Advisor Wenjinn Chang (Chang), currently employed by Independent Financial Group, LLC (Independent Financial) has been subject to at least two customer complaints. According to a BrokerCheck report the customer complaints concern alternative investments and direct participation products (DPPs) such as non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs), oil & gas programs, annuities, and equipment leasing programs. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP have extensive experience handling investor losses caused by these types of products.
In October 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Chang violated the securities laws by alleging over-concentration of non-traded REITs that were not suitable and that resulted in losses. The claim alleged $50,000 in damages and the claim is currently pending.
In September 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Chang violated the securities laws by Alleging that the broker failed to advise of the risks of the investments made and that the Claimant has suffered losses as a result of the investments made. The claim alleged $75,000 in damages and the claim settled for $10,000.
Our firm often handles cases involving direct participation products, Non-Traded REITs, oil and gas offerings, equipment leasing products, and other alternative investments. These products are almost always unsuitable for investors. In addition, the brokers who sell them are paid additional commission in order to hype inferior quality investments which provides a perverse incentives by brokers to create an artificial market for products that no honest advisor would sell.
According to studies, non-traded REITs have historically have underperformed even safe benchmarks, like U.S. treasury bonds – meaning that non-traded REITs provide paltry investment returns considering the risk an investor takes. Alternative investment products like oil and gas partnerships, REITs, and equipment leasing programs are rarely, if ever, appropriate for investors due to their high costs, illiquidity, high risks, and huge redemption charges of the products, if they can be redeemed at all. Investors often fail to understand that they have lost money until many years after agreeing to the investment.
Unfortunately, due to the high commissions brokers earn on these products they sell them to investors who cannot profit from them. These products have become so popular among brokers without providing any benefit to investors that many states now limit investors from investing more than 10% of their liquid assets in Non-Traded REITs. Many states impose these limitations because its understood that that they provide virtually no benefit to investors in relationship to their risks.
Chang entered the securities industry in 2002. From September 2004 until April 2012 Chang was registered with Ameritas Investment Corp. Since April 2012 Chang has been registered with Independent Financial out of the firm’s Rockville, Maryland office location.
Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.