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.