely that investors’ onlysource of recovery of their losses will be the stockbrokers and their brokeragefirms who offered and sold the securities investments to them. Don’t Be Discouraged By The iCap Bankruptcy! Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is not the end of the line for investors.Investors should seek the opinion of a skilled and experienced securitiesattorney about getting just compensation for their investment losses. Broker-dealers and their agents who misrepresented and/or made unsuitablerecommendations about the iCap investments may still be held liable forlosses in investor accounts. In other words, an account holder can still file aFINRA arbitration against the broker-dealer to recover losses in iCap and itsaffiliates bonds, notes, and limited liability membership interests formisrepresentations, unsuitable recommendations, failure to conductadequate due diligence, negligence, etc. You should not let your broker-dealer or broker/financial advisor convince you otherwise. What Are The iCap Private Placement Investments? Private placements is a broad term that describes securities that are notoffered for sale through a public exchange. These can include promissorynotes, private equity offerings, small start-up businesses, etc. PrivatePlacements are issued under Regulation D under the Securities Act of 1933.Regulation D provides exemptions from the more rigorous Securities andExchange Commission (SEC) registration requirements and allowscompanies to offer and sell securities without extensive disclosures. It is theabsence of standard disclosure requirements that often creates theopportunity for fraud. The Securities Exchange Commission, federal courts, and FINRA have allfound that brokerage firms have a duty to conduct a reasonable investigationconcerning the private placements issuer’s representations concerning thesecurity. A brokerage firm’s due diligence obligation also stems fromsuitability obligations requiring the broker to have reasonable grounds tobelieve that a recommendation to purchase, sell, or exchange a security issuitable for the customer. In order to meet the due diligence obligation, thebrokerage firm and/or financial advisor must make reasonable efforts togather and analyze information about the private placement, the issuer andits management, the business prospects of the issuer, the assets held by or tobe acquired by the issuer, the claims being made by the issuer in the offeringmaterials, and the intended use of proceeds of the offering. The failure todetermine this and other material information would necessarily preclude afinancial advisor from disclosing to a customer the material aspects of atransaction. The iCap Investments Were Sold for High Commissions! It appears from our investigation that the iCap issuers of securities partneredwith other brokerage firms to privately sell the bonds, notes, andmembership interests to their retail customers. The commissions on suchsales by the brokerage firms were as high as 10%. Some of the firms that havesold iCap investments to their customers include: Advisory Group Equity Services, Ltd. Gardner Financial Services, Inc. Ausdal Financial Partners, Inc. Green Vista Capital, LLC Bradley Wealth Management, LLC IBN Financial Services, Inc. Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. IBS Financial Services Group Center Street Securities, Inc. Kingsbury Capital, Inc. Chauner Securities, Inc. Pariter Securities, LLC Claraphi Advisory Networks, LLC Somerset Securities, Inc. Cobalt Capital, Inc. Stillpoint Capital, LLC Financial Goal Securities, Inc. Titan Securities Freedom Investors Corp. Wall Street Strategies, Inc...

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What is the Difference Between Solicited & Unsolicited Trades?

