Investment Adviser, Joseph Teifer, currently employed at Herbert J. Sims & Co. Inc., has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career. Both complaints have recently surfaced in the past year alleging Teifer making inappropriate investments.
According to a BrokerCheck report, in April 2019, two allegations were made against Teifer for making unsuitable recommendations. Both customer disputes were closed by the firm without action being taken. The first complaint alleges inappropriateness of investments and damages of approximately $19,000 for investments made during 2017-2019. Similarly, as second complaint surfaced for similar allegations alleging damages of approximately $60,000. These complaints appear to relate to mutual fund recommendations made through David Lerner.
Brokers have an obligation to make only suitable recommendations for investments to the client. There are many investments that are not appropriate for the majority of investors or for certain investors given their risk tolerance, age, and other factors. Brokers should not present these investment options to clients. There are two screens that brokers must employ to determine whether an investment is suitable for a client. First, there must be a reasonable basis for the recommendation – meaning that the product has been investigated and due diligence conducted into the investment’s features, benefits, risks, and other relevant factors. The broker must conclude that the investment is suitable for at least some investors and some securities may be suitable for no one. Second, the broker then must match the investment as being appropriate for the customer’s specific investment needs and objectives such as the client’s retirement status, long or short-term goals, age, disability, income needs, or any other relevant factor.
According to newsources, a study revealed that 7.3% of financial advisors had a customer complaint on their record when records from 2005 to 2015 were examined. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their BrokerCheck reports that include customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, terminations, and criminal cases. In addition, research has shown a disturbing pattern with troublesome brokers where brokers with high numbers of customer complaints are not kicked out of the industry but instead these brokers are sifted to lower quality brokerage firms with loose hiring practices and higher rates of customer complaints. These lower quality firms may average brokers with five times as many complaints as the industry average.
Teifer entered the securities industry in 2004 and is licensed to practice in 22 states. From 2004 through 2019, Teifer was registered with David Lerner Associates, Inc. Currently, Teifer is registered at Herbert J. Sims & Co. Inc. He has been registered there since February 2019 until the present day.
At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to suitability violations. Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.