The recent market correction has caused many people to worry about the performance of their securities accounts. Senior-aged investors (and other conservative investors) are particularly at risk for losses in their accounts if they were inappropriately invested too heavily in equities and other alternative investments.
The Op-Ed published in the Wall Street Journal on August 24, 2015 notes that the low-yield bond environment has enticed some investors to “climb on the bandwagon of rising share prices.” Brokers may be similarly tempted to recommend risky stocks to their conservative investors, and to recommend concentrated levels of stocks. However, what may be suitable for a middle-aged investor may not be suitable for an senior-aged investor.
Suitability is an important investor-specific inquiry both the broker and broker-dealer must perform to ensure the investments that are recommended are appropriate given the age, relative wealth, experience and risk tolerance of each investor, among other factors. A broker’s unsuitable recommendations could be especially problematic for those investors seeking stability and safety of principal, including senior-aged investors who rely on their securities portfolios to generate income.