Ideally, hiring a skilled broker takes some of the risk out of investing. Unfortunately, however, some brokers fail to act with the appropriate level of integrity. As an investor, it’s very important to understand the difference between solicited and unsolicited trades. The distinction has significant consequences on your ability to recover losses from a bad trade. What’s the Difference Between a Solicited and an Unsolicited Trade? The main difference between a solicited and unsolicited trade is: a solicited trade is a transaction that the broker recommends to the client. In contrast, an unsolicited transaction is one that the investor initially proposed to the broker. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. In regards to solicited trades, the broker is ultimately responsible for the consideration and execution of the trade because he or she brought it to the investor’s attention. The responsibility for unsolicited trades therefore lies primarily with the investor, while the broker merely facilitates the investor’s proposed transaction. Why does the Difference Between an Unsolicited and Socilited Trade Matters? The status of a trade as solicited or unsolicited is hugely important when an investor claims unsuitability. An investor who wants to recover losses may be able to do so if the broker is the one who initially suggests the transaction. Take the following example. You purchase $175,000 of stock in a new company. Shortly after the trade is complete, the stock loses nearly all its original value. As an investor, you will want to recover as much of that loss as possible. One way is to file a claim against your broker on the basis that the stock was an unsuitable investment. When you say that an investment was unsuitable, you are essentially saying that based on the information your broker had about you as an investor, the broker should not have made the trade in the first place. If the stock purchase was at your request—that is, it was unsolicited—then it’s unlikely you’d be able to hold your broker liable for your losses. After all, the trade was originally your idea.  IMPORTANT: If the stock was suggested to you as a good investment by your broker, however, then you may have an argument that you were pushed into a solicited trade that was not in your best interests. If this is the case, you would have a much stronger argument for holding your broker liable. What Is Suitability? The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) imposes rules on registered brokers to protect investors against broker misconduct. Under FINRA Rule 2111, brokers are generally required to engage in trades only if the broker has “a reasonable basis to believe that the recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable for the customer.” Whether an investment is suitable depends on diligent consideration of several aspects of a client’s investment profile, including: When a broker makes a trade without a reasonable basis for believing that the trade is suitable, the broker violates FINRA Rule 2111. Investors may then be able to recover losses from the broker, and FINRA may impose sanctions, suspension, or other penalties on the broker. Broker Obligations to Their Clients When a broker conducts a trade on behalf of an investor, the broker uses an order ticket with the details of the trade. Brokers mark these tickets as “solicited” or “unsolicited” to reflect the status of the trade. For the reasons explained above, this marking is very important. On one hand, it protects a broker from unsuitability claims following a trade suggested by the broker’s client. On the other, it provides an avenue to recover losses in the case of a solicited trade that turns out poorly. FINRA Rule 2010 covers properly marking trade tickets. This rule requires brokers to observe “high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade” in their practice. If a broker fails to properly mark a trade ticket, that broker violates Rule 2010. As an investor, you should always receive a confirmation of any trades your broker conducts on your account.  FINRA has found that abuse of authority by mismarking tickets is an issue within the securities industry. The 2018 report found that brokers sometimes mismarked tickets as “unsolicited” to hide trading activity on discretionary accounts. If your broker feels the need to hide a trade from you, that trade is likely unsuitable. How to Protect Yourself Against Trade Ticket Mismarking Whether your account is discretionary or non-discretionary, and whether you’re new to investing or a skilled tycoon, you should always pay close attention to your investment accounts. Carefully review your trade confirmations to make sure that all trades are properly marked. If you find a mistake, immediately report it to your broker or the compliance department of their brokerage firm. It’s their job to correct these mistakes and make sure they don’t happen in the future. Negative or suspicious responses to a legitimate correction request are red flags that should not be ignored. If you discover your broker intentionally mismarking your trade tickets, contact an investment fraud attorney immediately. Can Litigation Finance Help Your Legal Case? Exploring Options for Investment Losses Caused by a Broker Litigation finance can help your legal case by providing financial support for legal fees and expenses. It allows you to pursue your claim without upfront costs and levels the playing field against well-resourced opponents. However, it’s important to carefully consider the costs, choose a reputable provider, and understand the terms of the funding agreement. Concerned About a Solicited Trade? The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., have been helping investors recover losses for over 40 years. We have extensive experience representing investors and have helped our clients recover over $175 million in total. If you’ve become the victim of unsuitable or fraudulent investing, we can help you. Contact us today or give us a call at 561-338-0037 for a free consultation.

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What is a Broker CRD Number?

