Articles Tagged with structured product investment attorney

shutterstock_168326705-199x300According to BrokerCheck records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Katherine Nishnic (Nishnic), currently associated with Centaurus Financial, Inc. (Centaurus), has been subject to at least eight customer complaints during her career.  The majority of the customer complaints against Nishnic concern allegations relating to unsuitable recommendations in structured products. The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are currently representing investors, including Centaurus investors, who were surprised to find out that the “bonds” that were recommended by their advisors have almost completely stopped paying interest while plummeting in value.

What many investors in this situation did not realize was that they were not sold bonds at all but instead complex structured products that go by a variety of names including steepener notes, adjustable rate market notes, spread linked notes, or structured notes.  Regulators have already stated that it is improper to sell these investments as a fixed income substitute or to compare them to bonds in terms of producing a revenue stream.  However, in our firm’s experience it appears that many brokers have been selling structured products as bond alternatives.

Structured products range in risk from benign to extreme.  However, most structured products produce inferior risk/return profiles than ordinary debt or equity instruments because the brokerage firms that issue these products seek to profit from the spread between the payment to investors and the amount of money the brokerage firm can make from the issuance.  When dealing with complex structured products most investors will lack the ability to understand the merits of investments nor are they appropriate for investors seeking a fixed or reliable income and have a desire for preservation of capital.

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shutterstock_57938968-200x300The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP filed a claim on behalf of a retired 66 years old widow concerning the mismanagement of her retirement savings.  The case alleged that Wells Fargo representative Allen Wilson (Wilson) recommended an overconcentration in unsuitable structured products that caused devastating losses to the Claimant’s portfolio jeopardizing her retirement.

Claimant alleged that she and her husband met Wilson in 2001 and for some time her savings were concentrated mostly in corporate and municipal bonds.  The Claimant alleged that she told Wilson that she was retired, collected social security, and wanted additional income from her accounts to cover expenses while preserving principal.  However, Wilson began recommending very complex structured products that the ordinary investor would not be able to understand.  These structured products were alleged to not be appropriate investments for income and a desire for preservation of capital.

The structured products at issue referenced two different bond yield curves and one stock market index in order to compute both if interest is owed paid and how much.  As alleged, a probability and statistics degree is needed to even begin to comprehend the probabilities of payment on this instrument.

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shutterstock_184430645-300x225According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Lynn Faust (Faust), currently employed by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. (Stifel Nicolaus) has been subject to at least three customer complaints and one employment termination for cause during her career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the complaints against Faust concern allegations of unsuitable investments in market linked notes.

In November 2018 a customer complained that Faust recommended investments that violated the securities laws concerning misrepresented market linked notes.  The complaint alleges $59,000 in damages and is currently pending.

In October 2018 Faust was terminated by Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (Raymond James) due to allegations that the firm had concerns relating to the nature of advisor’s UIT activity.

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