Since 1999 our law firm has recovered more than $350,000,000 for victims of investment fraud and misconduct.
Jury Verdict Won Against Prudential Securities $262 Million
Recovered for 100-Year Old Widow $30 Million
Recovered in Retirement Losses $10 Million
Recovered for a Large Group of Individual Investors $6.5 Million
Recovered for Elderly Victim in Ponzi Scheme Case $3.8 Million
Recovered for Elderly Ponzi Scheme Victim $3.2 Million
Recovered for More Than 50 Families of Ponzi Scheme in California $3.2 Million
Recovered for 35 Families in Northeast Ohio $3.1 Million
Losses Recovered for 20 Retirees $3 Million
Recovered for Retired Physician Against Major Wall Street Firm Prior to Filing FINRA Arbitration $2.5 Million
The Importance of Knowing How Brokers Earn Their Money
Brokers and financial advisors make money in a number of ways, including:
- Salary and commissions paid by their firms
- Hourly or flat-rate fees for their services
- Third party commissions
- Or a combination of these sources
Unfortunately, some financial professionals may try to pressure investors into new investments that generate a commission for them (the broker) even when those investments aren’t the best fit for the client. Other fraudsters may try to hide outrageous fees by burying the fee structure in the fine print, or just failing to mention it.
Fee-Only Investment Accounts
The financial industry has been moving toward a fee-only model in recent years. Fee-only accounts are managed by financial advisors that do not accept any fees or commissions based solely on their product sale. These accounts primarily charge a percentage of assets under management, but could also include other methods of charging clients, such as:
- Flat retainer
- Hourly rate
- Charge specific to the task at hand
Fee-only advisors have fewer inherent conflicts of interest and they generally provide more comprehensive advice.
Commission-based brokers often take offense at this distinction. Blurring the difference, they created the category “fee based,” which means they charge a fee in addition to collecting commissions. Study after study shows that even consumers seeking a strictly fee-only advisor find these terms confusing, and can be easily misled.
A fee-only account may not be a right path for everyone. If you’re going to trade only five to seven times per year, it’s probably more economical for you to pay commission, as opposed to paying somebody a percentage of your assets under management.
The takeaway is that it’s important to know how your broker is getting paid in order to ensure that the fee structure is the best fit for you. You can keep yourself informed by asking your broker directly about fees and commissions, carefully reading through your brokerage agreement, and reviewing your account statements and other documents to monitor fees and commissions.
More than $350,000,000 Recovered
Voted Best Lawyers in America® for Ten Years Running
David Meyer is President of Public Investors Advocate Bar Association (PIABA)
Over a Thousand Investor Claim Cases Since 1999
Exclusive Focus on Investor Claims & Class/Mass Action Lawsuits
Deep Bench of Skilled Attorneys and Staff Members
Meyer Wilson has represented over 1,000 individual investors in high-stakes claims across the country, and has recovered over $350 million on their behalves. See what former clients have to say about our team.