CRD, or Central Registration Depository, is a comprehensive database maintained by FINRA of all registered securities professionals and firms, providing an invaluable resource for investors. Investors can use a CRD number to access information about any broker or investment advisor, including their employment history, qualifications, examinations taken and passed, licenses held, disciplinary actions and more. Brokers and brokerage firms must register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) before they can legally sell securities in the United States. By maintaining a registration system, FINRA can better monitor and record the activities of registered brokers. These registrations are also open to the public, so investors can review the backgrounds of potential brokers before entrusting them with their money. You can look up your broker and brokerage firm by using their unique CRD (Central Registration Depository) number. What Is a Broker CRD Number? CRD stands for the Central Registration Depository. CRD numbers are unique identification numbers assigned by FINRA to registered brokers and brokerage firms. You can use the CRD number to look up a broker or brokerage firm’s disciplinary history, qualifications and other detailed information. Investment Losses? Let’s Talk. or, give us a ring at 800-732-2889. Central Registration Depository (CRD) & FINRA FINRA manages the Central Registration Depository (CRD) program. This program covers the licensing and registration of individuals and firms in the securities industry in the United States. When a broker or firm registers with FINRA, the regulator assigns them a CRD number. Investors can use a broker’s CRD number to check that broker’s work history and disciplinary record using BrokerCheck.  A broker’s profile on BrokerCheck will contain useful information for investors. On any given profile, investors can find information related to Complaints and regulatory actions are called “disclosures,” and investors can see details about each one using BrokerCheck. If the claim was settled, BrokerCheck displays the settlement along with the claimed allegations and the broker’s response, if any. Why It’s Important to Investigate a Potential Broker An investment broker is responsible for handling a significant portion of your assets. For that reason, you should learn as much about them as possible before giving them control. Doing your research before handing over your money can save you time and stress in the long run by helping you avoid unscrupulous brokers. If a broker’s disclosure history shows several complaints, each of which the broker denies, you can make the decision to move on or bring up your concerns. In any case, having more information about your broker’s past allows you to make a smarter decision about who is managing your money. How to Find a Broker’s CRD Number Before engaging a broker, you have the legal right to request their CRD number. If a broker refuses to provide this information to you, stop and find another broker to work with. Any broker unwilling to give you their CRD number likely has something to hide and is probably not someone with whom you want to invest. While asking your broker directly is the fastest way to get their CRD number, the information materials and agreement you receive before engaging your broker will likely contain this information as well. Regardless of how you obtain it, searching your broker’s CRD number is an important step when hiring a broker. How to Do a FINRA BrokerCheck CRD Number Search Finding information about a broker or firm in the past used to be a hassle. Fortunately, BrokerCheck makes it easy to research a broker with whom you want to invest. After visiting the BrokerCheck website, there are a few things you can do to check out a broker or firm. Search by CRD Number, Broker, or Firm Name Using the “Individual” or “Firm” search options, you can search for your broker by CRD number or name. Because many brokers may have the same or similar names, using a CRD number ensures that you find the right BrokerCheck report. You can also search for a specific brokerage firm using its CRD number or name. Doing so will return a report with much the same information as a broker search. Additionally, you can see a list of the direct owners and executive officers of the firm and information about when the firm was established. Examine Your Broker’s Employment History and Experience In the “Previous Registrations” section of the BrokerCheck report, you can see a chronological list of the firms with which the broker was previously registered. If you are concerned about gaps in employment or short tenures, you can discuss them with your broker. Check Your Broker’s Licenses and Exam History BrokerCheck also provides a comprehensive list of the examinations and licenses your broker has obtained. In addition to FINRA registration, your broker may have broker or financial adviser registrations in other states. The “Examinations” section shows you the date and type of exam your broker passed. If you are interested in a specific type of security or curious about the broker’s overall certification status, you can check that there. Read Through Any Disclosures BrokerCheck disclosures cover not only customer disputes and disciplinary actions but employment terminations, bankruptcy filings, and criminal and civil proceedings as well. If a broker was the subject of a court-ordered lien or other debt, it will show up with the other disclosures. This is the most important section to review while researching your broker. If there are no disclosures, then you’re good to go. If there are, however, then you should read through them carefully to decide whether to find another broker. Just because a customer dispute is filed does not mean that the broker engaged in wrongdoing. In many cases, the claim may not even reference the individual broker directly even if it shows up in the BrokerCheck report. Essentially, the existence of one or more disclosures does not automatically mean that the broker is bad. You should review and follow up on any disclosures you are concerned about. Do You Need a FINRA Attorney? If you’ve lost money and believe you are a...

