According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Ronald Walker (Walker), currently employed by NYLife Securities LLC (NYLife) has been subject to five customer complaints during his career. According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the customer complaints against Walker concern allegations over variable annuity sales practices.
In June 2018 a client complained that Walker violated the securities laws because a client claimed she was not aware that she would be subject to a new surrender period when she agreed to move funds from one variable annuity to another in February 2017. The customer also alleged that being invested in 100% high yield bond funds does not match her risk tolerance. The customer alleged $13,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.
In November 2017 a client complained that Walker violated the securities laws because a client claimed that the firm approved modifications to two variable annuity contracts. The firm denied the claim.
In October 2017 a client complained that Walker violated the securities laws alleging that he recommended a rider to his variable annuity contract purchased in September 2005 that was unnecessary and expensive. Customer alleges that he did not need the rider because he does not intend to withdraw from the variable annuity. The claim settled for $11,020.58.
Variable annuities are complex financial and insurance products. In fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a publication entitled: Variable Annuities: What You Should Know encouraging investors to ask questions about the variable annuity before investing. Essentially, a variable annuity is a contract with an insurance company under which the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you. The investor chooses the investments made in the annuity and value of your variable annuity will vary depending on the performance of the investment options chosen. The primary benefits of variable annuities are the death benefit and tax deferment of investment gains.
However, the benefits of variable annuities are often outweighed by the terms of the contract that include exorbitant expenses such as surrender charges, mortality and expense charges, management fees, market-related risks, and rider costs.
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 show 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.
Walker entered the securities industry in 1982. Since September 1982 Walker has been registered with NYLife out of the firm’s Los Altos, California 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.