Do I Have a Securities Claim?
The following are some simple guidelines you can use to determine whether or not you may have a remedy for the losses you have sustained. Answer the questions below to determine if you have a securities claim.
- Simple Negligence unreasonable conduct is all you need. Every stockbroker has a duty to observe high standards of conduct, which means that your stockbroker must do what is right for you given your circumstances. Your broker owed you the obligation to make sure you understood the risks associated with your investments. If you didnt appreciate that your investments could substantially decline, your financial advisors conduct was probably negligent. Do you think your broker was negligent?
- Stockbrokers must make sure to place you only in suitable investments. Suitable investments are those which take into account your age, income, and risk tolerances. If you told your broker that you did not want to take much risk with your money or if you simply couldnt afford to lose the money you have lost (for example, because you are retired or have limited assets) and you have lost a lot of your money, then your broker probably violated the suitability rule. Do you think your broker violated the suitability rule?
- Margin abuses have increased dramatically in recent years. If your broker used margin in your account but did not explain to you the risks or downsides of margin, then you may have a claim against your broker and his or her firm. Do you think your broker didn't tell you everything about margin?
- Many stockbrokers justified their recommendations to clients by reference to the firms analyst both to get customers to buy particular stocks and to prevent customers from selling those stocks. We now know that many firms had incredible conflicts of interests and a financial motive to make those recommendations. Did your broker mention or provide you with analyst reports in order to convince you to buy or to prevent you from selling?
- Sometimes brokers will mismark the confirmations for trades to say unsolicited, which means that the trade was your idea, not the brokers. Brokers do this so that their supervisors will not look so closely at what is going on in your account. This is a very serious violation. Did your broker mark confirmatio ns with the word unsolicited when those transactions were not your idea?
- If you could wallpaper a room in your house with the confirmations you received, then your broker may have excessively traded or churned your account. Another red flag is if Schedule D on your tax return is more than one page. Do you think your account might have been excessively traded and were you relying 100% on your brokers advice and not making many of your own trades?
- Unless you gave your broker written discretion to trade in your account, every single transaction must be preceded by a conversation with you about the transaction. If this did not take place, then the trade is unauthorized and you may be entitled to undo the trade. Did your broker make trades in your account without first having a conversation with you?
- Whenever you open a brokerage account, a form is filled out with personal information about you, such as your net worth, income, investment experience and investment objectives. This form exists for each account you have. You may or may not have ever seen your forms, and if not, you should get them. Brokers have an incentive to inflate the figures on the form, because doing so means that you can tolerate more risky investments. Brokers often make more money by selling you the riskier investments. If you dont have your forms, obtain a copy so that you can determine if the information on it is correct. If its not, that could spell big trouble. Do you have your new account forms and is there information on them that is incorrect?