Unit Investment Trusts

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

What Are Unit Investment Trusts?

Is your broker recommending that you invest in unit investment trusts, known as “UITs”? We recently represented a retired couple from the Midwest who lost a substantial amount of their retirement savings in UITs sold to them by their broker. They suffered over $400,000 in investment losses, and the brokerage firm earned $200,000 in commissions from trading those UITs. We were able to secure a favorable settlement for our clients, but they should have never been sold those investments in the first place.

We have seen quite a few cases in our offices where brokers are pushing UITs on their customers. Brokers can make UITs sound very enticing. They are pre-selected baskets of stocks or bonds, which are fixed for a predetermined time, typically packaged with an interesting strategy, and designed to meet a specific goal.

In our opinion, for most individual investors, UITs are often a poor substitute for ordinary mutual funds. One of the potential problems and risks involved with purchasing UITs is that the portfolios are not actively traded, and they follow a buy-and-hold strategy. The portfolio remains fixed until the termination of the trust, usually ranging from 13 months to as much as 30 years depending on the underlying holdings.

Because UITs are unmanaged investments, they can’t take action or make investment decisions in response to or in anticipation of market declines or other events that are likely to effect the portfolios, even if such actions or decisions may be warranted.

This is especially problematic when the units are invested in volatile and risky sectors, or prudence calls for a timely rebalancing. In addition, UITs can be very expensive, both when they are first purchased and again when they dissolve. In many cases, brokers are pushing so-called “short term strategy trusts” that typically dissolve after one or two years.

Clients are often urged to reinvest automatically, rolling their units over into another, similar, newly created UIT once the old one dissolves. With each trust purchase and dissolution, investors are hit with initial sales charges, deferred sales charges, and other fees. In a taxable brokerage account, you may owe capital gains taxes each time a UIT matures. These layers of fees can add up, and bite up the returns on your investments to the tune of up to four percent or higher. This means you would need to achieve an annual return of four percent just to break even.

Unit investment trusts are not inherently bad. However, based on our experience representing individual investors who have lost substantial amounts of money with UITs and have been charged very high fees and commissions, our biggest concern is that they are complicated. Many investors who are sold UITs by their brokers do not have a handle on their risks and costs.

You should never invest in something that you don’t understand. If you invested in a UIT and lost a substantial amount of money, we invite you to contact the securities fraud lawyers at Meyer Wilson for 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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