A security is a catch-all term that refers to just about any negotiable financial instrument. If you are an investor, you probably own securities. Some of the most common types of securities include:
- Mutual funds;
- Stock options and future options;
- Exchanged traded funds (ETFs);
- Corporate bonds;
- Municipal (government) bonds.
Despite being a very common thing to invest in, securities are inherently complex financial products. In fact, some securities are so complicated that even professionals do not fully understand them.
As such, investors who purchase securities are often forced to rely on the guidance, recommendations and professional skills of their broker and brokerage firm. The professionals have a duty to properly look out for your interests. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, professional brokers fail to live up to their legal obligations.
A broker’s negligence or intentional misconduct can cause an investor tremendous financial losses. It is no secret: losing your hard-earned money or retirement savings because of broker misconduct is frustrating. Beyond the emotional stress, being a victim can also cause you considerable financial distress.
This is a situation where you need the services of a qualified securities lawyer. At the Sonn Law Group, our experienced securities fraud attorneys are committed to fighting for the legal rights and financial interests of wronged investors. If you sustained significant losses investing in securities, please contact our team today for the aggressive legal representation that your claim deserves.
Can You Benefit From the Services of a Securities Lawyer?
If you sustained investment losses, you need to answer the following overriding question: Did your investments lose money or were you a victim of misconduct? This complicated and difficult question will determine whether or not you have a valid legal claim. A securities fraud lawyer will be able to assess your circumstances and help you answer this question.
When you invest in any type of securities, you are not guaranteed success. As investors, we all know that the market offers both upsides and downsides. There is simply no such thing as a guaranteed investment. Investors are forced to accept and deal with the market risk that comes with purchasing securities or putting their money into any other type of investment. You will not have a viable legal claim simply because your investments lost money.
However, at the same time, brokers and brokerage firms have extensive legal duties to protect the best interests of their clients. If you lost money because your broker did something wrong, either intentionally or unintentionally, then they can be held legally responsible for your investment losses.
When assessing if you have a viable investor losses claim, you should start by asking yourself the following six important questions.
- Did you lose far more money than you were told was possible given the circumstances?
- Were you pushed into investments that you did not fully understand?
- Did you lose a lot of money despite telling your broker that you were a “conservative investor”?
- Were you sold securities with a “guarantee” or a promise that the financial product was “a sure winner”?
- Do you believe that your broker or brokerage firm gave you any false or inaccurate information?
- Is there a mysterious transaction or other unexplained information on your account statements?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you may have a valid legal claim. At this point, a qualified securities lawyer will be able to help you.
Put simply, you need to have your case reviewed in detail by an experienced attorney who can figure out exactly what happened and can help you determine what needs to be done next to protect your legal rights and financial interests.
Securities Law: Common Types of Investor Claims
There are many different securities laws on the books that are designed to protect investors against fraud and negligence. Two of the most prominent examples are the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Act of 1934.
Additionally, U.S.-based brokerage firm must comply with the rules and regulations promulgated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a private organization that self-regulates the securities industry.
If you were sold securities by any party, or if you have an account with any registered brokerage firm in which you bought and hold securities, you have certain rights that must be protected. In the unfortunate event that you were the victim of misconduct, you can hold bad acting parties liable for their actions.
In regards to securities, investor losses claims come in many different forms. In fact, a securities fraud lawyer can help you bring legal action based on any of the following underlying claims:
- Broker or brokerage firm breach of fiduciary duty;
- Undisclosed conflicts of interest;
- A brokerage firm’s failure to adequately supervise its agents;
- Broker or broker-dealer negligence;
- Fraud or misrepresentation;
- The omission of material facts;
- Unsuitable investment recommendations;
- The sale of unregistered securities;
- Unauthorized trading;
- Ponzi schemes;
- Lack of diversification in your account;
- Broker selling away;
- Being pushed to take on too much risk;
- Being pushed to use excessive use of margin;
- Excessive trading (churning); and
- Brokerage firms charging unreasonable or hidden fees.
Clearly, investment fraud claims come in a wide variety of forms. In many cases, wronged investors will have multiple, overlapping causes of action on which they can bring their claim. The most important thing that all investors need to remember: Your broker and brokerage firm has a duty to look out for your best financial interests.
If a broker or brokerage firm fails to protect your best interests for any reason, and you sustained serious financial losses as a result, you owe it to yourself to have your claim reviewed by a qualified investment fraud attorney.
In these cases, brokers often control much of the information that is needed to bring a claim. You need to gather all of the documents and records that you have, and get them to a securities lawyer who can review them and can then take action to compel any other evidence that will be needed to bring your claim.
How Your Attorney Can Help Your Recover Compensation
If you sustained monetary damages due to the bad actions of your broker you are entitled to seek financial compensation that is equal to the full value of your losses. As a general rule, this is done by filing a legal claim. In some cases, securities disputes will end up in a traditional courtroom setting.
However, in the overwhelming majority of investor losses cases, your claim will end up going before a FINRA arbitration panel. The reason for this is that most brokers and brokerage firms require their clients to sign a customer agreement that includes a predispute arbitration clause within it.
Essentially, this type of provision requires investors to take any securities-related claims they have against their broker through FINRA’s arbitration process. With very limited exceptions, predispute arbitration provisions are considered to be enforceable in Florida and around the United States.
If your case is going before a FINRA arbitration panel, you need to get an experienced securities fraud lawyer by your side as soon as possible. These cases are complex, and the appeals rights are far more limited than they are with traditional litigation. As such, it is imperative that your claim is handled correctly the first time. Your securities lawyer will make sure this happens.
Please be sure to retain the services of a lawyer who has skills, relevant experience and full understanding of the FINRA arbitration process needed to effectively handle your claim.
You Can Always Afford a Top-Rated Securities Lawyer
Many investment fraud victims worry that they will not be able to afford to a top-rated securities fraud attorney. This is certainly an understandable concern, as wronged investors have already sustained serious financial losses. The last thing an investor wants to deal with is more costs.
However, this concern is also based on a common misconception. A securities fraud lawyer does not have to be expensive. In fact, at the Sonn Law Group, our highly experienced securities lawyers take on all investor losses claims on a contingency fee basis. We do not charge clients for our services unless we help them recover financial compensation.
If you claim is not successful, we will not get paid. We are so confident in our ability to help you that we are more than willing to take on all of the risks of bringing your claim.
Further, we offer comprehensive securities fraud case evaluations, free of charge. We will review your claim, explain your legal rights to you and help you assess your legal options for free with no strings attached or hidden obligations for you.
Were You a Victim of Securities Fraud?
We can help. At the Sonn Law Group, our dedicated securities fraud attorneys have helped many investors recover full and fair compensation for their losses. If you lost money because of your broker’s negligence or intentional misconduct, please contact our team today at 844-689-5754. From our primary office in Aventura, FL, we represent securities fraud victims in Miami and nationwide.