The securities lawyers of Gana LLP are investigating customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Lisa Lowi (Lowi). According to BrokerCheck records Lowi has been subject to at least 21 customer complaints with approximately 18 of those complaints being filed in the last two years. The recent customer complaints against Lowi allege securities law violations including unsuitable investments that relate to concentrations in energy bond related investments. The complaints in total allege millions in investor losses and damages
As reported by the Wall Street Journal the drop in oil and energy prices and the industry downturn has made it difficult for many companies to refinance their debts. According to Bloomberg, U.S. high-yield debt issued to junk-rated energy companies grew four-fold to $208 billion. Most of these companies are now struggling to stay afloat with oil prices at $45. Nonetheless, oil and gas and commodities related investments have been recommended by brokers under the assumption that commodities prices would continue to go up. Some experts are saying that if production volume continues to be as high as it currently is and demand growth weak that the return to $100 a barrel is years away.
Before recommending investments in oil and gas and commodities related investments, brokers and advisors must ensure that the investment is appropriate for the investor and conduct due diligence on the company in order to understand the risks and prospects of the company. Many of these companies relied upon high energy prices in order to sustain their operations.
The number of events listed on Lowe’s brokercheck is high relative to her peers. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must publicly disclose certain types of reportable events on their CRD including but not limited to customer complaints. In addition to disclosing client disputes brokers must divulge IRS tax liens, judgments, and criminal matters. However, FINRA’s records are not always complete according to a Wall Street Journal story that checked with 26 state regulators and found that at least 38,400 brokers had regulatory or financial red flags such as a personal bankruptcy that showed up in state records but not on BrokerCheck. More disturbing is the fact that 19,000 out of those 38,400 brokers had spotless BrokerCheck records.
Lowi entered the securities industry in 1985. From October 2009 until November 2015, Lowi was associated with RBC Capital Markets, LLC. From November 2015 until April 2016, Lowi was associated with Janney Montgomery Scott LLC out of the firm’s Boca Raton, Florida office location.
Brokers who sell oil and gas and commodities products are obligated to understand the risks of these investments and convey them to clients. Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.