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  • Attorneys David Meyer and Matthew Wilson have been selected to the list of Super Lawyers since 2011 and 2015 respectively.

  • Attorney David Meyer is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an organization recognizing attorneys who have secured million dollar cases.

  • Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ has recognized attorney David Meyer as an AV Preeminent® attorney in High Ethical Standing.

  • Attorneys David Meyer and Matthew Wilson have received a 10 out of 10 “Superb” rating on Avvo, calculated based on stringent and exhaustive criteria.

  • Attorney David Meyer was selected as the 2015 Lawyer of the Year for Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs for Columbus, OH by Best Lawyers®.

  • Meyer Wilson was ranked as a Tier 1 Best Law Firm for both Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs and Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs by U.S. News.

  • Attorney David Meyerhas been selected to the list of the Best Lawyers in America® for Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs and Professional Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs every year since 2011.

What Is the Difference Between a Discretionary and Non-Discretionary Account?

When potential clients call my office about an investment fraud case, one of the first things we want to know is whether the investment account is non-discretionary or discretionary. Understandably, most investors don’t know how to answer that question. I think there are two main reasons for this.

One reason is that too many brokers don’t explain the difference between non-discretionary and discretionary accounts when they are dealing with their customers.

Another reason is, far too often, brokers treat non-discretionary accounts as if they were discretionary accounts, even though the broker doesn’t have authority from the customer to make trades on a discretionary basis.

A non-discretionary investment means that the broker has to contact you and get your permission before making any trades in your account. In a discretionary account, the broker is permitted to exercise their own discretion and make purchases or sales of securities without talking to you and getting your permission.

In both types of accounts, a broker is required to make recommendations that are appropriate for you, taking into consideration your unique circumstances, goals, and your tolerance for risk.

In the approximately thousands of cases I’ve handled against brokerage firms, I have seen countless instances where brokers make trades in investment accounts acting as if they had discretionary authority even though the paperwork signed by the customer indicates that the account is supposed to be treated as a non-discretionary account.

In these cases, the customer may have various avenues for recovery against a broker and a brokerage firm for losses that occurred as a result of the trades made by the broker. These include claims for unauthorized trading, and recommending purchasing unsuitable investments, as well as claims for breach of fiduciary duty relating to the brokerage control over the investment account.

Whether you have suffered investment losses in a non-discretionary or discretionary account, it is important to understand that you do have legal rights and you may be able to recover your losses if there is misconduct regardless of whether the broker was acting on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. Please contact us if you would like additional information on these issues.

Need More Information?

Investment misconduct can be complex and confusing. That’s why we’re here to help you. Visit our Common Questions page to find in depth answers directly from our attorneys. Get More Answers
Have You Been a Victim of Investment Fraud?

You trusted your financial advisor with your money, but now you're left wondering what went wrong. If you or a loved one suffered losses because of investment misconduct, Meyer Wilson can step in and fight to recover your losses. The team of investment fraud lawyers at the firm has been helping people like you since 1999 by winning judgments, settlements and verdicts worth hundreds of millions of dollars against brokerage firms, financial advisors and banks.

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