Meyer Wilson Wins $117K for Elderly Couple
Stockbrokers and financial advisors have a duty to recommend investments
that are appropriate based on your specific circumstances. Unfortunately,
this doesn’t always happen.
Our firm was hired by an elderly couple in 2015 who had suffered substantial
losses in their investment account, managed by their long-time and trusted
financial advisor. At first, they didn’t really understand what
had happened, and they asked their daughter for help looking things over.
She immediately contacted our firm.
These clients had been using this particular financial advisor with no
issues for many years. They were in their 90s at this point, retired,
unsophisticated investors. They lived modest lives in rural Texas, paying
their bills from social security checks and a modest teacher’s pension.
After our attorneys had a chance to dig into the monthly statements from
their brokerage firm, it became obvious that the account was heavily concentrated
in oil and gas securities starting in 2014. Of course, the oil and gas
industry is extremely volatile. Their account was certain to collapse
in the event of an energy downturn, which is exactly what happened in
2015. They lost nearly everything.
The worst part was that the clients had marked “preservation of principal”
as their investment objective, signifying that they were conservative
investors. What they received from the broker was far from conservative.
We took the case and filed it with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
(FINRA) dispute resolution forum. A year later, after time for discovery
and document exchange, we argued before an arbitrator in Dallas, TX that
not only were the investments
unsuitable, but the risks associated with the individual investments and the overconcentration
was not disclosed to the clients.
Following three days of evidentiary hearing sessions, the arbitrator granted
our clients full compensatory damages, costs, attorney’s fees, and
interest, totaling about $117,000.
Often times, older investors understandably rely on their financial advisors
to do the right thing and protect their interests, as they often suffer
a cognitive decline that is just indicative of a ripe old age. What we
see time and time again is that senior investors are vulnerable to this
type of misconduct, and if often goes unnoticed or unreported.
If you have older family members who rely on financial advisors, it’s
in their best interest to have a knowledgeable third-party in the line
of communication regarding the account, simply to reduce the chance that
these types of things don’t happen. If they already have happened,
we may be able to help, as we did for this couple in Texas. But please,
understand that prior results are not a guarantee of future results in
Call us to discuss your case with a member of our firm, or
fill out the form on our website to schedule a free case evaluation today.