The securities lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating a customer complaints filed with The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) against broker Bruce Slater (Slater). According to BrokerCheck records Slater has been subject to at least four customer complaints. The customer complaints against Slater alleges securities law violations that including unsuitable investments and misrepresentations among other claims. Many of the complaints involve direct participation products (DPPs) and private placements including oil and gas partnerships – including Ridgewood Energy-, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), variable annuities, and other alternative investments.
Our firm has represented many clients in these types of products. All of these investments come with high costs and historically have underperformed even safe benchmarks, like U.S. treasury bonds. For example, products like oil and gas partnerships, REITs, and other alternative investments are only appropriate for a narrow band of investors under certain conditions due to the high costs, illiquidity, and huge redemption charges of the products, if they can be redeemed. However, due to the high commissions brokers earn on these products they sell them to investors who cannot profit from them. Further, investor often fail to understand that they have lost money until many years after agreeing to the investment. In sum, for all of their costs and risks, investors in these programs are in no way additionally compensated for the loss of liquidity, risks, or cost.