Articles Tagged with concentration

The investment fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Raymond James Financial Services broker Joseph Amalfitano of Malvern, PA. According to his BrokerCheck report maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Mr. Amalfitano moved to Raymond James after stints at Citigroup and Merrill Lynch.

Mr. Amalfitano was recently the subject of two customer complaints since 2008, per FINRA records.

According to his BrokerCheck, in 2012, Mr. Amalfitano was alleged to have “maintained an unsuitable concentration of Bank of America stock” in customers’ accounts. Overconcentration can be dangerous since it has the potential to create higher risk and volatility of an account when compared to a more balanced, diversified portfolio. FINRA records indicate this case was settled.

The Dow Jones dropped more than 600 points today in response to the Brexit vote.  This was reportedly the its eighth-largest point loss ever.  Meanwhile, the S&P 500 dropped more than 70 points today.  Certain financial company stocks dropped significantly as well.  Among them were Barclays, which dropped more than 20% and RBS who saw a 27% decline.  The financial sector as a whole reportedly had its worst day since 2011 dropping 5.4%.

While all of this may make the evening news more interesting to watch, the concerns on many people’s minds are undoubtedly, “How will this affect me and my portfolio?”  Especially with baby-boomers retiring each and every day, retirement portfolio losses so close to one’s retirement could be unrecoverable.

One of the first things to look at to see if your portfolio was significantly affected would be to examine at your exposure to the UK and your exposure to the financial sector.

Brokers beware; FINRA is watching your firm, and you.  Becoming embroiled in a regulatory inquiry or investigation can become a major and costly headache and impediment to registered representatives’ business.

In January 2016, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released its annual list of priorities, showing what sorts of sweeps they may perform, and investigations they may bring, in the coming year.  brokers working in the securities industry should be aware of the priorities that are relevant to them, including those having to do with sales practice.

FINRA’s 2016 Priorities make clear that they intend a top-down review of the following areas, which may lead to firm-wide or broker specific investigations, including:

The securities and investment fraud attorneys at Malecki Law are interested in hearing from investors in MainStay Investments’ Cushing series Master Limited Partnerships (MLPs) and Energy Equity mutual funds.  MainStay Investments is a subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Company.

Among the MainStay Cushing portfolio of funds, a number of them declined between 33% and 57% in 2015 year to date, per Morningstar.  These funds include:

  • MainStay Cushing® Royalty Energy Inc A (CURAX)

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.

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