Writing Checks Directly to Brokers

Investor Claims Is What We Do - All Day, Every Day

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

Writing Checks Directly to Brokers & Financial Advisors - ​to Whom Do I Make the Check Payable?

You are ready to invest with a broker or financial advisor and it’s time to write the check. To whom should you make the check payable? Meyer Wilson represents many investors who are victims of Ponzi schemes, broker theft, and other types of investment fraud. Many of these cases share a common thread: their broker or advisor asked the customer to make the check payable to the advisor directly, or to a company that he or she owns.

When investing your money, do not under any circumstances make a check payable directly to the individual broker, investment advisor, or his or her company.

You should send your money to the institution that is going to take custody of your money, rather than the salesperson who is selling you the investments.

Say, for example, “Jim Smith” is your broker and he works for a large brokerage firm such as Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo, or UBS. Those firms serve as both your introducing broker and the custodian or clearing broker. In that case, you would make checks payable to the brokerage firm, because the brokerage firm is taking custody of your assets.

If Jim Smith is your broker and he works for a small, independent brokerage firm, the process may be different. There are plenty of high quality brokers working in well-respected, independent brokerage firms, but you need to understand that if the brokerage firm is not acting as a clearing firm or custodian of your assets, then you should only send money to the brokerage clearing firm or custodian when investing money with that broker.

So, even if Jim Smith is conducting business as “Smith Financial,” do not make the check payable directly to him or his company. If “Jim Smith” is not a broker, but rather a registered investment advisor, and you are working with his investment advisory firm, you will be making the check payable to the clearing firm or custodian.

Common examples here include Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and TD Ameritrade. Do not write a check to the investment advisor or his or her firm directly. When sending money for an investment, the bottom line is that you should always make the check payable to a large, reputable institution that is taking custody of your assets.

You should spend some time researching the institution to make sure you are sending your money to the appropriate place. If you have already written a check directly to a broker or financial advisor and you suspect misconduct, we encourage you to contact Meyer Wilson today to receive a free review of your case.

The Meyer Wilson Way

Results-Focused Representation
  • More than $350,000,000 Recovered
  • Voted Best Lawyers in America® for over Ten Years Running
  • David Meyer is the Immediate Past-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.

  • “I primarily worked with Courtney Werning throughout the process and she was informative and knowledgeable. I trusted and fully recommend Courtney and her team.”

    - S.R.
  • “The communication throughout the process was on par - and they took the time to indulge me with the various questions and opinions.”

    - R.G.
  • “What I truly appreciated was getting a great result for my Mom with limited involvement/stress on her.”

    - S.W.
  • “We went to arbitration with the other respondent and I got to see firsthand the level of professionalism and expertise the Meyer Wilson firm can deliver.”

    - D.V.
  • “Chad would take the time to call and talk with me. His explanations were always clear and concise. I also appreciate all the effort put into the details and statistics required to argue this case.”

    - P.N.
  • “Meyer Wilson was able to produce the results that we felt were obvious and warranted while several other firms and even state offices simply had trouble understanding let alone moving the case forward.”

    - B.K.
  • “My overall experience was positive and I would encourage anyone who even thinks they have been a victim of stockbroker misconduct to call David.”

    - S.T.
  • “Meyer Wilson represented me in a suit brought last year against my brokerage firm, securing a very fair and equitable settlement for me.”

    - R.G., M.D.
  • “Right from the start, you had the passion and desire to win this case for us. I have never worked with an attorney or firm as compassionate as yours. I would highly recommend your firm to anyone.”

    - G.A.

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