The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating investors that were recommended to invest in Spirit of America Energy Fund (Stock Symbol: SOAEX) underwritten and promoted by David Lerner Associates. The Fund went public in July 2014 and since that time has fallen from about $10 to only about $4.33 per share, an over 50% loss in less than a year and half.
The Spirit of America Energy Fund states that its investment strategy “seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing at least 80% of its assets in energy and energy related companies Exploration, production and transmission of energy or energy fuels. The Fund will invest in Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) that derive the majority of their revenue from energy infrastructure assets and energy related assets or activities…”
In the case of Spirit of America Energy Fund as of May 2015, over 90% of the fund was invested in oil and gas related MLPs. In addition, investors recommended to invest in the fund may have to pay a high 5.75% load fee and 1.55% annual expenses. In addition, from information available on the Spirit of America Energy Fund website, for the year ended 2014, over 93% of distributions received by investors are a return of their capital and only 6% of all distributions was a taxable dividend. Thus, part of the reason that the fund has declined so rapidly may possibly be attributable to the fund simply repaying investors from their own funds rather than through funds generated by investments.
Our firm is investigating potential securities claims against brokerage firms over sales practices related to the recommendations of oil & gas and commodities products such as exchange traded notes (ETNs), structured notes, private placements, master limited partnerships (MLPs), leveraged ETFs, mutual funds, and individual stocks. Our firm has written numerous articles concerning the dangers of MLP investments. MLPs are publicly traded partnerships. About 86% of the total MLP securities market, a $490 billion sector, can be attributed to energy and natural resource companies. However, most of these companies are heavily reliant on high oil prices to sustain their business models.
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. 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.
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.