According to Law360, a prominent New York attorney is now pleading with the Florida federal judge assigned to his case to avoid jail time for deceptively selling investments. Earlier this year, the Securities Exchange Commission sanctioned this same lawyer for securities violations.
LAW DEGREE AND LICENSES DON’T MAKE SALES MORE LEGITIMATE
We address this situation as a simple reminder to investors that investment being pitched to you is not better or more legitimate simply because the “salesperson” has a law degree or is licensed to practice law. If the lawyer pitching the investment to you is receiving a financial benefit from closing the sale (i.e. he or she makes money if you buy), then that person is not functioning as your lawyer, but rather functioning as a salesperson with an inherent bias or conflict towards pushing the investment on you. This is especially true with many annuity products and other high commission real estate and oil and gas products.
Invest Time to Discover CFA or CPA
Before you buy an investment product, invest time in finding out whether the person recommending the product is: A CFA or CFP (advanced qualifications in investments); Licensed to sell stocks and bonds as well as the products being recommended to you (as opposed to just being licensed to sell what they are pitching to you); has a clean regulatory record or has a history of problems in the securities industry. And, most importantly, ask the person recommending the investment to put in writing exactly how much they will receive in cash or other financial benefits if you buy what they are selling. This last question helps you distinguish between a true investment professional and a salesperson posing as an investment professional. If the salesperson is receiving a significant commission or other financial benefits for buying the product, then ask yourself why the issuer has to pay them so much money to sell the product if the product is really that great.
We are hopeful that this post will help investors avoid expensive, illiquid, and, at times, high-risk investments that they later regret owning.
Vernon Litigation Group is a financial litigation law firm with offices in Naples, Florida and Buckhead, Georgia that represents clients in courtroom litigation, arbitration, including FINRA arbitration, negotiation, and mediation throughout the United States. Our lawyers have collectively represented hundreds of investors in financial disputes in arbitration and litigation nationwide and recovered millions of dollars from purported financial professionals and financial institutions, both large and small. Please contact us to discuss your rights if you believe a financial or investment professional has failed to act in your best interests or otherwise abused your trust with respect to insurance products or other investment products or services. For more information, visit our website or contact us by phone at (239) 319-4434 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to speak with a representative of Vernon Litigation Group.
Mr. Vernon handles the litigation and arbitration of complex business and financial disputes, with an emphasis on securities fraud and securities arbitration, throughout the United States.