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How to File a Formal Complaint Against Your Financial Advisor

When you hire a financial advisor, you expect the advisor to act in your best interest to prevent unnecessary losses. Unfortunately, however, financial advisors do not always live up to these expectations. In some cases, a financial advisor fails to follow an investor’s requests and guidelines or otherwise engages in misconduct, causing the investor to suffer losses. When this happens, the investor may be able to file an official complaint against the financial advisor through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). In this article you will learn how to file a complaint against a financial advisor to recover your losses.

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Announcing 2022 Winner – Robert Wayne Pearce Investor Fraud Awareness Scholarship

As promised, today we are announcing the 2022 winner of the Robert Wayne Pearce Investor Fraud Awareness Scholarship. Over the course of the year, we received applications from over 75 students from 44 schools around the country who all wrote quality essays about the Robinhood App and whether it was a good tool for novice investors or just a game to take advantage of them.  The winner of the $2,500 scholarship is Alecia Ann Des Lauries, a student at Alexandria Technical & Community College located in Alexandria, Minnesota, who wrote: The Robinhood Investment app is a darling amongst Millennials and Generation Z. The dashboard is sleek and easy to understand. It’s a “simple” and “easy” platform that “democratizes investing for all.” Anyone can buy stocks, EFTs, and cryptocurrency with just a press of the button. There are no commission fees, and you can start investing with just $1! What’s not to like? Turns out, a lot. Its slick marketing and user-friendliness disguise an ugly truth: the app is one of the worst ways to begin investing. The whole platform is a thinly veiled game that exploits first-time investors, which makes up more than half of its userbase (Segal, 2021).  Robinhood promotes freebies aggressively. New customers get free stock. You can earn more free stock if you refer friends to the app. There are frequent “giveaway sweepstakes” for cryptocurrencies and stocks. Social media influencers entice new users through unique free stock offers. Once you sign up, the app will even help you pick your first stock. Then, you can sign up for their debit card, the “Cash Card”, where you can earn bonuses, but for reinvesting in stock and crypto only on their platform.  Once you’re in, you’re pushed hard to invest. There are “Popular” and “Trending” stock lists. Widgets recommend what individual stocks and crypto to buy or sell. Celebratory messages and animations trigger when you buy, sell, or hit certain milestones. The bright, cartoonish art design is fun, but disarming. It’s easy to forget that you’re trading with real money and you’re undertaking real risks.  That’s intentional. It’s how Robinhood generates revenue. About 70% (Curry, 2022) of its revenue comes from payment for order flow, which means it receives payments upon routing trades to market makers. The more trades that occur, the more revenue Robinhood receives. That’s how the company collected $331 million in Q1 2021 (Geron, 2021). Most tellingly, the platform itself is simplistic. There are no mutual funds or fixed income for more conservative investors. There are no IRAs or 401(k)s—a huge disservice to the 55% of Millennials (Loudenback, 2019) and 90% of Generation Z (Koterbski, 2022) who don’t have retirement accounts. Robinhood doesn’t offer forex or futures for more experienced investors, let alone stock or ETF screeners for research-intensive investing. The most rudimentary research tools are behind a paywall, and even then, it’s insufficient compared to competing brokers. More seasoned investors quickly flock to other brokers that offer more robust tools. That’s because those investors aren’t Robinhood’s target market. And the platform wants to remain that way. The educational resources, while improving, are still laughably shallow. There is almost nothing on risk management; most of the “risk” you’ll see is on their disclaimers. Robinhood pays lip service to help build “wealth for a new generation”, while equipping its users with inferior tools and subpar education. It’s no wonder many columnists criticized Robinhood for being too much like a casino. And like the saying goes, the house always wins! We thank all the other applicants for their efforts and announce that the next scholarship to be awarded December 15, 2023, will be given to the student who writes the most thoughtful essay about the Risks of Investing in the Cryptocurrency Market.

