Advisor Alex Blanco Subject to Complaints Over Annuities and REITs

shutterstock_102242143-300x169Advisor Alex Blanco (Blanco), currently employed by MML Investors Services, LLC (MML Investors) has been subject to at least three customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to a BrokerCheck report some of the customer complaints concern variable annuities and alternative investments such as direct participation products (DPPs) like non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs.  The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.

In December 2018 a customer complained that Blanco violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor made unsuitable investments as well as overstating assets and inadequate accounts to statement causing $315,000 in damages.  The claim is currently pending.

In May 2018 a customer complained that Blanco violated the securities laws by alleging that the financial advisor recommended investments purchased in 2015 were not suitable and he is requesting to liquidate the account.  The claim was denied by the firm.

Our firm often handles cases involving annuities and direct participation products, Non-Traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments.  These products are almost always unsuitable for investors.  In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments which provides a perverse incentives by brokers to create an artificial market for products that no honest advisor would sell.

According to studies, non-traded REITs have historically have underperformed even safe benchmarks, like U.S. treasury bonds – meaning that non-traded REITs provide paltry investment returns considering the risk an investor takes.  Alternative investment products like oil and gas partnerships, REITs, and equipment leasing programs are rarely, if ever, appropriate for investors due to their high costs, illiquidity, high risks, and huge redemption charges of the products, if they can be redeemed at all.  Investors often fail to understand that they have lost money until many years after agreeing to the investment.

Unfortunately, due to the high commissions brokers earn on these products they sell them to investors who cannot profit from them.  These products have become so popular among brokers without providing any benefit to investors that many states now limit investors from investing more than 10% of their liquid assets in Non-Traded REITs.  Many states impose these limitations because its understood that that they provide virtually no benefit to investors in relationship to their risks.

Blanco entered the securities industry in 1999.  From March 2011 until October 2016 Blanco was associated with Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc.  From November 2016 until September 2017 Blanco was registered with Pruco Securities, LLC.  Finally, since November 2017 Blanco has been registered with MML Investors out of the firm’s New York, New York office location.

Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation.  At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts.  Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA.  Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.

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