Have you recently suffered a significant stock market loss? If so, and if your broker or brokerage firm’s actions were the cause of your losses, you may be able to bring them to a FINRA arbitration hearing to recover the funds that are rightfully yours.
Despite the fact that investing as a whole can be considered risky business, the risks should never be increased due to the actions of your stockbroker. Unfortunately, stockbroker misconduct is far more common that you might think, which is why enlisting the services of a highly trained investment fraud lawyer is in your best interests.
At Meissner Associates, we have zero tolerance for brokers and their firms who take advantage of the investors who make their jobs possible. For this reason, we are prepared to assist those who have lost an excess of $100,000 due to stockbroker wrongdoing. We’ll help build a strong case against your broker so that ideally the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has no choice but to compel them to pay.
Your Investment Options
If you’re a first-time investor, you may or may not understand the different types of investment opportunities presented to you and which ones match up with the goals you’ve set for yourself and your finances.
For this reason, we have described some of the most common types of investments below so that you can have a complete understanding of the kind of investment that was presented to you by your broker.
Investing in a stock means that you will have partial ownership of a corporation. If the company is a success, you can expect to make money, but if it fails, then you will lose money on your stock. Factors that influence stock investments include the type of stock you own (common or preferred) and how the stock market is currently performing as a whole.
Publicly traded companies or those that need to be registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will issue common stocks. Preferred stock could be a safer option for you, as there is a diminished risk of the loss of your investment. However, with the lesser risk comes fewer returns.
A bond is essentially a loan that investors give to a government agency or corporation to acquire the repayment of the loan with interest. Once the bond has matured, the entity that took out the loan will need to repay the principle of the loan in addition to the interest. Examples could include municipal bonds, agency securities, and corporate bonds.
An investment fund includes many investors who work together to invest based on a certain strategy. Some examples might include mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and closed-ends funds. Publicly offered funds such as these will be registered with the SEC, while hedge funds or private investment funds are not.
The good thing about investment funds is that they have the diversification that you need to increase your chances of success, but as with all investment opportunities, they do not come without risk.
Types of Investment Fraud You Need to Know
Any time you make an investment, you are taking a risk, but when your brokers or financial planners increase these risks by engaging in misconduct, you can file a complaint with FINRA to secure the remuneration you’re entitled to. Some of the most commonly seen types of investment fraud that our clients have been subjected to include:
- Hedge fund fraud
- Private placement fraud
- Junk bonds
- Ponzi schemes
- Misleading stock information
- Broker misconduct
If you believe that your stock market losses were through the fault of your financial advisor, consult with a qualified investment fraud attorney at Meissner Associates as soon as possible so that we may begin building your case.
Holding a Fraudulent Stockbroker Accountable
Once you become aware of broker investment fraud, you have every right to seek repayment of the stock market losses you suffered. There are a few different avenues you can take to recover your damages, but the most common is through a FINRA arbitration hearing. This is where a panel of three arbitrators will hear both sides of the case, similar to court proceedings.
From there, the arbitrators will make a decision regarding the validity of your claims and determine if you are entitled to full recovery of your financial losses. It’s important to note that although arbitration is less expensive and moves quicker than if you were to pursue litigation, the entire arbitration process is generally known to take more than a year to be entirely resolved.
Investment Fraud FAQ
Being subjected to investment fraud can completely upheave your life. When you want to obtain the justice you deserve by filing a claim for a FINRA arbitration hearing, you will probably have many questions about what to expect next.
With this in mind, we have compiled some of the questions we are most frequently asked below. If you have a question that hasn’t been addressed on this page, feel free to get in touch with our firm for more information.
How much will it cost to hire an attorney for my investment fraud case?
When you choose to work with Meissner Associates, you won’t be expected to pay anything up front. In fact, you won’t have to pay a dime unless we are successful in your arbitration hearing.
This is known as an attorney contingency fee, and we provide this opportunity to investors because you’ve already lost enough without having to pay for legal representation that doesn’t recoup your financial losses.
Can I file a claim to the SEC and win a whistleblower award?
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is responsible for the enforcement and regulation of the securities and financial industries. Therefore, it is entirely possible that the type of investment fraud you’ve been subjected to is a securities violation punishable by the SEC.
When you contact your attorney, we’ll determine if submitting a whistleblower tip to the SEC is in your best interest so that you have the opportunity to win a whistleblower award in addition to recovery of the stock losses you endured.
How do I know if my stockbroker is at fault for my loss?
You might be surprised to learn that the vast majority of stockbrokers are able to commit fraud right under their clients’ noses for an extended period of time simply because the stock market is complex and many investors trust that their brokers will act in their best interest.
If you notice a sudden increase in the number of times your account has been traded, unauthorized transactions, or significant losses that your broker is unable to explain, they may be engaging in stockbroker misconduct. Your fraud attorney will thoroughly review the details of your case to determine whether this is true for your accounts.
Reach Out to a Reputable Investment Fraud Attorney
If you are interested in holding your stockbroker or brokerage firm accountable for the reckless or irresponsible actions that resulted in your stock market losses, get help by reaching out to an experienced investment fraud lawyer at Meissner Associates today.
You can reach our office to schedule your free claim review by calling 212-764-3100 or by filling out the brief contact form we’ve included at the bottom of this page.