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FINRA Statute of Limitations: A Complete Overview

The FINRA Statute of Limitations applies to claims and disputes that arise under the rules, regulations, or statutes administered by FINRA. Investment brokers have a duty to treat their clients honesty and with integrity. Those who take advantage of, mislead, or steal from their clients shake the investing industry’s foundation. Regrettably, broker misconduct occurs all too often.  You need representation from a FINRA arbitration attorney who has the knowledge, skill, and extensive experience to help you recover your losses if you are a victim of investment broker misconduct. Robert Wayne Pearce and his staff with The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., have over 40 years of experience fighting on behalf of investors victimized by broker misconduct. Contact us today to protect your rights.  Key Takeaways Investment brokers have a duty to their clients to be honest and act with integrity. FINRA is a non-profit corporation that works with the Securities and Exchange Commission to protect investors from brokerage firms’ wrongdoing. You need representation from a FINRA arbitration attorney who has the knowledge, skill, and extensive experience to help you recover your losses if you are a victim of investment broker misconduct. Investors aggrieved by their broker must understand that they do not have six years to file a court claim – in many instances, state statutes of limitations are much shorter than FINRA’s arbitration eligibility time frame. Filing your claim as soon as possible is the best way to protect your legal rights – if you suspect that you lost money in the market because of broker fraud, negligence, or misconduct. What Is FINRA? FINRA is an acronym for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. FINRA is a self-regulating organization or SRO. As an SRO, FINRA is a non-profit corporation that works with the Securities and Exchange Commission to protect investors from brokerage firms’ wrongdoing.  FINRA offers professional examinations that certify applicants as investment brokers. It also provides continuing education programs to investment professionals to promote fairness and transparency in the securities markets.  FINRA has the authority to make rules and regulations that govern broker-investor relationships. It takes action to discipline brokers guilty of misconduct. Additionally, FINRA educates investors about their investment goals, strategies, and safe investing. What is the FINRA Statute of Limitations? FINRA’s procedural rules indicate that investors have six (6) years to file a claim for arbitration with FINRA. The six-year period starts when the event that gives rise to the legal claim occurred. Need Legal Help? Let’s talk. or, give us a ring at 561-338-0037. Note: FINRA will dismiss any claim that FINRA decides missed the eligibility deadline. The arbitration panel will rule on eligibility if the parties disagree on whether the eligibility period elapsed. Do not delay filing. Speak with a FINRA lawyer about any questions about your arbitration claim. FINRA tolls, or stops, the eligibility period if the parties file the case in court. Moreover, FINRA’s procedural rules state that courts will toll the statute of limitations when the case remains in FINRA’s jurisdiction. Why Does FINRA Have a Statute of Limitations? There are a number of reasons why FINRA imposes a statute of limitations on investor claims. The first is to ensure that evidence related to the claim can still be reasonably obtained. This ensures that investors don’t wait until it’s too late to pursue their claim, and also protects brokerages from false or fraudulent accusations brought years after the events in question. In addition, FINRA’s statute of limitations helps to protect the integrity and reliability of its arbitration process. By ensuring that claims are brought within a reasonable timeframe, FINRA is able to accurately and fairly assess all evidence related to an investor claim in order to render an informed decision on their case. FINRA offers arbitration and mediation services to investors who file a complaint against their broker or brokerage firm. The victimized investor must file their claim with FINRA’s arbitration board within a specified period of time. The investor contemplating pursuing a legal cause of action for their losses should be aware of other deadlines that affect their claim. FINRA Statute of Limitations Concerns FINRA’s arbitration eligibility rules are distinct from federal or state statutes of limitations. Investors aggrieved by their broker must understand that they do not have six years to file a court claim. In many instances, the statutes of limitations are much shorter than FINRA’s arbitration eligibility time frame. Section 10(b) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and its regulations grant investors the right to sue their broker or advisor for fraud or any other unfair practice. Section 10b and its regulations found at 17 C.F.R. 240.10b-5 have a two-year statute of limitations.  Under these rules, the two-year statute of limitations starts when the investor discovers the fraud or no more than five years after the alleged fraud occurred. The time when the investor discovered the fraud is essential to understand. Otherwise, you might unwittingly allow the statute of limitations to run out before having the chance to file your claim. The statute of limitations starts when the investor knew or should have known about the fraud.  You must understand your investments and how they work so you can uncover evidence of fraud as soon as possible. If you are unsure if you are the victim of fraud, you must contact a knowledgeable and reputable securities attorney to protect your rights and investment. State Statutes of Limitations Some states will allow you to file a lawsuit in state court for a violation of state law. Filing in state court might be the better option for an aggrieved investor. Statutes of limitations for state law claims could be as short as two years.  How Long Do I Have to File a Claim Against My Broker? Filing your claim as soon as possible is the best way to protect your legal rights. Simply because FINRA agreed to arbitrate a claim within six years does not mean you should wait six years to file. Instead, you should be...

