With the recent economic decline and the fluctuating stock market, investors are becoming increasingly cautious with their funds. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous stockbrokers are not as careful with their clients' money. If you believe you are a victim of securities fraud or financial misrepresentation, contact Levin, Papantonio, Thomas, Mitchell, Rafferty & Proctor, P.A. in Pensacola, Florida.
Since Levin Papantonio began accepting securities claims, nearly 6,000 claims from victims in all 50 states have been reviewed. Assisting attorneys across the United States, the firm has developed a network of experts in the field of securities law and is committed to changing the way brokerage houses treat individual investors.
Simply because your investment portfolio has decreased in value does not mean you have a securities fraud claim against your broker. There are inherent risks in nearly all investments, and losing money is not necessarily grounds to pursue a lawsuit against your investments company.
However, stockbrokers, registered investment advisers and financial planners are required to deal with their clients with the utmost integrity. They are not permitted to place their own interests ahead of their clients'. This is called a fiduciary duty because they are in a position of trust.
If the stockbroker or investment adviser breaches that fiduciary duty and causes you significant financial injury, you may have a stock fraud claim and may be able to recover damages for any losses caused by the stockbroker's misconduct. One type of securities fraud is unsuitable securities claims.
Stockbrokers must be licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and, consequently, are subject to FINRA's rules. One of the fundamental rules imposed by FINRA is that stockbrokers are required to make appropriate or suitable recommendations to their customers based on their tolerance for risk and investment objectives.
Suitability is determined by a customer's income, net worth, age, investment objectives, risk tolerance and other factors. The stockbroker may violate the suitability rule by failing to properly diversify a customer's investment portfolio or by concentrating too much of the portfolio in volatile, or risky securities.
The recommendation and sale of unsuitable investments constitutes securities fraud and if it caused a financial loss, may be the basis for a securities fraud claim. To determine if you have fallen victim to a broker making unsuitable securities claims, it is essential to speak with a qualified attorney.
To discuss your legal situation with a lawyer, contact the firm or via telephone at (888) 435-7001. To learn more about the law offices of Levin Papantonio, please visit the Video Media Center. Transcripts page or view the firm's brochure or resume.
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