BROKER REPORT: Wells Fargo’s Robert Ross

12234_corporate_blurThe investment and securities fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Wells Fargo financial advisor Robert Ross.  According to his BrokerCheck report maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Mr. Ross recently moved to Wells Fargo after spending 30 years at Merrill Lynch.

Mr. Ross was recently the subject of a customer complaint alleging unsuitable investment recommendations and excessive trading, per FINRA records.  BrokerCheck indicates that an arbitration related to this customer complaint is presently pending.

Excessive trading, also known as churning, in the industry can be disastrous for a portfolio.  When a broker trades an account excessively, large amounts of commissions and fees may be generated, if the account is commission based (as opposed to fee based).  Churning is a classic example of a broker putting his or her own monetary gain above the best interests of his or her customer.

A good indicator of a churned account is the cost-to-equity ratio, which tells you what percentage of the account’s value is eaten away by fees and commissions each year.  Churned accounts may range upwards of 9%, 15%, 20%, or even higher.  Another good indicator is the amount of short-term trades conducted in the account.  If a customer’s brokerage statements are unusually long and the customer’s tax returns have a lot of short-term gains and losses, these may be tangible signs of churning.

The attorneys at Malecki Law are regularly contacted by and regularly represent individuals who have lost money in connection with inappropriate securities transactions, including excessive trading/churning, by financial advisors/stockbrokers.