The investment attorneys of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating investor claims of unsuitable investments in oil and gas related products. Our firm is currently representing a number of investors who lost substantial savings due to poor advice to concentrate holdings in speculative commodities investments like master limited partnerships (MLPs). According to Brokercheck records, Charles Frieda (Frieda) currently with Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC (Wells Fargo) and operating from their offices in Irvine, California has recently received at least 17 customer complaints with similar allegations that the broker overconcentrated them in oil and gas equities, preferred stock, and debt. Four complaints have been filed against Frieda in 2016 alone.
One of the most popular energy related investments in the brokerage industry in recent years are MLPs. 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. There are about 130 MLPs trading on major exchanges that focus on energy related industries and natural resources.
Wall Street loves MLPs because they provide high yields to investors and require companies to pay Wall Street in order to continue to grow. In 2013 banks earned fees of $890.3 million from MLP issuance. Bloomberg quoted an analyst stating that “MLPs are Wall Street’s dream,” because “[t]hey’re fee machines.” Naturally, in order to entice investors to continue to invest in MLPs Wall Street pumps up MLPs every chance they get. According to Bloomberg, in May 2014 “[a]nalysts predict that 93 of the 114 MLPs in existence will rise in value in the next year…” Astonishingly, “all but five MLPs are recommended by the majority of the analysts who cover them.” At that time professionals without conflicts called MLPs “the next great investment debacle” and warned that “many MLP shareholders…may not understand what they’ve gotten into.”
Despite the predictions that Wall Street was promoting an oil and gas bubble, our firm is currently tracking a number of brokers that severely concentrated their clients in a single sector which has historically possessed speculative commodities type risk. Financial advisors must ensure that the oil and gas and commodities related investments being recommended to their client is appropriate for the investor and conduct due diligence on the company before making the recommendation. Unfortunately, sometimes adivsors fail to conduct sufficient research or understand the risks and prospects of the company.
Frieda entered the securities industry in 2008. From June 2009 until October 2012, Frieda was associated with Morgan Stanley. Since October 2012 Frieda has been associated with Wells Fargo.
Our firm represents securities investors in 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, MLPs, leveraged ETFs, mutual funds, and individual stocks. 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.