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Announcing 2021 Winner – Robert Wayne Pearce Investor Fraud Awareness Scholarship

As promised, today we are announcing the 2021 winners of the Robert Wayne Pearce Investor Fraud Awareness Scholarship. Over the course of the year, we received applications from over 30 students from schools around the country who all wrote quality essays about the dangers of investment fraud and how we can protect ourselves. It was a difficult decision to select just one student winner and so, in addition to the grand prize of $2,500, we have selected 5 other students who are being awarded consolation prizes of $100 each for their efforts and sharing their thoughts on investment fraud and how to protect ourselves. The winner of the $2500 scholarship is Karen Simpson, a student at Palm Beach State College, who wrote, among other things: Investment fraud is a very real and serious problem that happens more than you may realize. But it doesn’t have to scare you away from investing your money in fear of losing it. Learning about the different types of investment fraud and how to protect yourself from fraud, before you decide to invest, is extremely important! You could not only experience financial loss but suffer compromised identity, damaged credit, and emotional issues including rage, frustration, and fear. *** Knowledge is power, and so I also recommend you educate yourself by learning about general nature, mechanics and risks of different types of investments before you start investing. I find an excellent starting point to educate myself is Investopedia, You can also find specific financial information, including, annual reports, prospectuses and offering circulars about companies recommended to compare what you were told about a recommended investment by searching the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission Edgar website for information,  *** The easiest way to protect yourself is to use common sense, look for the red flags and ask questions. Follow a strict check list of do’s and do nots, if it sounds too good to be true, in most cases, it is. If you notice any red flags about an investment, avoid it, as well as the person making the recommendation. That “High Guaranteed Returns” pitch they love to give, don’t believe it. Every investment carries some degree of risk, which is generally reflected in the rate of return you are promised. The higher the return, the higher the risk! The winners of the $100 consolation prizes are as follows: India Bartram of the University of Syracuse, Syracuse, New York Jacob Paul of Villanova University –Charles Widger School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania  Kylie Fay of the University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama Natalia Capella of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee Rafael Whalen of John Paul The Great Catholic School, Escondido, California We thank all of the other applicants for their efforts, as well, and announce that the next scholarship to be awarded December 15, 2022 will be given to the student who writes the most thoughtful essay about whether they believe the Robinhood Markets, Inc. (“Robinhood”) Investment App is a good tool for novice investors or just game to take advantage of them and make money for the stock brokerage firm. We are interested in learning whether you think Robinhood platform is living up to the legend of Robinhood, who took from the rich and gave to the poor!

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